The purpose of this list is not to expand our Top 30 to Top 40.  These are not cigars 31 to 40 being listed.  In alphabetical order, we list ten honorable mentions that came oh so close to making the countdown and deserve recognition as very good smokes.

Why ten more cigars after already ranking 30?  There were a lot of releases this year.  Even after including ten more honorable mentions, I’m amazed at what still didn’t make the list.  If you look at what we smoked and scored, it was quite a bit.

Añoranzas by Miami Cigar

Añoranzas by Miami Cigar
and Company

The Añoranzas was a new line launched by Miami Cigar and Company in 2012.  It was launched at the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show.   The Añoranzas is a Nicaraguan puro.  It’s origins can be traced back to the Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2011 (a cigar that was an honorable mention in our 2011 Cigar of the Year countdown).   

The Grand Reserve 2011 was tweaked and modified and thus the Añoranzas was born.  The combination of its citrus sweetness, chocolate, nut, and red pepper really made for a great flavor profile.

Click here for our full assessment on the Añoranzas.

CLE Connecticut

CLE Connecticut

Christian Eiroa’s new venture, CLE launched prior to the IPCPR. The release of the CLE Connecticut surprised a lot of people as it was quietly unveiled following the 2012 IPCPR.  We were one of the first media outlets to report the third blend under the CLE brand.

While CLE’s first two releases the CLE Cuarenta and the #22 ranked CLE Corojo were Honduran puros, the CLE Connecticut uses an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper over Honduran tobaccos.   Strength-wise the CLE Connecticut is going to be mild to medium, but its flavors are in the medium to full range.  The CLE Connecticut’s edge are its wonderful orange citrus notes that really are the differentiator with this flavor profile.

Click here for our full assessment on the CLE Connecticut.

Iconic Leaf Recluse

Iconic Leaf Recluse

This was a brand we had an honor of smoking some of the first media samples.  Iconic Leaf Cigars is a new company that launched at the 2012 IPCPR show.  The Recluse was their first release and is blended by J.R. Dominguez.   The Recluse’s differentiating factors are that cigars are rolled in true entubar fashion – and the tobacco is put through eight fermentation cycles.

Iconic Leaf Cigars also took a unique approach by launching ten frontmarks as a part of the Recluse line.  This includes three patent-pending vitolas known as Kanú series – a kayak shaped vitola.  
The flavors are a mix of contemporary and classic. The flavor notes from this cigar include: flavors of caramel, orange peel, red pepper, coffee, and oak.  The flavors are medium to full-bodied before moving to full-bodied at the end.  The strength follows a similar pattern: medium to full before going full strength at the very end.  Overall a blend and line of cigars that should satisfy many cigar enthusiasts.
Click here for our pre-release assessment on the Iconic Leaf Recluse.  Click here for when we rated and scored the cigar.

La Palina Classic

La Palina Classic
The La Palina Classic was one of two new blends launched by Bill Paley‘s La Palina Cigars at the 2012 IPCPR trade show.  The La Palina Classic is intended be a economical priced La Palina offering with the quality La Palina Cigars has been well-known for.  The La Palina Classic is able to deliver with this goal in mind.

For the La Palina Classic, Paley teams up with the PDR Cigars’ factory in the Dominican Republic for this blend.  The blend uses tobacco from Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.  The Brazilian Habano wrapper marks the first La Palina with a Brazilian wrapper.  In the end the blend delivers a wonderful flavor profile of pepper, wood, citrus, buttersctoch, natural tobacco.  The La Palina Classic has medium-bodied flavors.  From a strength perspective, it is medium to full.  There is a pop to this cigar than one might think.

Click here for our assessment of the La Palina Classic.

Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012

Nestor Miranda
Grand Reserve 2012

The Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012 marks the second release of the Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve series.  It also marks the second year in a row a Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve blend has landed as an honorable mention.

Like the 2011, the Grand Reserve 2012 uses a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler. The big difference in the blend between the Grand Reserve 2012 and the Grand Reserve 2011 is that the 2012 has additional ligero in the filler.  This created not only additional strength, but additional flavor. The Grand Reserve 2012 is a full strength, full-bodied cigar that will deliver notes of pepper, coffee, chocolate, and cream.

