Cigar King – Top 12 Cigars of the Year and Year End Round-up

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

Fratello Cigar

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

L'Atelier 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

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

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

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

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

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 M-21 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

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

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 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

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:

Nish Patel firing up his new Bold by Nish Patel at our launch party!

Nish Patel firing up his new Bold by Nish Patel at our launch party!

A very special shipment arrives.

A very special shipment arrives.

Barry from Alec Bradley chatting it up in our humidor!

Barry from Alec Bradley chatting it up in our humidor!

Willy Herrera, Dirty Fabian, and myself at our Drew Estate event! We're smoking Willy's new unreleased blend!

Willy Herrera, Dirty Fabian, and myself at our Drew Estate event! We’re smoking Willy’s new unreleased blend!

Jesus Fuego, Abe Flores, and some of the Cigar King staff at our dinner at The Sanctuary Spa and Resort!

Jesus Fuego, Abe Flores, and some of the Cigar King staff at our dinner at The Sanctuary Spa and Resort!

Guests attending our J. Fuego dinner at The Sanctuary!

Guests attending our J. Fuego dinner at The Sanctuary!

Sitting aboard the very snazzy Zino Platinum Mobile Cigar Lounge!

Sitting aboard the very snazzy Zino Platinum Mobile Cigar Lounge!

The crowd at our Davidoff event!

The crowd at our Davidoff event!

Another crowd shot from the Davidoff party!

Another crowd shot from the Davidoff party!

 

Paul from Jean Richard and AZ Fine Time guru Joe Kirk giving a run down of the Jean Richard lines.

Paul from Jean Richard and AZ Fine Time guru Joe Kirk giving a run down of the Jean Richard lines.

Some of the absolutely gorgeous Jean Richards on display.

Some of the absolutely gorgeous Jean Richards on display.

AZ Fine Time guru Joe Kirk, Paul from Jean Richard, and Pam from Davidoff!

AZ Fine Time guru Joe Kirk, Paul from Jean Richard, and Pam from Davidoff!

Our owner Mitchel, our good friend David, and Paul from Jean Richard!

Our owner Mitchel, our good friend David, and Paul from Jean Richard!

 

Grand Seiko Master Builder assembling a spring drive movement!

Grand Seiko Master Builder assembling a spring drive movement!

Joe and Mitchel with several members of the Seiko team!

Joe and Mitchel with several members of the Seiko team!

The whole Seiko team!

The whole Seiko team!

Joe Kirk being gifted a Seiko Astron Kintaro Hattori from Seiko!

Joe Kirk being gifted a Seiko Astron Kintaro Hattori from Seiko!

A beautiful Audi R8 with all of the available Carbon Fiber options!

A beautiful Audi R8 with all of the available Carbon Fiber options!

R8 rear profile.

R8 rear profile.

 

2014 Porsche Panamera GTS and a 2014 Porsche Boxster S!

2014 Porsche Panamera GTS and a 2014 Porsche Boxster S!

 

An Aston Martin Vanquish.

An Aston Martin Vanquish.

 

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia

 

Side profile of the 458 Italia

Side profile of the 458 Italia

 

2014 Ferrari 458 Spyder!

2014 Ferrari 458 Spyder!

 

Rear of the 458. Good lord.

Rear of the 458. Good lord.

 

A hell of a duo.

A hell of a duo.

A 911 Turbo S and an Aston Martin DB9! Another beautiful pair.

A 911 Turbo S and an Aston Martin DB9! Another beautiful pair.

 

Mercedes SL63 AMG in the rain!

Mercedes SL63 AMG in the rain!

A Mercedes SLR McLaren. A very rare beast.

A Mercedes SLR McLaren. A very rare beast.

 

Another angle of this mythical unicorn.

Another angle of this mythical beast.

 

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!

About Joseph Carroll

I am an enthusiast of all things cigars – from the experience of smoking, to becoming engrossed in their culture. In an age increasingly dominated by technology and automated manufacturing, I consciously strive to retain an appreciation for pursuits based around concepts like craftsmanship, passion, and artistic expression. I believe that quirks and flaws are often what gives art its beauty. I aim to embrace both the good and the bad in my writing, as I think both sides of the coin are necessary to capture something in its entirety. In my spare time I enjoy reading, exceeding speed limits, and nursing my fetish for all things Koenigsegg Automotive.

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