Walt’s Top 10 Cigars of 2009

Stogie Spotlight18 Comments on Walt’s Top 10 Cigars of 2009

Walt’s Top 10 Cigars of 2009

With the year coming to a close, it time to take a look back at all of the memorable cigars of 2009. Much like my list of Top 10 Cigars from 2008, all cigars on this list were reviewed at some point in 2009. Some of the cigars listed may not have been released in 2009, but the important thing is that it was smoked and reviewed in 2009.

Like any other Top 10 list of cigars, I’m sure it will draw some criticism. Some of the cigars listed will not be well known, or easily accessible, but they are my favorite smokes from 2009 none-the-less. When creating this list, I tried to put all of the emphasis on how much I enjoyed a particular cigar, leaving price out of the equation.

#10 J. Fuego 777 Corojo:

J Fuego 777 Corojo - 1

The 777 Crorojo By Jesus Fuego makes my list of Top 10 Cigars this year simply due to to repetition. Since my local shop has brought these in, I have been purchasing a couple singles each and every week. It has become the cigar I reach for when I don’t know what I feel like smoking. Each and every time it delivers with a very unique Brazilian Corojo flavor that sets it apart from other cigars on the market.

#9 Camacho Diploma:

Camacho Diploma - 1

The Camacho Diploma is a cigar that makes it on my list despite its rather needy nature. Each and every one I smoke requires some work to keep the stick burning properly. Despite the extra effort required, the flavors make up for the hassle. The Camacho Diploma is similar in flavor to the Camacho Corojo, but it has a depth and richness to the flavor that are all its own.

#8 La Aurora Preferidos Maduro Robusto:

La Aurora Preferidos Maduro Robusto - 1

I’ve always thought of myself as a medium bodied cigar smoker, despite my sweet-tooth for the ligero laden cigars. The La Aurora Preferidos Maduro Robusto is a perfect example of what a medium bodied cigar should be. The smoke is delicate enough to prevent your palate from becoming weary but potent enough to allow you to taste it effortlessly.

#7 CAO MX3:


Due to the limited availability of this stick, I don’t get to smoke them nearly as often as I’d like. It’s rare that I find myself surprised by a house blend, but the CAO MX3 has done just that, surprise me. The rich Maduro flavors from this cigar are what set it apart from others in its class.

#6 Nestor Miranda Special Selection Ruky:

Nestor Miranda Special Selection Ruky - 1

The Ruky by Nestor Miranda is another cigar that took me completely by surprise. Before my local Miami Cigar Rep handed me one, I had never heard of it. I held on to that sample for a couple of weeks and lit it up at the end of a very long cigar day. Even with a weary palate, the flavor and body of this stick punched right through the char and fired on all flavor cylinders. Since then, I have smoked a number of them, every one as good as the first.

#5 La Flor Dominicana Cheroot:

La Flor Dominicana Cheroot - 1

The La Flor Dominicana Cheroot is the definition of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The first time I saw it, I thought to myself, “that’s one ugly little sucker”. It rocked me the afternoon I smoked it and I still grin when lighting another crosses my mind. For one of the most powerful sticks I have ever smoked, this thing was loaded with character. Manufacturers producing high velocity, power-house cigars, could definitely learn a little something from smoking a few of these Cheroots.

#4 Oliva Connecticut Reserve:

Oliva Connecticut Reserve - 2

What can I say, this stick is flavorful, smooth, and affordable. I’ve smoked through more of them than I can count and each one has been a pleasure. Despite its Connecticut wrapper, it’s a cigar that I find enjoyable morning, noon, or night. The Oliva Connecticut Reserve is amazingly flavorful and was only out-shined by one other Connecticut Shade wrapped cigar.

#3 Illusione ~hl~:

Illusione HL

It is no secret that I am a bit of a sucker for cigars with a small ring gauge, however, the Holy Lance by Illusione is something special. The flavors hit the palate in a very crisp way, but it’s the complexity of the flavor profile that make this stick a hit in my book.

#2 Illusione Epernay:

Illusione - Epernay - 1

This Illusione product is, hands down, my absolute favorite cigar produced by Dion Giolito. The flavors are crisp and tremendously complex while delivering a smooth finish that is easy on the palate.

