For the fifth consecutive year, we provide the Cigar Coop selections for Best Aged Cigar. The purpose of this category is to look at some cigar lines that were released the previous year, and see the impacts of age on them. This is a unique category not often seen, but one we feel as important as finding the best new cigars of the year.
The criteria for this list is as follows:
1) The cigars must have met criteria to be eligible for the 2014 Cigar of the Year Countdown.
2) They must be cigars that have been smoked (but not necessarily reviewed) during the 2014 Cigar Year, and at least one other time during the 2015 Cigar Year on Cigar Coop. A minimum of six months must have passed from the first time smoked.
3) This is not an exhaustive assessment. In other words, it is based on the sampling of cigars smoked again in 2015. By no means are we claiming to have smoked every cigar from the previous year again.
4) This year, we incorporate our “size matters” vitola theme, therefore aging is looked at a specific vitola.
The Alec Bradley Coyol is a Honduran puro that made its debut at the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show. The Coyol gets its name from a farm in Honduras located in El Paraiso, and this cigar incorporates tobaccos from that farm into this blend. The Toro is a classic 6 x 52 size.
This is a cigar that came into its own when it was smoked again in 2015. It delivered noes of earth, nut, cherry sweetness, cedar, and pepper. The flavors are medium to full in body countered by medium strength that progresses to medium to full in the second half.
The Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Belle Encre Reserva is limited edition Connecticut Broadleaf version of the Tatuaje 10th Anniversary in the Belle Encre (perfecto) shape.
The Belle Encre Reserva isn’t the most complex of cigars, but it’s quite flavorful. This is a cigar that delivers notes of mocha, coffee, earth, and black pepper. The flavors smoothed out quite a bit when first smoked from 2014. These are full-bodied flavors countered by medium to full strength..
This was the first installment Casa Fernandez’s Aniversario series made for the 35th Anniversary of Tabacalera Tropical. This was the first true limited run cigar by Casa Fernandez. It is a 6 x 54 box-pressed Nicaraguan puro that featueres Casa Fernandez’s renowned Aganorsa farm tobaccos.
Last year this was the Cigar Coop #6 Cigar of the Year, and it just continues to get better. It has a flavor profile of earth, black pepper, dried fruit, and cocoa. It delivers a full-bodied smoke countered by some medium to full strength. This cigar could be heading for legendary status.
The Matilde Renacer is the debut blend by Matilde Cigars. This is the company launched by the legendary José Seijas. Seijas is best known for his tenure as Vice President and General Manager of Tabacalera de Garcia – maker of Altadis products. The Renacer Robusto measures 5 x 50 and features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, a Dominican binder, and a combination of Dominican and Nicaraguan filler.
The Renacer Robusto delivers notes of coffee, tangy sweetness, pepper, and earth. The tangy notes work quite well with this cigar. This cigar is full bodied countered with medium to full strength.The Robusto was a real nice surprise in this line that also stood up to time in the humidor.
The Saga Golden Age is one of two regular production offerings by De Los Reyes Cigars. The theme of the Saga Golden Age is to deliver a classic styled smoke that is intended to have a throwback profile to the times of Hemingway. The itself is a Dominican puro and the Toro is a classic 6 x 52 size.
The Golden Age loses no steam while resting in the humidor. While the Golden Age has some very classic flavors, it can appeal to the modern smoker as well. This cigar delivres notes of natural tobacco, cedar, wood, pepper, and berry sweetness. It’s a medium cigar in terms of strength and body that progresses nicely to medium to full in the second half.
The La Palina Collection Goldie Laguito Especial is the third installment of the Goldie series – which for all practical purposes has become La Palina’s most critically acclaimed line. The La Palina Goldie Laguito No. 2 was the Cigar Coop 2012 Cigar of the Year while the La Palina Goldie No. 5 was the Cigar Coop Best New Vitola for 2013. The Laguito Especial is a 7 x 40 lancero featuring a Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Ecuadorian binder, and Nicaraguan and Dominican filler.
With a year of age under the belt, the Laguito Especial is now performing at the high level the first two releases have. This cigar delivers notes of wood, cream, black pepper, cedar and butterscotch. The flavors are medium to full-bodied and countered by medium to full strength.
The Nomad C-276 is the fourth regular production cigar released by Nomad Cigar Company. With the C-276, owner Fred Rewey’s goal was to add a fuller, more complex cigar into his portfolio. For the C-276, Rewey delivers a blend featuring an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and fillers. There are five different fillers including Ometepe tobacco and two ligero leaves from Esteli and Condega. The Robusto measures 5 x 50 and is box-pressed.
Nomad Cigars have consistently done well with aging and the C-276 is no exception. This cigar delivers notes of milk chocolate, cedar, black pepper and nut. There are also some floral notes up-front. It delivers a solid medium to full experience in terms of strength and body.
La Bohéme is a brand by Boutique Blends Cigars launched in 2014. The inspiration the entire brand brought together three passions of company President Rafael Nodel: music, Cuban Culture, and cigars. The musical inspiration stems from the fact that La Bohéme is the name of an opera by Giacamo Puccini that happens to be one of Nodal’s favorites. The packaging and the cigars itself also have a very Cubanesque feel to it. The Pittore is a 5 1/8 x 52 Robusto featuring an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over a Dominican binder and fillers.
La Bohéme delivers notes of sweet natural tobacco, vanilla, red and white pepper, and cream. As this cigar has aged, the complexity of this blend really shines. It’s a medium strength, medium-bodied cigar that kicks it up to medium to full in the second half.
The Roberto P. Duran Signature (formerly called Roberto P. Duran Premium) is Duran Cigars’ super premium line. It carries the name of company founder Roberto Pelayo Duran. The cigar features a beautiful Ecuadorian Habana Criollo wrapper grown at the company’s Ecuadorian plantation over Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan fillers (plus one filler leaf from an undisclosed Latin American country). Rio To a a is a 5 x 52 Robusto named for Cuba’s biggest river.
Aging this cigar has been like money in the bank. It ihad notes of natural tobacco, bread, pepper, cream, and a slight citrus component that gives this cigar a nice “Cuban Twang”. It’s medium strength and medium-bodied. While a great cigar when it first came out, over time the nuances and transitions really shine.
Espinosa Cigars takes the crown this year for Best Aged Cigar with the Espinosa Laranja Reserva – a cigar that has become the company’s biggest hit.
The Laranja Reserva incorporates a Brazilian wrapper – a first for a regular Espinosa Cigars release. The wrapper is not a mainstream Brazilian one. It comes from the Recôncavo region of Brazil located in the Bahia State. The wrapper is called Brazlian Laranja. Laranja is the Portuguese word for “orange” and the name is derived from the orange tint this wrapper has. The Corona Gorda is a classic 5 5/8 x 46.
The Laranja Reserva is another “money in the bank” cigar when it comes to aging. It delivers notes of nut, white and red pepper, natural tobacco and even some earth and cream. While it might be the power of suggestion, I still get a little orange flavor from this cigar. This cigar for the most part was medium to full in strength and body.
Simply put – over the course of the year, this cigar has just gotten better and better.
If you followed this series, here is the history of the Best Aged Cigar winners.