March 12, 2013

Remember I am the newbie and I just started smoking  just last February so everything I smoked was new to me so I am going to be different than just about everyone else for their cigar of the year list. As I was contemplating how I was going to do this I figured I might start by price, or was it really new this year so I think I am going to try a little of both.

Cigars that I can consistently get for under $5 per stick and their rankings
CAO OSA SOL lot 50 my #1 cigar in this group, and by a long shot the separation from this to the others is huge. Age one of these babies for 2 or 3 months and wow very nice medium bodied cigar.

Le Reloba Mexican is a good cigar #2 in my book in this category, I actually bought a box but they were so cheap I couldn’t help myself. They are not as consistent as the OSA SOL and once in a while you might get a harsh one.
PINAR DEL RIO  OSCURO LIGA CUBANA NO.2  #3 in this category and my #1 car gar because I can get these well under $2 per stick at the auction sites and if you haven’t had one of these buy a 5 pack put them to bed for a month and try them I think you will be amazed.
Perdomo Lot 23 is The #4 cigar for me in this category always good.
It’s funny but all of these cigars are in the medium body palate maybe even heading toward light
There are a lot of cigars in this category that I call car gars for my road home 30- 40 minutes but I would not say that I would go out of my way to get them it’s mostly about the steal.

The best category  with plenty of choices $6-10 top 5 depending on my mood

The hardest category to me is the just above $6 to the $10 range. There are a lot of good cigars in this category and if I had to stay in this price range I could be very happy. I tend to go for the the Robusto  so the prices are slightly lower than the larger versions.
#1 Partagas 1845 black label
is my absolute favorite in this category, their dark, their heavy, their sweet their spicy, so many different categories of flavor. I LOVE THESE CIGARS. My #1 cigar in this category and yes they a truly box worthy.
#2 From day one the San Lotano oval has been one of my absolute favorites, they have been great from they day I get them, or 2-3 months later out of my humidor when they be come fantastic.
AJ Fernandez has many cigars on the market, some better than others, but this one is the best, and when you add on the oval Maduro, all I can say is Wow. My very close #2 cigar in this category. Boxworthy
#3 The Undercrown is my #3 in this category.  We all know the story of this cigar. I just want to thank all the rollers who were smoking all the #9’s so they had to come up with this tasty morsel for those of us who work with a budget in mind. Boxworthy  

#4 The Knuckledragger
this is the most power packed little stick of dynamite and a wonderful smoke. This stick is just gorgeous in it’s hardpacked goodness the rollers must have hands of steel. I always and I mean always have one in my humidor. This is my #4 and definitely a boxworthy smoke. Thank you Skip

#5 LFD Colorado oscuro  These get my #5 position These are the bigger the better but I like these in every size I actually have 2 of these in my very special GOD of FIRE box they are the only 2 cigars not a GOF.

Honorable mention and definitely worth trying
Eddie Ortega Serie is a wonderful cigar in all sizes and should be in the top 5 but somebody has to be 6th
 I think the fact of the difficulty of getting these at my local B&M is why they are not in the top 5 

Romeo n Juliette came out this year with the Romeo,  
and this cigar is a tasty morsel that just missed out by fractions of a point of being in the top 5 and as far as new for 2012 really new then they made my top 10 there no problem at all


Another new cigar this year that just fits into this category Cuenca y blanco  by  Joya de Nicaragua 

I had my first one of these at the cigar convention ICPCR in Orlando and they are very good, and I always have some but the price almost knocks it out of the category and pushes it to the next level and I feel it belongs here.

This cigar makes the category but my first 2 almost made me knock this cigar off my list. Flor  de Las Antilles by “Don Pepin”. When this cigar first came out I was getting a very harsh last third of the cigar. After 4 months aging on my part and the ones I have bought since changed my mind, and I like this cigar a lot, but not the cigar of the year. If your cigar is good enough to burn my fingers because I don’t want to miss out on a single puff, then you make top five billing.

 Arturo Fuente Rosada Magnm R personally I like the 54

Casa Magna Oscuro   these are a very nice cigar that makes me go wow, how much are these again?
The AF-1 The AF-2 and The Grimalkin from Emilio Cigars are all fantastic and I would gladly smoke one anytime.
Drew Estates My Uzi weighs a ton love these in every size except the Baitfish, everytime I smoke a Baitfish I feel like I am smoking the incense from a Catholic church entrance processional.
As you can see there are a lot of great cigars and I am not using that loosely every cigar listed in this category is great especially for the price point in my one year opinion. If any of the cigars in the lower price point were in this price they would not make the list, that’s how good each and every cigar in this group is and that does include the honorable mentions too.

