Ben’s Top 10 Cigars of 2016
Well, it’s that time of the year again. Time for my Top 10 Cigars of the Year for 2016. A lot of our blogger friends are releasing their list around this time along with us and I love to read their list as well. We have our own personal likes and dislikes, so it’s interesting to read everyone’s list to see what excited them from this year. This list is based off my personal preferences of what I’ve smoked in the past year. I wasn’t able to get a hold of everything out there, but of what I was able to smoke, this is what I liked the best from this year.
Along with my Top 10 are a few cigars which I think deserve some spotlight. I didn’t get to smoke enough of them this year to include them in the list, but they are cigar which I think need to get the word out about.
- Mi Querida Ancho Largo – You will see this one on a lot of list this year from our other blogger friends. I didn’t smoke a lot of these because another cigar from Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust kept pulling my attention away. If you like full, rich cigars with a little edge, definitely check this one out.
- Serino Royal Maduro XX Toro – Serino Cigars was a new boutique cigar company to me and they wowed me with this cigar. If you like maduro cigars with notes of leather, coffee and nuts, check them out. Full review coming soon.
- Aganorsa Leaf TABSA Connecticut Toro – I’m smoking more and more Connecticut cigars, especially early in the morning or in the afternoon with my coffee, and this one is a rockstar. Great creamy flavor with a medium body.
- Avo Syncro Fogata Short Torpedo – After winning my cigar of the year last year with the Avo Nicaragua toro, Fogata came in with a bang. I enjoyed the short torpedo the most in the Fogata, which was the sample size sent to us by Davidoff. Medium bodied with nice flavor punch of leather, spices, cedar and sweetness.
Top 10 Cigars of 2016
10. La Palina Nicaragua Connecticut
Another Connecticut wrapper cigar that caught my attention this year was the new La Palina Nicaragua Connecticut. This cigar was creamy with some spices, sweet cream and cedar and went great with my morning coffee. It had plenty of body to keep it interesting as well. I will be posting a full review soon.
9. Crowned Heads H-Town Lancero (Stogie’s World Class Cigars exclusive)
The first one of these I received was from our Crowned Heads rep, Brian McGee, and to say I was blown away is an understatement. Jorge Ahued, Stogie’s Head Honcho, is a big lancero fan like myself, so he has several lanceros from different companies (Tatuaje, La Palina, Espinosa, Leaf by Oscar, etc) made specifically for Stogie’s, which is probably one of the best cigar shops on the planet. They are all outstanding lanceros, but the one that stood out to me the most was the H-Town by Crowned Heads. Imagine the Mule Kick…….in a lancero. Yea, you’re welcome.
8. Nat Sherman Metropolitan Habano
This cigar was a pleasant surprise to me at IPCPR. I’ve smoked both the robusto and robusto fino and found both to be excellent with flavors of spice, cedar, leather and hint of cream. This cigar is a welcome addition to the fabled Metropolitan line as this cigar is more medium bodied, since it uses Nicaraguan tobaccos, over the more mild bodied Connecticut and Maduro lines.
7. Hoyo de Monterrey La Amistad by AJ Fernandez Robusto
Introduced at IPCPR 2016, it’s the first collaboration between General Cigar and AJ Fernandez. AJ Fernandez seems to be the master blender of choice this year as he has collaborated with several manufactures in 2016, but this could be his best work. It has an excellent flavor with notes of cedar, black pepper, pecan, cinnamon, leather and sweet caramel note. If you like a bit more spice, I found the toro is the same, but spicier.
6. Davidoff Yamasa Robusto
This cigar debuted in 2016 using tobaccos from the Yamasa region of the Dominican Republic that isn’t known for producing tobacco. The soil there was quite harsh for tobacco, but after careful cultivation overseen by Henke Kelner, Davidoff was able to grow a special proprietary blend of tobacco there that is the star of this cigar. Davidoff hit a homerun with this cigar. It has flavors of cedar, spice, leather and cafe au lait notes with a medium-full body. Its another outstanding cigar from Davidoff.
5. Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust Sobremesa Short Churchill
I’ll admit it. I’m pretty much a Steve Saka fanboy. He hasn’t really put anything out that I didn’t like, really like. The Short Churchill was a new edition to the Sobremesa line up for this year and it was my favorite of IPCPR 2016. I love the size and the flavors seemed to be more pronounced. It has notes of almonds, white pepper, cocoa, earthiness with a hint of dried fruit and some saltiness. I totally fell in love with this cigar.
4. Warped Maestro del Tiempo Seleccion de Warped
Warped has been making a lot of noise in cigar shops with their outstanding offerings and their newest offering, Maestro del Tiempo, is quite possibly their best. This cigar quickly became a favorite of mine after smoking some at The Smoke Ring in Webster, TX with my good friend, AJ Costa, of Colibri. We were both blown away by the flavors of this cigar. It had flavors of oak, cinnamon, leather, honey, graham cracker and pepper. We found out soon it wasn’t just a new favorite of ours as they sold out of 3 full cabinets of 50 cigars in a matter of days.
3. Tatuaje Black Cazadores
Everyone is familiar with the Tatuaje Black label knows it is probably one of the best cigars ever released. It was released earlier in a petit lancero and a corona gorda as a limited edition, but this year, it was also released in a petit robusto, cazadores, gran toro, as well are re-released in a petit lancero and corona gorda. The Tatuaje Black label is now a regular production cigar to joys and cheers of cigar smoking community. Out of the new sizes, I prefer the cazadores size. Beside just loving the cazadores size, I thought the size was perfect for the Black label blend as the favor profile seemed smoother and more well rounded.
2. Warped Lirio Rojo
There wasn’t a cigar I smoked more than the Warped Lirio Rojo aka “Warped Cabinet” this year. I actually didn’t know it was called the Lirio Rojo until months into smoking the cigar at The Smoking Ring in Webster, TX. The guys there just got used to hearing me called it the Cabinet instead of Lirio Rojo. It’s a great size, a corona, with flavors of cedar, sweet cream, citrus, brown sugar, black pepper and vanilla wafers. I literally had one everyday I went to the The Smoke Ring to pair with their outstanding house blend coffee. The cigar is truly an outstanding cigar that I will never want to be without.
2016 Cigar of the Year
Padron Serie 1926 No. 90 Natural
New to 2016, Padron released this cigar in both a natural and maduro wrappers. Padron’s maduro cigars are some of the best in the world and, most of the time, especially in the 1964 line, I prefer their maduro wrapper variants. The 1926 Serie is the exception. I much prefer the natural wrapper over the maduro as this cigar has notes of cedar, red pepper flakes, citrus and toasted marshmallows with a hint of spice. The price point is great as well, as its around $19.50, which is a great price for a Serie 1926 from Padron. Every time I smoked this cigar, I was blown away by the flavors and smoking experience. Padron has created another very fine cigar for all of us to enjoy. Read my full review here.