Bah f’n humbug! While everyone else is focusing on their Top 10 Cigars for 2009, I decided to take the negative approach and be a Debbie Downer. These are my Bottom 10 Cigars for 2009. The cigars in this list were reviewed this year and just didn’t live up to my expectations, or just plain sucked. Or both. These sticks are so bad or so disappointing that they don’t deserve the honor of firing up the Stogie Review Way Back Machine. With that, ladies and gentlemen, my debatable (and inevitably controversial) Bottom 10 Cigars of 2009:
10. Cubao Maduro – I got a lot of feedback on this review and it was split down the middle. Half agreed with me while the other half questioned my sanity. Expectations were high after the success of the regular Cubao line but the Maduro didn’t live up and its price tag added salt to that wound.
9. Don Tomas Cameroon Collection – I’m a big Cameroon wrapper guy, and its hard to find a quality, affordable, everyday one. After reviewing the Don Tomas Maduro and finding that cigar flavorful and affordable, I thought the Don Tomas Cameroon would offer a similar smoking experience. While it was affordable, I was disappointed with the overall experience.
8. CAO Bratalia – This should quiet the crowd that says I’m just a big CAO Fanboi. I do what I do and call ’em like I see ’em. I looked back and thought the flavors were decent with good overall construction but at $12 per single, consumers (myself included) demand more than just a cigar that’s “decent “.
7. H.Upmann Reserve Maduro – Similar to my efforts in finding an affordable everyday Cameroon cigar, my journey to find an affordable everyday Maduro led me to try the H.Upmann Reserve Maduro. Just like the Don Tomas Cameroon, the H.Upmann Reserve Maduro failed to deliver the experience I was looking for.
6. Verdadero Organica – “Organic” may be a buzzword when you’re grocery shopping, but it has a long way to go before being one when you walk into your local B&M. The Verdadero Organica is the perfect example of a good idea, gone horribly wrong. Unexciting and void of any quality flavor.
5. Rocky Patel Ocean Club – For every accolade Rocky wins for his Seasonal Collections there are five cigars that leave Rocky fans shaking their heads. The Rocky Patel Ocean Club is one of those “shaking their heads” cigars. Maybe you need to own a yacht to appreciate the Rocky Patel Ocean Club, but until I can afford to ride the waves, I’ll keep shaking my head.
4. El Titan de Bronze Grand Reserve Cameroon – This and the RP Ocean Club are two cigars that I smoked while visiting Philadelphia and I felt no love from either. I know its expensive and hard to work with Cameroon wrappers but I thought this showed no effort in trying to deliver flavor. Must be something about smoking cigars in Philadelphia.
3. Tatiana Mocha – The Tatiana Mocha doesn’t make it on this list because its a flavored cigar, it makes it on this list because it is a flavored cigar that didn’t offer much flavor at all. It’s bad when a flavored cigar isn’t very flavored.
2. Camacho Candela – While this is a favorite of my Irish cousin, Jerry McCruz, it is definitely not a favorite of mine. Maybe it’s not fair to lump all Candela cigars together, but when was the last time a manufacturer came out with a HIT candela wrapped cigar? Candela wrappers don’t get cigar enthusiasts excited. I know, I know, in a different place and time they were the shit but these days manufacturers shouldn’t waste their resources, or pay the taxes on them. Maybe if Pete Johnson of Tatuaje came out with a Candela cigar for his Monster Series called Swamp Thing people would get excited about Candela!
1. 5 Vegas Miami Knuckle – No surprise here huh? LOL! Just like the Cubao Maduro, I got an evenly split response from people. I was actually surprised that so many liked it. Personally, I thought it was f’n horrible. The entire 5 Vegas Miami line isn’t crap. I’ve had good experiences when I’ve tried it in the other sizes. When it comes to the Knuckle size, the profile is just f’n irritating to deal with.
Well, there you have it! My Bottom 10 Cigars of 2009. Like any list, it’s completely subjective and meant for entertainment purposes…stay tuned for my Top 10 Cigars of 2009 in a few days.
P.S. I think this is the most I’ve typed ever! LOL