Binny's Top 25 Cigars of 2012
Posted: February 04, 2013
#1 Oliva Serie V Melanio Robusto 5x52 The latest addition to the Serie V line is the Oliva Serie V Melanio, named after the family's patriach, Melanio Oliva. This new cigar places an emphasis on tobacco grown in Nicaragua's famed Jalapa region and is blended using expertly fermented ligero fillers, leaves known for their robust and rich flavors. The wrapper is grown from a proprietary seed by Oliva in Ecuador and is put through a rigorous hand selection process in order to choose only the finest leaves. Five years in the making, this special cigar is sure to exceed your highest expectations.
#2 La Aroma De Cuba Mi Amor Reserva Maximo 5.5x54 La Aroma De Cuba is one of the hottest and fastest growing cigar brands in the world today. The release of the Mi Amor Reserva will only add to that. This cigar is blended and manufactured by Jose and Jaime Garcia at their state-of-the-art factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. Gorgeous chocolaty-brown Oscuro wrappers grown in Mexico from Cuban seeds accompany a beautifully-bold blend of the finest, most diligently aged Nicaraguan tobaccos. Full-bodied in strength, this new masterpiece boats a rich and decadent flavor-profile defined by regal notes of earth, spice, cedar, and a luscious chocolaty finish.
#3 Marca Binny's Seleccion Limitada Primeros 6.5x54 In order to create a great cigar you need to go to a great cigar maker and that's why we approached Ernesto Perez-Carrillo with the idea of making us a limited edition cigar that could stand up to any other name brand on today's market. A great cigar is what he made and we could not be any more pleased with the end result. Our Marca Binny's Seleccion Limitada Primeros uses tobaccos grown in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Brazil that have been aged for a minimum of five years. This combination puts forth an extremely well-balanced medium to full-bodied cigar that exudes flavors of caramel, coffee bean, cafe con leche, and sweet cedar. Only 500 boxes were produced with each box being individually numbered.
#4 E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Series 54 Natural 6x54 The Cardinal Series was created to round out E.P. Carrillo's portfolio and add a true full-bodied cigar to their already great lineup of smokes. The blend uses all Nicaraguan inner-components that come from three different farms and are finished off with an Ecuador Sumatra wrapper. While the cigar is considered to be full-bodied, it's exquisitely smooth and maintains an excellent balance from beginning to end. It's rich, loaded with sweet tobacco notes and flavors of caramel and coffee with a subtle spice on the finish. Another winner from one of the greatest cigar blenders today and a cigar that will continue to get better with time as does a fine Bordeaux.
#5 Gran Habano Gran Reserva 2010 #5 Gran Robusto 6x54 For the past couple of years, the makers of Gran Habanos have put their best tobaccos together and released a limited edition line of cigars. This year's release boasts all Nicaraguan tobacco that's been aged for over 6 years and has further been segregated by grade. The end result is a masterpiece that's brilliantly blended together in a harmonious flavor medley. The blend is medium-bodied yet extremely rich and perfectly balanced. It expresses unique flavors of vanilla, raisins, sweet wood, milk chocolate, and cream that hit your palate together in a perfect manner. This is George Rico's greatest blend to date!
#6 Nestor Miranda Gran Reserva 2012 Torpedo 6.125x52 This is the second release from Nestor Miranda and his Gran Reserva Limited Edition line that's made by Jose Pepin Garcia at his My Father cigar factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. This year's version has been beefed up and uses a much darker Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper which comes from a higher priming off the plant. The cigar is loaded with dark chocolate notes along with black cherry, earth, spice, and cedar. These box-pressed Torpedos come packaged ten to a box and are limited to a total production of only 1,000 boxes.
#7 La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Tabaqueros 538 5x38 This Panatela measures only 5x38 but the flavors it possesses can equal those of a cigar twice its size. A beautiful cigar that wears two wrappers, a Connecticut shade that covers the first one third and a Habano that covers the remaining two thirds, this is no novelty. This cigar delivers and delivers in a big way. It's loaded with multiple flavor notes that range from cream, tea leaf, coffee, citrus, and touches of spice. This is the ideal short smoke!
#8 Four Kicks Sublime 6x54 Four Kicks is the creation of former C.A.O. executives Jon Huber and Mike Conder who shortly after leaving the corporate world started their own cigar company and named it Crowned Heads. Their first release, Four Kicks, is blended and manufactured by the one and only Ernesto Perez-Carrillo down in the Dominican Republic. The blend, being medium to full-bodied, consists of Nicaraguan filler and binder tobaccos that are finished in a gorgeous Ecuadorian Habano wrapper leaf. From first glance, the cigar draws you in with its old-world, Cuban-style packaging and bands reflective of Cuban Juan Lopez' but the real beauty of this cigar is its rich and sophisticated smoke.
