I smoke roughly 250 cigars a year. My wife, an angel, has simply accepted that planning vacations around the caliber of local cigar lounges is now a way of life. Only for the next 50 years or so.
When you walk in most humidors, the standard cigars are there to greet you. Montecristo, Rocky Patel Vintage 90 and 92, Cohiba Red Dot, Perdomo Lot 23, flavored cigars (judgment passed) and so on and so forth. While all of these cigars are good, they can be a bit predictable. I LOVE finding cigars that are new releases or simply underrated to fill my humidor. Here’s what I am into lately:
Diesel Rage – This cigar has one of the most unique flavors of any cigar I have smoked and is definitely in my all-time top 10 list. Diesel, a product of AJ Fernandez, consistently produces some of the best tasting yet underrated cigars on the market. The Rage has a Habano Oscuro wrapper with Nicaraguan filler. If you like a medium to full bodied cigar, check this one out. It tastes completely different from anything else you’ve ever smoked and won’t disappoint.
Ave Maria Reconquista – The Reconquista is hands-down one of the most beautiful cigars on the market. While not cheap (3 for $50), each cigar comes in a cedar coffin box, secured with the Ave Maria seal on the side. The Reconquista is a FULL BODIED cigar sporting a dark Brazilian wrapper. While the cigar is quite strong, it has a rich chocolate-coffee flavor that compliments its strength. I have found that cigarbid.com tends to have the best deals on these. This cigar is number 3 on my all-time best cigar list.
Flor De San Andres – While the Mexican grown San Andres wrapper is one of the more popular wrappers in modern cigars, this one takes it to the next level. Flor De San Andres, a Rocky Patel product, simply is one of the best San Andres wrapped cigar on the market. The San Andres wrapper gives a cigar a very distinct, toothy, full-bodied flavor, yet Rocky was able to find the perfect binder and filler to accent its strength. This cigar tends to be one of the more reasonably priced sticks on this list.
Long Live The King Mad MF – Caldwell, the maker of Long Live The King Mad MF, is an up and coming boutique brand, famous for their collaborations with other cigar makers and beautiful cigar bands. The Mad MF is an encore to the regular Long Live The King, a much milder yet equally tasty cigar. Long Live The King Mad MF sports a Mexican San Andres wrapper and is a limited edition release that is simply a must-try before production runs out. The Mad MF is a medium to full bodied smoke, yet a little stronger than the Flor De San Andres. As an aside, Caldwell consistently has the best looking cigar bands on the market.
Ashton Symmetry – Erick Erickson and I recently went to Davidoff in Buckhead to kill some time before his radio program. I have been there many times and have smoked a bunch of their sticks but keep going back to this one. The Symmetry is by far the mildest on this list with a beautiful Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and an even prettier band. Even though Cigars International rates this as a medium to full-bodied smoke, I call this a classic medium bodied cigar. If you are looking for something a little higher end ($16) yet not crazy strong, try this one.
What cigars are you smoking lately? Let me know.