December 29, 2019

Year end review; The Best cigars of 2019



Year end Video review HERE.

This was a banner year for me. I reviewed 108 cigars! That's far more than before and I'm not sure I can match, or top that amount next year. But, with that many cigars I was bound to run across some really good ones.

As you know I concentrate on the new releases. This year I'm doing it a little different. While the raw review scores are my thoughts at the time of the review I find that some cigars grow on you. Those that appeal to you that seem to actually improve the more you smoke them. With that in mind I am picking out those stand out cigars that I bought many multiples of over the year and putting them in order for my top 25 of the year. My top 25 came from those cigars with scores of 93 or higher. The big winner by region this year, Nicaragua. There are some amazing cigars coming out of Nicaragua and a lot of them are on the list below.

All cigars are shown with scores. Most are shown in thirds; first third score, second, and final, with the date they were reviewed.

The Top 25's name has the link to the blog post when the name is clicked. And don't forget you can watch the Youtube review too. There is a link to the Youtube review in the blog post.

The cigars below impressed me. And, if your tastes line up with mine they will impress you too.

I also include the scores for every cigar I rated this year at the end of this blog post so be sure to check them all out.

The breakdown scores of all cigars reviewed by final score:
<90: b="">18
(would not buy or smoke again)90-92: 33 (would smoke again but probably not buy)
92.33-96: 57 (would buy again)


Now, I give you my Top 25 cigars of the year.



The Number 1 Cigar of 2019





Ramon Allones Toro by AJ Fernandez (6 x 52) [2019 review]
(96-96-96) 2/16/19
Score: 96

Sweet, tangy orange citrus, brown sugar, leather, cinnamon, nutmeg, and black coffee. There         was a tremendous amount of black pepper initially which I rated at 8 1/2.

This is a repeat from last year where it received a very good score of 92. But, again after having many others I noticed the cigar improved. I decided to bring it back and review it again this year and for a large part of the year it held the number one slot with tough competition from the Viva la Vida Torpedo.



No. 2
Viva la Vida Torpedo (6 1/2 x 54)
(96-96-96) 6/13/19
Score: 96


Tangy orange citrus, brown sugar, lots of cinnamon and leather, a thread of cream, nutmeg, and black coffee. The leather is a clean leather.

It's rare that you hit a home run on your first time at bat but that's just what the folks at Artesanso del Tobacco did. This cigar totally impressed me from the first draw. At the time of my review I was one of the few people who had reviewed the Viva la Vida. Since this review I also had the toro version which was also very good but I would give the edge to the torpedo. I also had the Juster, which is a robusto and also very good.



No. 3
(96-96-96) 10/12/19
Score: 96

Sweet orange citrus, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, leather, and black coffee. There was a nice amount of black pepper rated at 7 1/2

Another AJ creation and it is full of great flavors. I've also had the Gordo and square pressed toro and they are equally as good, if not actually better! I did not review those but I can highly recommend them also.



No. 4
Protocol Official Misconduct Corona Gorda (5 5/8 x 46)
(96-96-96) 10/12/19
Score: 96


Sweet, tangy, almost candy-like orange citrus, tons of cinnamon, brown sugar, white chocolate, some nutmeg, and a rather light black coffee base. There is an incredible sweetness in the orange citrus, white chocolate, and brown sugar

Over the years Protocol Cigars have had several cigars in my top cigars of the year with a number one in the bunch. This is a vitola addition to the Official Misconduct line and it is fantastic! The flavors just pop. Fantastic cigar.



No. 5
(96-96-95) 3/23/19
Score: 95.67


Tangy orange citrus, sweet dark chocolate, brown sugar, and espresso, with nutmeg intertwined in all the flavors. There was a nice, course black pepper rated at an 8.

One of two cigars by James Brown in this year's Top 10. This one comes from his Black Label Trading Company brand. This cigar is full of very dark notes and plenty of sweetness. Very full bodied. A fantastic, full bodied maduro cigar.



