Toasted Foot’s Top Ten Cigars of 2015

Toasted Foot’s Top Ten Cigars of 2015

Well, it’s once again that time when we look back at the past year and ruminate on all the things that have happened. Here at ToastedFoot.com we have continued to grow and add new features, while trying to keep a (fairly) steady review schedule. We brought back the much loved “What’s In Your Humidor?” interview feature, added our (at least) once per month giveaways and contests that have become a great hit with our readers, and in the coming days we will launch our first annual Most Fascinating People in the Cigar Industry feature. While Willy now handles a lot of the behind-the-scenes work, I have taken over the day to day reviewing and editing of content for the site. It’s been quite a productive year, and in 2016 we will have more content, bigger giveaways and interesting features for our readers. But, before all that happens let’s take a look back at the cigars of 2015…

TopTen2015

Every year this post is the hardest to write, by far. There’s so many great cigars that we smoke throughout the year that in becomes hard to narrow it down to just ten. Plus, while we only include cigars we’ve reviewed in the last year on the list, there’s always a few that could have made the list that we didn’t review or were released too late in the year to be published before the deadline for the list. Still, I believe this year’s Top Ten is one of our best.

This year the Top Ten List is very much my own effort, but I still consulted with Willy before finalizing it, as I highly value his opinion and expertise. What didn’t quite make the Top Ten will appear on the Honorable Mention List. As always, it is important to remember that this list is entirely subjective, and is based on my own palette and preferences.

As in previous years, several factors went into deciding the rankings on the Top Ten:

  • Original Score
  • Impressions beyond that of the original review
  • How often I wanted to (or did) smoke the cigar outside of the review
  • The list is entirely subjective and base on my own opinions of the cigars on it.

 

10) Sobremesa Gran Imperiales
Steve Saka, the former Drew Estate president and CEO, has made his much anticipated return to the cigar industry with the Sobremesa from Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust. While it’s not a Liga Privada with a different band (like some were hoping for), the Sobremesa is a great cigar in its own right with lots of cocoa, coffee, cedar and mild spice in a creamy medium bodied cigar. What’s most interesting about the Sobremesa is that it is as if there are two different (but similar) Sobremesa’s; the larger ring gauge sizes are medium bodied allowing for more subtle favor hints, while the thinner ring gauges are more full bodied with a bit more pepper and spice to the profile. Click here to buy it now.

Sobremesa_2a

 

9) Warped La Colmena No. 44
Manufactured at the famed El Titan de Bronze Factory in Miami, the Warped La Colmena features top notch construction paired with an impressive flavor profile. Oak, white pepper, lemon citrus and nut notes coalesce to form a wonderful flavor profile. Mild-medium to medium bodied, the La Colmena is a cigar that almost any cigar enthusiast will find enjoyable. Both myself and Willy found the La Colmena to be an instant Top Ten candidate from the first time we smoked it. Click here to buy it now.

Warped_LaColmena_1a

 

8) Pope of Greenwich Village
Smoke Inn Cigars is a giant in the cigar retail world, and the same characteristic that have led to that success have made their Microblend Series not only some of the best “store exclusives“ on the market, but some of the best cigars anywhere. Smoke Inn’s latest Mircoblend, the Pope of Greenwich Village by Drew Estate, is sure to end up one of the most sought after cigars in the Smoke Inn Microblend Series. The easiest way to descriptor the Pope of Greenwich Village is that it is like someone took the Undercrown Dogma and the Liga Privada T52 and smashed them together to create something even better. The small 40 ring gauge really allows the earth, leather, cedar, cocoa, spice and pepper notes to shine. This is a cigar will definitely please fans of Drew Estate and Smoke Inn’s Morcoblend Series alike. Click here to buy it now.

SImicroblend_POGV_4a

 

7) Cabal Linda Petit Lancero
Chris Arolfo’s Cabal Cigars is still a very small boutique company that many have yet to hear of, but if they keep making cigars like the Linda Petit Lancero that will soon change. Made as a tribute to his mother, who died after a long struggle with a rare brain disorder known as frontotemporal dementia, a portion of the profits from each box go to support research into frontotemporal dementia. The care and love taken in the creation of this tribute to Chris’ mother is obvious in every aspect of the cigar, from the beautiful packaging to the cigar’s construction.  This medium bodied and woodsy cigar, the Linda Petit Lancero is long on flavor. This is one of those cigar’s that a wide variety of smokers will find enjoyable.

