Search results: "the best new cigars of 2010"

Stogie Commentary: The Best New Cigars of 2010 (Part II)

18 Nov

Yesterday, my colleague highlighted four excellent cigars that debuted at this year’s International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) Trade Show. Today I reveal the second half of our series on the best new cigars of 2010.

Narrowing our list proved difficult, so we’ve focused on new lines (excellent extensions, like the Tatuaje 7th don’t qualify). Below are four more of our favorites from the 2010 IPCPR, listed in no particular order.

Avo Heritage: Avo departed from its previous lines with the four-size Heritage. The brand may be known more for its mild and medium-bodied smokes, but Heritage is a full-bodied tour de force, with plenty of leather, cinnamon, pepper, cocoa, and cream. With excellent construction, it’s a welcome new addition to the Avo family.

E.P. Carrillo Core Line: Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, creator of La Gloria Cubana, burst back on the scene in 2009 with the Edición Inaugural, followed in 2010 by the Short Run.  The highly anticipated, six-size “Core Line” was released at the trade show, utilizing an Ecuadorian wrapper around a Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Its well-balanced, medium-bodied profile of cedar, cream, and earth earned positive reviews.

Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor: Made by Don Pepin Garcia at his My Father Cigars factory in Nicaragua, this new member of the Aroma de Cuba family features a dark, oily San Andreas wrapper around Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. With a sharp box press, the $5-8 cigars look like a bar of dark chocolate. And they sort of taste that way, too, with bittersweet chocolate, cream, and nutty notes.

Room 101 Conjura Ltd: Matt Booth, the man behind Room 101, may be known for his flashy style, but his new Conjura blend has plenty of substance. The box-pressed line features a rustic rosado wrapper, a Honduran binder, and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican. It’s a savory smoke, with classic Honduran spice, leather, and a hint of graham sweetness. With excellent construction, fans of complex spice will want to seek out Conjura before the 50,000-cigar run sells out.

So there you have it: our favorite cigars from this year’s IPCPR. Keep in mind that while the team has sampled many of this year’s new releases, we haven’t yet had the time to thoroughly examine everything that debuted in 2010. But from what we’ve sampled so far these eight are the top standouts. If you think we’ve missed a new cigar, please let us know in the comments.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Stogie Commentary: The Best New Cigars of 2010 (Part I)

17 Nov

In August, traveled to New Orleans to report live from the 78th annual International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) Trade Show—the premier industry convention where cigar makers from around the world showcase their products and debut their new creations.

Dozens and dozens of reviews were published after the trade show concluded as the online cigar community and the mainstream cigar media scrambled to satiate readers’ appetites for information on the newest market entrants. True, over sixty percent of the reviews published in the last three months have been of 2010 IPCPR debuts. The dust is finally starting to settle. As it does, we reflect on the trade show and reveal our favorite new releases to date. They are listed below in no particular order.

J. Fuego Origen: While several limited edition Origen vitolas were leaked to the market over the last two years, the full Origen lineup wasn’t officially introduced until this summer. It boasts 100% Cuban-seed corojo tobaccos with a Costa Rican binder, a two-country filler blend from Honduras and Nicaragua, and a toothy Brazilian wrapper. The blend yields excellent combustion qualities and flavors of coffee beans, nuts, dry wood, and sweet caramel. The Lancero ($6-7 apiece) is particularly enjoyable.

La Aurora Guillermo León: This line just keeps getting better the more you smoke it. The blend’s namesake, La Aurora Vice President Guillermo León, says he “wanted something with deep complexity yet also a stronger smoke than most of our offerings.” The result is a dual binder, Ecuadorian habano-wrapped treasure that burns well and sells in the $7-10 range. Flavors range from milk chocolate and spice to earth and syrup. Be on the lookout for this cigar as it starts hitting tobacconist shelves nationwide.

Toraño Single Region Serie Jalapa: To construct this unique offering, the Toraño Family Cigar Company applied a vintner’s approach to cigars, using tobaccos grown on one carefully selected farm. The intention, according to a press release, is to have the blend’s flavor and aroma reflect the influence of a single region’s soil, weather, and topography. The experiment produced a reddish, well-built cigar with a medium-bodied profile of tea, leather, toffee, cream, and nuts. The Single Region’s three traditional sizes sell for less than $7.

San Lotano Habano: A.J. Fernandez’s first solo, nationally distributed project is San Lotano, a revived Cuban brand that’s available in three versions: Connecticut, Maduro, and Habano. The latter is the best, displaying a complex array of flavors like cedar, roast coffee, leather, and caramel. Its Brazilian, Honduran, Nicaraguan, and Dominican tobaccos burn well. The San Lotano Habano may be best in the Toro format, which sells for $8.

While the team has sampled many of this year’s new releases, we haven’t yet had the time to thoroughly examine everything that debuted at the 2010 IPCPR Trade Show. So please feel free to let us know if we’ve missed one of your favorites. Meanwhile, check back tomorrow as my colleague reveals the second half of our favorite 2010 releases.

Patrick A

photo credit: IPCPR

Stogie Reviews: Avo Heritage Robusto

7 Oct

If you thought of Avo as a predominantly mild brand, up until two years ago you’d be right. But recently Avo has taken on a more full-bodied edge, first with its 2009 and 2010 Limited Editions, and now with the Avo Heritage.

Avo HeritageIntroduced at the IPCPR Trade Show in August, the Avo Heritage is a four-size line with a Churchill (6.75 x 48), a Toro (6 x 50), a Short Robusto (4 x 56), and the Robusto (4.9 x 50) that is the subject of this review. Each costs $7-9 (this Robusto ran me $8 at a local Virginia shop).

The blend features Dominican binder and filler tobaccos with the same Ecuadorian sungrown wrapper that Avo featured in its 2009 “Compañero” Limited Edition. It is a dark, oily stick with a few prominent veins. A pre-light draw reveals musty notes and some spicy leather on the lips.

Once lit, the flavor is full-bodied with an intriguing mix of tastes. Leather, cinnamon, mustiness, peppery spice, cream, and cocoa are all evident.

Towards the final third, bready flavors are introduced as the peppery spice fades. What was once a full-bodied smoke loses a bit of its power but adds finesse as the profile takes on more rounded, balanced characteristics.

It’s very enjoyable smoke with commendable combustion qualities. Only one of my samples required a slight touch-up for an uneven burn. With an abundance of complexity, strength, and finesse, the AVO Heritage Robusto shines as one of the best new cigars of 2010 and earns an impressive rating of four and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys