It is time to bid a fond farewell to 2015 and another fine year for cigars. Before we start thinking about 2016 and all the new products that we anxiously await it’s time to take a look back at the past year. As much as Cigar Aficionado wants to play up their massive rating system, nothing beats the anticipated @abccigarmungo Top 5 of 2015!
Some interesting observations regarding the Cigar Aficionado Top 25 before I announce my choices; only three Cuban cigars made their top 25 this year. These three cigars ranged in price from $23-$31 per stick, which was also significantly higher than any of the remaining 22 cigars that hailed primarily from Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic. Nicaraguan tobacco seemed to dominate much of the top 25 with five puros making the list. I also noticed the list not being dominated by any one manufacturer but saw, instead, a lot of companies both small and large getting noticed. And the number one rated cigar was again a non-Cuban, with My Father Le Bijou 1922 Torpedo taking the top honors as a Nicaraguan puro and a heady 97 rating. Look for this outstanding smoke to hit our ABC humidors in the next few weeks! You can currently find the number 10 cigar, Liga Privada #9 Corona Doble and the number 20 cigar, Montecristo Espada Quillon, in several of our larger humidor stores.
The rating of cigars is a very subjective issue and what one person likes in a cigar another person may dislike. Personally I am not a big fan of the 1-100 rating system but for many folks this is what they look for. My top 5 picks are simply cigars that are available in most ABC humidors and my criteria tend towards smoothness, flavor, ring gauges under 60, and most importantly a cigar that when I finish smoking it makes me want to smoke it again.
That being said, here are my top 5 of 2015 in no particular order:
- La Aroma de Cuba mi Amor Magnifico
- EPC La Historia E-III
- Camacho American Barrel Aged Tubo
- Rocky Patel Royale Toro
- Liga Privada #9 Corona Doble
Honorable mention goes out to Montecristo White Vintage Connecticut #3, Padron 1964 Diplomatico Maduro, Oliva Melanio Serie V Figurado, Liga Undercrown Shade Gran Toro, and Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Presidente.
While I try to just talk about cigars available at ABC humidor stores, I must admit there are many other fine cigars I have smoked this past year that we currently don’t carry but I feel I must mention because they are absolutely outstanding. If you have the opportunity to come across these beauties you must give them a try: L’Atelier Lat 56, Davidoff Nicaragua Toro, Aging Room Quattro F55, Joya de Nicaragua Cabinetta Lancero, and Padron 50th Anniversary.
Happy New Year and stay smoky!
Steve Mungeer, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits category manager: premium cigars and craft beer, Certified Retail Tobacconist
Follow me on Twitter @abccigarmungo