#9 Flor De Las Antillas Toro Gordo 6.5x56 Flor de Las Antillas is a cigar blended and produced by the Garcia family in their My Father factory down in Esteli, Nicaragua. From the type of seed varieties used in the blend to the early 20th century packaging, this brand gets its inspiration from the island of Cuba who's long been known as The Flower of the Antilles. This medium to full-bodied Nicaraguan puro comes box-pressed and possesses a unique flavor profile unlike anything else that has been produced by the Garcia family. It displays a core of coffee that's surrounded by other notes such as cream, sweet cedar, leather, and hints of caramel. Even though this cigar has only been on the market for less than one year, it's already made a huge impact with consumers and has established itself in today's cigar industry as one of the top smokes.
#10 Macanudo Vintage 2006 Robusto 5.5x50 Nearly 30 years ago, General Cigar created its first Macanudo Vintage cigar to spotlight an exceptional wrapper leaf developed in part by Mother Nature herself. Today, the vintage tradition continues, guided by meticulous aging and precise monitoring techniques, which have been handed down throughout the years. As vintage crops are born, not made, the 2006 Connecticut Shade wrapper crop was deemed to have been blessed by exemplary climatic conditions, possessing the very attributes of the rare Macanudo Vintage crops before it. This mild to medium-bodied cigar puts on a show with its arsenal of flavors that seem to dance on the palate for moments at a time.
#11 Inch Natural #64 by E.P.C. 6.125x64 Created to meet the demand of today's market for big ring cigars, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo produced a line fittingly called Inch. This is nothing new to Ernesto who years ago also created the La Gloria Cubana Serie R. A line of larger ring gauge smokes that took the cigar industry by storm in a time when such a thing was unheard of. The Inch Natural uses Dominican and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos held together with a Nicaraguan binder and finished with an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. The blend is medium-bodied and displays a complex mix of flavors that range from cocoa, sweet spice, roasted nuts, and a touch of leather. Nobody does large ring cigars better than Ernesto and the Inch is another fine creation by the man himself.
#12 Padron 1964 Anniversary Exclusivo Maduro 5.5x50 Here's a company that needs no introduction. Padron cigars have been a favorite of many for years and their cigars have consistently received some of the highest ratings from numerous cigar publications. The Exclusivo Maduro has been one of their most consistent and best selling sizes of all time. This all Nicaraguan blend portrays the best that this tobacco growing country has to offer and the Padrons, year in and year out, put forth a display of consistency seldom seen in this industry. A true cigar masterpiece is what to expect when you light a Padron, each and every time.
#13 Alec Bradley Black Market Gordo 6x60 With today's trend in brand loyalty, not too many cigars can claim they have a following that's as strong, if not stronger, as the day they first hit the market. Alec Bradley's Black Market has broken that trend and has become a line that's withstood the test of time. Released nearly two years ago, the folks over at Alec Bradley hit the nail on the head with this blend and gave consumers everything they're looking for in a cigar, a great smoke at a great price. Simple concept but there's nothing simple about this cigar as it's one of the finest smokes available today. The blend is made up of filler tobacco from Panama and Honduras with a Sumatra binder that's finished with a Nicaraguan wrapper. A medium-bodied cigar that displays flavors of black cherry, dark chocolate, earth, spice, and coffee.
#14 Asylum 13 7x70 Don't let the name or size fool you as this is no novelty. As a matter of fact, this has been the hottest selling cigar from this year's IPCPR show. A giant that measures a whopping 7 inches by 70mm! The blend consists of all Nicaraguan tobaccos that have been aged long enough to produce a well-balanced, medium-bodied cigar. There are flavors of spice, nutmeg, dark chocolate, and leather that brilliantly come together to make up this extraordinary smoke. This is definitely a large cigar lover's dream come true!
#15 Curivari Seleccion Privada Maduro Eminentes 5.5x52 Curivari is an extremely small cigar manufacturer that's been gaining popularity with cigar enthusiasts due to their quality products. Their latest line, the Seleccion Privada Maduro, has been catching people's attention with its gorgeous Maduro wrapper. The cigars produced by Curivari have a traditional look to them with a smoke that's unlike many cigars available today. The new Maduro is made up of all Nicaraguan tobacco that's contracted from the major tobacco grower Aganorsa and is medium to full-bodied. They display a broad amount of flavors that range from sweet cocoa, coffee, cedar, and roasted nuts. Due to their small company status, they can easily be overlooked but it's a cigar that you should definitely pick up and try.
#16 Anoranza Toro 6x52 Introduced at this year's IPCPR trade show, Anoranza was definitely drawing some attention with its beautiful packaging and phenomenal blend. Blended and produced by the Garcia family at their My Father factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, the cigar displays flavors that only this leading cigar maker can produce. This Nicaraguan puro puts on a show with an array of chocolate, coffee, and sweet cedar flavors that are accompanied with light notes of raisins and nuts. This is a very simple looking cigar but don't let its looks fool you as it's truly a flavor bomb.
