Will’s Top 5 Stogies of All Time
I’ve been writing this blog for the better part of a year now, and I realized that I have yet to come up with a list of my favorite stogies. So with that, I’d like to present my personal top five cigars of all time. Since picking one favorite is near impossible, I’ll list them in no particular order:
At the time I smoked this cigar, it was the second strongest I’d ever had, after the La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero 660. I’ve since smoked my fair share of Joya de Nicaragua Antaños, but this one will always remain in my mind as the epitome of a balanced powerhouse. The flavors of leather, cedar, and rich tobacco are never outweighed by the pepper, though the pepper stays noticeable for the whole smoke. The construction has been consistently perfect on every stick I’ve had, and I’ve nubbed every one to an inch or less.
While it may sound contrived for me to pick one of our exclusive brands for this list, I have to say I picked it honestly. There were a few specific cigars that inspired us when we came up with the blend for Star Insignia, and after going back to all of those smokes, I’m always reminded of how much better I like the Star Insignia. The flavors are crisp and clean—dry baking cocoa, black pepper, and cedar—and the hulking 60 ring gauge provides a cool and easy draw all the way to the end.
Camacho SLR Rothschild Natural and Maduro
The Camacho SLR Rothschild Natural was the first cigar that actually burned my fingers. No matter how far down I smoked it, though, it was smooth, and the flavors would not stop morphing. It was also the first cigar I’d ever had with a self-correcting burn. It made me appreciate how much time and technique goes into the process of selecting a blend and rolling the perfect cigar.
Just a few days ago, I had the opportunity to smoke the maduro-wrapped version, and I have to say that I liked it even better than the natural. The cocoa note was ever-present, the burn was perfect, and I burned my damned fingers again. Judging from these and the few others I’ve had, Camacho just might be turning into my favorite manufacturer.
Tatuaje Havana VI Angeles
This was my first and only Tatuaje cigar. On a blind whim, I split a 6-pack with Justin, a coworker of mine, and we have both since gone back for more. The base was chocolaty and spicy (Justin compared it to Mayan hot chocolate) and I’ve never gotten such a pronounced black cherry note from a cigar. The size makes it perfect for the drive to or from work, or just a quick after-dinner/ before-bed smoke. I admit that I initially thought Tatuaje was a bit over-hyped, but after smoking the Havana VI Angeles, I ate (or smoked) my words.
Sancho Panza Extra Fuerte Pamplona
I sincerely think that Sancho Panza makes some of the best dollar-for-dollar smokes you can get. The chocolaty, peppery goodness of the Double Maduro got me started on the brand, but once I tried the Extra Fuerte, I was convinced. These things are strong, spicy, and impeccably made, and for $3 a stick you really can’t get much better. They’re cheap enough to give away to friends who are new to cigars, but good enough so that you don’t feel like you’re gypping them. I like to keep a few of these in my humidor at all times, and for the price, you can really afford to.
So there you have it. Feel free to agree, disagree, or post your own top five/10/whatever in a comment!