Ben’s Top Ten Cigars of 2012

Drew Estate

Every year all of us bloggers put our our Top Ten Cigars of the years list.  I really enjoy reading them as many of  you do.  I love see what my other bloggers have been enjoying throughout the year and see how it compares with what I’ve smoked and considered some of the best.  Also, I will sometimes be reminded of a cigar on their list that makes me realize I need to revisit it more often or something I need to check out.  Usually what I’ve done in the past is I would list my top new releases of the year, but this year I’m following the Stogie Review format and list anything I smoked a lot of this year.   Most of my list is the new stuff because its the new exciting cigar at the time.  Any way, without further ado, here is my top ten:

 

 

10  – CyB Lonsdale

This cigar is such a well rounded, balanced smoke.  Enjoying this cigar is really easy and it has some very good flavor.  Knowing Jose Blanco like I do, I knew it would be a special cigar.  I wasn’t wrong.

9 – Oliva Serie V Melanio Torpedo

I was really excited when I saw these are the Oliva Serie V is, by far, one of my most favorite smokes.  I probably have smoked more of these than any other cigar.  When I heard they were releasing these with a special wrapper, I knew I had to get some.  These had a more rich, cocoa flavor over the original Serie V that had me constantly coming back for more.

 

8  – Drew Estates Feral Pig

This cigar has been a staple of mine since its release.  A larger Flying Pig, this cigar also has more ligero in it.  I immediately fell in love.  Deep, rich flavors in a nice fat sized cigar.  Amazing smoke.  I actually smoked on these fresh without the wrapper while visiting Drew Estate Cigars in Nicaragua this past year.  Jonathan Drew gave Brian Hewitt, Charlie Minato of Halfwheel.com and myself one.  To say it was a knee shaker would be an understatement.  It was the most powerful cigar I’ve ever smoked.

7 – EP Carrillo Short Run 2012 Toro

I’m a huge EP Carrillo fan.  I haven’t had anything he has released that I haven’t loved.  This years Short Run combines the best of the my two favorite lines he has:  maduro and Connecticut   I think EP Carrillo makes the best Connecticut on the market.  The 2012 Short Run takes the best flavors of both lines and combines them in to one cigar.  Rich, cocoa spiciness of the maduro and the smooth creamy, woodiness of the Connecticut.  Pure brilliance.

6 – Tatuaje Little Monsters

When I first heard about this idea, I thought Pete was a genius.  The Monster series is one of the most hard to find Tatuaje cigars releases.  I personally have been trying to find some Boris and Franks for a long while now with no avail.  The Little Monsters is a box set with two of each of the Monsters so everyone can get some appreciation of the past releases.  My favorite by far was the Little Frank.  The best part was that Pete made enough of these that most people were able to get them to try.

5 – Perdomo 20th Anniversary Sun Grown robusto

 

Perdomo has really been surprising me lately with their new releases.  The one that has wowed me the most is their new 20th Anniversary.  Available in both maduro and sun grown, these were released at this years IPCPR show.  I much prefer the sun grown version of the 20th over the maduro.  To me, there is more flavor…or at least I prefer the flavor profile over the maduro.  Definitely box worthy.

4 – Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge

Being a gun guy, these little cigars had a lot of appeal to me.  Andre Farkas made these small, but flavorful cigars to smoke between skeet session at the gun range.  These short, fat robustos really do pack a punch in both strength and flavor.  I snatched up as many of these as I could get my hands on.

3 – Romacraft Cromagnon, Intemperance and Aquitaine 

Skip Martin and Mike Rosales have something special here.  Last year they debuted with a stout cigar called the Cromagnon that blew me away.  To me, it was a cross between a La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero 660 Maduro and a Joya de Nicaragua Dark Corojo.  This year, they released the Intemperance line in both natural and maduro as well as the Aquitaine.  Both of these are milder than the Cromagnon, but till maintain the kick in the mouth full flavored approach.  I’ve smoke a ton of the Aquitaine lately in the EMH size.  Really an exquisite smoke.

2 – Headley Grange Estupendos

This cigar blew me away when I first smoked it.  Jon Huber sent me some pre-release sample of this cigar for a review which I quickly smoked.  The flavor was amazing on this cigar.  The soft boxed press large robusto smoked great and the smooth, balanced flavors were sublime.  I couldn’t get enough of these this year.  It was my cigar of the year…..until a couple of weeks ago.

 

2012 CIGAR OF THE YEAR

Four Kicks Mule Kick

This cigar absolutely blew me away.  It was hard to find these as very few were made.  I finally was able to find some at Buckhead Cigars in Atlanta.  Super rich flavor, excellent construction and a very balanced smoke, this was a coup d’etat to the Headley Grange.  I was surprised that something was able to dethrown it from the cigar of the year, but the flavors of this cigar just couldn’t be ignored.  It had a great mixture of white pepper, rich cocoa, nutmeg, cedar and nuts.  This is one smoke you should never pass up.