Cigar Reviews

Top 10 Cigars of 2015 – Jeremy Hensley Edition

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From all of us here at Casas Fumando, Happy New Year!

Unable to keep up with all the new releases (I leave that to Tony), I am sticking with the same format for my top 10 list as in past years. The only criteria I have is that I had to of reviewed the cigar during the last calendar year. 2015 marked one of the best years in my 10 years of smoking. Everything from the budget friendly cigar to the super-premium, cigars are performing better and tasting better than ever before making it a little harder this year identifying the very best, in my opinion. And as Tony said in his Top 10 List, “Here at Casas Fumando we don’t claim to be the best in the business, nor do we take ourselves very serious. We’re just a couple of guys who like to smoke cigars, so our very subjective lists reflect that”. Now onto the good stuff.

# 10 VegaFina Nicaragua

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Vitola: Gran Toro | Size: 6 by 52 | Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano 2000 | Binder: Nicaraguan Seco | Filler: Nicaraguan Ligero, Nicaraguan Viso, Nicaraguan Seco

Once again, a manufacturing giant has made its way into my top 10 list and for good reason. It is hard to beat a cigar around $6 that highlights natural tobacco sweetness, woodsy notes, black pepper spice, an underlying citrus, and toasted bread. This medium flavored, low to medium strength cigar performs exceptionally.

Review HERE.

#9 MoyaRuiz Cigars – La Jugada Nunchuck

La Jugada Nunchuck

Vitola: Churchill | Size: 7 by 54 | Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro | Binder: Nicaraguan | Filler: Nicaraguan

Inspired by Cigar Dojo, Danny Moya and Nelson Ruiz launched the La Jugada Nunchuck in 2014. The Nunchuck features dark flavors of black pepper, coffee, earth, and cocoa rounded out by a sugarcane sweetness, hazelnut richness, and creamy cedar. Complex, balanced, and spicy, this is one gimmicky yet awesome cigar. MoyaRuiz’s La Jugada Prieto landed the #3 spot on my 2013 list.

Full review HERE.

#8 Global Premium Cigars – 1502 Nicaragua

1502 Nicaragua

Vitola: Robusto | Size: 5 by 50 | Wrapper: Nicaraguan | Binder: Nicaraguan | Filler: Nicaraguan

Unless you have been living under a rock, you are aware of the significant changes that took place in House of Emilio after the retirement of Gary Griffith this past year, but that did not seem to phase 1502 Cigars which seems to be gaining a solid footing in the industry. Enrique Sanchez has released several cigars in the last few years, but this Nicaraguan puro out performs them all. On the upper end in terms of strength and flavors, the 1502 Nicaragua shows off what Nicaraguan tobacco is all about. This is another very reasonably priced cigar coming in at $6.50.

Full review HERE.

# 7 Bombay Tobak – MBombay KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka

MBombay KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka

Vitola: Grand Corona | Vitola: 6 1/2 by 46 | Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut | Binder: Ecuadorian | Filler: Dominican and Peruvian

The MBombay KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka was a surprising cigar. Having smoked through several other lines which were good but not exceptional, Bombay Tobak has stepped up their game with the KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka. From my review:

While milder than my typical go-to cigar, the cigar delivered well balanced flavors that were both intriguing and quite complex and each third showed off a different dimension of the cigar. The price is a little steep, but considering the aged tobaccos used to build the blend and the overall experience, the MBombay KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka is worth the coin.

 Full review HERE.

#6 United Cigar Group – Garofalo

United Cigar - Gorafalo

Vitola: Robusto | Size: 5 by 50 | Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut | Binder: Nicaraguan | Filler: Nicaraguan

The Garofalo has become the standard by which I gauge all other Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapped cigars. While 2015 may be the year of Connecticut Shade cigars (Padron Damaso and Undercrown Shade), the Garofalo stands with the best of the them and even beats out most of them when you take the price of under $7 into consideration. What made this blend so enjoyable was the play between the light, creamy, sweet woodsy notes from the wrapper and the heavier spice flavors delivered by the Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. You can find these over at Two Guys Smoke Shop’s online store (2guyscigars.com).

Full review HERE.

# 5 Perdomo Cigars – Double Aged 12 Year Vintage Maduro

Perdomo Double Aged 12 Year Vintage Maduro

Vitola: Robusto | Size: 5 by 56 | Wrapper: Nicaraguan Maduro | Binder: Nicaraguan | Filler: Nicaraguan

Perdomo has found 2 spots on this year’s top 10 list (Garofalo is made by Perdomo), something that was completely unexpected. The Double Aged 12 Year Vintage Maduro delivers dark, heavy, rich flavors that are balanced and satisfying. There is also no lack of complexity in this stick. Perdomo has flown under the radar for several years for me, but it has become a company I will be keeping my eyes on going forward as I believe they have a lot going for them.

