Well ladies and gentlemen, the end of 2013 is upon us. It’s been a great year for Cigar King, and a great year for the cigar industry as a whole. We saw fantastic releases from Davidoff, Aging Room, Drew Estate, A. Flores, and numerous others. We hosted 39 fantastic tasting events and dinners with various manufactures and figures from the industry, and had a great time smoking and chatting with thousands of people that came through our store. We’d like to personally thank each and every one of you for coming out and making 2013 such a good time!
Everybody likes a year end list, so without further ado, here is ours:
12: Fratello by Fratello Cigars
The Fratello is one of the two new lines we brought in after trying it at IPCPR. The Fratello features a complex flavor profile made up of a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper, an Ecuadorian Sumatran binder, and filler comprised of Nicaraguan and Peruvian tobaccos. While all the flavors at play are excellent, the Peruvian filler offers an accentuation to the profile that you simply don’t find else where. This cigar is creamy and smooth, with a bit of pepper to keep things interesting.
11: L’Ateleir Maduro
We see countless cigars enter the humidor, and while most are quite enjoyable, few make us instantly think “this is going into the regular rotation”. The L’Ateleir Maduro is one of the few to make such an impact. Rich robust flavor, with a mixture of the classic maduro sweetness and the more modern maduro spice.
10: Camacho Diploma
There was never really any doubt that Davidoff would do great things with Camacho. Some skeptics wondered how a brand like Davidoff, known for mainly mild, cigars would handle a brand like Camacho, but those of us with enough experience knew that the minds at Davidoff knew enough to keep Camacho true to it’s roots. With the re-launch of Camacho over the summer, featuring exciting new branding and tweaked blends, the Diploma shined through as the crown jewel of the line. For a bold, rich smoke filled with nuances look no further.
9: A. Flores Gran Reserva 1975
Featuring a Nicaraguan 2006 Corojo wrapper, the Gran Reserva is arguably the most flavorful cigar released this year. Filled with incredibly powerful spice, and accentuated with earthy notes of wood, smoke, and and touch of sweetness in the finish. This cigar is nothing short of a masterpiece in the Half Corona size.
8: Drew Estate Nica Rustica
Arguably the most hyped cigar of 2013, the Nica Rustica stands out as the wild child of the Liga family. Fans of the Liga/Undercrown profiles who are looking for a bit more visceral, rough-around-the-edges smoke will find this to be exactly what they’re looking for. The Nica Rustica delivers the trademark Drew Estate thick, chewy mountains of smoke.
7: Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco
The Cuatro Cinco was the cigar commemorating the 45th anniversary of Joya de Nicaragua, the first Nicaraguan puro. This cigar encompasses everything that makes Nicaraguan tobacco so distinct. Earthy rich, creamy notes are the prominent characteristics of this cigar, with a distinct one of a kind blueberry sweetness and red pepper spice teasing as the most alluring aspect of the entertainment on display.
6: A. Flores AFR-75
Every great piece of art manages to capture part of the essence of it’s creator. While often intangible, you can certainly feel the passion infused in the cigar. The AFR-75, which bares the owners name – Abe Flores Rosario, is without a doubt Abe’s greatest work. Filled with rich, robust notes of chocolate and red pepper spice. This cigar walks the tightrope between power and refinement.
5: Aging Room M21 Fortissimo
Aging Room is known for putting out some of the most refined and nuanced cigars in the $6-$10 range. The Fortissimo is their first venture into the $10+ range, landing at $12.95 a stick. This cigar is the highlight of Aging Room’s lineup, a culmination of all the best aspects of the F55, M356, and the Havao.
4: Herrera Esteli
While the Herrera Esteli technically had a soft launched last November, it didn’t fully launch nationwide until earlier this year. This was the highly anticipated first release from Willy Herrera since he joined up the Drew Estate team. A very creamy, very Cuban-esque profile caresses the palate, with a smooth white pepper there to invigorate your senses.
3: Davidoff 25th Anniversary
The Davidoff 25th Anniversary is THE Davidoff to smoke. It manages to capture the essence of everything Davidoff has worked to achieve. I need not say more.
2: Avo Dominant 13th
Avo Uvezian has been delivering extremely tasty cigars to the market for over 20 years now. Known mainly for mild cigars featuring grassy floral notes, Avo knocked it out of the park earlier this year with the Avo Dominant 13th. A bit more on the medium side than typical Avo products, the Dominant 13th saturates the palate with near infinite nuance and depth. I’ve personally smoked upwards of 30 of the Dominant 13ths, I find something new to appreciate each and every time.
1: Davidoff Nicaragua
I felt a bit odd having essentially 3 Davidoff products taking the top three spots of this list, but there was really no way around it. Davidoff absolutely knocked it out of the park this year with three terrific cigars. A healthy dose of skepticism surrounded the release of this cigar, with it being Davidoff’s first Nicaraguan cigar, but let me assure you – the Davidoff Nicaragua delivers everything you could hope for. I’d say it’s safe to say this is the most balanced cigar on the market today. A wonderfully unique flavor profile, with a plethora of depth and nuance. This is the cigar of the year.
We’ve thrown together an assortment of some of our favorite photos from this year:
Again, Cigar King would like to thank all of you for making 2013 such a fantastic year! We’re incredibly fortunate to be able to indulge in our passion for cigars, watches, and luxury grooming, and we’re incredibly grateful that we get to help you indulge in your passions as well! Together we’ve created an environment that is truly special. We wish you all the best in 2014!