No. 6
(95-96-95) 10/29/19
Score: 95.33

Cedar, citrus, green plum, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, underlying leather, and light black coffee

This cigar had some amazing flavors. Isabela is a new company to me but from what I've had they make some amazing cigars. This is a fantastic one.



No. 7
(95-96-95) 9/15/19
Score: 95.33

Candy-like orange citrus similar to the baby aspirin flavor, quite a bit of cinnamon, brown sugar, cream, nutmeg, quite a bit of leather, and a nice black coffee base

Over the past few years My Father has had some very leathery cigars with not much sweetness. This cigar breaks the mold with great flavors and just the right amount of darker notes. I also had the lancero version and it was equally as good as the toro.



No. 8
(95-95-96) 10/20/19
Score: 95.33

Pronounced sweet, tangy orange citrus, lots of cinnamon and brown sugar, white chocolate, low levels of nutmeg, and a light black coffee base

This is a revived brand from Pure Aroma Cigars. It is made in the Perdomo factory so you know it's a quality constructed cigar. Fantastic flavors. The best Connecticut cigar I had all year.



No. 9
(95-95-95) 5/27/19
Score: 95

Cedar and citrus, quite a bit of brown sugar and a lot of cinnamon, nutmeg, leather, and a black coffee base. The nutmeg, brown sugar, and cinnamon combined to make a very thick flavor. Add to that the heavy leather notes and the cigar is very thick and heavy with great flavor

James Brown and Black Works Studio make some amazing cigars. This is one of them. Cedar, brown sugar, lots of cinnamon, leather, and nutmeg with a nice black coffee base. Very good.



No. 10
(95-95-95) 8/25/19
Score: 95

Cedar, brown sugar, cinnamon, caramel, chocolate fudge, nutmeg, a small amount of whipping cream in the mix, and a light black coffee base

Protocol is no stranger from my top 10. This is a new release by them and a fantastic maduro cigar.



Quite a Top 10, wouldn't you say? Now let's move on to 11-25.



No. 11
(95-95-95) 4/13/19
Score: 95

Pronounced orange citrus, peach, brown sugar, cinnamon, leather, and black coffee




No. 12
(94-95-94) 2/23/19
Score: 94.33

There was a nice cedar, a lot of cinnamon, and sweet caramel. There is so much black pepper the sweetness is a little hidden at the outset. There is a nice black coffee base




No. 13
(95-93-94) 11/17/19
Score: 94

Dry cedar, sweet dark chocolate, cinnamon, brown sugar, touch of nutmeg, and a large amount of dark roasted black coffee




No. 14
(94-95-93) 11/23/19
Score: 94

Pronounced orange citrus, some brown sugar, quite a bit of cinnamon, and a lot of a peppery nutmeg. Tobacco used in the cigar from a farm named after AJ's grandmother; Lilia.




No. 15
(94-94-94) 1/6/19
Score: 94

Chocolate, dark roasted black coffee, nutmeg, and caramel. There are almost buttery notes to the cigar




No. 16
(93-94-95) 9/3/19
Score: 94

Sweet cedar, cinnamon, quite a bit of brown sugar, nutmeg, a few notes of caramel, and a nice black coffee base




No. 17
Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Vibrato (6 x 54)
(94-94-93) 3/24/19
Score: 93.67

Candy-like orange citrus which reminds me of the candy Pez, leather, nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon, and black coffee




No. 18
(94-94-93) Epilogue post: 12/5/19
Score: 93.67

Massive amount of black pepper, orange citrus, caramel, leather, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and black coffee




No. 19
(94-94-93) 9/13/19
Score: 93.67

Citrus peel, some brown sugar and cinnamon, light nutmeg, and a lot of semi-sweet dark chocolate and black coffee




No. 20
(94-93-93) 6/20/19
Score: 93.33

Tangy, cedar/citrus flavor with lots of cinnamon, nice brown sugar, caramel, lots of nutmeg, and a light black coffee base




And the remaining Top 25; 21-25.



