Cigar Federation Consolidated Top Cigars of 2013: #2 AKA Nth Degree

As we near the end of 2013, you will begin to see many "Top" lists throughout the cigar community. The Cigar Federation team decided to attempt to do something a bit different. Each of the main reviewers on the site - Logan, Rob, Dustin, Jerad and John - has their own list, but we also wanted to see what a Cigar Federation Consolidated list would look like.

I gave the guys absolutely no direction - I just asked for their lists. Some of the lists included only cigars released in 2013 and others included the reviewers favorite cigars smoked in 2013. Some of the lists were just cigars that the reviewer had reviewed on Cigar Federation while others might not have been reviewed and were only smoked. Some lists included Cubans and some were just "domestic". This, coupled with the fact that the 5 reviewers live in different parts of the country and Canada (and, thus, have access to different cigars) and have vastly diverse palates, produced some interesting results. The #1 cigar on our Consolidated list only showed up on 3 of the 5 total lists. The most any cigar appeared was 4 times meaning no cigar was a unanimous "Top" cigar for all our reviewers.

Over the next ten days (not including weekends), I will unveil another cigar in the Consolidated List. In the end, each of our reviewers will unveil their personal lists. How does your list match up? Without further adieu, I unveil #2 on our list - please check back tomorrow for #1!


#10 Jameson Santos de Miami Lancero

#9 Regius Mitchell Orchant Seleccion

#8 El Cedro

#7 Ortega Serie D Maduro Lancero

#6 Nomad Esteli Lot 1386

#5 Crowned Heads JD Howard Reserve

#4 Casa Fernandez Miami Reserva Maduro

#3 Ezra Zion Tantrum

#2 AKA Nth Degree

When I first reached out to the reviewers on Cigar Federation to supply me with their Top Cigars of 2013, I knew I'd have an eclectic grouping of cigars, but I had a pretty good idea of what would be included.  I knew that we'd be very "boutique heavy" as that tends to be the nature of the site, but I assumed, considering no reviewer had any knowledge of how the other reviewers were ranking, that we'd have the Nomads and Ezra Zions and Crowned Heads of the world represented at the Top - after all, those are the brands and cigars that seem to get the most hype.  For the most part, as you've seen in the lead up to this point, that's what we got.  However, the biggest surprise of our countdown - at least from my perspective - is our #2 Cigar of 2013: the AKA Nth Degree!

The AKA crew wanted to create a more "traditional" or "old school" maduro when they set out to create this blend.  Their belief was that the industry has been moving in the wrong direction of blending for strength and/or complexity and this has come at the expense of the flavor provided by the wrapper as many cigars end up overpowering the wrapper.  The goal for the Nth Degree was to highlight the flavor of the wrapper by perfecting the "balance" of the cigar.

Blended in the Davidoff Factory in Danli, the AKA Nth Degree is AKA's first maduro offering that utilizes a 4-year aged San Andreas Broadleaf with a Dominican binder and Dominican, Peruvian and Honduran filler.  According to what the guys told us on CigarChat, the leaf used for the wrapper is from the same grower that supplies Padron with their leaf - a benefit to AKA of working with Davidoff on this blend.  The Nth Degree is advertised as a medium bodied cigar that is suitable for the novice smoker, but satisfying for the experienced smoker as it takes your palate to the "Nth Degree"!

"The San Andreas Broadleaf wrapper on the Nth Degree was a beautiful thing.  It was a deep chocolate brown and smelled strongly of leather.  The foot offered up notes of cocoa powder and dried leaves."

"The dark, chocolate brown wrapper has a matte, almost fuzzy appearance and looks great wrapped in the aqua and silver band."

"Yes, the cold draw tasted like Raisinets."
"The coffee and cocoa notes were there from the start, but didn’t begin to build until the 1/2 inch mark.  Once they got going, they really took off."
"There was a very mild spice on the retrohale in the beginning, but it died away rather quickly."
"The smoke took on a much creamier feel and the flavors seemed smooth out and blend together.  The smoke even got smoother on the retro."
"It was a chocolate bomb! Very tasty, with powdered chocolate flavors."
"It was a medium body cigar with a ton of flavor, so obviously I liked it. The construction was spot on."
"This is my favorite AKA offering so far."

You can read Robby's Pre-Release review of the AKA Nth Degree here.
You can see Jay & Tom from AKA Cigars on CigarChat here.
You can see Robby's interview of Jay Lundy from IPCPR 2013 here.
Get into the discussion and share YOUR Top List here.

Views: 191

Comment by 007MI6 on December 19, 2013 at 10:23am

Love it! AKA is one of my TOP brands, and this one is L-E-G-I-T.


Comment by Miguel Rocha on December 19, 2013 at 10:40am

I like the way this cigar looks (even though its half gone).Thanks for the top ten list I am looking forward to tracking some of these smokes down and giving them a go. Already have the Cedro and and Nomads on the way thanks to the Fed Store! Any chance of getting an honorable mention list as well?

Comment by Catfishbluezz on December 19, 2013 at 3:13pm
Had one the the night and it was fantastic


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