Gary reviews 10 “Top Shelf” Maduro cigars: If you love the natural sweetness and savory aroma of Maduro wrapper, these dark discoveries are sure to please cigar smokers at every level of experience.
2011 CA Report: Summer Bestselling Cigars – Buying Guide
Summer 2011’s Bestselling Cigars: Hot Fun In the Summertime
By Gary Korb
Do you remember what cigars you really enjoyed this past summer? How about 4 years ago? While cigars are meant to be enjoyed “in the moment” – it’s interesting to take a look back in the past and see what bestselling cigars were in our rotation, where our taste buds were at and what smokes moved the needle. So as winter prepares to set in, let’s flash back to warmer days – Summer 2011 – and revisit a then-current guide to see which cigars we enjoyed most. ~Ed.
Ahhh…Summertime. Baseball, beaches, mini-golf, adventure parks, barbeques, cold beer, iced tea, convertibles, motorcycles, camping, the din of the neighborhood ice-cream truck combing the streets, and of course, great cigars to while away the hours of those long summer days and warm summer nights. This is the time of year that cigar smokers, especially those who’ve had to wait out the winter, can take advantage of some great deals and stock up. Plus, there’s nothing like being able to sit outside with good friends and share the pleasure of smoking your favorite cigars. So, is there such a thing as a “summer cigar?” Maybe…maybe not. According to a recent CigarAdvisor.com survey, Do the cigars you smoke change depending on the season?, about 73% responded that they did not change the cigars they smoke. Perhaps, then, a summer cigar is just a cigar that’s longer than what you normally smoke, because you have more time for cigars like Churchills, Presidentes, Torpedoes, etc. during the summer months.
I’m pretty certain that a lot of cigar smokers have specific cigars that they prefer only for the beach, the golf course, or sitting out by the pool, whatever. But even if most cigar smokers prefer to stick with their regular cigar regime year-round, chances are they’re also looking for something new and different to smoke. That’s where summertime can also play an important role in educating your palate: when you’re more relaxed, it’s easier to appreciate the nuances of your new discoveries. I hope you find some great new cigars this summer to add to your regular rotation. In the meantime, see you in September!
Are you a “fast smoker?”
Do you find that you smoke through your cigars rather quickly? If you notice that your cigars often turn bitter, it could be that you’re puffing too hard and/or too fast. If so, here’s a good solution: SLOW DOWN! A good rule of thumb is to puff on the cigar about once a minute. I refer to this as letting the cigar “smoke itself” between puffs. It helps the cigar burn cooler, and helps you appreciate the cigar’s aroma, too. Taking fewer puffs can also help make more full-bodied cigars a little more manageable. Finally, allowing even more time between puffs during the last third will also help keep your cigar from turning prematurely bitter.
601 Blue Label Maduro (Box Pressed)
One of the most savory maduros ever! A dark, shimmering Habano wrapper, plus an all-Nicaraguan core offer a creamy, spicy, full-bodied smoke laced with natural sweetness, complexity and perfect balance.
A great summer smoke with your morning coffee or afternoon beer…An all-Honduran blend with a slightly-sweetened cap, Baccarat makes for a mellow, yet very flavorful smoke.
Famous Nicaraguan 3000
A BIG summer treat for full-bodied hounds. Diverse Nicaraguan tobaccos rolled in lush Ecuadorian Habano wrappers. The smoke is spicy, earthy, complex, yet never overpowering – even at a 60 ring gauge.
H. Upmann Vintage Cameroon
An extra-full body, great depth and ample spice make this “muscle car” of a cigar with dark Criollo wrappers perfect for the adventurous cigar smoker. Great after a steak barbecue.
La Floridita Fuerte
A bestseller, but that’s not based on price alone: La Floridita’s diverse Nicaraguan and Honduran core tobaccos are seamlessly rolled in savory Habano Viso wrappers. Expect a thick, creamy smoke brimming with dark, woody flavors, sweet spicy notes and a captivating aroma.
Superb Oliva craftsmanship, rich Nicaraguan tobaccos and your choice of wrapper: whether it’s the Connecticut broadleaf maduro (shown) or the genuine African Cameroon selection, both leaf choices make the case for a smooth, well-balanced and aromatic smoke that’s naturally sweet, earthy and medium-bodied.
Rolled in lush Connecticut wrappers, this cigar imparts a symphony of complex flavors including almond, coffee and cocoa with a smooth, silky finish. One of the bestselling cigars in the house.
We already know RyJ to be one of the most popular cigars on the planet; now blended with aromatic Ecuadorian Connecticut wrappers, Nicaraguan binder and a blend of vintage Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos, you’ll enjoy a well-balanced, full-flavored smoke from the Reserva Real that’s incredibly creamy and complex.
From Pete Johnson & Jose Pepin Garcia, this luxurious Nicaraguan puro is blended to impart the flavor and aroma of fine, pre-embargo Cuban cigars. Medium-bodied, yet stunningly flavorful and complex.
So there it is…better than a bottle of sun block, and much tastier, too – a sampling of 2011’s bestselling cigars. All handcrafted by the leading manufacturers, these “boys of summer” cover the entire range of strengths, a big variety of wrappers, and a good assortment of shapes. So, grab a beach chair, a cooler, your cigar cutter & lighter and ride this big wave of flavor: each is certain to make all your Summer days bright, sunny, and delicious.