Monday, December 21, 2009

Favorites of 2009

Like every other cigar review site out there, I am coming up with a list of cigars that were my favorites of the year. A lot of sites only do cigars that came out this year, but not me. This list is of cigars I smoked this year that really wowed me, whether they were out this year or 3 years ago. I didn't include any special/limited releases in the list because I wanted this list to be comprised of cigars that are readily available for anyone to go out and try. What I will do is add a small list at the bottom here of limited release/hard to find cigars that I had this year and really enjoyed. These cigars are in no particular order (as I tend not to rate things like that). Here were my favorites of 2009!

First off is the only Cuban on the list, the H. Upmann Mag 50. This cigar started off as an Ediction Limitada in 2005, and was re-released as part of the standard lineup for H. Upmann in 2008. Of all the Cubans I have smoked over the last year, this is the one that really stood out. This is a velvety smooth, medium bodied cigar that is surprisingly complex given its youth.

Oliva V- This became one of my go to cigars over the last year. I always reached for this cigar when I wanted something full bodied and affordable. I have smoked countless Vs this year and was very rarely let down. (had 1 plugged one that I remember, but that was a really weird fluke I think) This is a cigar I could smoke almost everyday and not get tired of.

Illusione mj12- This was a new addition to the Illusione lineup this year, and a welcomed one for sure! Normally I am not fond of cigars with a ring gauge this large (54) but this is an exception. In fact, I might as well say that all of the Illusione line belongs on this list. Dion's cigars have definitely become of my favorites this year.

My Father Le Bijou 1922- This side addition to the My Father line was another home run by Don Pepin Garcia. I really enjoyed the My Fathers, and when the Le Bijou came out, they were even better! This cigar is very rich and full bodied, with a very nicely balanced blend that is good all the way down to the point where you are burning your fingers trying to hold onto it.

Alec Bradley Prensado-This was one of the new lines by AB this year, and within the first five minutes of smoking it, I was impressed. It's no secret that this year I have really become a fan of ABs cigars, and this blend really fit the profile I look for in a cigar. Prensado has the most complexity of any of Alec Bradley's many offerings, and is the fullest in body of anything they have put out so far.

Tatuaje Cojonu 2003-This cigar is always one that brings a smile to my face. This is definitely not a new cigar for the year, its been around for a while now. So far this is my favorite of all of Pete Johnson's cigars and when I want to spend a little more money for something really spicy and complex, this is the cigar I go with. Just looking at this cigar you can tell how much care goes into making it. The wrappers are always dark and attractive, with no visible flaws whatsoever. This will probably always be one of my favorites.

Special/limited release cigars that really stood out to me:
Tatuaje T110-This cigar was only released for a shop in Hawaii and is comprised of all Ligero tobacco. This was a very tasty, very full bodied cigar that I was fortunate enough to get a single of.

Nosotros preproduction-Dion gave me a sample of the Nosotros, which will be released early 2010. When you see these, buy them. You will definitely be pleased with this cigar.

Partagas Tres Petite Corona 1998-This cigar came from my buddy Dre, and was the oldest cigar I have had the pleasure of smoking. Its amazing what age can do to a great cigar like this. Fantastic.

There you have it people, of all the cigars I smoked this year, these were the few that really impressed me! There are plenty that I loved that aren't on this list (Tempus, San Cristobal, Tatuaje Verocu no.9 to name a few) that are great cigars as well, but the few listed above really stood out on top as my favorites. There are a few new cigars that came out this year that I had hoped to review, but just didn't get a chance to try yet, so look for those in the coming months if I can get my hands on them.

I look forward to what 2010 brings in the world of fine cigars!


Matt's Cigar Journal said...

An impressive list of cigars Ben. You did some good smoking in 2009. I think 2010 is going to be another great year for cigars.

Merry Christmas!


Seth said...

Great List Ben. Now the thing to do, if you owned a shop, would be to package these as a set and sell them as a special with your notes. Maybe one Durham.

Ben said...

Never know Seth! I do tend to recommend my favorites to customers looking for something new though. Its hard for me not to give TOO much info to customers shopping, i just have to remember that your average customer probably doesnt care about the methods the rollers use for bunching or how those leaves particular leaves are grown/harvested etc....hahahaha. it is fun though when a customer wants that kind of info and I am able to help them out!