Top 10 Cigars 2009

Alright, I know, we’re almost two weeks into the new year, a new decade even, and the time for Top 10s has passed. Well, you’re going to have to make room for one more because I have done one as well.

What follows is my Top 10 most memorable, enjoyable, amazing cigars that I smoked last year. I decided to make my Top 10 all about the highest scoring cigars that I smoked but, rather, the cigars that scored well and were special to me for some reason or another. Price is a small consideration in this list but quality is what is most important.

And now I humbly submit to you my Top 10 Cigars of 2009.

10. Diesel

This cigar is awesome. I only gave it 89 points but, once you consider the price point, it’s a steal. For less than $4.00 (if you buy a box of 30) you will get a little bomb of flavor.

9. Perdomo Reserve 10th Anniversary Maduro

The Perdomo Reserve 10th Anniversary Maduro Robusto is a fine cigar. Medium bodied with chocolate and earthy flavors. Maybe not enough complexity but a joy to smoke nonetheless.

8. Casa Magna Colorado

I was walking through a local cigar shop, saw this cigar at what turned out to be a hefty markup (thanks to the California taxes, I’m sure) and decided to pick it up. After all, it was the top cigar at Cigar Aficionado in 2008. And it is good but not mind blowingly good. The Casa Magna Colorado Belicoso has spice, wood and nuts as the main flavors. Definitely worth it considering the price.

7. CAO L’Anniversaire Maduro

A torpedo, the CAO L’Anniversaire Maduro Belicoso, was a wonderful blend of earth and chocolate. Loads of flavor and enough complexity with this cigar to make it very enjoyable. I have been meaning to pick up some of these again and now that it’s officially in my Top 10 I don’t see why I shouldn’t.

6. Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente

I started out smoking the Gran Reserva line of Fuentes and because of that they will always hold a special place in my heart. Even though I don’t consider the normal Fuente line to be anything special anymore this one was a home run for me. I loved everything about it.

5. Man O’ War Ruination

When I smoked the Man O’ War Ruination Robusto No. 1 I wasn’t expecting a whole lot. The original Man O’ War line was a fine cigar and I was thinking I was going to get something along those lines, maybe a little better. Boy was I wrong. Yeah, it was full bodied but it had a lot of flavor and depth to it as well; something I thought was lacking from the original line.

4. Tatuaje Miami

The Tatuaje Miami Reserva J21 is simply a great cigar. Tons of complex flavors from beginning to end with this one. Need I say more?

3. Padron Anniversary Series (Natural)

The Padron Anniversary Series Monarca is a special cigar. Tons of full bodied flavor oozes from this cigar. If only the second half had been as good as the first half I bet this cigar would have been my favorite cigar of the year. And, ironically, it was the first cigar I smoked in 2009. Nothing like starting off with a bang!

2. Fuente Fuente Opus X

This cigar, the Fuente Fuente Opus X Belicoso XXX, received my highest score this year with 96 points and the only reason why it’s not going to be number one is because of the price. $26.00 is a lot to pay for a cigar that is less than five inches long but you have to give the Devil its due with this one. It really is a special cigar and its flavor profile matches up with what I like extraordinarily well.

1. Camacho Triple Maduro

Smoking the Camacho Triple Maduro 50/4.5 was Heavenly for me. This is the one cigar that I go back to as often as I can and, even though I gave a higher mark to the Opus X, that is why it’s my top cigar for 2009.

Diesel Cigar Review

This near-jet black beauty of a cigar is made by A.J. Fernandez who has made cigars for Rocky Patel, Padilla and the Man O’ War lines as well. I must be honest, this is one of the better looking cigars I have seen. In addition to the jet black wrapper it is a rather smallish torpedo that absolutely glistens with oils. There are no seriously raised veins either.

It is rough to the touch, though. And the cigar is tightly packed. Based off of my previous experiences with this cigar neither of those things should hurt the flavor at all.

Cigar Stats
Torpedo
Length: 5″
Ring Gauge: 56
Wrapper: USA/Pennsylvania
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua (Jalapa, Condega, Esteli)
Price: $6.00/Single | $100/Box (30 cigars)

Funny Flame!

As expected, the draw is very good. Not too tight, not too loose. Also, as expected, the Diesel has a ton of flavor that runs smack dab through the “dark” flavor profile. Lots of espresso/coffee beans, earthiness/grassy and some charcoal. There is a little bit of spice but not a whole heck of a lot to speak of. Oh, and chocolate – milk chocolate to be precise – is a fairly prominent flavor with the Diesel.

The flavors coat the mouth and just won’t leave, which is a pretty good thing here. It’s a very good cigar throughout the first half and shows no signs of slowing down.

Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn. One of the previous Diesels I smoked had the flavors drop off around the halfway point but, with this one, the flavors are sticking through – so far.

For the most part the flavors are staying strong even as the burn line crosses the three-quarters mark. There is some complexity with this cigar and, overall, I am liking it a lot. This isn’t to say that this cigar is special but it is above average for sure.

Leather starts to come through during the second half along with some spice. Further on, within a half inch of the nub, the flavors take a bad turn but, as long as you don’t smoke it way too far down, it’s a very good cigar. The bad flavors revolve around salt, which isn’t a horrible flavor but does diminish my enjoyment to a degree.

What amazes me about this cigar is that if you buy it by the box it is less than $3.50 per cigar. That’s amazing for a cigar that tastes this good. While the flavors are not mind blowingly great they are well above average for the majority of the stogie. If you can buy a box I would strongly suggest you do so; after all, Christmas is just around the corner.

89 points