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StogieGuys.com’s Top Cigars of 2016 (Part I)

26 Dec 2016

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Each year, we round up the top cigars we reviewed over the past 12 months. Only a small number generate our highest rating: five stogies out of five, which signifies a cigar experience that is “truly an occasion” and worthy of your “full and undivided attention.”

Quite a few more cigars come close, rating four-and-a-half stogies out of five. This year, that honor went to a dozen cigars. It’s a rather remarkable mix, encompassing new and older smokes, high-end and budget price tags, small manufacturers and large operations, and limited editions along with wide releases. There’s a variety of tobacco blends, sizes, and strengths as well. During the year, we also awarded 43 cigars four stogies.

Since we don’t hew to a particular number, our top selections vary annually. Last year, for example, five cigars received five stogies, while 16 got four-and-a-half and 40 got four. The lineup in 2014 was four at the top and 15 with four-and-a-half. In 2013, just two got five-stogie ratings and 15 got four-and-a-half.

Here’s an alphabetical look at our selection of four-and-a-half stogies in 2016. We’ll follow up in a couple days with the year’s five-stogie smokes.

Black Label Trading Company NBK“I’m enamored with the flavors, I love the size, and I have no complaints about the presentation or physical properties.”

Davidoff Colorado Claro Aniversario No. 3“All in all, it is an excellent cigar, one with the complexity and strength to please a seasoned smoker while remaining accessible to a newcomer.”

Drew Estate Florida Sun Grown Limited Edition Trunk-Pressed Toro“The Florida Sun Grown Limited Edition Trunk-Pressed Toro is a joy to smoke.”

Drew Estate Liga Privada No. 9 Toro“When you get your hands on a Toro, though, you’ll find a highly pleasurable, full-bodied cigar with tons of flavor and a fair amount of spice.”

Las Cumbres Tabaco Señorial Corona Gorda No. 5: “After setting an even light with a single wood match, a toasty profile emerges with notes ranging from red pepper and cedar spice to cinnamon butter and dry wood.”

MBombay Gaaja Toro: “My advice is to enjoy this in a quiet, solitary environment with little distraction, and be prepared for a rewarding, distinctive experience.”

Mi Querida Fino Largo“It’s highly satisfying if you’re seeking something musty, earthy, rich, well-constructed, and—in the case of the Fino Largo, especially—strong.”

Ouroboros Lancero (Blue Havana Exclusive): “With superb combustion properties and a price tag around $9, this isn’t a cigar you want to miss—especially if, like me, you’re a fan of RoMa Craft Tobac.”

Partagas Ramon y Ramon Robusto: “The subtlety draws you deeper and deeper into the smoking experience.”

Sobremesa Corona Grande: “The complexity is palpable and highly enjoyable, and the sweetness of the resting smoke is mouth-wateringly intoxicating.”

Sobremesa Gran Imperiales“Just make sure you have enough time to smoke before you light it up; you won’t want to extinguish this large smoke before you hit the nub.”

Tatuaje K222“Once lit, you’ll find loads of powdery smoke with lots of oak, unsweetened chocolate, earth, and pepper spice.”

If you want to know more about our rating system, just click here. We maintain an alphabetical list of all our reviews (going back more than a decade) here, and a special list of five-stogie smokes here.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Happy Labor Day from the Stogie Guys

5 Sep 2016

Today presents the perfect opportunity to kick back, relax, and enjoy a fine cigar or two. We here at StogieGuys.com are taking our own advice, interrupting our coverage of cigar news, reviews, commentary, and tips to do what we do best—savor the pleasure that is premium tobacco. After all, you wouldn’t want us to be hypocritical, would you?

So happy Labor Day. We’ll resume our musings on the world of cigars tomorrow.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: N/A

Cigar Giveaway: Win a Box of CAO Pilón Cigars

24 Feb 2016

One saying goes, “The best cigar is the cigar you like the best.” Another says, “The best cigar is a free cigar.” This week we’re embracing the latter and hooking up our readers with some fine free cigars.

On Monday, our review of the Búho Primero Connecticut included the chance for two readers to win a sampler of Búho cigars. (It’s still not too late to enter.)

We’re also giving away a box of 20 CAO Pilón Coronas. And if the randomly selected winner happens to be a dues-paying member of Cigar Rights of America, we’ll add a bonus prize, including cigars from our personal humidor and some cool cigar swag.

The giveaway is being run completely through the StogieGuys.com Facebook page. Details on how to enter (it takes approximately 60 seconds to do so) can be found in this Facebook post, which we’ve embedded below.

Free Giveaway: WIN this box of cigars (Details below)We're giving away a box of 20 CAO Pilón Coronas ($120 value)…

Posted by StogieGuys.com on Monday, February 22, 2016

The Stogie Guys

Happy (Cigar-Filled) New Year from StogieGuys.com!

31 Dec 2015

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From all of us at StogieGuys.com, we want to wish you a happy and healthy 2016 filled with many fine cigars! We’re taking a few days off to celebrate the new year with friends and family, but we’ll be right back here on Monday with more cigar reviews, news, interviews, commentaries, and tips in what will be our tenth year covering the world of cigars.

