With the Top 25 Cigars of 2013 over, we now look forward to the 2014 year. I smoked some great cigars this week, some old and some new, but all were wonderful times of relaxation. All I can say is that there is some great tobacco out there and the best manufacturers are reaching out to it. One of the biggest highlight this year is the use of fire cured tobacco. It has been used before, but this year the tobacco got a lot more attention than it has in years past. It is definitely a tobacco that you will love or hate, but I think people should be reaching out for them to give them a try. I was also able to smoke the new Pork Tenderloin, and all I can say is that this year’s Saints & Sinners release was awesome. Either way, the 2014 year is close and so I prepared for next year’s Top 25 Cigars.
|Leaf & Bean by Oscar|
In Steel City, USA is a cigar shop by the name of Leaf & Bean in the Strip. The shop is run by a man of the name of Jim Robinson, but he goes by Island Him to all. He has recently been working with a lot of manufacturers in crafting his own house blends, and four of these are the Leaf & Bean by Oscar. The cigars are made in Honduras by Oscar Valladares, and each cigar is finished with a unique wrapper. With options of a Connecticut, Maduro, Corojo and Sumatra, the cigars smoke wonderfully and show great construction from stick to stick. You may find one blend you like over the others, that is just natural, but all are enjoyable. Displayed with a tobacco leaf over the cigar, it takes the place of cellophane in protecting the cigar, but is much cooler.
|Illusione Cuchillos Cubanos ~47~|
You know, Cuban sandwich cigars have their place in the industry, and if anyone can rock them it is Dion. He is able to turn a cigar that is a mixture of long and medium filler tobacco into a premium cigar, and have it smoke better than a lot of other cigars on the market that are all long filler. The Cuchillos Cubanos is not a cigar I smoke a lot of, definitely not a common illusione for me to smoke, but it is still a great cigar that people should reach out to, and see the skills that Dion has as a manufacturer. I am trying to think of other medium filler and long filler cigars on the market that are great, but I can’t.
If you pay attention to social media you would have seen L’Atelier Imports and Pete Johnson talking up this cigar before Cigar Aficionado named their #1 cigar of the year. Of course, the cigar did not get the ranking, but it is still a great cigar and one that I have loved since it was released in 2011. I should say that I had it in my Top 5 for 2011, but I am not a pricey magazine that charges a crap ton in advertising. Either way, a great line overall and a wonderful flagship line for the company. These cigars smoke well young, but when aged they smoke at a whole new level.
|Davidoff Year of the Snake|
By far the greatest release that Davidoff has released, the cigar showed tons of complexity from beginning to end and never bores. I have been fortunate enough to smoke a handful of these throughout the year and have a couple left. A cigar that can never be replicated, this is a cigar that could be my last cigar. If by some miracle you find these at some retailer, BUY THEM! These smokes take Davidoff to a whole new level and I look forward to smoking the Year of the Horse.
|Saints & Sinners Pork Tenderloin|
Probably one of the most famous and best releases from Tatuaje is the Pork Tenderloin. The cigar was released to a single retailer and sold out very quickly. The cigar features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and covers a mixture of Nicaraguan tobacco. This year Pete decided to release the cigar in the 2013 Saints & Sinners kit and the cigar is a treat. With excellent construction, the cigar showed a complex bouquet of flavors from beginning to end. The cigar showed the richness of the wrapper but a nice obit of spicy and dryer flavors from the filler tobacco. A terrific cigar that many fans will enjoy. Review coming soon.
|MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured Chunky|
The latest release from Drew Estate, the KFC marks the second cigar that is made for the company in the Joya de Nicaragua factory. The cigar features and focuses around the used of fire cured tobacco, and it has fire cured tobacco from the Commonwealths of Kentucky and Virginia. The cigar showcases those standard fire cured smoky flavors and features two wrappers. This is probably my second favorite fire cured cigar on the market and I look forward to trying the cigar out in different vitolas. As for the Chunky, it is a solid cigar that I think people will love or hate. I definitely recommend trying several out to see where you stand.
Review coming soon.