With just about twelve hours remaining until 2013 is upon us, it’s time for our customary year-end wrap-up. This year was a landmark one for BCP in terms of new releases, with more new blends and brands arriving on our shelves than ever before. Among them were some truly great new smokes that deserve a little special recognition, so without further ado, in no particular order, here are our picks for the best new cigars of 2012.
The debut release from Ortega Cigars was a definite highlight in terms of solid and enjoyable smokes I sampled this year. This stick was creamy, spicy, woody, and complex with a clean burn and easy draw that made the Serie D Natural an absolute pleasure to review. Be on the lookout in 2013 for more goodness to come from Eddie Ortega’s new company.
2. Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 CameroonThis cigar turned out to be not only my favorite of the Rocky Vintage series, but my favorite Rocky Patel blend yet. Awesome, smooth-smoking flavors of butter, cedar, and spice, along with a slight sweetness made the Vintage 2003 stand way out from the pack.
Comprised of a four-year aged Habano 2000 wrapper and a mix of Nicaraguan, Honduran, and “secret” tobaccos, the San Lotano Oval plays host to a wide spectrum of layered flavors with notes ranging from cinnamon and roasted nuts to cocoa and leather. Without a doubt one of the most complex cigars I’ve ever tasted, since its debut the uniquely-shaped Oval has received nearly unanimous praise from various review sites, including an outstanding 91 rating from Cigar Insider.
4. La Duena
Blended by Pete Johnson as a tribute to the leading lady of My Father Cigars, Janny Garcia, the La Duena quickly shot to the top of my list of must-have smokes. Boasting savory notes of red and black pepper, cedar, cocoa, and earth, along with a creamy finish and flawless burn performance, La Duena is a classic and rich maduro with a spicy twist.
This showstopper from Camacho’s boutique line Room 101 was easily one of the most sought-after cigars of the year, and for good reason. Peppery and smooth with full, deep flavors of earth, cocoa and espresso, it’s no surprise that the San Andres went on to earn an impressive 90 rating from Cigar Insider.
Be sure to check back Wednesday for part two of our Top Ten New Releases of 2012, and in the meantime have a safe and happy New Years Eve, and we’ll see you next year!