Top 10 Lists

Top 10 Cigars of 2014 – Jeremy Hensley Edition

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To close out a fantastic year at Casas Fumando, I bring to you my Top 10 Cigars of 2014. Keeping with the same criteria as last year, this list will focus only on cigars I reviewed in the last twelve months. The list is based on my personal preference and my opinion. Nothing more, nothing less. At the end of the day, I hope you find the list helpful and find some cigars that you may enjoy.

#10. Partagas – Homage 62

Partagas - Benji Homage 62

Wrappper: Honduran Olancho San Agustin | Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf |Filler: Dominican, Honduran and Mexican

The Partagas Benji Homage 62 is an outstanding cigar. The flavors were easily distinguishable and the variations among the flavors were intriguing. The only short-fall of the Homage was the multiple touch-ups needed throughout the cigar to get the wavy burn back in-line. Benji Menendez should be extremely proud of this cigar that pays tribute to his 62 years in the industry.

You can find the full review HERE.

#9. Agio Cigars – Balmoral Royal Selection Anejo 18

Balmoral Royal Selection Anejo 18

Wrapper: Brazilian Arapiraca Maduro | Binder: Dominican Olor |Filler: Brazilian Bahia, Dominican Olor, and Nicaraguan Ligero

The Balmoral Royal Selection Anejo 18 is a very unique and special cigar. The profile was intriguing in the first third with the sour grass notes, well balanced in the second third with the added sweetness and coffee, and completely satisfying in the final third with deep, dark, full flavors. There was never a dull moment with the Anejo 18 as it was continually introducing new flavors and building in intensity with the flavors, body, and strength.

You can find my full review HERE.

#8. Kuuts Cigars – Miro Lancero

Kuuts Cigars- Miro Lancero

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra | Binder: Nicaraguan |Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran

The Kuuts Miro Lancero is a very nice evening smoke that delivers in the spice department for sure. Don’t let the small ring gauge trick you. This Lancero packs a punch with its strength. Other than the flaky ash, the performance was just about perfect with an easy draw that delivered a copious amount of smoke and the burn was even throughout.

You can find my full review HERE.

#7. Crux Cigar Company – Crux Classic

Crux Cigars - Classic

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano (Jalapa) | Binder: Nicaraguan | Filler: Nicaraguan

It is hard enough to release one excellent cigar, it is even harder when it is your first year of business as a manufacturer, and it is almost impossible to release more than one exceptional cigar in your first year of business. Crux Cigars has done the impossible. The Crux Classic adds a new dimension to their already quality line-up. This is is an easy box purchase in my book.

You can find my full review HERE.

#6. Sindicato Cigars – Sindicato Maduro

Sindicato - Sindicato Maduro (Middle)

Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Morrón | Double Binder: Nicaraguan (Esteli) | Filler: Nicaraguan (Esteli and Jalapa)

The Sindicato Maduro carries a premium price tag of just under $13, but it is completely justified by the experience received. The buttery flavor and texture of the smoke sat easy on the palate meshing well with the toasted popcorn and pepper spice, rounded out by the ever-evolving sweetness. From the first third to the very end, the flavors were right around the full arena complimenting the medium/full strength.

You can find my full review HERE.

#5. Drew Estate – Herrera Esteli Lancero

Herrera-Esteli-Edicion-Limitada-2014-Featured

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano | Binder: Honduran | Filler: Nicaraguan

Willy Herrera far exceeded my expectation with the Herrera Esteli Lancero – Edicion Limitada 2014. This small ring gauge brought more body, fuller flavors, and a good amount of strength to the table. From start to finish, this stick was an absolute treat. A classic smoke well worth the $12 price tag. I look forward to the direction Willy Herrera will take Drew Estate Tobacco Company in regards to the expansion of their traditional lines.

You can find my full review HERE.

#4. Tatuaje – Cabaiguan Guapo Lancero

Tatuaje Cabaiguan Guapo Lancero

Wrapper:Ecuadorian Sun Grown | Binder:Nicaraguan | Filler: Nicaraguan

I have been a fan of Tatuaje for some time, but there were several cigars included in the sampler that I had yet to smoke and the Cabaiguan Guapo was one of those. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect first experience with a cigar. The cigar burned cool and even. There were no touch-ups or ashes dropped in my lap. Just a complex, flavorful cigar to sit back and relax with. One thing I noted on this lancero was how big, deep draws brought out an overwhelming pepper, while a small shallow draw highlighted  the nuances of this stick.

