This was a good year for good cigars. Five scored our top five-stogie rating, and 15 ranked superbly at four and a half stogies.
Unlike last year, when I was the only one to award five-stogie ratings, each StogieGuys.com contributor had at least one top-ranked smoke in 2014.
Pete Johnson’s Tatuaje brand, which has had numerous high-scoring smokes through the years, scored two five-stogie ratings this year. The other three winners also represented brands with excellent track records: RoMa Craft, La Palina, and Paul Garmirian. Here are all five, listed in no particular order:
Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Bon Chasseur: This fat robusto was called a “remarkable smoke” and “simply one of the best new releases in recent memory,” by Patrick A.
Tatuaje Black Corona Gorda: Joey J found the flavors in this 2013 re-release “intense and varied… full-flavored all the way down to the nub.”
RoMa Craft Intemperance BA XXI A.W.S. IV: Patrick A’s other five-stogie cigar. He wrote of its “tremendous” balance, noting that the Lonsdale was “a joy to smoke.”
La Palina Collection Mr. Sam Robusto: After starting as a limited edition, Mr. Sam was added to the regular line and Patrick S called it “an impressive cigar full of flavor… that will be enjoyed by all types of cigar smokers.
Paul Garmirian Reserva Exclusiva Churchill: This quickly became my “newest favorite cigar,” an incredibly pleasing stick that displayed “subtlety and complexity.”
The following 15 cigars (listed in no particular order) came close. All you’ll see, they represent a wide array of companies, countries, prices, and profiles:
RoMa Craft Aquitaine Mode 5: “At $7, the Aquitaine Mode 5 is an incredible buy.”
Drew Estate Nirvana Toro: “There is something to love here for everyone.”
E.P. Carrillo 5th Year Anniversary Limitada: “It characterizes the best of E.P. Carrillo: flavorful, complex, and affordable.”
God of Fire Don Carlos 2009 Robusto: “I may only light up a God of Fire by Don Carlos cigar a few times a year, but when I do it’s always special and worth the high price.”
Illusione *R* Rothchildes: “This small, value-priced Illusione is outstanding.”
Illusione Epernay L’Excellence: “Illusione makes some very fine cigars, but the Epernay line is the pinnacle—Giolito’s highest achievement.”
Joya Red Robusto: “The Robusto is classic with traditional tastes and plenty of balance and complexity.”
L’Atelier Imports LAT46 Selection Spéciale: “At the midway point it becomes clear this is a complex, balanced cigar with lots to offer (especially to attentive smokers).”
My Father No. 1: The second time this cigar scored a four-and-a-half-stogie rating. “No simple sledgehammer. It has the subtlety and nuance that seasoned cigar smokers look for in cigars in this price range.”
Partagas Benji Homage Toro: “If you’re a fan of bold boutique smokes, check out the Homage.”
Reinado Grand Empire Reserve Ecuador Edition Petit Lancero: “One of the best Ecuadorian Connecticut-wrapped smokes I’ve had in a long time.”
Tatuaje The Jekyll: “The Jekyll is an excellent, well-balanced smoke that’s well worth the $13 price and worthy of the Monster Series name.”
Tatuaje Pudgy Monster Tiff: “It’s dominated by sweet creaminess, along with roasted nut and woodiness, and hints of paper, graham, and spice.”
Viaje Oro Reserva VOR Aficionado: “A special spice-forward, interesting cigar worth finding.”
Drew Estate Herrera Estelí Piramide Fino: “This is an outstanding belicoso… a truly wonderful value at $10.”
Padrón Family Reserve No. 50 Maduro: “A model of restrained strength with full flavors.”
If this list isn’t enough to keep you busy for a while, you can peruse all the Stogie Guys reviews back to 2006 at our archive. We also break out the five-stogie rated sticks here. And the details on our rating system are here.
photo credit: N/A