The New Year always brings in with it celebration, resolutions, and a chance to analyze; a reflection on the year past. Being a cigar smoker, it's also an inevitable time to see just what cigars were compiled in to top list.
This past year, 2016, marked what could be the most important, yet damning year for the cigar industry; “The year of the FDA Regulation”. I won't be delving into that directly, rather I would like to take the opportunity to discuss something a bit more superficial. How will current media outlets' "Cigar of the Year" lists be affected by the post regulation state of the cigar industry?
First we will address eligibility. A basic criterion in which bloggers, magazines, consumers, etc. use, is if the cigar was released in a certain time frame prior to the list's announcement, i.e. a calendar year. Separate this in to two categories, list that only allow new releases, and those that extend possibilities to all cigar releases, regardless of when it was introduced to market. While one dominating force in cigar media has adopted a near all-inclusive policy, I would say that a good portion, even a majority, of current media members stick to cigars released within a years’ time.
For the better part of the 21st century consumers have seen a steady increase in the amount of annual new product releases. Hundreds of cigars vying to make 'Top Cigars of the Year' list. 2016 marked what could quite possibly be the year with the most cigars released, that is, if 2017 doesn’t eclipse it from all the releases that weren't actually released in 2016, but kind of sort of were. The industry seems to have been dangerously thriving on this "more, more, more, more" attitude for the "new, new, new, new" item. I'd venture to say, that had the FDA regulations not provided a downshift of new releases in the foreseeable future, the industry just may have come to a point where it began imploding on itself.
So what will become of the lists that cater to only new releases? 2017, possibly 2018, can potentially carry on as is with no hiccups, though the years following will see a significant hit to the pool of candidates. Will there even be 25 releases in 2019 to fulfill a Top 25 list. Will anyone even care, knowing that the time of the new has grown old? Lists containing older releases may be the only list that can actually come to fruition. Entities within the media are going to have to make a decision. Conform to include what has previously been on the market, continue with a list that utilizes only new releases and may contain every new release to market, or do away with end of the year honors altogether. Lastly, will these entities even exist at the time to make the decision?
During this year I took the time to address my hobby of writing cigar reviews. I began writing in 2014 semi seriously, but I had no format and the reviews had no guidelines. I took the time to craft my reviews in a more professional manner, while leaving it at just a hobby. I am a consumer, yet my reviews are meant for anyone, blender, roller, owner, media members, and other consumers. I write reviews because I enjoy them, sometimes though I'd rather just kick back and enjoy the cigar, and I do. I would also like to thank all community members who have encouraged me along the way, whether it be a like, constructive criticism, or informative tips. This truly is a brother and sisterhood and I am always delighted to be a part of it, so thanks for that as well.
So now that I've said something, how about moving into that list; ATLLOGIX 2016 Cigar of the Year list includes 25 cigars plus honorable mentions. The set criterion is that I smoked the cigar during the calendar year of 2016, nothing more nothing less. All cigars smoked are given a rating directly after extinguishing, with the exception of a 2nd cigar smoked too quickly in succession. There is no method to the madness, just a list of what I enjoyed smoking.
Don Pepin Garcia Original Generosos
Curivari El Gran Rey Emperadores
Room 101 SA Series 213
Tatuaje Black Label Lancero
Gran Habano STK Miami Barracuda Corona Gorda
-Top 25 Cigars of the Year-
25. Padron 1964 Anniversary Maduro Exclusivo
24. Tatuaje Cojonu Habano 2012
23. Tatuaje Saint & Sinners 2016 No. 5
22. Room101 Namakubi Ecuador H-Town Lancero
21. Arturo Fuente Anejo No. 46
20. Warped La Colmena Unico Especial
19. Viaje Exclusivo Leaded (2013)
18. Nomad Esteli Lot 8613 Robusto
17. My Father Talavera Edicion Exclusiva 2015 Corona Extra
16. Senorial Maduro by Jose Blanco Lonsdale Refinado
15. Partagas Serie D No. 4
14. Tatuaje Black Label Petite Lancero
13. Ezra Zion Blending Sessions Blend CK-4
12. Liga Undercrown Corona Viva
11. La Flor Dominicana 1994 Rumbaa
10. Fuente Fuente OpusX Super Belicoso
09. Illusione Fume d Amour Clementes
08. Tatuaje Petite Cabaiguan
07. Warped La Hacienda Gran Robusto
06. Juan Lopez Petit Corona
05. Viaje Skull and Bones WMD 2012
04. Four Kicks Mule Kick by Crowned Heads Limited Edition 2012
03. Curivari Seleccion Privada Maduro Eminentes
02. Tatuaje TAA 2012
Walk with me. Remember that one moment. That one experience that that one cigar gave you. It was so amazing that it left you speechless, or you sat alone saying "oh my god", literally out loud. Endorphins were shooting out of your eyes, and your brain was tingling with giddy sensation. You sat where you were for many minutes long after it had burned out, reminiscing on what just took place. There was nothing ever like it, and you became mildly upset thinking about if you'd ever have that experience again. That may have been your first cigar or it could have been a few humidors worth later. My first was in February 2012, and then a near, but not quite there moment in 2014. During the summer of 2016 I would experience a breathtaking occurrence, one that would go on to surpass even what I described above. This cigar not only comes in as number one of the year, this is number 1 in my cigar smoking days, this is Greatest of All Time...subject to change (and of course I hope it does one day). But really, it’s the GOAT.
***ATLLOGIX 2016 Cigar of the Year*** (BEST CIGAR I'VE HAD IN MY LIFE THUS FAR)
01. Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011