Until then, you can follow us on our official Twitter feed, on Instagram, and on Facebook, or you can sign up for our free email newsletter.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Flickr

StogieGuys.com’s Top Cigars of 2015 (Part II)

29 Dec 2015

Throughout the year, we smoked scores of cigars, and six of them achieved our top rating. That’s one more than last year and three times as many as in 2013.

Obviously, our top rating isn’t easy to get. Our system, which we’ve been using for nearly ten years) notes the five-stogies-out-of-five rating is reserved for cigars that are “tasty, complex” and “truly an occasion,” deserving “your full and undivided attention.” We think you’ll find these half dozen clear that high bar.

Two of our top-rated cigars for 2015 were also among the most anticipated: Nick Melillo’s El Güegüense and Steve Saka’s Sobremesa.

Reviewing the Robusto, I found “El Güegüense more than lives up to expectations.” Smoking the Sobremasa Cervantes Fino, my colleague called it “full-bodied, complex, and balanced with loads of rich flavor and a delicate peppery zing.”

Two others were from Tatuaje, a regular on our five-stogie list: the Black Robusto and the Havana VI Verocu No. 1.

My other colleague reviewed the Black Robusto. It was, he wrote, “the best of the bunch when it comes to the recent-era Tatuaje Blacks.” I found the new Verocu every bit as good as its predecessors, highlighting “smoothness and balance, as the flavors move and shift throughout the smoke.”

Another list regular, Don Gioloto’s Illusione, scored with the Singulare LE 2014 Anunnaki. For my colleague, this Singulare was “very similar to the Epernay, but with more sweetness and a velvety texture.”

The sixth spot was also held by a widely known name in cigars, José Blanco. His Las Cumbres Tabaco Señorial Paco Robusto is, according to my colleague, “the kind of cigar that makes you want to light up another as soon as it’s finished.”

If you’re looking for more suggestions, all of our five-stogie sticks through the years are here, and an alphabetical compilation of all reviews is here. And lastly, please keep in mind this best-of list is restricted not to cigars that were introduced in 2015, but rather cigars we reviewed in 2015.

George E

photo credit: N/A

StogieGuys.com’s Top Cigars of 2015 (Part I)

28 Dec 2015

We smoked a lot of cigars in 2015, many of them truly wonderful. A handful got our top five-stogie rating, but more came awfully close. In fact, 16 cigars scored four-and-a-half stogies, while 40 earned four stogies. As we end the year with our traditional look back, we’ll focus first on those smokes that just missed the top slot. Tomorrow, we’ll come back with a look at the six that landed at the pinnacle.

The 4.5-stogie rated cigars span a wide range of manufacturers, blenders, strengths, and sizes. They’re listed in alphabetical order:

Abaddon Lancero (Blue Havana Exclusive): “An easy recommendation and a solid complement to an after-dinner serving of high-proof bourbon.”

Aging Room M19 Fortissimo Preferido: “May be the smoothest Fortissimo yet.”

Añoranzas Toro: “A box-worthy full-bodied cigar that’s consistent, complex, and downright delicious.”

Avo Heritage Short Robusto: “Beginning with cedar and a hint of the hay and grass common to many Davidoff productions, there’s quickly quite a bit of spice.”

Boutique Blends La Bohème Mimi: “Another virtuoso performance for Boutique Blends.”

Byron Serie Siglo XX Londinenses: “The flavors are as numerous as they are harmonious, and the experience is downright memorable.”

Exactus Puro Ambar Short Robusto: “If you like bold, spicy cigars, this is one to try.”

Fratello Bianco Event Exclusive: “As the cigar progresses, the complexity deepens with the additions of creamy nut, damp earth, and a dried fruit sweetness.”

Guayacan Sabor de Esteli Habana Robusto: “Teeming with taste and abundant in complexity.”

Illusione Fune d’Amour Viejos: “The flavors are a whirlwind combination of dry woodiness, hay, roast nuts, light honey, and maybe a hint of muted black pepper.”

Kilo Toro: “Balanced, cool-burning, interesting, unique, and superbly constructed.”

La Palina H-Town Lancero: “The initial profile is creamy, nutty, and bready with a significant kick of cayenne spice on the finish.”

Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2015 LC46: “A complex smoke that began with roasted nuts, dry cocoa, and a little back-of-the-throat spice.”

Nestor Miranda Collection One Life Edition Danno Habano: “No doubt concentration will pay off in what you experience with this complex cigar.”

Padrón Serie 1964 Exclusive Natural: “You get a high-quality stick with balanced, medium-bodied flavors for your money.”

Tatuaje La Verite Churchill 2008: “Balance is wonderful and the texture is bready. The taste is bright and vibrant.”

You’ll find an explanation of our rating system here and a curated listing of our five-stogie selections through the years here. An alphabetical compilation of all reviews (spanning almost ten years!) is here. And lastly, please keep in mind this best-of list is restricted not to cigars that were introduced in 2015, but rather cigars we reviewed in 2015.

George E

photo credit: N/A

Happy New Year from StogieGuys.com!

1 Jan 2015

We’re celebrating the beginning of 2015. Naturally, we’ll be doing so with a few cigars, and we hope you do the same. We’ll return on Saturday, January 3. Until then, you can follow us on our official Twitter feed, on Facebook, or you can sign up for our free email newsletter. Happy New Year!

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: N/A