The $10 and up category Are the really worth that much money?
 I have not had a bad My Fathers cigar. Don Pepin Garcia makes a lot of cigars in all the different price ranges that I can’t put in my top 5 in either category, the My Fathers line and the Le Bijou 1922 those are very nice cigars.
The Aficionado is a God of Fire advocate. When he first had me try cigars many moons ago he gave me one and I did not appreciate the complexity and depth of these fine cigars, I couldn’t wait to get back to my nasty cigarettes, what the hell was I thinking.
I mentioned my God of Fire humidor, the only thing in this box is God of Fire cigars, except for 2 fat LFD’s. I have a box of 2005’s that are very very nice.  The Afficionado  sent me a surprise a while back that sort of blew my mind. A 2006 Prometheus box with 2 Don Carlos , 2 Carlito’s and a leather very nice 2 cigar carrying case. They were found in the back of Jack Schwartz in Chicago, he says they offered him a deal he couldn’t refuse and then he bombs me with them.
The only God of Fire I have had that wasn’t a joy to smoke, was a 2007 Carlito Churchill, but my absolute favorite is the Serie B 2010. Dark and meaty, delicious flavor but I will go back to these a little later.

The Ashton VSG’s are right at the $10 mark and the ESG’s almost $20 The VSG’s are not good enough for me jump over the lower priced hurdle and I am not a fan especially at the price. The ESG’s are another story I love getting these at an auction for the $9-12 mark doesn’t happen every day but when it does, to me, it’s a great bargain and steal on my part.
I had mentioned the LFD  Colorado Oscuro earlier and there are others in the line that are good smokes as well, but when I spoke with Tony, he told me his father’s  favorite  is the LG, and I understand why. This thing packs a punch, full of flavor, smoke, and power. It reminds me of a time with old golf guy and I were playing a round and I was smoking a LFD double ligero and he says man that’s a strong cigar and he wasn’t even smoking it.
Padrone 1964 or 1926 you choose they are both fantastic cigars. I personally favor the 1964 but if you see me and want to give me a 1926 to smoke I’m in.

I have had several Opus X lost city cigars and they are ok, but to me really not worth the scratch. I had one that I had for approximately nine months of humidor
perfection  and it was good but every cigar mentioned above was at least as good and almost half the cost. Am I cheap? Yeah I am but if you can justify the price then I will happily pay. I will spend a little more for a serie B to get an amazing smoke but certainly not another $10 more for an ok smoke.
I have a Davidoff Anniversary #3 that I have had for almost a year now That Victor Vitale of the berlin wall from Hammer and sickle and the ortsac 1962 picked out for me on must have list. That one is still just getting older no rush to smoke it waiting for the right time.

I don’t want to forget the Liga  Privada line by Drew Estates. I love the #9’s and they are a staple in my humidor if I get below 2 I panic. I had a Feral pig that was just about a year old at the hard rock casino in Punta Cana, that everyone wanted to know what the hell is that.  The dirty rat  and the T52 are also tasty. I am not a fan of the Ratzilla , I bought a bundle  and still have 3 left so I have tried them multiple times, and it’s  just a cigar, not a wow nice cigar.

My top 5 over $10 so far

#1  2010 God of Fire serie B

#2  Liga Privada Feral Pig

#3  Ashton ESG 21

#4  Padrone 1964 anniversary

#5  My Fathers  #4
As you can see it‘s been a crazy year, I have smoked a lot of cigars, been to a lot of shows, met a lot of cigar makers, and of course hung out with some BOTL. I started with a Famous Smokes private stash humidor and a bunch of cigars, that only a couple of them have ever been smoked again. I made a lot of mistake and had the opportunity to try some bad cigars, along with a lot of very good to great cigars. That private stash humidor just got back from the Dominican  Republic on a 5 day vacation. We went to Punta Cana on a rewards trip we won and had a good time.  That private stash humidor carried over $200 worth of top notch cigars and did a great job. I got that humidor for $7.

  This year I started out a salesperson with a bit of down time, so I could write a lot of what was going on with my cigar habit gone wild. I became a manager and have not had the time to keep up with writing all the stories and cigars I have smoked. I apologize for not writing more often, and sharing the crazy journey I have taken. I will try to do better this year but no promises. I hope you enjoyed my top five list as much as I did smoking the cigars and getting to comprise the list.

The Newbie

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