As 2013 comes to a close everyone is posting the top cigars for the year. I didn’t review enough exclusively released cigars for the year to create such a list, so instead I will rank the best cigars I have reviewed. There are a significant number of cigars that appear on other lists that don't appear on mine, simply because of the difficult of obtaining them in time to make this list. No doubt they will make it for 2014.
One of the cigars that made this list, and you’ll know it when you get there, was a decision I struggled with for some time. In the end I left it on the list because it met all the qualifications for flavor that I was judging the other sticks by.
Many of you will notice that there is a distinct absence of Cuban cigars. This is true for primarily two reasons:
The first reason is that I don’t feel that non-Cuban and Cuban cigars should be on the same list. For me Cuban and non-Cuban cigars are so different from each other that they should be considered entirely different categories of product.
The second reason is that I didn’t smoke or review enough Cuban cigars in 2013 to create such a list. Part of my 2014 mandate will be to try and have a 1:1 ratio of smoking Cuban to non-Cubans. This may not be feasible as I can see myself running out of product to review before the halfway point of the year, but I’m going to make that my goal regardless.
The Rocky Patel Edge line tends to be pretty divisive among aficionados. You either like them, or you don't and I fall squarely in the former category. A cigar with a nice rich flavor and a price that makes them affordable for all aficionados. Pick up a few singles or a 5 pack and let us know what you think.
The Tatuaje Lil’ Drac exceeded all expectations I had. It is an unbelievably smooth and balanced cigar with very defined flavors. After writing up this review, I found myself searching out the original 2009 release to compare. Unfortunately I think I’m too late to the party here. Hopefully Tatuaje has a revival release of these at some point in the future.
The Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012 is fantastically balanced from start to finish. You get a complex flavored cigar that won’t knock you over with tobacco strength, but isn’t a pushover either. If you can still get your hands on the 2012 release, I’d highly recommend you grab some to try for yourself. Otherwise I would suggest you try the 2013 release when it hits the market.
A box of the Robusto's (5x52) are already on my wishlist and I'll likely pull the trigger sometime in the fall (I did in fact buy this box).
Looking over my scoring system it seems impossible for a cigar to get a perfect score. In this case the T52 does get a perfect score because Jjohns71 sent it to me for free. I cannot imagine a cigar beating the T52, and I'll be very impressed to find something else that matches up evenly. If you've tried and enjoyed the Undercrown, you should treat yourself with a Liga Privada T52. The Cigar Surgeon guarantees you will not be disappointed.
This is an outstanding cigar. I've already played some cigar Tetris in the humidor to make room for a box of these on my next order. You have a fantastic amount of flavor and strength at a price point that should be affordable for all aficionados You'll want to pick up a few of these to try for yourself.
The San Lotano Maduro by A.J. Fernandez is a perfectly balanced cigar that is affordable for almost all aficionados. I enjoyed this cigar so thoroughly that by the time I had finished writing out my review, I had already placed an order for a box. I'd highly recommend you pick up a 5-pack to try these out for yourself.
The Padron 1964 Anniversary Maduro is nothing short of fantastic. I tried several vitolas in the Serious Cigars smoking room while I was there and I finally settled on the Principe. I found that it provided the best ring gauge for maximizing the flavors, even though it left me wanting more. Even if this weren't the /r/cigars cigar of the month for March, I'd highly recommend you pick a few of these up immediately.
I was extremely pleased with the way this custom blend turned out. Most of the credit would have to go to Willy Herrera as I thoroughly relied on his expertise to get to the final blend I was looking for. I realize that my review might come off as shameless self promotion, but my goal was really to hit a specific flavor profile and I feel I managed to exceed my expectations. There is no question in my mind that if these were available for sale I would have at least 2 boxes in my humidor.
The My Father Le Bijou 1922 by Don Pepin is an outstanding cigar. There's a fantastic amount of flavor and it's available at a price that every aficionado should be able to afford. Pick up a 5-pack because after you have one you're going to want another.
I really enjoy finding excellent cigars like this but in a lot of ways it’s a mixed blessing. Sometimes you find out about a great release like the Tantrum and by the time you decide you want to pick it up all the boxes have been snapped up. Fortunately I’ll be able to get my hands on a box which is going to find a nice comfortable home at the back of my humidor. This cigar without a doubt makes my ‘best of 2013’ cigar list, if I were to publish such a list. The Ezra Zion Tantrum is a full bodied and full strength cigar. Do not let the vitola fool you, this cigar will sit you down hard if you’re not careful. Again this cigar is a very limited release so if you’re considering them you should jump on the purchase sooner rather than later.
The Nomad Esteli Lot 1386 LE is a very balanced cigar for the entire smoking experience and finishes as well as it starts. This is one of those cigars that you will smoke right down to the nub. I’m exceptionally pleased that I managed to pick up a box. If you haven’t had a chance to try one of these, and you really enjoy full bodied cigars, you would do well to snap up one of these while you can.
The 1502 Ruby Robusto was super balanced in all three thirds with no flavor dominating the profile. A highly enjoyable cigar from start to finish. I'll be looking for a replacement box of the 1502 Ruby's and I'm also going to try out their Emerald and Black & Gold lines as well. I'd definitely recommending trying these if you haven't had the opportunity.
The Padron 1926 No. 2 is an outstanding cigar. Unfortunately the price point puts it out of reach of many aficionados and leaves it in the realm of a celebration cigar. Do I recommend you pick one up for a special occasion and try it for yourself? Absolutely I do. The taste of this cigar scored 20/20, and if it were closer in price to the 1964 series these would be a regular box purchase for me.