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.