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Top 10 Cigars of the Year (2012)

January 4, 2013

This is the time of the year when the mighty Cigar Aficionado publishes its much awaited by both cigar smokers and cigar industry Top 25, and it is also that time of the year when an avid smoker like me likes to look back and keep track of the best smokes he enjoyed during the previous twelve months of his smoking life. In 2012 I have smoked 434 premium cigars, I keep a daily record of my impressions and according to it this is my 2012 Top 10 (Top 25 are for bigger fishes).

#10 Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8 Maduro (Dominican Republic)

I have been a long time aficionado of the regular version – the one with the creamy Connecticut wrapper – but the maduro adds some edge and overall sweetness to the 8-5-8 that’s quite agreeable even for someone like me who’s not crazy for the maduro.

#9 Padrón 1964 Torpedo Maduro (Nicaragua)

I know, I know: I’m not a maduro fan, so what’s doing another one in my top 10? The point is this cigar is magnificent, so rich of different flavors all along the smoke – dried fruit and sweet spices mainly – and it has a lot of character too, alas the price tag is insanely high.

#8 Alec Bradley Tempus Genesis (Honduras)

Oh, please! Don’t tell me this is the third maduro in a row. The Genesis is an amazing cigar at an incredibly low price, it has a lot of the flavorful virtues of the Padrón plus a lovely balsamic layer – a mint syrup sensation – which leaves me ecstatic every time I have one of these.

#7 Partagás Serie D Especial Edición Limitada 2010 (Cuba)

I have already reviewed it here.

#6 E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Short Run 2012 Invictos (Dominican Republic)

Carrillo makes wonderful cigars – his Goloso is my favorite churchill now – and this limited edition is quite a success: earthy and flavorful, this is the best corona gorda around, not even the top Cubans like Saint Luis Rey Serie A can match it, furthermore it costs much less, alas it’s a limited edition.

#5 Cabaiguan Guapo (Nicaragua)

This is the latest result of the jointed efforts of the much appreciated Pete Johnson and don Pepin Garcia, many producers have blended with good results the rich and strong Nicaraguan tobacco with Connecticut wrappers but no one matches the creamy and flavorful Guapo: creaminess redefined.

#4 Cohiba Robusto (Cuba)

Cohiba Robusto! What can I say about this classic Cuban cigar? The only drawback here is that it’s a robusto – a one hour only smoke – it’s a concentration of pleasure and the undisputed king of the format: it has strength, it has sweetness, it has spices, it has everything you can ask of a cigar, unavoidably it can’t be cheap.

#3 San Cristóbal de la Habana La Punta (Cuba)

SCDLH is one of the new brands launched by Cuba circa fifteen years ago, the Trinidad brand has got the better reputation – and the higher prices – but in my opinion in the last 5 years San Cristóbal has reached heights that place it at the top of the current Cuban production, this campana is an earthy and spicy success.

#2 Camacho Corojo Churchill (Honduras)

This is a cigar with an earthy and leathery personality, if you want an ethereal and refined experience stay far from it, but if rich and bodied taste is what you are looking for, then in my opinion there is nothing better than this Camacho (by the way, the entire Corojo line of this manufacturer deserves attention).

#1 Ramón Allones Gigantes (Cuba)

The Double Corona is the king of cigars and it’s the format where Cuban Cigars are still the best, I still haven’t found a Non-Cuban who can stand the test, the Gigante gives you two hours of pleasure – and let’s face it: at an affordable price – with a constantly evolving flavor profile; the 2007 box I have explored in the past year is of exceptional quality, a creamy smoke with hints of honey and almond, an overall nutty feeling with a bit of earthy shadows, a true King!






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