December 22, 2014

Top 25 Cigars of 2014: #1 Davidoff Art Edition 2014

Coming in at #1 this year is a cigar that is truly magnificent. Of all the smokers I know who have smoked it, they all agree that it is a true masterpiece. The Davidoff Art Edition 2014 is an incredible release for the company this year and could not have come at a better time. It is a cigar that is more than just a cigar though,but a cigar that gives back to the artists of the Caribbean. Davidoff wanted to get involved in promoting the artists of the Caribbean, and give back in a way which no one else has. The cigar packaging features artwork from a specific Caribbean artist, and the line will continue to do so with a new artist every year, thus promoting more and more artists. Davidoff had a fantastic year and overall they are really making waves. I believe if there were two companies that had the biggest impact on the industry this year it was them and Casa Fernandez, and from what I hear, Davidoff is planning to have a big year next year as well. I have always appreciated and respected Davidoff, they have put out some incredible products, but since they began producing more and more Dominican puros, they have really grabbed my attention.

Cigar Review: Nestor Miranda Collection Coffee Break Habano

This year, Miami Cigar & Company decided to do some work on its Nestor Miranda Special Selection line, and they really revamped the line. The first noticeable change to the line was the new packaging and name. They changed the packaging from what was possibly eye catching back in 2008 to a more modern appearance that really captures the Miami scene and modern day smokers of today. The name went from Special Selection to simply Collection as well, and they were all nice changes. Along with the appearance change, the company added two new blends to the line with the CT. Broadleaf/Maduro offering and the Ecuadorian Habano/Habano offering. They kept the Ecuadorian CT./Connecticut blend the same, and just changed the packaging on the cigar. The came up with the slogan One Life, You only get one life, how will you live yours? The changes to the line were showcased at the 2014 IPCPR, and from my understanding have been well received and helped the line. I had not smoked the line in years, but today I take a look at the new Habano offering in the well known Coffee Break size.

December 21, 2014

Top 25 Cigars of 2014: #2 Illusione Fume D’Amour Clementes

I would like to begin by saying that David Savona and I did not conspire or share our lists to one another when creating our Top 25 Cigars of 2014. We may not agree on 24 out of 25 cigars, but we can agree that the Illusione Fume D'Amour Clementes was an incredible cigar. Coming in as my #2 cigar of 2014 is the Fume D'Amour Clementes. The most recent regular production release from Illusione, the Fume D'Amour is truly a magnificent cigar. They have consistently had multiple cigars in my Top 25 list, and for three of the past four years they have had a cigar in my Top 10. Illusione is a company that is consistently putting out terrific new releases, and with that they are continuing to maintain consistency with their regular production lines as well. I truly enjoy every cigar they make, and the new Fume D'Amour has become a favorite.

December 20, 2014

Top 25 Cigars of 2014: #3 Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo de San Juan

Coming in at #3 this year is a brand new release for Habanos S.A. The Habano is the Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo de San Juan, and it is the newest addition to the brand in six years. Going with the norm, Habanos S.A. decided to release a larger ring gauge Hoyo this year, and really reach out to the modern smoker. The Habano was showcased at the Habanos Festival in February, and was a release that many smokers were looking forward to having. I have never been one to collect a lot of Hoyos, or even smoke a lot of them, but they tend to do very well for me when it comes to the end of the year rating. With that being said, let's look at the new Le Hoyo de San Juan

December 19, 2014

Top 25 Cigars of 2014: #4 Casa Fernandez Aniversario Bohème No. 35

Coming in at #4 this year is a cigar that really began my 2014 year. It was one of the first cigars to be smoked that would quality for my Top 25 Cigars of 2014, and since I first smoked it I was truly amazed. The cigar is the Casa Fernandez Aniversario Bohème No. 35, but I typically refer to it as the Casa Fernandez 35 because of the lengthy name. This was a cigar that was showcased at the 2013 IPCPR, and was showcased to celebrate 35 years of Tabacalera Tropical. Tabacalera Tropical was bought by Eduardo Fernandez and is the company handles the growth of tobacco and production of cigars for the Casa Fernandez brand. The Casa Fernandez 35 was the first limited edition from the company, and production was limited to 2,000 boxes of ten cigars. Production was coming out of Miami, Florida, USA, and that is where the company is really moving production of their cigars to.

Cigar Review: Undercrown Flying Pig

In 2009, Drew Estate introduced the Flying Pig vitola to the Liga Privada No. 9 line. Every year following that, they introduced the Flying Pig vitola, or a slightly modified version to the T52 line and the Ünico Serie respectively. These releases are very limited and believe me that when I tell you people go nuts over them, they go nuts over them. That is why when the Undercrown brand was introduced in 2011, people wondered when the Undercrown Flying Pig would be released. It was a fair question, and in 2012 Drew Estate finally released some in a very limited manner. I was not able to smoke one at the time, I did not have the opportunity, and it was not until the media junket with Cigar Safari earlier this year that I was able to kind of smoke an Undercrown Flying Pig. I say king of, because JD handed me the Undercrown Flying Pig that was recently bunched and molded, but did not have a wrapper on it. I thought it smoked awesome as it was, but I am here today to actually smoke the finished product. 

December 18, 2014

Top 25 Cigars of 2014: #5 Intemperance BA XXI A.W.S. (RoMa Craft Tobac)

Coming in at #5 this year is a the first retailer exclusive cigar to make my list. The cigar is the Intemperance BA XXI A.W.S. by RoMa Craft Tobac, and it is an exclusive for The Cigar Hustler in Deltona, Florida. I believe it to the best cigar in the Intemperance brand, and I also believe that it is the best individual cigar made by RoMa Craft Tobac. The Lonsdale is a magical size and with the perfect blend and a great wrapper, you can make a tremendous cigar. I am typically not the biggest fan of the Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, but Skip and Esteban have blended a tremendous line with the tobacco. For a cigar to make my Top 5, being a cigar I smoked in the beginning of January means a lot. An end of the year cigar can easily draw a smokers attention, and have them remember that smoke come December, but for a cigar to capture my attention for an entire year is truly something.