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 #7 on our list - please check back tomorrow for #6.
#10 Warped Flor Del Valle
#9 Nomad C-276
#8 1502 Emerald Lancero
#7 Arandoza Red
In April, Arandoza Cigars announced on an episode of CigarChat that they were looking to create a blend that would appeal to the all the requests for a full-flavored, full-bodied cigar that fans of the company had been clamoring for. On the heels of releasing two Nicaraguan puro blends - the Blue and the White - which were blended at Erik Espinosa's La Zona Factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, Arandoza Cigars officially announced in July the debut of the Arandoza Red.
In keeping with "Family Tradition", Arandoza unveiled the Red Label at IPCPR2014. The “Red” label commemorates and praises the nation’s heritage following on its footsteps of Independence Day celebrating the history, commitment and traditions of the Arandoza Family. The first non-puro from the company, its construction consists of a 100% Nicaraguan binder and filler with triple Ligero, and is finished with a dark rich San Andres Mexican wrapper. The Arandoza “Red” Label comes in three cigar favorites, a Toro 52x6, a Churchill 49x7 and a 60 Ring Gauge 60 x 5. Price Range is: $7.25 to $8.50.
"The prelight has scents of spicy tobacco and hay, with tobacco, hay and spice on the cold draw."
"The Arandonza Red is not short on flavor. Right off the bat I was hit with big notes of red pepper, tobacco and dark chocolate. There were some secondary notes of wood, earth, and smoky/peaty that came and went throughout the second half."
"After getting assaulted in the first half, the Arandoza Red changes to a very nice sweetness. It was a great transition and frankly much needed after the nicotine bomb, of the first third. The second half of the Arandoza Red was much lower in strength and body. It almost felt like I was smoking a completely different cigar. After the sweetness fades, the profile was mostly dominated by leather, and sorghum like sweetness. Also, there are some very faint hits of hay and earth."
"The finish, starting in the final third, becomes very long. Allowing you to savor the new, sweet wood flavor that has arisen. Nearing the end of the Arandoza Red, a graham cracker note makes an appearance, which is nice with the “chewy” profile."
"The Arandoza Red is hands down the best cigar Arandoza has put on the market to date. The construction was flawless, flavors were enjoyable, priced well, and while it wasn’t overly complex it was enjoyable."
"The Red is a complex flavor bomb, full of deep, sweet notes, that just hit on all cylinders. Easily worth the price, and a definite must try."
"If you want a powerhouse cigar that doesn’t lack on flavor, then you need to get some Anradoza Red ASAP."
You can read our PreRelease group review of the Arandoza Red here.
You can watch our interview with Arandoza Cigars at IPCPR2014 here.
You can watch CigarChat with Arandoza Cigars here.
You can read some additional Q&A with Arandoza Cigars here.
Get into the discussion and share YOUR Top List here.