Best Cigars of 2008

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As always, choosing the ten best cigars from a cast of thousands is not easy, and my humidors are chock full of smokes that I love that didn’t make the cut this year  (not to mention the new blends I haven’t had a chance to smoke yet.)  Top Ten lists are always a little capricious anyway, and this one is no different. Better pour yourself another cocktail.

This year I’m separating the best cigars of ’08 by body: full, medium and mild, keeping in mind that this categorization is itself a subjective one. (New Year’s resolution: fix that subjectivity thing.) Some are new cigars, some have been around for years, but I certainly hope all of them survive the economic turmoil we can expect in 2009.

Best Mild Cigars

Mild cigars get short shrift amongst aficionados, but they most definitely have a place in my collection. My top three mild smokes this year have been (in order of bestness):

  1. Fundacion Ancestral Vuelta Abajo – corona $$$
  2. Bravo Columbian Gold – toro $$
  3. La Tradicion Cubana – robusto (Deluxe Anniversary if you can find them.) $

Best Medium Bodied Cigars

Medium body is where I live. I could make a list of ten scrumptious medium-bodied cigars alone, but that’s not the deal this year. This was hard, but here they are:

  1. Illusione f9 – lonsdale $$
  2. Cubao No. 5 – toro $$
  3. Padron Ambassador Maduro – lonsdale $

Best Full Bodied Cigars

Some hard core cigar smokers claim full bodied cigars are the only ones worth smoking. I disagree, but even a pinot sipping middleweight like myself needs a good belt once in a while. My top full-bodied cigars of 2008:

  1. Oliva Serie V – lancero $
  2. Arturo Fuente Añejo No. 48 – churchill $$$
  3. Rocky Patel Sungrown – torpedo $$

And finally, one standout that transcends boundaries, a cigar that sends me over the edge every time I smoke it, and for me the Numero Uno of 2008:

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Diamond Crown MAXIMUS  – Double Belicoso $$$


$ 5 USD or under $$ 5 to 10 USD $$$ Over 10 USD

Outlook 2009

The big concern for 2009 is the SCHIP tobacco tax and how it will affect the market for fine cigars. There is no doubt that retailers and consumers alike will feel the pinch, but it is unknown how the manufacturers will respond. In any case, the outlook is rather grim since passage of the tax appears inevitable.

In the meantime, light up a stick from your premium stash, remain vigilant, and hope for the best.

Stay tuned for Lucky7’s top cigars of the year… when he returns from his duty in Afghanistan I’m sure he’ll want to weigh in on the subject.

Have a safe and happy New Year everyone!

-cigarfan


Best Cigars of 2007


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It’s that time again: time to raise a toast with Punch to the demise of weary old 2007, dozing like that gent with the stogie, and usher in a new year.

It was a good year for cigars. In fact, we found ourselves a bit stymied by our good fortune as we tried to winnow down our lists to the top ten of the year. A lot of really good smokes did not make the cut, either because we were blessed by a bounty of brilliant cigars or because we simply didn’t smoke them this year. Last year’s winner, the Padron Anniversary Imperial, didn’t even make a showing this year because… well… we were too busy smoking up every cigar from Jose “Don Pepin” Garcia we could lay our hands on. No time (or budget, really) for Padron Annis in 2007 — an error I for one will surely try to remedy in 2008.

A word about our selections: Lucky7’s taste tends toward the full-bodied end of the spectrum, while mine inclines toward the medium side. We both appreciate fine cigars of all persuasions, but like anyone we gravitate toward our particular preferences.

I suppose I’ve done enough yammering for one year, so onward and forward:

Lucky7’s Best Cigars of 2007

10. Ashton Estate Sun Grown 21 Year Salute

9. Padilla Signature 1932 Robusto

8. Illusione cg4 – White Horse

7. Don Pepin Garcia Cuban Classic – Black Edition Robusto

6. Tatuaje Cabinet (Brown Label) Regios

5. San Cristobal Clasico by Ashton

4. Don Pepin Garcia Serie JJ Belicoso

3. El Centurion Emperadores by Don Pepin Garcia

2. EO 601 Serie Habano Oscuro (Green Label) La Fuerza

And Lucky7’s Number One cigar of 2007…

1. Arturo Fuente Añejo Reserva Shark #77 Cameroon

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Cigarfan’s Best Cigars of 2007

10. Trinidad 100th Anniversary Toro

9. Cuba Aliados Anniversary

8. Avo Domaine “50”

7. Sabor Cubano Petite Torpedo

6. EO 601 Habano Oscuro Tronco

5. San Cristobal Fabuloso

4. Carlos Toraño Noventa Esperanza

3. Illusione ~888~ (Churchill)

2. Troya Classico LXIII (Churchill)

and Cigarfan’s number one cigar of 2007…

1. Arturo Fuente Hemingway Work of Art (Maduro)

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Arturo Fuente Work of Art Maduro

Despite all the buzz (literally and figuratively) generated this year by El Rey de Los Habanos and Tabacalera Cubana, Arturo Fuente has shown up Don Pepin in the last leg of the race with a couple of special limited edition cigars. It is with some hesitancy that we narrow down our picks to ten from a field of dozens of great smokes, but it’s no accident that Fuente has taken the grand prize this year. These are truly some of the best cigars made anywhere.

Have a safe New Year’s Eve, and a Great 2008, everyone!

-cigarfan