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Image’s Top 10 New Releases of 2011- Part One

As we approach the start of 2012, it’s that time of year again, the season of the list. As the year winds down, the internet gets bombarded by everyone’s year-end rosters of “the best” new stogies to hit the shelves during the last twelve months. We, of course, are no exception to this tradition, especially since our humidor saw some outstanding new additions in 2011 that deserve recognition. I know the suspense is killing you, so without further ado, here are our top picks for best new releases this year, in no particular order:


Fausto by Tatuaje


  1. Fausto  by Tatuaje

This year saw the release of another slam-dunk for Pete Johnson and his crew over at Tatuaje, the Fausto line. These fierce, full-bodied sticks showcase the spot-on construction and blending that have made Johnson one of the most prominent players in the industry. The Fausto is without a doubt one of his best efforts yet, sporting a burly Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and boasting delicious notes of coffee, spice and cocoa. If fine flavor and full-on power is your thing, definitely give this stogie a try.

E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut

2.  E.P. Carillo New Wave Connecticut

Master blender E.P. Carillo expanded on his acclaimed core line and made a huge splash with the debut of the New Wave Connecticut this year. A fresh take on the classic Connecticut-stogie taste profile, this medium-bodied and full-flavored cigar set a new standard for lighter-wrapped smokes, packing piquant notes of cedar, leather, and mild spice with a long, buttery finish. I have a feeling that the E.P. Carillo New Wave Connecticut will be a fan-favorite for a long time to come.

601 La Bomba


3.  601 La Bomba

When 601’s La Bomba showed up last spring, with its fuse-like pigtail cap and sizes like “Napalm” and “Atomic”, we weren’t exactly sure what to expect, but once we tried the super-spicy and relentlessly powerful sticks we knew we had just welcomed a whole new level of full-bodied stogies into our humidor. Far from your average “power-house” cigar, the La Bomba is refreshingly complex with a creamy finish, despite its unnatural dose of vitamin N, and the fiery red-pepper assault it delivers to your palate. Not really that surprising when you discover that the man behind the blend is none other than Don Jose Pepin Garcia. If we had a strength category called “Ridiculously Full-bodied”, the 601 La Bomba would be the only cigar in it.


La Gloria Cubana Artesanos Retro Especiale


4.  La Gloria Artesanos Retro Especiale

One of the most talked-about new releases at this years ICPCR trade show was the La Gloria Cubana Artesanos Retro Especiale. A robust and masterfully-balanced new offering from one of the most revered names in cigars, these woody, sweet and peppery stogies really surprised us with their complex, nuanced flavors and mellow character. While not the typical smoke you’d expect from La Gloria, the Retro Especiale is certainly one of their best.

Casa Magna Domus Magnus Limitada

5.  Casa Magna Domus Magnus Limitada

This limited-production stogie from the esteemed Casa Magna is an all-new Nicaraguan Puro blend boasting rich and smooth dark flavors. A sungrown wrapper from the Jalapa Valley region gives it a sweet and spicy kick, and its superb box-pressed construction ensures a razor-sharp burn and easy draw on every stick. A strong industry buzz about how awesome this stogie was going to be had us taking back-orders before we even knew when it would hit our shelves. When it finally arrived, needless to say, it exceeded everyone’s lofty expectations.


Tune in next week for Part Two of our Top Ten New Releases of 2011. In the meantime, have a safe and happy holiday weekend, and we’ll see you next year!