My Most Memorable Cigars of the Year

Fuente Anejo Reserva No.50 (5 ¼ x 50)
This cigar really blew my mind. I will be posting a more in-depth review on this cigar soon, but this rare treat really hit on all cylinders. It was relatively medium-bodied with a base of rich, woody flavors and plenty of sweetness. The balance, burn, firm ash and overall flavor made this one of the most memorable cigars I’ve ever smoked. In a word: WOW! I’ll be back for more of these.

Guillermo Leon “Gran Corona” (6 x 47)
I smoked my first Gran Corona with Jose Blanco and Señor Leon, himself, in his office at the La Aurora factory while I was at ProCigar last February. I was immediately impressed. The smoke was rich, smooth and very flavorful. Comprised of tobaccos from multiple nations rolled in seamless Ecuadorian Habano wrappers, there’s some Cameroon in there for sweetness, some Peruvian and Brazilian for spice, and talk about complex, this cigar makes a marvelous after-dinner treat with espresso or Port.

Gurkha Seduction Toro (6 x 55)
I haven’t smoked all too many Gurkhas over the years, but I recently discovered the Seduction Toro in a sampler I received. The smoke is thick, creamy, well-balanced and chock full of sweet, woody flavors. I also like the 55 ring because you get a good taste of all the flavors going on in this cigar. Moreover, the burn is great, and the cigar keeps its bouquet right down to the last inch. A truly outstanding smoke. (Note: This selection is sold only in retail cigar stores.)

Liga Undercrown Gran Toro (6 x 52)
I just reviewed this cigar and was surprised how fantastic is was. Despite all the rave reviews I read, which heightened and thankfully met my expectations, I was blown away.  Everything about this cigar was right on the money. The balance of flavors was perfect, intensifying a bit at the midpoint, where some sweet-spicy notes are introduced. If you’re expecting something similar to the Liga Privada No.9, this cigar is much more tame, yet sacrifices nothing in terms of flavor and complexity. I gave it 4-stars.

Nestor Miranda Art Deco “Robusto Grande” (5½ x 54)
Since I’ve always had an affinity for art deco design and architecture, I was immediately drawn to this cigar. The Art Deco line was created by Nestor Miranda & José Pepin Garcia, and boy did they get this one right. Rolled in vintage Nicaraguan Corojo ’06 wrappers, this medium to full-bodied smoke is creamy, nutty, perfectly balanced and splendidly sweet. I liked the Robusto Grande so much, I bought a box.

My Father Le Bijou 1922 Grand Robusto (5 5/8 x 55)
I had a little extra cash on me one day, so I splurged and picked up this cigar. It was worth every penny, too. The Le Bijou selection is Don Jose Pepin’s homage to his father, who was born in 1922. The rare Pelo de Oro wrapper leaves are naturally sweet and dovetail with its full-bodied blend of Nicaraguan tobaccos. A sweet, creamy start builds to a complex smoke rife with sweetness, spice, and dark tobacco flavors. Definitely one for your “must-smoke” list.

Perdomo2 “Epicure”  Maduro (5½ x 54/Cuban Box Press)
I haven’t stopped raving about this cigar since I had my first about a year ago. The smoke is ultra creamy, draws easily, and offers great balance. What I like most about the Perdomo2 Epicure Maduros is how  naturally sweet they are, and I’ve recommended them a lot. Notes of caramel and toffee present themselves up-front, as light spice flavors of nutmeg and cinnamon surface during the course of the smoke. Highly consistent, too. I’ve yet to have a bad one.

Room 101 305 Robusto (5 x 50)
I didn’t catch-on to this highly-rated brand until this year, but it was worth the wait. The pre-light flavor has some fruitiness in the cold draw, and when lit, the smoke is smooth, creamy, highly complex, and aromatic. The 305 Robusto offered a cool, medium-bodied and full-flavored smoke with an appealing sweetness. I only wish I had gotten one of these in my hands sooner.

Winston Churchill by Davidoff “Lancaster Mini Belicoso” (4½ x 46)
I was already a fan of the Winston Churchill by Davidoff cigars, when this little number arrived.  Though I don’t usually smoke this size, this Mini Belicoso was creamy, full-flavored, aromatic, and very relaxing. The smoke really opened up in the last couple of inches and never turned bitter. I enjoyed it so much, I nubbed it. Well worth trying and reasonably priced for this brand.

Well, that’s my 2¢. Please feel free to comment on my list or add a short list of your favorite cigars this year, and enjoy the rest of the holiday season.

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor at

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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