Full review HERE.

#4 Davidoff – Millennium Blend Tubo Robusto

Davidoff Millennium Blend

Vitola: Robusto | Size: 5 1/4 by 50 |  Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown | Binder: Dominican | filler: Dominican

Davidoff has never been a company to grab my interest. As stated in the review, the price tag has caused me to stay clear of them, but thanks to our good friend at Famous Smoke Shop I was able to smoke through several Davidoff Millennium Blend in the Robusto vitola this year. Out of all the cigars on this list, the Millennium Blend is the one I was choose to light up to on a special occasion. This is not a new cigar by any means, but it still a darn good cigar worthy of making my top 10 list.

Full review HERE.

#3 Tatuaje – Limited Lancero Collection

Tatuaje Cabaiguan Guapo Lancero

Vitola: Lancero | Size: 7 1/2 by 38 | Wrapper: Varies | Binder: Varies | Filler: Varies

If someone is interested in getting to know Tatuaje cigars, this is the first place I refer them. At a reasonable price of $95 for the sampler, you get to smoke 10 of the best cigars on the market. Unable to pick just one cigar, I decided to throw in the whole sampler into the top 10 list (I may be breaking the rules, but who cares!!!). Reviews below:

#2 Mel Caribbean Corp. – Bella Dominicana

Bella Dominicana

Vitola: “M” | Size: 4 7/8 by 46 | Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra | Binder: Dominican | Filler: Dominican Seco, Dominican Viso Criollo 98 and Nicaraguan Viso

Bella Dominicana is probably the least known cigar on this list, but a cigar that is sure to make waves once it enters the U.S. market. Armando Diaz of Mel Caribeean Corp. teamed up with Jochy Blanco of Tabacalera Palma to create this exceptional cigar that delivers mainly medium flavors alongside a medium strength profile. Sweet, rich woodsy notes make up the core of the flavors with the appearance of some very intriguing flavors throughout. I have been able to share this cigar with several friends, ranging from beginner to veteran smokers, and they all shared very positive feedback on the Bella Dominicana. I cannot wait to see this enter the U.S market so I can smoke through the other vitolas.

Full review HERE.

#1 Crowned Heads – Yellow Rose

Crowned Heads - Yellow Rose

Vitola: Box-Pressed Torpedo | Size: 6 by 54 | Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf | Binder: Nicaraguan | Filler: Nicaraguan

Since 2012, Crowned Heads has landed several spots on our annual top 10 lists, even a #1 spot in 2013 with their J.D. Howard Reserve. Well, this year they have reclaimed the #1 spot with their Yellow Rose, exclusive to Texas retail stores. After reviewing the Yellow Rose in May, it is a cigar I have been unable to get out of my mind. While I haven’t had the cigar budget to grab a box, each quarter when I am in Texas for work I make sure to stop by the local shop and grab a few to hold me over until my next visit. The rustic Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper delivers the common tartness and cocoa which matches up well with the Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos that add some strength and spice to the mix. I am absolutely in love with this blend and hope to see it around for years to come.

Full review HERE.

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

4 Comments

  1. Mark K

    January 1, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Jeremy, thanks for the list. I haven’t scored a Yellow Rose yet, but the Tennessee Waltz is on the top of my list. As the blends are said to be the same, I am sure I would enjoy the Rose just as much. However, two hours plus is a long time to smoke one cigar. I have just ordered a box of Waltzes to enjoy in 2016. My wife’s xmas present to me. Yes I am a lucky man.

    • Jeremy Hensley

      January 3, 2016 at 7:15 pm

      Thanks, Mark, for checking out the list. That is one awesome Christmas present and one awesome wife! Happy New Year!

  2. jjo

    January 2, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Jeremy – I was really impressed with the Bella Dominicana you sent me. I hope they hit these shores soon, but I haven’t heard a thing about them since your review. Looking forward to trying out the Perdomo and Davidoff. 🙂

    Happy New Year to everyone!

    • Jeremy Hensley

      January 3, 2016 at 7:16 pm

      Hey, Jeff. I haven’t heard much either from Bella Dominicana, but I have noticed a large number of reviews going up as of late. I wonder if they are making a strong push just before they begin distribution. Looking forward to hear what you think of the Perdomo and Davidoff.

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