#1 Pinar del Rio Classico Exclusivo Lancero:

Pinar del Rio Classico Exclusivo - 1

My number one cigar of the year is one that seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle. With so many Connecticut Shade cigars hitting the shelves this year, the Pinar Del Rio Classico Exclusivo is a surprise to most people. The lancero vitola rocks the socks off of any of the other Connecticut releases this year and is precisely why I am calling it my must-smoke cigar of the year.

enjoying cigars since 2005

18 thoughts on “Walt’s Top 10 Cigars of 2009

  1. I know you are getting into single malts, but cognac can be paired with an equally good taste. By reading your no1 choice I remembered there is a special blend called “Gautier Pinar del Rio Cigar Cigar Blend Cognac X.O.” You should check it out.

  2. Nice list Walt.

    I love those LFD Cheroots. They are so flavorful and definitely the strongest smoke I have ever had. The first one about knocked me on my ass, but as I continued to smoke them, little nuanced flavors and textures come out in a very surprising way. I think I have one or two left, but after that I am going to start saving for a box purchase.

    I am very excited to, one of these days, get my hands on a few of your number ones. I have been really pleased with all PDR stuff. I love the HSG Corona.

  3. Nice list…….I have # 10 sitting in humi waiting for one of the review sites to talk about it. I’m not ahuge fan of fhte 777 line so now I’ll have to smoke it.

    1. I’m no fan of the Maduro 777. It just tastes off for some reason. I think the Corojo is a far better cigar. I especially like the Corona (that is the vitola I buy all the time, have little experience with other sizes)

  4. Nice list, Walt. I haven’t had many of these, but the ones I have are deserving of being up there. I now just need to get my hands on some hl’s so I can give those things a try.

  5. I like the list Walt. I’m gonna have to pick up some of the Oliva Connecticut’s soon, definitely one of my favorite Connecticut cigars.

  6. Awesome list Walt. The Holy Lance is an awesome smoke. I’m also a huge fan of the Oliva Conny. Now I gotta get my hands on the PDR Exclusivo Lancero!

  7. That is a fantastic list Walt. I really want to try those 777 cigars and you have me very curious about the Pinar line.

    1. I just talked to Abe Flores of Pinar del Rio cigars and he suggests calling Black Cat Cigars to order (800-220-9850). Unfortunately, their website doesn’t have them listed but I am told they are available (It is actually the store located near Abe’s house, so they probably carry anything he offers). I wish our sponsors would have had them available but I had no such luck tracking them down there.

      The last ones I got were from the Pinar del Rio / Don Leonceo Store in New Orleans (and they were grossly overpriced, don’t want to get them there)

  8. I to LOVE the Holy Lance a.k.a. the Holy Sh*t this is Good Smoke.

    I tried one fresh from the factory and was shocked how smooth rich and solid it was, The smooth part caught me

    so off guard I check the box code Nov 08,, so it wasn’t super fresh so I can’t compare to an 09 but it did make

    me want to buy a box.

    THE Empernay I just need to try again. I think I either got a very unlucky bad one or was in a non cigar state of mind. I look forward to trying it again

  9. The Epernay, to me, is the embodiment of all that can be good about cigars. I still remember the first one I smoked…to this day have not found the reason only sold in cabs!? I have had one HL, and it was run-of-the-mill to me…plain and simple. I guess I have to try a few more! Great list, wanna try your number one as well!

  10. Wow. Got to say i’m shocked to see the Oliva Connecticut Reserve so high on the list! First time i smoked one of these my mouth salivated for days after. Not to mention the Illusione Epernay, two of my favorite all time cigars to smoke. I can smoke the morning, noon, or night! Great list and keep the posts coming. Every morning when I light my morn stoge i love reading your posts. KEEP THEM COMING!

  11. saw the 777 at my local shop awhile back, but opted for the delirium (which was pretty good) Have to try it next time..

  12. Walt, do you know where I can purchase the newly released Guillermo Leon? Good to see Jerry Cruz and his smoke selctions. He cracks me up w/ his hooah remarks. Glad, Stogie Review has some humor built in. Thanks for the ’09 list and looking forward to 2010. Again, tastes and choices are all up to the smoker. Take care and hooah!

    Tony Cruz
    Guamanian serving in Korea

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