Tis’ the season of the Top 10 Lists and things here at Stogie Review are no different. Over the last few days we have shared a variety of lists, including Mike’s Top 10 Cigars Smoked in 2010, Box Worthies: Brian’s Top 10 Cigars of 2010, and Top 10 Cigars of 2010: The Great Torpedo Edition.
This time it is my turn and I have to admit, it was extremely difficult to put a list together. With the birth of my daughter, the last six-months has held far less cigars that usual. I had to dig back through notes I left myself throughout the year, as well as consider the limited number of cigars that I have smoked recently. All things considered, my list is as follows.
10. Padilla Dominus
Early last year Mike and I sat down and recorded a joint review of the Padilla Dominus. I thoroughly enjoyed the cigars smoked for that review and made a point to get a hold of several more throughout the year. While I have not had one recently, this cigar is one that I have fond memories of from 2010.
While attending the 2010 IPCPR Convention, I was introduced to the J. Fuego Origen Originals which I affectionately began referring to as the J. Fuego Origen in the Soft Pack . While not particularly blown away by the original release of the Origen, these little cheroots really wowed me. They seemed much more flavor intense in a more parent friendly format (read: great short cigar for in between naps). They may be ugly, and they may be crude, but these little cigars are a great smoke.
The Buckhead Cigar Store branded Nestor Miranda 2010 Danno is probably the biggest surprise on my list. This cigar is ginormous. The size is one that I rarely undertake due to time constraints. I was impressed from the start and remained that way for the more than three hours it took me to finish the cigar. I smoked a few more after the positive results of the first and felt the same way about them. The only thing left for me to do is to order some more before they are all gone.
Last year my number ten cigar of the year was the J. Fuego 777 Corojo. That cigar did not make the list because it had ‘blow your mind’ flavor, instead it was a solid cigar that I came back to time and time again. The La Traviata line from CAO is kind of the same way. It has a solid flavor profile that makes for an excellent anytime of the day smoke. While I have not smoked as many of the Maduro as I have the original release, it certainly is one of my favorite cigars from 2010.
06. Illusione ~88~
Up until last year, Illusione was a brand that I struggled to get my hands on. It seemed that if I wanted to purchase them, I had to either order online or drive quite a way, out of my way. After numerous suggestions, and a spur of the moment visit by the sales representative handeling the Illusione brand in Pennsylvania, my local shop owner decided to give them a shot and bring in a small offering. The Illusione ~88~ was one of the vitolas brought in, and it was also one that I did not have a great deal of experience with. throughout the year it has become one of my regular smokes for its fantastic flavor profile. While it is not exactly budget friendly at $8.00 per single, it is most definitely worth the price.
05. La Aurora 107
Earlier this year La Aurora put on a promotion where they gave away La Aurora 107 cigars. This give away took place in local cigar shops across the country. It also just happened to fall on the very same day that Mike and I were heading out to Cigarfest 2010. Eager to try the cigar, I got in touch with Chris Lenzo, my local Miami Cigar representative, and weaseled a couple of samples from him. After smoking the very first cigar, I developed a fondness for it. While the initial releases were good, the Corona was the one to shine. These cigars smoke well anytime during the day and go especially well with a strong cup of black coffee.
When Ernesto Perez Carrillo launched his Inaugural 2009 line, I was a little skeptical as a result of the price point. A new brand hitting the market with a $9.00 price tag did not appeal to me, but I was interested in giving it a shot. From that very first sample I learned that if E.P Carrillo is producing a cigar, it is going to be worth the price. The E.P Carrillo Short Run 2010 is no exception, and in my opinion, rocks the socks off of the Inaugural. The Short Run was right up my alley and provided a smooth smoke full of great flavor.
For some time now I have had a bit of a sweet tooth for high-end Padrons. While they may not be the prettiest cigars, they pack amazing flavor. I was gifted my very first Padron Reserve 45 Years by Jason C. on the weekend of Cigarfest 2010. We hung out in his cigar lounge and I was wowed by the richness of the cigar. Since then I have had a handful more and they have yet to disappoint.
02. Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2009
Over the last few years I have been a big fan of Oliva product. Since the initial release of the Oliva Serie V Liga Especial (back then it was the Ligero Especial), I have been eager to see what extensions are released each year. The 2008 release of the Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial was fantastic, but now practically extinct. In 2009 I was wowed again by the Serie V Maduro. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a box a few months ago and have been drooling over them ever since. If given the opportunity to choose between the currently available 2010 Serie V Maduro and the older 2009 Serie V Maduro, run, don’t walk, to the 2009 series.
Hands down, the Drew Estate Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig is going to be the most controversial cigar on my Top Cigars of 2010 List. I say that because I have only had the pleasure of smoking a single cigar. Under normal circumstances, such a cigar would never be considered for a top ten list. But the fact of the matter is, I was blown away by that single sample and have had it in the back of my mind. Even with my limited experience with the T52 Flying Pig, I have had a handful of the regular T52 line. While I am very fond of that cigar, I think this shape makes it so much better.