Happy New Year folks! Before we start reviewing cigars in 2011 its time to look back at 2010. 2010 was another awesome year for cigars. I’m anxious to see what Walt, Brian and Mike have listed this year. I had a difficult time paring the list down to just ten. To help me pare the list down, I limited it to cigars that were reviewed here at Stogie Review in 2010. These cigars weren’t necessarily released in 2010, just reviewed throughout the year by one of us…now, onto the list:
10. La Aurora Corojo – The La Aurora Corojo didn’t get the attention and fanfare that it deserved coming out of IPCPR. I’ve been telling anyone who will listen that I think this is one of the best cigars to be released from the show. A B&M exclusive with a great price point.
9. Illusione 888 “Slam” – The 888 Slam doesn’t focus on power but instead sets it’s sights on flavor. Dark tobacco, sweet woodsy and slight spice can be found throughout the cigar. A little after the halfway point, the sweet woodsy flavor transforms into this caramel creamy concoction. Together with that underlying spice flavor make for one amazing and satisfying treat.
8. Viaje Fifty Fifty Red Label – Some will disagree with me, but the Viaje Fifty Fifty Red Label is one of my Top 5 cigars coming out of this year’s IPCPR. The Red Label is my speed in body and flavor profile. While the transition from medium-full to full isn’t spontaneous like its predecessor, you can definitely detect the change in intensity where the bold flavor profile goes from really good to great.
7. Joya de Nicaragua Antano Dark Corojo – One of the first cigars I reviewed this year. Its kept my attention and a spot in my humidor throughout the year. With its balanced combination of awesome flavors and full bodied power, the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Dark Corojo is a gem of a smoke.
6. My Father Le Bijou 1922 – The ornate bands and thick billowing smoke make the Le Bijou nice eye candy, while its creamy, woodsy flavors will draw you in. What really does it for me is the subtle dark chocolate notes that the blend of the My Father Le Bijou 1922 produces. Its not the dominant flavor, its subtle but adds a unique complexity to challenge your palate.
5. Liga Privada T52 by Drew Estate – The Drew Estate Liga Privada T52 is tits, its gangsta and I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to smoke a cigar that perfectly balances out its strength with an rich array of flavors. The balance of the Liga Privada T52 by Drew Estate is where it really shines. I love the peppery sensation on the palate without the actual big blast of pepperiness. I love the dark flavors…coffee, cocoa, molasses and a deep but subtle woodsy flavor. All wrapped in a toothy, oil rich wrapper that billows thick smoke. A true pleasure of a cigar that I’m glad I gave a second chance to.
4. CAO La Traviata Maduro – A cigar that I didn’t personally review this year but one that I smoked a lot of. A great anytime, any day, any place kind of smoke. Well rounded with a classic Maduro flavor profile. Its a slam dunk and dollar for dollar, there are very few cigars on the market that can compete with this wallet friendly stick.
3. EP Carrillo Short Run 2010 – Again, a cigar that I didn’t personally review on the site but a cigar that I surprisingly found myself smoking a lot of. So much so that its become one of my favorite cigars. The Short Run is a rich, complex smoke whose hefty dark coffee, dark chocolate and nutty flavor profile really begs to be savored.
2. AVO Heritage – Probably one of the most talked about and impressive cigars from this year’s IPCPR show. The AVO Heritage is a cigar that I wish I could smoke everyday all day. The balanced earthy cocoa, nutty, cedar and slight spiciness flavor profile truly make the AVO Heritage standout in a crowd. All the sizes are impressive and delicious but the robusto is my favorite of the sizes.
1. Tatuaje Verocu #5 – This one surprised me when I sat down and started ranking. Even though it was released at this year’s IPCPR if you ask me what cigar I’ve smoked the most of this year, the Tatuaje Verocu #5 would be the answer. Maybe its because I smoke outside all the time or since I have a little one find myself short on time. Whatever the reason may be the Tatuaje Verocu #5 is my No. 1 for 2010. Price friendly, exciting, complex flavor profile and a cigar that has become my default “go to” cigar.
Closing Thoughts & Honorable Mentions
Well, there you have it. My Top 10 Cigars for 2010. A pretty eclectic bunch of cigars if I say so myself. Agree or disagree, there is more…no list would be complete without a few honorable mentions:
Drew Estate Dirty Rat – The only bad thing I can say about the Dirty Rat is how annoying it was to track down. Wonderful cigar that I wish was easier for me to find.
Master by Carlos Torano – The Master truly surprised me. I didn’t think much of it at first but it’s balanced, flavorful and my palette was engaged from beginning to end.
Casa Fernandez Arsenio Maduro – A delightful cigar with a friendly price tag for a limited edition smoke. Excellent flavor profile, long finish and a great bouquet of aroma.