Coming up with a top ten list or top five list is a fairly challenging task. As I reflected about this last year I began to recount all the lovely cigars I had enjoyed and realized that there were far more than ten great cigars that I loved, let alone five. So I have designed my list to reflect cigars that are a great value, have a unique flavor profile, and have generally been groundbreaking to me on one level or another. There obviously is no perfect way to do this, but the following list of five cigars, are cigars that to me really stood out and have quickly become some of my regular favorites.
#5 Tatuaje Avion: This cigar will be sure to make many critics lists this year and it will make many of our staff’s as well. Simply put its what a great cigar should be: complex, balanced, and well constructed. The Avion would easily be my number one cigar of the year except for one glaring detail: an inconsistency in the taste profile from batch to batch.
The first wave of Avion’s garnered my high praise and featured an excellent draw, a mild spice, medium + flavor, and bold hickory wood notes that were absolutely delicious. Fast-forward to subsequent batches and the change is fairly distinct. The spice has become greater and more inline with the fausto line and the wood notes have become more subdued. Strength has also become more full in step with the spice adjustment. Now are these changes bad things? Its all in the eyes of the beholder, but for this reviewer I still much prefer the diminished spice and ramped up wood notes of the very first batch.
So while I would love to give this cigar a higher rating, due to the inconsistencies in the batch differentials, this cigar falls to my fifth spot. Don’t get me wrong, its still a wonderful cigar, I just wish that it was consistent from one batch to the next one with an emphasis on a profile that is more wood and less on the spice. Although if you love spice, then this cigar may have just moved up a slot or two for your “Best of” list. For our full review check here.
#4 Room 101 Namakubi: Its no great secret that the first Room 101 release wasn’t as impressive as many had hoped, in fact in many eyes it was a lackluster release at best, but everybody loves a comeback story and this year is a triumphant return for 101. Of all the new sticks released this year perhaps my favorite one for size and wow factor is the Namakubi Papi Chulo. The Papi comes in at 4×42 and even for its diminutive size it packs a solid punch.
This cigar makes number four on my list for its unique size factor, strength, and well-rounded flavor. A lot of guys ask for a short nightcap cigar, this one is my go to recommendation. It’s clean, delicious and contains both notes of floral sweetness and spice, and is strong enough to stand out especially on a palate that has already smoked other cigars. This cigar also makes a great impression in the morning as a cigar that pairs well with coffee, so do yourself a favor and enjoy the diminutive dynamo known as Namakubi Papi Chulo by Room 101.
#3 Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition: A big component of this top-five list, are cigars that redefined a category, manufacturer, or all of the above for me. The Jaime Garcia LE redefined my views on what could be done with the Jaime Garcia lines. Most people love My Father cigars, they tend to be full bodied and have a lot of spice. To me, and this is just my palate talking here, I don’t really get wowed by those factors and I found most of the My Father stuff to be just that, Spicy. It became a habit around the shop when someone asked about My Father to simply say its like most My Father’s big and spicy.
The Jaime LE however, changed that with its unique and sweet profile. Granted it still has a fair amount of spice and is definitely medium + to full bodied, but this cigar introduced some wonderful sweet notes that I never saw coming. I have smoked many of these cigars this year and am still impressed with just how good and different they are. Like I have said, many other critics would perhaps choose the Le Bijou or Hijo, but for my money I go to the Jaime Garcia LE every time! For a full review of this unique cigar click here.
Well folks, that’s all for today, we will have the top two cigars from my list tomorrow and maybe an honorable mention list as well. So stay tuned and I will see you all tomorrow!