No. 21
(94-94-92) 8/18/19
Score: 93.33





No. 22
(94-93-93) 6/1/19
Score: 93.33





No. 23
(93-94-93) 11/9/19
Score: 93.33





No. 24
(94-93-92) 2/23/19
Score: 93





No. 25
(94-92-93) 4/6/19
Score: 93






I think that's a great Top 25. And did you notice it was an AJ sweep for the top 3? AJ has made some amazing cigars this year. As far as the other cigars reviewed here is the complete list of all cigars reviewed in order of score: (name, size, 1/3 scores, date reviewed)


96
Ramon Allones Toro by AJ Fernandez (6 x 52) (96-96-96) [2019 review] 2/16/19
Viva la Vida Torpedo (6 1/2 x 54) (96-96-96) 6/13/19
Dias de Gloria Short Churchill by AJ Fernandez (6 1/2 x 48) (96-96-96) 10/12/19
Protocol Official Misconduct Corona Gorda (5 5/8 x 46) (96-96-96) 8/14/19

95.67
Bishops Blend 2019 Corona Larga (6 1/4 x 46) (96-96-95) 3/23/19

95.33
Isabela Pepperhead (5 1/2 x 42 Corona) (95-96-95) 10/29/19
La Promesa Toro by My Father Cigars (6 x 52) (95-96-95) 9/15/19
Lords of England Connecticut Toro (6 x 50) (95-95-96) 10/20/19

95
La Promesa Lancero by My Father Cigars (7 1/2 x 38) (94-96-95-95) 9/24/19
Protocol Sir Robert Peel Maduro (6 x 52) (95-95-95) 8/25/19
S & R Lancero (2019) (6 3/4 x 42) (95-95-95) 5/27/19)
Green Hornet Kato by Blk Wks (4 1/2 x 46 Petit Corona) (95-95-95) 7/23/19
Villiger Cigars La Meridiana Toro (6 x 54) (95-95-95) 4/13/19

94.67
Killer Bee Lonsdale by Blk Wks (6 1/2 x 42) (94-95-95) 7/17/19

94.33
Aladino Corojo Reserva (5 x 50) (94-95-94) 2/2/19
Protocol Jane Doe (6 x 52 Toro) (95-94-94) 7/6/19

94
Menelik by Foundation Cigars (4 1/2 x 52 Soft-Box Pressed) (95-93-94) 11/17/19
Tabernacle Havana Seed CT No. 142 Toro (6 x 52) (94-94-94) 1/6/19 
Long Live The King Toro by Caldwell Cigars and AJ Fernandez (6 x 50) (93-94-95) 9/3/19
H. Upmann Nicaragua Finca La Lilia 2009 (6 x 60) (94-95-93) 11/23/19
Killer Bee Connecticut by Black Works Studio (4 1/2 x 46) (94-94-94) 9/5/19

93.67
Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Vibrato (6 x 54) (94-94-93) 3/24/19
The T Habano Toro (6 x 50) (94-93-92) 10/27/19
Epilogue: 93.67 94-94-93 (12/5/19)
The King is Dead Torpedo (6 x 52) by Caldwell and AJ Fernandez (94-94-93) 9/13/19

93.33
Viaje Friends and Family Le Joueur 2019 (5 x 52) (94-93-93) 6/30/19
^^^Top 25^^^
Morphine 2019 Lancero (7 x 38) (94-94-92) 8/18/19
Micallef Grande Bold Nicaragua Toro (6 x 54) (94-93-93) 6/1/19
Aganorsa Leaf Guardian of the Farm Nightwatch Campeon (6 x 52) (93-94-93) 11/9/19
Protocol Sir Robert Peel Natural (6 x 52) (94-93-93) 8/24/19
Protocol Themis Corona Gorda (5 5/8 x 46) (93-94-93) 9/4/19

93
Camacho Imperial Stout Barrel Aged (6 x 50 Toro) (94-93-92) 2/23/19
Psychedelic Turtle (5 x 56 Robusto Grande) (94-93-92) 7/21/19
Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Maestro (Belicoso; 6 x 52) (93-94-92-93) 3/9/19
Green Hornet Robusto by Blk Wks (5 x 48) (93-93-93) 7/14/19
Le Carême LE 2019 by Crowned Heads (93-93-93) (5 1/2 x 52 Belicoso Fino) 7/28/19
Moya Ruiz Summer Sausage Sweet (6 x 52) (93-93-93) 11/3/19
Diesel Hair of the Dog (6 x 54) (94-92-93) 4/6/19