#17 Aganorsa Leaf Box-Pressed Maduro El Supremo 6x58 Made by Casa Fernandez, this is the first cigar in their portfolio to use tobacco in their blend outside of what they grow themselves. The wrapper comes from Mexico's famed San Andres region and it accompanies tobaccos from Nicaragua's Jalapa valley. The smoke is medium to full-bodied and comes box-pressed. The core flavors are cocoa and espresso with other notes of roasted nuts and sweet wood. A delicious expression of what Aganorsa tobacco can produce when accompanied with tobaccos from countries outside of Nicaragua.
#18 Quesada Jalapa Prominente 7.625x49 This 1,000 box production cigar was made using the same filler and binder tobaccos that were used in the famed Quesada Espana, a cigar made exclusively for the Spanish market. The difference between the two cigars comes by the way of the wrapper of which the Jalapa receives its from Nicaragua. The smoke is medium-bodied and very complex. There are beautifully balanced notes of café con leche, roasted coffee bean, and vanilla. As good as this cigar currently is, it's hard to believe that it has the ability to get even better with some time underneath it. Definitely box worthy!
#19 S.T.K. Zulu Zulu Habano Lancero 7.5x40 If you appreciate great flavor in a cigar then it won't matter the size format it comes in. Blended by George Rico of Gran Habano cigars, this Lancero is as flavorful as they come. Wrapped with a silky Nicaraguan Habano wrapper that covers the all Nicaraguan inner-components, this smoke presents itself elegantly with not just size but with the type of smoke as well. Medium-bodied and loaded with sophisticated notes of caramel, cappuccino, nutmeg, and almonds, this cigar keeps your palate on edge and asking for more. While this a size that's overlooked at times, this particular Lancero shouldn't because rarely will you find one as good as this.
#20 Kristoff Corojo Limitada Matador 6.5x56 The new Corojo Limitada is for the fan of Nicaraguan tobacco. Nearly a puros Nicaraguan blend, this medium to full-bodied cigar is loaded with spice, nutmeg, toasted nut, and a sweet-spicy finish. Made with 100% Habano seed tobacco that is double and triple fermented, the Corojo Limitada maintains the Kristoff tradition of flavor and smoothness. That's Kristoff's signature and it's definitely evident in this blend.
#21 Avion Short Perfecto 2012 5.625x52 The beautiful Avion Short Perfecto 2012 is the follow-up release to its larger brother from the previous year, the Perfecto Grande. The blend derives from the Fausto line and is compiled of Nicaraguan Ligero filler and a double Nicaraguan binder that's all wrapped up with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. The blend is strong and loaded with those signature spices and pepper notes that Pepin cigars are known for. You'll also notice nice coffee and chocolate notes throughout the smoke that simply make this cigar more appealing. With so much backbone in the blend, this cigar will simply get better with age and show you how time can change things.
#22 Ashton VSG Pegasus 5.5x54 For those who desire a powerful and intoxicating flavor with a complex rich finish, look no further than the Ashton VSG. The VSG is blended exclusively for Ashton by Carlos Fuente Jr. using 4 to 5 year old aged Dominican tobacco taken from the finest and most fertile plants. The distinct flavor of VSG comes from its wrapper grown on a private estate in Ecuador owned by the Oliva family where this proprietary leaf is grown for the Fuente Family exclusively for Ashton VSG. The result is a bold yet balanced smoke that gets more enticing with every puff. The Pegasus, along with the Wizard and Eclipse, is third round size in the VSG line.
#23 Arturo Fuente Hemingway Work Of Art Maduro 4.875x56 Hemingway cigars have been known for years for their consistent smoke and the use of the finest Cameroon wrapper available. Every so often or so, certain sizes within the Hemingway line are made with a Connecticut Broadleaf and the Work of Art is one of those sizes. The use of this Maduro leaf completely changes the blend around and delivers an entirely new smoking experience. The cigar remains medium-bodied and displays beautiful notes earth, black cherry, tea, and wood. A classic smoke that's made by one of the leading cigar making family's in the world!
#24 Partagas 1845 Gigante 6x60 Partagas 1845 is full-flavored with a medium-bodied taste profile. Bearing hints of coffee and cocoa, this unique smoking experience sits firmly between the mild and aromatic flavor of classic Partagas and the strong, sweet taste of Partagas Black Label. All the tobaccos used in Partagas 1845 undergo lengthy aging and fermentation. As such, this rich and complex smoke is destined to appeal to the most discriminating of premium cigar smokers.
#25 CLE Corojo 11/18 6x52 This is the new brand from Christian Eiroa, the man who first brought us Camacho. CLE, which stands for Christian's initials, carries the same quality characteristics as the premium cigars he brought us years ago, rich cigars with excellent quality and at a great price. The Corojo is made with an Ecuadorian wrapper that's derived from Cuban Corojo seeds and covers filler and binder leaves from Honduras. The result is a medium to full-bodied smoke that displays rich cocoa, sweet spice, earth, and creamy notes.