Second Opinions: The Top Cigars of 2011

When the various annual lists of top cigars of the year are released, it’s always a contentious issue. Everyone’s palate and preferences are different, with some people loving certain cigars that others hated, and vice versa. More than any other, the list that usually elicits the most debate and controversy is the top 25 published by the leading cigar “lifestyle” magazine. For better or worse, there are often more than a few surprises contained in that particular list, but at least it stimulates a healthy discussion (ha!) about the relative merits of each selection.

As we’ve done for the past couple of years here at the Stogie Review, we’d like to share our thoughts on the cigars highlighted in said top 25 list, before you head to your local cigar shop with a print-out in hand. As always, your mileage may vary, but it never hurts to get a second opinion before you plunk down you hard-earned cash for a potentially overrated dud.

Alec Bradley Prensado

La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor

Illusione Epernay (additional review)

Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Maduro

Rocky Patel Fifteenth Anniversary

Cabaiguan Guapos

Warlock Robusto

Casa Magna Colorado (additional reviews)

As you can see, we’ve got the entire top 10 covered, except for those forbidden sticks which originate from a certain island south of Miami. Some of our reviews focused on vitolas other than the ones selected for the aforementioned Top 25 list however, but at least we can provide you with a second opinion about what we thought of the blend itself, even if we evaluated a different format.

Additionally, we’ve got most of the rest of their Top 25 covered (between full reviews, first impressions, and brief notes in The Week in Smoke posts):

Arturo Fuente Rosado Sungrown Magnum (additional review)

Casa Fernandez Miami (Brian’s The Week In Smoke, Issue 9,
Week in Smoke – TGT Edition 14)

Ashton Estate Sun Grown (Week in Smoke – Cigarfest 2011 Edition)

E.P. Carrillo Core Natural Line (Week in Smoke – TGT Edition 3)

Winston Churchill (additional review)

La Reloba Selección Sumatra (Jerry recently reviewed it)

Oliva Serie V Liga Especial (additional review)

La Flor Dominicana Air Bender (additional review)

Camacho Corojo (additional review)

Diamond Crown Julius Caeser

Not to be outdone by the “big boys,” each of us at the Stogie Review has compiled our own personal list of the Top Cigars of 2011, where we get to be the sole judge of which cigars really “wowed” us over the past year. Be sure to take a minute to peruse our lists where you’ll find recommendations for even more great sticks. We’re confident that you’ll want to rush right out to your favorite brick & mortar retail cigar shop (or to the web for online exclusives) to pick some up.

Top 10 Cigars – TGT Edition (2011)

Walt’s Favorite Cigars from 2011

The Box-Worthies: Brian’s Top 10 Cigars of 2011

Mike’s Top Cigars of 2011

Charlie’s Top 10 Cigars of 2011 (plus giveaway)

Also, don’t forget to enter my contest where I’m giving away a Stogie Review travel humidor filled with my Top 10 Cigars of 2011. Entering is easy, and there are three different ways to do it, so be sure to take advantage of all three entry methods. Contest ends January 17, 2012 — don’t wait!

And while you’re at it, you should also enter to win Walt’s great giveaway prize: a Black Label Viceroy table torch lighter, courtesy of Lighters Direct.

So what do you think? In the comments section below, tell us which of these cigars you think don’t deserve to appear in the top 10 or 25, as well as what you’d choose to replace them.

About Charlie:
Charlie has been enjoying cigars since 2000 and generally prefers a medium-bodied, full-flavored smoke. A USAF vet, he is currently pursuing a PhD in computer science, focusing on artificial intelligence and computational linguistics. Originally from Connecticut and now residing in Delaware, Charlie is also a fan of football, science fiction, political philosophy, and single malt scotch. You can contact Charlie on Twitter @greenbacker