92.67
Herrera Esteli Norteno Toro (6 x 52) (94-92-92) 4/20/19
Casa Fernandez JFR Lunatic Habano Short Titan (4 1/4 x 60) (92-93-93) 3/31/19
Flor de Valle Seleccion de Valle by Warped Cigars (6 x 52) (94-93-91) 9/28/19
Morphine 2019 Short Robusto (4 1/2 x 50) (93-93-92) 8/11/19
Casa Fernandez Aniversario 2019 (6 3/4 x 52 Perfecto) (95-92-91) 10/19/19
Protocol Nightstick (6 1/2 x 54) (92-93-93) 5/25/19
Viaje 10 + 2 1/2 Anniversary Gold (6 x 54) (93-93-92) 11/30/19
Killer Bee by Black Works Studio (4 1/2 x 46) (93-92-93) 7/9/19
Lords of England Maduro Toro (6 x 50) (95-93-90) 10/15/19
Sobremesa Brûlée Toro by Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust (6 x 52) (92-94-92) 10/1/19

92.33
Herrera Esteli Habano Edición Limitada Lancero (7 x 38) (93-92-92) 4/7/19
Tabernacle Havana Seed CT No. 142 Robusto (5 x 50) (93-92-92) 1/26/19
Sacra Folium Law of Sines Toro Gordo (6 1/2 x 52) (93-92-92) 5/18/19
Las Calaveras EL 2019 LC54 (5 1/2 x 54) (92-93-92) 8/10/19
Moya Ruiz Summer Sausage Hot (6 x 52) (92-93-92) 11/2/19
Viaje Honey & Hand Grenades, The Shiv (6 1/4 x 50) (96-95-95) 3/16/19
Epilogue: 92.33 (93-92-92) (6/27/19)
HVC Serie A Canones (5 1/2 x 54) (93-92-92) 9/17/19
CAO Orellana (6 x 52) (93-92-92) 11/29/19
Archetype Chapter 3: Sacred Scales Toro (6 x 52) (92-93-92) 12/1/19
La Gloria Cubana Spanish Press Robusto (5 1/2 x 50) (92-92-93) 11/24/19

92
Micallef Migdalia Toro (6 x 52) (92-92-92) 4/19/19
Deliverance Porcelain by Black Label Trading Company (5 1/2 x 48) (93-92-91) 2/9/19
Herrera Esteli Miami (2019) Toro Especial (6 x 52) (92-92-92) 6/22/19
Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Toro (6 x 52) (94-92-90) 5/26/19
S & R Corona Gorda 2019 (5 1/2 x 46) (94-92-90) 6/2/19
Ventura Cigar Co. Archetype Chapter 3 Dawn of Destiny Toro (6 x 52) (93-92-91) 12/14/19

91.75
The T Connecticut Toro (6 x 50) (90-93-92-92) 3/3/19

91.67
2018 Lirio Rojo by Warped Cigars (5 1/4 x 44) (93-91-91) 1/27/19
Tatuaje ME Toro (Mexican Experiment) (5 3/4 x 50) (93-92-90) 10/5/19
Joya de Nicaragua Numero Uno (6 5/8 x 44) (93-92-90) 9/28/19
Las 6 Provincias MTZ (6 x 52 Box Pressed) (94-92-89) 11/16/19
Hoyo la Amistad Dark Sumatra Medio Noche (5 3/4 x 54) (92-92-91) 12/10/19
Viaje Super Shot 2019 10 Ga. (3 1/2 x 54) (93-91-91) 6/16/19
Tatuaje El Triunfador Original Robusto (5 x 50) (92-92-91) 1/13/19

91.33
Aganorsa Leaf Signature Selection Maduro Belicoso (6 1/4 x 52) (94-91-89) 7/20/19
Trinidad Espiritu Toro (6 x 52) (92-92-90) 10/26/19
CAO Session Bar (toro) (6 x 49) (92-92-90) 10/13/19

