His father is one of the cigar industry’s legendary master blenders; Avo was his adopted uncle, he knows the cigar business inside and out. He’s also just a really nice guy: Klaas Pieter Kelner, Davidoff Cigars Brand Ambassador, who talks with us about growing up at the heart of the business, the appreciation of a fine cigar, and more
Our Most Impressive Cigars of 2009
…I’ll start with the Alabao Robusto. From the magic hands of Nick Perdomo, this medium-bodied, full-flavored treat hit on all cylinders. Gobs of caramelized flavors with notes of almonds, cocoa, spices and more. I’m on a mission to turn cigar smokers on to this exclusive brand in 2010.
Another cigar that caught my attention was the Oliva Cain 550 Maduro. The smoke was creamy, smooth, aromatic, and more medium to full in body. In my online review on the Cigar Advisor blog page, I also called it “a perfect cigar.” If you haven’t already smoked either of the two Cain cigars, make sure you do this year.
There were two other cigars that impressed me, as well. First, the Flor De Gonzalez 15th Anniversary Robusto. The smoke was creamy and well-balanced with a nice mix of earthy and sweet herbal notes. The cigar also took on a satisfying complexity in the last act.
Finally, the Davidoff Limited 2009 Toro Especial Seleccion 702. A full-bodied, complex buffet of sweet, woody flavors with subtle notes of raisins, cocoa and espresso on the finish. As luxury cigars go, they don’t get much better than this from Davidoff Cigar.
The Humidor at Leaf Manager, Jeff Brown, was impressed with the Artisan Nicaraguan Habano Robusto. “The cigar has a diverse, all-Nicaraguan longleaf filler core rolled in a spicy Nicaraguan Habano wrapper and smokes like a full-bodied dream.” Artisan Nicaraguan cigars are also offered in Connecticut and Maduro wrappers. Another one of Jeff’s picks was the Nicaraguan Selection 4000 Robusto: “If you enjoy a rich and spicy smoke, this is it. It’s got a great bloodline, too with an outstanding value price point.”
Buyer and Merchandiser, Mike Klingerman was taken with the Journeys Robusto: “I like creamy smokes and this one had more than a Creamsicle.” Mike also liked the Perdomo Grand Cru Robusto Connecticut saying it was”a zippy full-bodied smoke with a hint of creaminess.”
Marketing Analyst, Scott Shemtov really took to the Nicaraguan Selection 7000 Super Toro Maduro: “WOW. I fell in love with this cigar at first whiff! The cigar is very well constructed and flavorful with an attractive chocolaty color. I like the Super Toro size, too; it has a nice heft in your hand, and the flavor and aroma stayed consistent from start to finish.” (Check out Scott’s cigar review blog, Cigar Stogies, too.)
Marketing Copywriter, Hayward Tenney was impressed by the Value Line Nicaraguan No.100 Corona: “The Corojo wrappers are scrumptious, and the construction is first-rate, as it should be. After all, they come from one of the hottest cigar makers in Nicaragua.” Also on Hayward’s list was the GH2 by Gran Habano Corona Gorda: “I love the spicy-sweet Habano wrapper on this cigar, and for a budget smoke you can’t beat ’em all day long.”
Director of Marketing, Mike Vandenstockt fell for the Nicaraguan Habano Lancero: “It’s not a size I usually smoke, but the complexity of the blend really comes through, and the smoke is especially smooth and creamy.” Mike also enjoyed the Pvt. Sel. 70th Anniv. by CAO Toro: “The African Cameroon binder adds some natural sweetness to this cigar, and the flavor is full, complex and non-overbearing.”
Finally, the Humidor at Leaf Asst. Manager, David Zayas selected the Pvt. Sel. 70th Anniversary by Plasencia Toro: “This cigar was smooth, rich, and creamy, with great flavors and an excellent burn. In my opinion, it’s the closest thing we offer to a genuine Cuban.” David was also impressed with the Final Blend Robusto: “A rich-tasting, well-balanced cigar with just enough of everything; lil’ spice, lil’ sweet and very smooth. The tastiest maduro I’ve smoked in quite a while.”
So there you have it. Check these cigars out. Start with a five-pack or a few singles if you prefer. In any event, you might want to add them to your wish list for this year.