It’s that time of year again when everyone is posting their top cigars list. This year I smoked and reviewed more cigars by far than I did in years past. Even so, there were so many cigars that I didn’t get a chance to try or review.
At the top of that list was the Senorial by Jose Blanco (unbelievable complexity), the El Gueguense from Nick Melillo (it’s in my queue for the next few weeks), and of course the Sobremesa by Steve Saka (also in my queue for the next few weeks). Honorable mention to the Protocol by Cubariqueno Cigar Company, their first release ended up being a blockbuster which just missed my top 10 list by a hair.
I reduced this top ten list down only to cigars released in the calendar year, whether they were a solo review or a group review.
My goal for 2016 is to try and increase the number of cigars reviewed, both Cuban and non-Cuban. I’m going to continue to do video reviews, which I just started doing in the past few months. I’m also going to continue to maintain a review list so you can check in periodically throughout the year to see where cigars are landing for scores.
I snuck this one in at the close of 2015. The Grata Corojo was a medium-full to full bodied smoking experience and might be a bit much for an aficionado who isn’t used to that level.
I’m looking forward to other Cesar Espinal releases, like the Grata Corojo Mexican San Andres, and of course any new blends or line extensions in 2016.
It’s really no surprise to me at all that Warped found a place on my top 10 cigars of 2015 list. It is a bit surprising to find three different entries though. This cigar was a collaboration between Kyle Gellis of Warped and Max Fernandez of Casa Fernandez.
Utilizing AGANORSA tobaccos from their vault, the end result is a full flavored smoking experience that should last you well over 2 hours. As this blend was from Max, it’s on my list to try the release blend Selección Suprema from Kyle.
From their beginnings in Toronto, Canada Mombacho has continued to release great cigars that have cemented a place in my humidor. The Tierra Volcan Fino represents a line extension, rather than a new release, which is something we saw quite a bit at the 2015 IPCPR in New Orleans.
Instead of a brand new cigar they’ve produced a smoking experience that builds off the existing line. Mombacho will be one of the cigar manufacturer’s that I will be keeping a close eye on for 2016.
The Warped Flor Del Valle Sky Flower is a cigar that found its way onto a lot of top lists in 2015. This was one of the first cigars I reviewed fresh out of the 2015 IPCPR and the medio tiemp AGANORSA tobacco really shines in this blend.
This is a limited production run, no doubt as a result of the availability of the medio tiempo, and I hope it is followed up by a new limited production run in 2016.
The Erik Espinosa La Zona factory was firing on all cylinders in 2015. There were a substantial number of high coring releases directly from Espinosa, and the number of collaborative projects throughout 2015.
I wish I would have had the opportunity to sit down with the Laranja Reserva Caixa, as it was another Espinosa release that did very well on a variety of top scoring lists.
I’m certainly looking forward to another IPCPR interview with Erik Espinosa, and all the follow up releases from his factory in 2016.
It was another big year for Drew Estate. They had a new release in the Undercrown Shade, line extensions across the board for the Nica Rustica and Norteno, and a line of exclusive Drew Diplomat cigars.
Previously I would have said that the Liga Privada T52 was my first choice in the Drew Estate regular production line. The No. 9 box press has surpassed that combining a great blend in a new box press format that solidly delivers.
Drew Estate was generous in sending packages to quite a few online cigar media people so they would have the opportunity to try and review all the new offerings.
I’ll enjoy working my way through them in the first part of 2016.
Although the group review hasn’t been posted as of yet, the video review is up. Macanudo isn’t a cigar I expected to be on my top 10 list, certainly not vying for cigar of the year. With loads of subtle complexity, it starts out light and ramps up to intense richness all the way to the nub.
Although the price point might put this cigar out of reach for some aficionados, it does reflect the cost associated with rare and limited production tobaccos.
Rob and I enjoyed this cigar on an episode of Sharing Our Pairings, and we will definitely be revisiting pairing combinations in an upcoming episode.
In my mind the Macanudo Estate Reserva Jamaica lives up to everything a limited edition cigar should be.
Another limited production run release, the Dunhill Seleccion Suprema easily reaches a high standing for my top cigars in 2015.
Like the previous cigar on this list, it has an attached price point that will be tough for some cigar aficionados.
Coupled with the very limited run of only 300 boxes in the US, this cigar is not likely to be available for long in 2016.
Complex nuances deliver on a lasting flavor experience, and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to review it.
A cigar that doesn’t seem to be getting the fan fare I feel it deserves, the La Sirena Porthole is an outstanding candidate for cigar of the year.
Delivering a load of complex flavors, it has an absurdly low price point that puts it in reach of all cigar smokers out there.
Produced out of the Espinosa La Zona factory in Estel, this is a box buy cigar that should be on your must try list if it isn’t already.
The white whale follow up to the 2014 release, the Warped Don Reynaldo Regalos doesn’t deliver anything less than cigar of the year excellence. I first tried the 2014 release with Will Cooper of Stogie Geeks on a visit to Orlando. Both of us were trying to buy up as many of the 2014 release as we could.
All of the tobaccos in this cigar bring something to the flavor experience. Only 30 or 40 minutes into this review I was already seeking a box, for fear they would not be available for long on the market.
Warped cigars topped review lists in 2014 and continued that trend through 2015.
With so many accolades in such a short time, 2016 will prove interesting in how Warped Cigars will follow up.