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Commentary: Stogie Guys Top Picks of 2012

13 Dec 2012

As the year draws to a close, it seems everyone’s making best-of lists. Rather than try to pinpoint and rank-order the best of the 2012 releases, I thought I’d look back at the cigars rated five stogies out of five this year. You’ll find a complete alphabetical list of the cigars that earned the rare five-stogie rating going back to 2006 here.

This year, there were five, and they represent a wide range of cigars. Perhaps the most notable is Drew Estate’s widely anticipated Liga Privada Único Serie Velvet Rat, which Patrick A. was wowed by at a pre-release event. It isn’t expected to be in regular release until 2013 and will almost certainly be at the top of everyone’s gotta-get-but-hard-to-find list.

Another new cigar getting five stogies is the Aging Room F55 Quattro Concerto that I thought was great. Patrick S. similarly raved about the Berger & Argenti Entubar V32 Rogue Rothschild, a pricey limited edition.

The other two that received five stogies in 2012 have been around for a while. The Illusione Epernay Le Matin came out several years ago, and an EO 601 Serie “Blue” Toro was a maduro that had been in my humidor for two years.

We have high standards for handing out five-stogie ratings, and a glance through previous years seems to confirm that. Five in a year, out of scores of sticks reviewed, seems to be close to the average. In past years, we’ve had as many as seven and as few as three.

Of the 36 smokes that made the list over the years, only 7 are Cuban. Among those made elsewhere, top manufacturers and blenders represented include names such as Pete Johnson, Don Pepin Garcia, Paul Garmirian, Litto Gomez, and Rocky Patel.

You’d expect to find an Opus X and Padrón Serie 1926 listed, and they are. But I think you might also find a surprise or two. Take a look. Let us know what you think of our selections and what cigars you find worthy of five stogies.

-George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate