Top 10 Cigars 2009

January 14, 2010 · Posted in Featured, The Perfect Draw · 7 Comments 

Alright, I know, we’re 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.

Camacho Triple Maduro (old version)

Man O’ War Ruination Cigar Review

November 19, 2009 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I get it, the marketing whizzes behind the Man O’ War’s branding really want to get across the point that they are extremely bad ass by calling their newest creation “Ruination.” Well, it’s either they want to position their cigars as the bad boy of cigardom or their Ruination line is an ode to America’s economy. Alright, now that I have done the requisite mocking of the bad boy image thing I can actually get to reviewing this cigar.

Two bands adorn this dark and oily cigar. It is very hard to the touch and has some imperfections (veins, minor holes, discolorations) but, based on the other cigars from this line I have smoked, those negatives do not translate into a bad cigar.

One thing that I do have to mention is the sheer size of this cigar. I am smoking the Robusto No. 1 that measures 5 1/2″ by 54 ring gauge, which is fairly substantial, to say the least. Cigars of this magnitude will almost always take longer to smoke than their smaller brethren and, when you also factor in the price, which is north of $10.00, you would be well advised to take your time with this cigar.

Cigar Stats
Robusto
Length: 5 1/2″
Ring Gauge: 54
Wrapper: Ecuador grown Habano-seed ligero
Binder: ???
Filler: Cuban-seed Nicaraguan and Honduran long-leaf ligeros
Price: $10.00

Legion Flame!

While the draw is definitely too tight with this cigar, it’s not to the point of being unsmokable by any means. Flavors are definitely rolling through. A phalanx of warm spice is followed up by a cacophony of other flavors ranging from leather to herbal notes to sweet wood.

After about the one inch mark the draw does noticeably open up so that it is no longer a problem. The burn is very consistent and the strength of this cigar is definitely in the full bodied range.

This is definitely one of the best cigars I have smoked in a couple of months. With robust flavors and some strength this cigar is definitely growing on me – and I’m still in the first third of the cigar!

The second third of the cigar features a smokier flavor profile that features leather and a slight hint of charcoal. There is also a vein of sweetness that runs throughout the flavor profile.

Nearing the last third and it this Man O’ War Ruination is still great. What is really great about this cigar is the shear number of flavor layers. Sweetness, spice, leather and a couple of other tasty layers make up what is a great cigar.

Near the end a blend of salty and meaty flavors come through.

93 points