You can find my full review HERE.

#3. Crux Cigar Company – Crux Passport

Crux Cigars - Passport

Wrapper: Ecuadorian | Binder: Nicaraguan | Filler: Nicaraguan

While I did not find the Crux Passport overly complex, I never found myself bored with the cigar. The cedar, woodsy flavor held strong throughout, accompanied by more subtle citrus and honey notes. The Passport does not lack in the spice department either. I was very pleased with my two experiences with the Passport. There is finally a new company on the scene that I am excited to get fully behind.

You can find my full review HERE.

As I went back and read my review, I realized my excitement and enjoyment of this stick did not come across as I would have wanted it to. But the truth is the Crux Passport has been in the front of my mind since I smoked it back in May. I revisited the stick a few weeks back to make sure it was all it was cracked up to be  and I think I was even more impressed with it. The Crux Passport is easily the best bang for the buck on this list and worthy of the #3 spot for 2014.

#2. Ezra Zion Cigar Company – Honor Series FHK

Ezra Zion Cigar Company - Honor Series FHK

Wrapper: Mexican San Andres | Binder: Indonesian |Filler: Brazilian and Nicaraguan

This cigar was an absolute treat! The flavors were bold, balanced, and quite complex. The performance was spot on with an even burn and firm ash. What more could you want in a cigar? All for a price under $10. I HIGHLY recommend the Ezra Zion Cigar Company Honor Series FHK. Being only two months into the year, I think I may have found a contender for my 2014 Top 10 List.

You can find the full review HERE.

This is the second year in a row that Ezra Zion Cigar Company has claimed the number 2 spot on my top 10 list. Last year, the Tantrum was the runner up for the cigar of the year. Ezra Zion Cigar Company has consistently put out solid cigars, with the FHK being no exception. To be honest, the top three cigars on this list could be interchanged for the cigar of the year. I tip my hat to Chris Kelly and Kyle Hoover.

#1. Sindicato Cigars – Sindicato

Sindicato Cigars Sindicato

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo Shade Grown (Jalapa) | Double Binder: Nicaraguan (Esteli) |Filler: Nicaraguan (Esteli and Jalapa)

I have only smoked a couple great cigars this year and the Sindicato by Sindicato Cigars is one of those. Actually, this may be the very best I have had this year. I was caught off guard with how much I enjoyed this absolute treat. The cigar burned for over an hour with a wavy burn that was of no concern, producing a salt and pepper ash that held over an inch, and copious amounts of smoke poured out of the cigar with each draw. While the flavors may not have been necessarily unique on their own, it was the perfect balance of the those flavors that is something not commonly seen. Even with a price over $10 for the Corona Gorda, I highly recommend this stick.

You can find my full review HERE.

Coming in at #1 on my Top 10 Cigars of 2014 list is the Sindicato by Sindicato Cigars. The Sindicato Maduro is not too far behind finding the #6 spot. When I first smoked through Sindicato’s line-up in 2013 of the Hex, Affinity, and Casa Bella, I found them each to be average to good cigars. This year’s releases of the Sindicato and Sindicato Maduro took the company and their cigars to a whole new level. I was blown away by both, but the original Sindicato delivered, in my opinion, a perfect smoking experience, which makes this my Cigar of the Year!

Jeremy Hensley is a bean counter for a non-profit in El Paso, Texas. He is married to the most understanding wife (he still can’t figure out how she puts up with his cigar smoking hobby), and blessed with two beautiful children. When he is not acting like a kid, he enjoys everything outdoors, especially fishing with his dad in the Great Lakes. Also, he meets the criteria of being a Casa Fumando reviewer: being a hockey fan. Feel free to contact Jeremy anytime via email (jmhensley13[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/pdn_jdog

2 Comments

  1. 4madur0

    December 31, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    I’m very new to blogging and my own blog reflects that, your blog is awesome, nice flow no jumble of this and that. Great review, just my opinion, me too! Here it is like it or not! Love it.

  2. Charlie H.

    December 31, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Very good list! My list would include the HE Lancero, La Palina Goldie, and the EZ Tantrum.

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