Toasted Foot Top 10 of 2012 – Full List & Contest!

Toasted Foot Top 10 of 2012 – Full List & Contest!

Congratulations to Tx_Tuff who is the winner of our top 10 of 12 Sampler. Thanks for your support, the sampler is on its way!



Well it’s that time of the year when we reflect back on the year that was and in this case, the cigars we smoked. 2012 was a remarkable year for and a year of tremendous transitions, both for, and even in my own professional life.

ToastedFoot went through the challenge of resurrecting this tremendous site, establishing relationships with different elements of the cigar industry, attending IPCPR, and most importantly reengaging with all of you, our readers. Thank you for being a part of the journey.

And with that I bring you The ToastedFoot top 10 of 2012. Choosing a top 10 list is no easy feat. There are cigars I smoke regularly, or love tremendously that will not appear on the list as they were not smoked for review. Obviously, it would be easy enough to just list my highest scoring cigars, but that wouldn’t truly reflect my top 10 either, so here are the factors that went into the list:

1) Original Score
2) Impressions beyond the review.
3) How often I either wanted to, or smoked, the cigar outside of the review.
4) The list is completely subjective and entirely driven by my own palate

And with no further delay…………

10.) EPC Cardinal Maduro. I make no bones about it, I’m a huge fan of Ernesto’s blending and the Elencos and New Wave Connecticut are a few of my go to cigars. I was very intrigued with the release of the Cardinal as it featured all Nicaraguan filler and aimed to be a full bodied addition to the EPC portfolio. The Cardinal Maduro is a full flavored treat wrapped in a very tasty Broadleaf wrapper. The Cardinal Maduro offers excellent classical Nicaraguan and Broadleaf flavors with a nice complexity to it and very good balance.
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9.) Reinado Cigars Grand Empire Reserve. This Nicaraguan puro with a Maduro wrapper was first introduced to me by it’s brand owner at IPCPR. It was one of the most noteworthy cigars I smoked at IPCPR and it truly left me wanting more. Flavors of pepper, cocoa, and coffee and sweet tobacco are incredibly rich. The only complaint I have about them is I can’t grab them at any of my local shops, but have no fear, they are easily ordered, which is what I’ve done to make sure I always have a few available to smoke.


8.) La Flor Dominicana Litto Gomez Diez 2012 Chisel. The LG Diez line is one of the signature lines from La Flor Dominicana and frankly, it’s probably my favorite regularly released Dominican cigar. The flavors of cinnamon spice, white pepper, and sweet cedar has made the Vintage line by Litto one of my favorites for years.
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7.) Tatuaje Apocalypse. A rich broadleaf wrapper over a modified Tatuaje Anarchy filler recipe and in a short Salomon Vitola! Great cigar with tons of Broadleaf flavor; dry cocoa, black pepper, spice, and a red wine note to wrap it all up! I really enjoyed the Apocalypse’s predecessor, the Anarchy, but the Apocalypse is right in the middle of my sweet spot and I’ve been smoking the heck out of them since they were released a few weeks ago.
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6.) Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Serie Papa Fritas. Yes, I know it’s a mixed filler cigar, but like I said in my review, if you are stuck on that you’re missing the point! All Liga flavor at half the price and in a cigar that takes up half the time. Big shout out to JD, Steve Saka, and Nicholas Melillo of DE for coming up with this stroke of genius and getting it out for all of us to enjoy. My favorite Drew Estate release since the Dirty Rat!
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5.) Ortega Serie “D” Natural No.8. Eddie Ortega, formerly one half of “E&O” launched his new brand, Ortega Cigars, this year. His initial launch of a San Andres Maduro wrapped, Nicaraguan cigar manufactured by The Garcia Family, took the cigar community my storm. Shortly there after Eddie launched the Natural extension to the line.. The Serie D Natural is wrapped in an Ecuadorian Habano Rosado wrapper that brings a a delicious, almost candy like, sweetness to the smoke. The sweet Rosado wrapper combined with the spice inherent in the Nicaraguan filler blend brings a terrific contrast. When I first reviewed the Serie D Natural it scored just a touch higher than the Maduro, and it has been in my top 3 of go to cigars since it’s release this past summer.
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4. Joya de Nicaragua CyB Lonsdale Club. The Cuenca y Blanco, later rebranded the CyB, was one of the show stealers at IPCPR, and with good reason. “Flavor, Flavor, Flavor” as Jose Blanco explained to me while chatting about his cigar at IPCR. The CyB’s use of a diverse blend of tobaccos works and brings about a cigar that delivers an abundance of diverse, and distinct, flavor notes. The CyB is best enjoyed on a clean palate as you really don’t want to miss any of the unique flavors it offers. While I reviewed, and prefer, the Lonsdale, I also would recommend the Corona with almost equal enthusiasm.
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3. Quesada Jalapa Belicoso. The Jalapa, by Quesada Cigars was developed to meet a demand in the US for the accidentally introduced “Espana”, a Spanish market exclusive. In their attempt to fill this niche in the market, the Quesada family developed an absolute masterpiece of a cigar. Using a well aged wrapper leaf from the Jalapa region of Nicaragua, and a blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican filler, the Jalapa delivers an incredibly rich, yet smooth smoking with delicate and nuanced flavors.