91
Viaje Scotch Bonnet (4 7/8 x 50) (92-90-91) 2/17/19
Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro Toro Especial (6 x 52) (92-90-91) 3/2/19
Viaje Birthday Blend 2019 (6 x 52 Torpedo) (92-91-90) 6/8/19
Diesel Whiskey Row Sherry Cask Robusto (5 x 52) (91-91-91) 6/19/19
Viaje Hamaki (6 x 54 Torpedo) (91-92-90) 7/1/19
Padilla Finest Hour Oscuro Robusto (5 x 52) (91-91-91) 4/21/19

90.67
Crowned Heads Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2019 (5 7/8 x 52) (93-91-88) 6/29/19
Montecristo Espada Oscuro Guarde (6 x 50) (93-91-88) 8/3/19
Viaje 10 + 2 1/2 Anniversary Silver (6 x 54) (93-91-88) 9/21/19
Isabela Cigars Belicoso X (6 x 54) (91-90-91) 11/10/19

90.5
New World Cameroon Selection Toro (95-95-96) (6 x 50) 1/20/19 
Epilogue: 90.5 (3/22/19)

90.33
Leaf by Esteban (Toro 6 x 52) (91-91-89) 1/12/19
Emilio AF1 Toro (2019) (6 x 50) (92-89-87) 7/7/19
Las Calaveras 2019 LC46 (6 x 46) (90-91-90) 7/27/19
HVC Black Friday (4 1/2 x 52 Petit Robusto) (90-91-90) 12/15/19

90
Anastasia Habano Opera (6 x 52) (92-90-88) 2/24/19

89.67
CAO Flathead V19 Camshaft (5 1/2 x 50) (93-89-88) 9/29/19

89.33
Emilio Cigars AF1 Toro (2019) (6 x 50) (92-89-87) 7/7/19

89
Henry Clay Warhawk Toro (6 x 50) (89-89-89) 4/27/19
Viaje Hamaki Omakase (5 x 52) (91-89-87) 6/23/19

88.75
Crux Limitada Redline (2019) (6 x 50) (87-89-90-89) 5/19/19

88.67
HVC La Rosa 520 Maduro Magicos (5 1/2 x 54) (90-88-88) 9/22/19

88.33
Roma Craft CroMagnon Atlatl Lancero (7 x 38) (90-88-87) 1/26/19
Viaje 10 + 2 1/2 Anniversary Red (6 x 54) (90-87-88) 12/21/19

88
Emilio Cigars AF2 (2019) Toro (6 x 50) (89-88-87) 7/13/19
Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Jefferson (4 1/2 x 50) (90-88-86) 8/4/19

87.67
Deliverance Nocturne Perfecto by BLTC (5 x 56) (90-85-88) 2/10/19
Indianhead Motorcycle Maduro Toro (6 x 52) (87-89-87) 3/30/19

86.67
Cohiba Connecticut Robusto (5 1/2 x 50) (88-86-86) 6/9/19

86
Padilla Finest Hour Connecticut Robusto (5 x 52) (84-88-86) 4/28/19

84
Padilla Finest Hour Sungrown Robusto (5 x 52) (85-84-83) 4/14/19

83.67
Partagas Limited Reserva Decadas 2019 (5 1/2 x 49) (86-84-81) 12/22/19

83
Partagas Legend Toro Leyenda (6 1/4 x 54) (84-84-81) 1/19/19

82.67
Tatuaje ME II Toro (Mexican Experiment) (5 3/4 x 50) (85-83-80) 10/6/19



Manufacturer of the Year

AJ Fernandez would be my manufacturer of the year with 10 cigars in the top 25


Thanks for reading my reviews this year and watching them on Youtube. I already have a lot of cigars ready for 2020 so get ready for more reviews on some great cigars!


2 comments:

  1. Anonymous3:56 AM

    How many AJ's!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just above this comment section it says 10 of the top 25 for AJ. Not sure how many AJ cigars I reviewed this year.

    ReplyDelete