My Article: My Best Cigars in 2012
January 2nd, 2013
I smoked some wonderful Cuban cigars in 2012. I believe the quality of Cuban cigars is excellent at the moment. I attribute it to a reduction in production and exports as well as more attention to quality control from the leaf to the cigar. Cuba seems to make better cigars when its production and exports are less than 100 million units, and it’s been like that for a number of years now.
I noticed an article in Cigar Insider that tallied all their cigar ratings in 2012, and it underlined how much better the cigar quality in Cuba is compared to other major cigar producing countries. For example, CI reviewed 28 cigars from Cuba in 2012 and 25 were outstanding, or 90 points or more. That’s almost 90 percent of all the cigars. Only about 40 percent of Dominican cigars rated received 90 or more. Nicaragua was the same. Honduras was a dismal 34 percent.
The big surprise for me was the superb quality of two of last year’s Edición Limitadas. This is why I put them at the No. 1 and No. 2 position of the best cigars I smoked in 2012. Cubans finally got their blends right with the dark, more mature wrappers of the limitadas. In the past, in my opinion, the wrappers often dominated the flavor profiles of the limitadas. The two cigars below prove otherwise.
Of course, the Behike line continues to be Cuba’s best and most expensive regular production cigars. And the 56 is a perfect smoke.
The market selection smokes are also interesting, but too many are bland and taste the same, suggesting that many markets have no idea about blends nor do they appear to care. I put two of these cigars in my Top 10 – Mexico and Italy. I know both heads of the distributors in these respected markets and they are top cigar collectors and tasters. It shows in their cigars. They were both actually released in late 2011.
There are two current production torpedos on my list that you need to smoke. I am not a fan of this size but the quality and flavor is just too compelling not to: Monte No. 2 and Cohiba.
I am not sure that many of you will get the chance to smoke the great cigar in last year’s special Trinidad humidor to celebrate the brands 40th anniversary, but it’s a great smoke. It reminds me of a super charged Trinidad Robusto T. Shame that robusto is no longer made on the island.
I had to throw in an aged cigar and the Davidoff Dom Perignon is a classic. Honestly, many of the Cuban Davidoffs are now drying out, so be careful of buying old boxes. Be sure that they have been stored properly. Otherwise, they can taste of nothing but cardboard.
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1. Montecristo 520 Edición Limitada 2012 98 points
2. Partagas Serie C No. 3 Edición Limitada 2012 97 points
3. Behike 56 100 points
5. Cohiba 1966 Edición Limitada 2011 95 points
6. Cohiba Piramide Extra 94 points
7. Montecristo No.2 97 points
8. Trinidad 40th Anniversary Humidor Cigar 96 points
9. Edmundo Dantes El Conde 54 Edición Regional Mexico 95 points
10. Davidoff Dom Perignon 95 points
Photos courtesy of Habanos S.A.Comments