Click here for our assessment of the Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012.


Reinado Grand Empire Reserve

Reinado Grand Empire
Reserve
The Reinado Grand Empire Reserve was the second release for Antonio Lam‘s Reinado Cigars.   His core line Nicaraguan puro garnered some considerable attention, but it is the second blend, the Reinado Grand Empire Reserve that really took Reinado to the next level.  Overall Reinado is a company to watch over the next 12 to 18 months.

Like the core line, the Grand Empire Reserve is a Nicaraguan puro.  This one currently is only available in a 5 x 55 box-press, although there are hints Lam will extend the line.

The Grand Empire Reserve has full-bodied flavors against medium/medium to full strength.  It delivers notes baker’s spice, coffee, floral, cherry, and natural tobacco flavors. 

Click here for our pre-release assessment on the Reinado Grand Empire Reserve.  Click here for when we rated and scored the cigar.

Rocky Patel Burn Naples FL
Rocky Patel Burn
Naples FL
Of the six new IPCPR blends and nine new blends released by Rocky Patel Premium Cigars in 2012, the Rocky Patel Burn Naples Florida might be the most unique of any of their releases.

The Burn Naples Florida is named after Rocky Patel’s cigar nightclub/lounge located in the city of Naples Florida.  This cigar is not to be confused with the Burn Special Reserve which is a cigar that has been made only to Rocky Patel lounges.  The Burn Naples Florida is a core line offering

Overall I found this Honduran puro to be a perfect autumn cigar.  It delivered a very unique profile of citrus, sugar cane, mixed fruit, along with exotic and autumn spices.  The flavors are medium to full-bodied countered by some medium spice.

Click here for our assessment of the Rocky Patel Burn Naples FL.

Freedom by Rocky Patel
Freedom by Rocky Patel
The Freedom by Rocky Patel was also one of the six new cigars launched by Rocky Patel Premium Cigars at the 2012 trade show.  The name of the cigar is closely tied with company President Rocky Patel’s tireless efforts to defend cigar rights.  Patel has invested considerable time and resources to fight for tobacco rights, thus this cigar pays ttribute to the freedom to enjoy a cigar.

The Freedom uses an Oscuro wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and filler.  The flavor profile is one that I would expect from an Oscuro wrapper cigar – notes of mocha, leather, pepper, and nut.  This was one of those cigars that is a classic “medium -medium” (medium strength, medium-bodied) smoke.   As a result, this is a blend that can appeal to a wide range of cigar enthusiasts – and provide nice flavors along the way.

Click here for our assessment of the Freedom by Rocky Patel.

Toraño Master Maduro
Torano Master Maduro
The Toraño Master Maduro was one of two new blends launched at the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show.  It also marks the second cigar in Toraño’s Master Series.  The series is is a joint effort by Charlie Toraño and his “master roller” Julian Felipe Sosa.   The first blend in the series, the Master by Carlos Toraño was released in 2010 and was our #17 Cigar for 2010.   

The blend is a multi-national blend featuring a Nicaraguan Habano Maduro wrapper, an Ecuadorian Habano binder, and filler tobacco from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.  This is a rich classic maduro smoke with full-bodied flavors of espresso, earth, pepper, and earth.  There were even some floral notes on this one.   The corresponding strength is medium to full.

Click here for our assessment of the Toraño Master Maduro.

Viaje Super Shot
Viaje Super Shot
(10 Gauge)
The Viaje Super Shot was a new limited small production batch of cigars introduced in the Spring of 2012 by Viaje Cigars.  The name for the Super Shot comes from brand founder, Andre Farkas and his interest in clay shooting. Farkas was hoping to create a short smoke while taking a break in between shooting.
The Super Shot is a Nicaraguan puro.  It is designed to look like a shotgun shell and even sized appropriately (into 10 gauge and 12 gauge vitolas).  It delivers a full strength, full-bodied smoke in a short amount of time.  It provides notes of black pepper, mocha, chocolate, leather, and oak. 
Click here for our assessment of the Viaje Super Shot.