During my time off from blogging I smoked through a lot of different cigars. Currently I am on hiatus from smoking for several months in the pursuit of getting back in shape. So for starters I am heading to Taos, New Mexico to go skiing with some friends in an attempt to drop a couple pounds hitting the slopes and then when I get home I will hit the gym. So for those of ya'll like me who blew through cigars celebrating the holidays this year, here is sneak peek at what I sampled.
Above is the Liga Privada T-52 "Dirty Rat" from Drew Estates. This was a limited edition smoke that was pretty hard to find if you weren't able to snag them up fast enough from your local cigar stores. At $13 a pop for a 5" by 44 ring gauge this is one pricey stick. But this cigar packs a wallop of power and flavor. Easily one of the best cigars of the year, I can't believe it did not make Cigar Aficionado's top 25 of 2010. Beware, this stick is not for beginners,....
This one is Pete Johnson's Ambos Mundos No.2 Robusto that got #18 on Cigar Aficionado's Top 25 list of 2009. At less than $5 a stick, this maybe one of the best values out there. This cigar had a lot of raw, earthy flavors, and excellent construction to boot. Burned razor sharp all the way through and held the ash tremendously. The new Ambos Mundos have new wrappers and new tobacco, but if you can find the originals it would be well worth stocking up on them. Got these at Heroes and Legacies in Austin, TX.
Meet my new favorite cigar, period. Luckily I bought several of these beauties awhile back and after smoking this one I bought several more. I've purchased most of these through Serious Cigars' website in Houston. They were a limited edition cigar at release and now have become pretty scarce. Cloaked in a bright red tubo, this cigar has a lot of swag. But the flavors were deep, full, and sweet which was right up my alley. Pete Johnson has made several other limited editions based on this same blend, but I actually prefer this over all of them. They will run you $12 if you can locate them.
Here is the Padilla Miami Robusto. This supposed to be the same blend as the old Miami 8&11 that he released years ago that Don Pepin Garcia constructed in his earlier years. I gave out a lot of these to friends and family and they all loved them, but personally I was just okay with them. I don't think they are anywhere as good as the original 8&11's. The 8&11 was much more expensive than these smokes which I paid less than $4 dollars for on the internet (usual retail will be around $7-8). I much rather smoke the Serie 68's or Habanos from Padilla than these. Padilla hasn't had the luck of garnering huge amounts of customer loyalty like Pete Johnson, Andre Farkas, and Pepin Garcia, but I have always been a good fan and will continue to be one. I still think he is one of the most talented blenders out there.
This is the Camacho Corojo Churchill that I was smoking in my car on my way to doin' some wild boar hunting in East Texas. I can't believe this cigar got #6 on Cigar Aficionado's Top 25 of 2010 list. Camacho must have slipped in some sweat leaf into those judges cigars for them to give this cigar that high of honors. Don't get me wrong, this cigar is good, with good flavor and superb construction. But I am all about flavors, and this cigar didn't have enough of them to garner that kind of cred. The corojo had one flavor profile which waxed and waned throughout the 7 inches of cigar, but was by no means complex. This is a perfect example of not taking these "Top 25 Lists" too seriously. But at $6.75 a stick, this is pretty f***ing good deal, especially for a churchill. It's worth having one in the humidor, but not worth giving it that cred.