The biggest question when the Jalapa was released was how does it compare to the España? I have smoked more than a box of both, and I still don’t have a favorite. They are both that good. I’ll say this, the Jalapa is certainly creamier, and may have just a hair more “pop” to it. While I reviewed the Belicoso, I’ve probably smoked a few more of the Robusto and that has become my preferred Vitola since the review.
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2. Ortega Serie “D” Maduro No. 8. Figuring out numbers 2-5 on this list has been a challenge. Frankly, I’ve been messing with this list right up until publishing. While the top 5, in it’s own right, has been a challenge, determining where Eddie Ortega’s Serie “D” was going to fit has been the biggest challenge.

Make no mistake about it I love both the Natural and the Maduro. The filler blend just works for either of the wrappers and really allows the characteristics of either wrapper to stand out. Rich notes of chocolate, cocoa, espresso, pepper, and spice, but balanced with a wonderful rich, smooth, full bodied smoke.

I have smoked each Vitola in both lines, repeatedly, (except the 60 rg), and without a doubt no cigar has been on the receiving end of my attention more frequently, and delivered more satisfaction, flavor, and value than the Serie D Maduro. An absolutely fantastic cigar smoking experience and consistently a cigar for any occasion.
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and now ToastedFoot proudly announces our Cigar of the Year!!!

1. La Palina Cigars “Goldie” Laguito No.2. Rolled at the famed El Titan De Bronze factory on Calle Ocho in Miami for Bill Paley’s La Palina Cigars, the Goldie is an absolute joy to smoke. The unique flavor profile, complexity, balance, and quality of craftsmanship set the “Goldie” apart. Here’s what I had to say in summarizing my review:

The La Palina “Goldie” is an absolutely fantastic cigar with very rich and unique flavor and terrific construction. I can’t recall the last time I picked up such a strong and defined banana note in a Cigar but it was there in spades in the first third. The “Goldie” is incredibly smooth and complex in flavor.

The biggest issue with the “Goldie” is the price tag. It is such a good cigar I’d smoke the hell out of it, but at $15 per stick (especially a Petit Lancero), that’s a bit prohibitive for me. The other side of that statement is that it is absolutely worth it when you consider the limited release, medio tiempe leaf, and expert skill of the roller.

The “Goldie” is a must-try for the experienced cigar smoker, and considering the limited nature of the blend and talent of the people behind this cigar, the Goldie” will likely be a collectors item for many aficionados.

After I smoked my first few “Goldie’s” I got over my issue with the price, they are that good, and well worth the money. I was fortunate enough to hunt down a few boxes after they were released and am glad I’ll be able to enjoy a “Goldie” on special occasions for the foreseeable future. An investment in pleasure and satisfaction that is without a need to quantify!

Kudos to Bill Paley for stepping outside the industry trend of going big and or using the most well known factories and doing something different and daring to deliver this amazing cigar. Your devotion to your craft and execution on delivering the most memorable smoke of 2012 earns you our top honor!

And now for the contest!

We are giving away a sampler pack featuring our top 10, here are the rules:

1. One entry per person, multiple entries will be excluded.
2. You have to be 18+, and a resident of the US.
3. We will notify the winner just prior to announcing the winner to confirm their information, if we can’t reach you, we reserve the right to draw a new winner.
4. The contest runs for one week from the time this is posted.
5. There are three steps, you must complete all three:
a. Follow us and like our top 10 list post on Facebook
b. Follow us and re-tweet our top 10 list tweet on Twitter
c. Log into the site and post your top cigar of 2012 on this thread
6. At the end of the contest period we will select a winner using