Ben’s Top 10 Cigars of the Year

Drew Estate

Every year I try to get my top 10 cigars of the year out before Christmas and every year I never seem to make it. Better late than never I guess. This year, I was thinking how easy it would be to come up with 10 cigars because I was thinking there wasn’t much that came out this year that really blew me away.  I figured I would have a short list and struggle to get to 10 cigars I would think deserves to be on the list.  Well, as I was going through my cigar photos on my Instagram account to refresh my memory, my list grew to 18 before I knew it.  It was pretty hard to get it down to 10, actually.  Without further ado, here is my top 10 cigars for 2015.

 Honorable Mentions

I’ve have three cigars that just BARELY miss the cut, but I feel like needed to be mentioned.  They all are really great cigars and are worthy of your consideration.

Dunhill Heritage

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This is an outstanding cigar from Dunhill.  Full of flavor for a very good price.

Cabal Corona Gorda

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I didn’t get to smoke enough of these to get them in my Top 10, but the few I was able to smoke while visiting The Smoke Ring Cigar Shop in Clear Lake, TX where I met the owner, Chris Aroflo, was amazing.  Such great flavor and very smooth smoking.

Balmoral Anejo XO

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This is a cigar that several of us cigar bloggers were introduced to while visiting Royal Agio in Westerlo, Belgium.  Another cigar with tons of flavor for a very good price.

Top 10 Cigars of 2015

10 – Winston Churchill Churchill

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This is a great line addition from Davidoff.  Its way better than the original Winston Churchill line as they stepped up the body in this version.  It has notes of pepper, roasted nuts, leather, cedar and sweet cream.  For me, the churchill size is the best in the line.  It has a good balance of flavor and body.

9 – La Mission de L’Atelier 1959

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I have to thank Charlie Minato at Half Wheel for giving me first La Mission when I was visiting Dallas, TX.  I missed getting a sample of this one when it was released at IPCPR, regrettably.  This is one of the best releases from the show without a doubt.  It has notes of chocolate, pepper, molasses and clove and smokes incredibly well.  These are a cannot miss with a great price tag.

8 – Regius of London Black Label corona

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I really enjoy all the lines from Regius, but the Black line really shines with me. This is thrown around a lot, but they are very Cuban-like to me.  The corona is one of my favorite sizes and it’s my favorite in this line.  It’s a very smooth cigar with a medium body and it’s a great smoke any time of the day.

7 – Drew Estate Undercrown Shade Gran Toro
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This one was a shock to me.  Wow.  An Undercrown……with a Connecticut wrapper?  When Brian and I were at IPCPR, Willy Herrera gave us this cigar to smoke as we interviewed him at the Drew Estate booth and we were both blown away.  This Connecticut was unlike most Connecticut cigars.  It a ton of flavor with a medium body.  It has flavors of pepper, sweet cream, toasted almonds and nutmeg.  One of the best Connecticut cigars on the market.

6 – Quesada Reserva Privada

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When I first smoked this cigar, I knew it would make my Top 10 list.  Easily one of the best cigars of the year.  A limited release from Quesada, it definitely has that limited quality, but not the high price tag.  It has flavors of cedar, graham cracker, nuts, honey and cinnamon.  This cigar is great till the very end.

5 – Leaf by Oscar Corojo Toro

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There was a lot of buzz around this cigar line on social media, but I wasn’t able to find them for quite awhile.  I picked up my first one at Corona Cigars in Pensacola, FL while my wife was working an assignment at NAS Pensacola.  Soon as I lit up the corojo, I got it.  The buzz was well deserved.  This cigar smokes very smoothly with notes of pepper, caramel, leather and a slight creaminess.  Luckily, this cigar is now at my local cigar shop, The Cigar Shop in Biloxi, MS, so I get to enjoy this cigars all the time.

4 – Sobremesa Cervantes Fino

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This one was harder to decide on for me.  I love the whole line, but the one that stood out a little more for me was the Cervantes Fino (lonsdale).  When I heard Steve Saka, formerly of Drew Estate Cigars, was creating his own cigar line, I knew it was going to be amazing and I wasn’t disappointed.  With notes of cocoa, walnuts, cinnamon, cedar and a hint of sweetness, it’s a very tasty cigar.  It reminds me of, and I know how this is going to sound, a Liga Privada T52 Lite, yet still very different from the T52, if that makes any sense.  There is no doubt this is a box worthy cigar.  Very impressed.

3 – El Gueguense Corona Gorda by Foundation Cigars

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What I said about the Sobremesa cigar and Steve Saka applies to the El Gueguense and its creator, Nick Melillo.  These are the two gentlemen behind many of the great cigars at Drew Estate, like the Liga Privada and Undercrown lines, so what they were going to create on their own, I knew would be outstanding.  Check out the story behind this cigar here.  Nick made a cigar that is just utterly amazing.  I’ve smoked a ton of these in the past few months and have been never let down.  A lot of my cigar blogger buddies have raved about the churchill size in the line.  I do agree it’s an amazing smoke in that size, but I still like the corona gorda size the most.  It has notes of cedar, raisins, sweet tobacco, cocoa and a slight saltiness.  I’ve really fallen for this cigar.  There is a rumor that Nick is going to make a limited edition called the Coronal Mass Ejection in the future.  Eyes open, no fear.

2 – Drew Estate UF-13

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What more can I see about this cigar that I haven’t already said, year after year?  Hall….of….Fame.

CIGAR OF THE YEAR

Avo Syncro Toro

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This cigar is part of a reboot of the Avo brand by Davidoff that was, frankly, very stagnant.  I’ve never really enjoyed the line except for the Signature and the occasional limited edition (2010 was amazing). I’ve always found them bland and a little boring.  They definitely fixed that with this blend.  The Syncro is a flavor bomb with great medium body.  It has flavors of cocoa, espresso, cedar, nutmeg and nice earthiness.  I’ve been blown away every time I’ve smoked this cigar and to say I’ve been extremely satisfied with this cigar feels like an understatement.

MBombay Gaaja