Anthony’s Top 5 Cigars of 2012, Part I
Christmas is over and the New Year is nigh and you know what that means around the Cigar Brief office…it’s time for the Top 5! So to give you a little insight into how we pick our top 5 cigars, I’m going to quote from our introduction last year:
“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.”
I truly still believe that, but its becoming increasingly harder to pick just five, especially in lieu of all the new brands and lines coming out to the market. So without further adieu I give you this years top 5 cigars!
#5 Illusione Ultra OP line: I reviewed the Ultra OP line here and it has come back to be part of my top five. The Ultra OP is one of the pricier cigars on our list, but it still comes in under the ten dollar mark. For me the Ultra OP line shines in its excellent construction, great flavor profile, and balance. It has a profile of a little spice burst, cocoa notes, and sweet cedar wood. It truly is a balanced cigar of strength and flavor. While I love many of Dion’s sticks including his newer Epernay extensions, I still find myself gravitating towards the Ultra OP’s lines.
#4 Perdomo 20th Anniversary (Sun Grown): Perdomo is a brand that likes to play it safe. They have consistently created great cigars at bargains prices. To further entice their audience they create smokes creamy, smooth, and geared towards the everyday smoker.The one thing you don’t typically expect is Perdomo to engineer a smoke that is both robust and complex. That is until Nick Perdomo released his 20th Anniversary stick this year.
When I first reviewed the cigar here I talked about its great complexity and surprising strength, and smoking one again recently I can attest to the fact that they have been consistent in their flavor and strength profile. While this cigar certainly won’t be the belle of the ball in the blogger realm, it is a cigar that I think should not be overlooked. The Perdomo 20th features the creamy notes we have come to expect and love from Perdomo, but there is also a nice spice there as well. Other prominent notes that abound are floral and rich tobacco note.
This cigar is set at a sub ten price point as well and exhibits consistent flavor and value. Perdomo has always made an excellent cigar, now they have simply taken it to the next step.
#3 La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Reserva: This is a cigar that I wouldn’t be surprised to see on Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 List this year. To be honest, this cigar really lives up to the hype its gotten around the net. With a price point around eight dollars they have really created a cigar that has a wonderfully balanced profile and taste.
It starts off with a burst of spice, but quickly tapers into a full bodied smoke that has a sweet under-note. Between this under-note and the great wood notes that become prominent, its hard not to fall in love with this cigar. The Mi Amor Reserva makes the list for its value, consistent and complex profile, and a battery of great flavor that any cigar smoker could appreciate.
Well folks! That’s it for today! Come back and enjoy the final two cigars and some honorable mentions tomorrow, when I wrap up my list for 2012!