Starting December 1st – through December 31st, the ultimate Cigar ranking begins.  My 2010 Cigar of the Year countdown.   This year, I will pick 30 cigars and begin the process of elimination to determine my 2010 Cigar of the Year.

The process will be similar to last year.  I will select 30 finalists of cigars that I think are worthy of the honor.  Each day, I will eliminate a cigar by determining what cigar I am most likely to part with.   While I have assessed many of these cigars as “Memorable” or “Nice to Have”, it does not mean that all “Memorables” will beat out the “Nice to Haves”.

For the most part these will be new releases throughout the year.  My “year” will actually run from December 1, 2009 through November 30th, 2010.  It is possible for a late 2009 (prior to the December 1, 2009 date) cigar that made it into more widespread distribution to be on the list.

Sticks that are of the same blend (Wrapper, Binder, or Filler) but have been made in a new size or shape are ineligible for the list.  For example, CAO introduced the Lx2 in a 6 x 60 size, but there was no change to the blend, therefore this stick will not be eligible.   But for Alec Bradley’s new Maxx with the Connecticut wrapper – this is eligible because there has been a change to the blend. I will select a new “Best Vitola” for new shape/size for existing blends following the completion of the Top 30.

There will be one vitola recommended per stick.   I probably have not smoked each vitola of every stick, so it is possible I’ve missed something here.  This list is a human effort, and obviously there will be room for human error.

Finally, cigar price will not play a role in my ranking.

This could have been the most competitive year for new cigars in some time. There were a LOT of great sticks and many great sticks did miss the cut

The List:

Rank

Cigar

1 Avo LE 10
2 Tatuaje Gran Cojonu

3 Viaje Satori
4 La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Tabaqueros
5 La Palina Family Series (Core)
6 CAO La Traviata Maduro
7 La Palina Family Series – Ligero
8 San Lotano Connecticut
9 Camacho Liberty 2010
10 La Gloria Cubana Serie N

11 La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor
12 San Lotano Maduro
13 Joya de Nicaragua Cabinetta Serie
14 Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial
15 E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2010
16 La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Obelisco
17 Master by Carlos Toraño
18 My Father Limited Edition 2010
19 Oliveros Swag
20 A.Turrent Triple Play
21 Esteban Carreras 187
22 Liga Privada Dirty Rat
23 Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary
24 Macanudo Vintage 1997 Maduro

25 Guillermo León Signature
26 Gurkha Ninja
27 Esteban Carreras 5150
28 Nestor Miranda Art Deco
29 Gurkha Viper
30 Macanudo Cru Royale

The Honorable Mentions
There were still plenty of great cigars that did not make my Top 30 list.   These were new releases that were all still quality cigars.   I’ve listed these in no particular order other than alphabetical.  These are what I term the “honorable mentions”.   Somehow I wish I could have included all of these on my Top 30.262 Paradigm
Altadis Warlock
Esteban Carreras Cubana Real Semilla Maduro
LFD Air Bender
Nestor Miranda Domincano Rosado
Quesada Tributo
PDR Oscuro Liga Cubana No 2.
San Lotano Habano
Toraño Family Brigade
Toraño Family Single Region
Best New Vitola for 2010
One thing that I done differently from Cigar Aficionado in ranking cigars for the year is to distinguish ranking the blend from the vitola (size/shape).   For my Top 30 list, every cigar represented a new blend (while Cigar Aficionado includes new vitolas in their countdown).  However, there were many new vitolas that came out for existing cigar blends on the marketplace.   Therefore I do not think this should be overlooked.  Here are my five top new vitolas in order:1.Oliveros King Havano Black Knight Mace
2.CAO Brazilia Corcovado
3.CAO Lx2 Gordo
4.La Gloria Cubana Serie R No 3 Natural
5.Cain Habano Nub