Cabal_Linda_PL15_4a

 

6) Stogies 20th Anniversary Cigar by Room 101
Stogies World Class Cigars in Houston has become know for its exclusive H-Town Lancero Series. However, to celebrate 20 years in business, Jorge Ahued wanted to release something special that would stand apart from the H-Town Series, and the 20th Anniversary Cigar from Room 101 does just that. The succio (Churchill) sized cigar is not just a great cigar, but one of the most flavorful cigars Matt Booth has ever made. This medium bodied cigar manages to be similar to past Room 101 releases while having a unique character all its own. The limited production of the 20th Anniversary is going to make this a very sought after cigar.

Stogies_20th_Room101_4a

 

5) Matilde Oscura Toro
Going into this year’s IPCPR Trade Show in New Orleans the Matilde Oscura was not talked about much, but by the end of the show everyone was talking about it. The latest release from Jose Sejas’ Matilde Cigars is a cigar that seems to have everything going for it. Making excellent use of the Mexican San Andres wrapper, this medium to medium-full bodied cigar is loaded with flavor. The Matilde Oscura is a cigar well worth the (very reasonable) price. I’ve been smoking this cigar on a regular basis since its release, and think it was one of the best regular production cigars to make its debut this year. Click here to buy it now.

IPCPR_2015_Roundup_3a

 

4)  Southern Draw Kudzu Gordo
Last year, the Southern Draw Firethorn made our Honorable Mention List. This year there was no doubting that its full bodied brother would make the Top Ten, it’s just that good of cigar. Robert Holt’s Southern Draw Cigars is quickly making a name for itself with some of the best cigars that A.J. Fernandez’s Tabacalera Fernandez has ever produced. I have a friend Gary who is one of those guys who can’t stand box pressed cigars, and even he bought a box of Southern Draw Kudzu. Personally, the Southern Draw Kudzu Gordo may be the cigar I smoked most often this year.

SD_Kudzu_3a

 

3) MBombay Mora Toro
For the second year in a row Bombay Tobak’s MBombay brand has a spot on our Top Ten List. (On last year’s Top Ten List it was the MBombay Kesara Pyramid.) The MBombay Mora is a special cigar, and this year we gave it a very special review where we reviewed every single size of the blend available at the time. The medium-full bodied Mora is a very complex cigar featuring a unique array of flavors. While any Mora is better than no Mora, the No. 4 (Petite Corona) and Toro really stand out, but the Toro is just a bit more impressive. From the first time I tried the MBombay Mora it quickly became on of my favorites.

MBombay_Mora_2a

 

2)  El Gueguense Churchill
The El Güegüense from Foundation Cigar Company’s Nick Melillo, another Drew Estate alum, takes the number two spot on this year’s Top Ten List. The El Güegüense is one of those hotly anticipated cigars that didn’t just live up to expectations, but far exceeded them. While famous for his part in blending the Liga Privada No. 9 and many other Drew Estate hits, the only thing Melillo’s El Güegüense has in common with those cigars is that it is a amazing cigar. Medium bodied and complex, the small ring gauge and length of the Churchill really allows for the best enjoyment of the cigar’s blend. On any other year, this cigar could easily have taken the number one spot on the list. If this is what Nick’s first cigar looks like, I’m excited to see what’s next from Foundation Cigar Company. Click here to buy it now.

ElGueguense_2a

 

1)  Warped Flor del Valle “Sky Flower”
With two spots on the Top Ten List, Warped would definitely qualify as our Brand of the Year. What’s even more impressive is that the two cigars that made this year’s list are from two different factories; the La Colmena is made at El Titan de Bronze, while Flor del Valle Sky Flower is made by Casa Fernandez. Making use of extremely rare media tiempo tobacco, the Sky Flower has a very unique flavor profile. Both Willy and I are big fans of the Warped brand, and what owner Kyle Gellis has been doing. The Warped Sky Flower is not just one of the best cigars I’ve smoked all year, but one of the best cigars I’ve ever had the pleasure to smoke.

Warped Skyflower5a

So there is our list for 2015. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions. What did you think the best cigar you smoked this year was? Our honorable mention list and our list of the most fascinating people of the year will be appearing soon, so don’t forget to check back. Before we go both Willy and I would like to wish all of our readers a very happy holidays and prosperity in the new year.

All the best,
Jonathan David, editor
ToastedFoot.com