Top 10 Cigars 2012

January 4, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review, The Perfect Draw · 4 Comments 

Another year is over and that means it’s time for another Top 10. For review, here are my previous Top 10s:

A few notes of caution: 1. I didn’t review a ton of cigars in 2012 and 2. Taste is subjective. You already knew that but it had to be said. Also, this ranking isn’t just straight from my scores. Rather, I use a very unscientific methodology that includes memorability, price and my ratings of these cigars.

Without further ado, here’s my Top 10 Cigars of 2012:

10. Liga Privada Undercrown

A very solid offering from Drew Estate that made me really appreciate medium bodied cigars again. As the rest of this list will attest, I prefer stronger cigars but this medium bodied cigar hit the spot. I purchased a box and went through it too quickly. Fortunately, I still have a couple of sticks hiding somewhere.

9. Tatuaje La Dueña

I have to admit that I could have made a Top 10 with just those cigars made by My Father Cigars. This one is also in the medium bodied realm and was blended by Pete Johnson in honor of Janny Garcia.

8. Illusione hl

The “hl” stands for Holy Lance (if memory serves) and this was an excellent cigar. Gifted to me by a friend, I smoked a few of these cigars and enjoyed each one immensely.

7. 601 La Bomba

In my opinion this is the best value on this list; it’s ridiculously cheap (less than $4 a stick on occasion) and packs a ton of flavor. It is fairly full bodied but not overwhelmingly so.

6. Guayacan

Great story behind the maker of this cigar and the cigar was pretty amazing too. I won some at the Chattanooga Tweetup and was kind of indifferent about my winnings because I did not recognize the cigar in the least. And then, after a long day of smoking, I lit one up and the flavor profile just cut through the detritus like a laser through a sheet of paper. It’s a special cigar.

5. Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970

Full bodied, tons of flavor and a good price. This review was of the 4.5″ x 40 short corona and for months it was my go-to cigar.

4. Tatuaje Black Label

This blend has reached something of an iconic status amongst cigar smokers and for good reason. Extremely flavorful cigar hovering on the border of medium and full bodied this cigar should appeal to every smoker.

3. Padron Serie 1926 80 Years Maduro

Extremely expensive and extremely good. If you are looking for a refined cigar experience for a special occasion then you should give serious consideration to this cigar. (I’ve always liked the maduro Padrons the best but you might prefer the naturals.)

1. Tatuaje Fausto Avion 11

That is not a misprint; this year I am awarding two #1 cigars. (HACK!)  The Tatuaje Avion 11 actually scored the highest out of all cigars I have ever reviewed earning 98 points. It is an amazing cigar and I have since purchased a box, which is a rarity for me for a cigar that is this expensive (like many cigar smokers I buy in ones and twos and, sometimes, threes). Full bodied, spicy and loads of flavor makes this one of my two most favorite cigars I have ever had the pleasure of smoking.

1. La Flor Dominicana Litto Gomez Diez 2012 Chisel

In a cigar of equals this is perhaps the most equal cigar I have ever smoked. Even though I gave it a rating of 97 points, which is one point lower than the Avion 11 earned, my opinion has slightly switched where I could be swayed into saying this is my favorite cigar of all time. (But then I will smoke an Avion 11 and get swayed a little in the other direction.) Like the Avion 11, this cigar is full bodied, spicy and has loads of flavor packed into it. Like the Avion 11 it has a special shape (trademarked in the Chisel’s case). Basically, I can’t go wrong with either of these cigars so I’m giving them both top honors this year.

LFD Litto Gomez Diez Chisel (click picture to go to La Flor Dominicana's site)

LFD Litto Gomez Diez Chisel (click picture to go to La Flor Dominicana’s site)

Cigars I didn’t Review but they Deserve Recognition

I smoked these cigars but, for whatever reason, I didn’t review them. That’s an oversight on my part and one I intend to rectify as soon as possible.

  • Cromagnon Aquitaine: Superb cigar and I liked it better than the original CroMagnon (which was 7th on my 2011 Top 10)
  • Room 101 Namakubi: This was just one of those cigars that clicked for me and when I was smoking one late last year I went to check my review and found out that I haven’t published one. Room 101 has some excellent cigars (the Daruma just missed my list this year).

There’s probably some others that I have smoked but haven’t reviewed yet that will be strong contenders for the 2013 Top 10 but I cannot recall them at this time.

Love it? Hate it? Fortunately, there’s literally dozens of other cigar lists of varying length and quality for you to peruse. I’m not going to link to them lest you find one you like more and cease coming to this site from time to time.

Here’s to a great 2013!

 

Illusione Cigar Review

June 23, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

“…Three days ago we all died,” Jack told Kate in the third episode of the first season of Lost. Now, from what I’ve read, that doesn’t mean that they were all dead for the totality of the series but, honestly, I still don’t really understand everything about that show (Is that even possible?). That is why I have started watching it again and once I started delving into those conspiratorial waters my mind drifted to Illusione cigars.

Why? I’ve covered that before in a previous review, so I won’t do so again here. Suffice it to say, there’s meaning to the names of Illusione’s cigars. For example, take the Illusione Holy Lance, which I’m going to be reviewing presently. The “Holy Lance” is a reference to the lance that pierced Christ while he was being crucified.

This particular cigar, along with two others of the same vitola, was gifted to me by a good BoTL named Danny. Thanks buddy!

It’s a good looking cigar; long and slender. Superbly crafted, not very oily, the wrapper feels fuzzy. The cap is adorned with a little pigtail, which I guess is the cigar equivalent to having spinners. Consistently packed from foot to head. It’s a good looking cigar without any significant flaws.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: long panatela
Length: 7 ½″
Ring Gauge: 40
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $240.00/Box of 25

Lost Explained(?) Flame!

It starts out wonderfully. Very warm flavors ranging from anise to wheat to general earthy flavors. It is a complex cigar with a lot of layers of flavor right from the beginning. (I don’t want to get too overwrought with the Lost comparison but Lost started off the same.)

During the second third a flowery flavor starts to come through. Anise has almost completely disappeared. Wheat is still present but is now far in the background but the earthiness is still there. Still a lot of complexity.

A little bit of bitterness comes on during the final third but, on the retrohale, the flavors are great. Flowery flavors make up the majority of the flavor profile but there is still some earthiness lurking in the background.

Both the draw and the burn are great. It’s a medium bodied cigar with a lot of flavors that every cigar smoker would like. When you are looking for an easy going cigar with a lot of flavor this should definitely be in the discussion.

93 points