As we near the end of 2014, you will begin to see many "Top" lists throughout the cigar community. In keeping with tradition, 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 group list would look like.
Unlike last year where I gave the guys no direction, we've changed it up a bit this year. Each reviewer was asked to provide 3 lists:
- Top Brands of 2014 (more on that later)
- Top Cigars of 2014 (more on that later)
- Top Cigars Released in 2014 (the basis for this list)
Like last year, 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 consensus list showed up on 4 of the 5 total lists, the most any cigar appeared meaning no cigar was a unanimous "Top" cigar for all our reviewers. Its worth noting here that my list is not included in the Cigar Federation list as a means of remaining impartial in producing this content - I will share it after completion of the site's list.
Over the next ten days (not including weekends), I will unveil another cigar in the List. In the end, each of our reviewers will unveil their personal lists. We're also trying to get the FedHeads involved. How does your list match up? Join the discussion and get involved here.
Without further adieu, I unveil #2 on our list - please check back tomorrow for #1.
#10 Warped Flor Del Valle
#9 Nomad C-276
#8 1502 Emerald Lancero
#7 Arandoza Red
#6 Nomad Connecticut Fuerte
#5 D'Crossier L'Forte
#4 Herrera Esteli Norteno
#3 Crux Passport
#2 Ortega Serie D Black
Last year, Eddie Ortega and Ortega Cigar Company made this list with the Ortega Serie D Maduro Lancero
coming in at #7. This year, the company returns to our list even higher with the new Ortega Serie D Black coming in at #2! Eddie said the goal of the cigar was to come out with something more medium bodied as opposed to the more full bodied Serie D Maduro line. He also moved away from the box press due to some feedback.
The Serie D Black Nicaraguan binder and filler from Jalapa and Esteli along with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. The Serie D Black was launched in three sizes: Robusto (5 x 50), Belicoso (6 x 52) and Toro (6 1/2 x 52).
"The Ortega Serie D Black is a very clean looking cigar. The wrapper is light brown with minimal veins, smooth seams, a solid triple cap and a great looking black and gold band."
"The nose on the Ortega Serie D Black is prominently cedar, sweet tobacco with some dry moss undertones. On the cold draw I was picking up light black pepper and more of the sweetness from the nosing."
"The first third of the Serie D Black starts off with a blast of flavors. There is a deep, sweet honey flavor that is dominating so far. Behind that is a tobacco and cedar note, followed by a spicy, pepper retrohale. The burn line is dead on and the ash is a tight, very light grey."
"The second third kept the sugar, but developed a cream soda note on the exhale as well that rolled off the tongue."
"The last third continues the trend so far of the flavors being exceptionally balanced."
"Eddie Ortega has another clear winner on his hands here. This cigar is going to have broad appeal as it splits the light bodied smokers and the heavy bodied smokers."
You can read our group review of the Ortega Serie D Black here.
You can watch our interviews with Eddie Ortega at IPCPR2014 here.
You can watch Eddie Ortega on CigarChat here.
Get into the discussion and share YOUR Top List here.