With this being the last day of 2013, now is a good time to reflect, as well as look ahead. To that end, it’s common for my colleagues and I at StogieGuys.com to take a look at the cigars we awarded top ratings to. In other words, the cigars that received the heralded five stogies out of five rating in the past year.
This year there were but two, and, coincidentally, both reviewed by me:
— Arturo Fuente King T Rosado Sun Grown: “From the first rich puffs to the finger-burning last, the cigar is a powerful pleasure.”
— La Flor Dominicana Limitado V: “A terrific cigar with more changes than a Rockette in the Christmas show.”
In addition to the two cigars that received our highest rating in 2013, fifteen came close, earning the impressive rating of 4.5 stogies:
— Abaddon (Blue Havana Exclusive): “One of the more interesting cigars I’ve smoked this year.”
— Curivari El Gran Rey Belicoso: “I can see why this small manufacturer has gained such a large reputation.”
— Dante Canto VI Asmodeus: “While Dante puts itself in some pretty exclusive company with that price, it’s not out of its league.”
— Drew Estate Herrera Estelí Short Corona: “Cubanesque and a wonderful buy.”
— Drew Estate Liga Privada Único Serie UF-13 Dark: “Dark flavors with charred oak and lots of powdery earth.”
— J. Grotto Reserve Lancero Limitado: “An impressive smoke worth seeking out, even if finding it may be difficult.”
— Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco: “It’s traditional in flavor yet somehow also unique, powerful, and nuanced.”
— La Musa Mοῦσα Toro: “The quality, subtlety, and balance of the blend cannot be denied.”
— Ouroboros (Blue Havana Exclusive): “A dense, leathery flavor with pepper spice, coffee bean, earth, and traces of bitterness.”
— Reinado Grand Empire Reserve Elegidos: “Unique, flavorful, and spirited.”
— Sencillo Platinum Pirámide: “It makes you want to fire up another as soon as you’re done with the first.”
— Swag Elite: “It’s nicely balanced and smooth. And the flavors are diverse.”
— Tatuaje The Mummy: “A creamy profile of peanut, white pepper, clove, and dry cinnamon.”
— Tesa Picadura King Connecticut Robusto: “Mild, harmonious, and well-balanced with an interesting interplay between sweetness and spice.”
— Tesa Picadura King Habano 5.5 x 48: “I absolutely love what the Picadura King Habano brings to the table for such a reasonable price.”
As a matter of perspective, two is by far the fewest five-stogie ratings in a calendar year since StogieGuys.com’s mid-2006 founding, and I was surprised. I know I smoked a lot of excellent cigars in 2013. And I’m sure my colleagues would agree.
But the more I thought about it, the more sense I think it makes. I believe the ratings are a reflection of the fact that there are more terrific cigars available now than ever before. Not only do high-quality boutique brands continue to proliferate, the industry giants are experimenting and creating smokes far beyond their regular high-production lines. And it’s easier for more smokers to get more cigars. Cigars that once were nearly impossible to find are available at more and more tobacco shops as well as online, with several specialty sellers offering extraordinary selections. So, it takes more for a cigar to truly stand out from its peers.
At least, that’s the way it seems to me. I know I smoked a lot of excellent cigars this year. I’m looking forward to smoking even more in 2014.
You’ll find our complete list of five-stogie rated smokes here, as well as our complete archive of reviews here. Take a look, and let us know what you think. And, finally, keep in mind the above cigars are simply the best smokes we reviewed this year, not necessarily our take on the best cigars to come out in 2013.
photo credit: N/A