“Epic Encounters” – The 2011 Cigar of the Year Countdown.

It’s that time of the year.  Time to countdown the Top 30 cigars for 2011.   It seems like every year I say “this is the best year for cigars ever”.  However, in each case it has been true – and 2011 truly takes the cake in my book.  Selecting a #1 cigar was hard, but it was even harder selecting 30 cigars to make the cut.   The smokes were so good – they were truly “Epic Encounters”.

The cigar countdown begins on Thursday December 1st with cigar #30.  Cigar #29 will be on December 2nd, Cigar #28 will be December 3rd, etc.   Almost daily, I will post the cigar that was selected.   When we get to #1 and #2, I will hold a little suspense and announce those cigars on New Years’ Eve.

I hope you will enjoy this original concept in sharing my top cigars of the year.

The List (Scroll down to see current spot in the countdown)



1 La Palina El Diario
2 La Sirena
3 Tatuaje Anarchy
4 Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011 (Maduro)
5 Avo Limited Edition 2011 85th Anniversary
6 Casa Miranda Chapter One by Miami Cigars
7 Room 101 Namakubi
8 E.P. Carrillo Core Line Maduro
9 Emilio Grimalkin
10 Room 101 Connecticut
11 Tatuaje Wolfman
12 Rocky Patel Fifty
13 Viaje Satori 2011
14 Illusione Maduro
15 Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon
16 Cain Daytona
17 Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011 Connecticut Shade
18 My Uzi Weighs a Ton by Subculture Studios and Joya de Nicaragua
19 Casa Magna Domus Magnus
20 Tatuaje Fausto
21 Emilio AF2
22 Zino Platinum Z-Class
23 Oliveros Sun Grown Reserve
24 My Father El Hijo
25 Quesada Oktoberfest
26 My Father Limited Edition 2011
27 Torano Vault
28 Viaje WLP (White Label Project St. Patrick’s Day) Candela
29 Humo Jaguar by Miami Cigars
30 E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut

Honorable Mentions

I was fortunate to smoke a lot of cigars.  I did not smoke every cigar, but we did cover quite a bit of ground in 2011.  These are cigars that came very close to making the list and Cigar Coop would like to single these out as honorable mentions.   It was a good year and there were a lot of major releases that were smoked that did not make the list.  They are listed in alphabetical order.

Emilio AF1
Illusione Candela 

Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve
Padron Family Reserve 85th Anniversary 
Para Japon by La Aurora
Tatuaje La Casita Criolla
Thunder by Nimish
Viaje Skull and Bones (Fourth Release Cycle – Little Boy/Fatman)
Xen by Nish Patel

Cigars selected will be new cigar blends that were released in 2011. A common question may be – the year 2011 is not over.  For the purposes of the Cigar Coop project, it is.   I am setting Thanksgiving 2011 as the close of the cigar year.  At the same time, I set Black Friday, 2010 as the start of the 2011 cigar year.  I felt the countdown had some meaning by making the selection on New Year’s Eve as opposed to January 31st, thus I have modified the cigar year slightly.

Best New Vitola

There were many existing lines that added new vitolas to the
portfolio in 2011.   Here are the five best in order.  You can read more detail here on this.

1.E.P. Carrillo Elencos Don Rubino
2.Oliva Serie V No. 4
3.Master by Torano BFC
4.E.P. Carrillo Core Line No. 4
5.Joya de Nicaragua Serie Cabinetta Lancero

Best Aged Blend

While 2011 was a great year in the cigar business, 2010 was an
outstanding year as well.   As cigars age, their profile can change – in
terms of flavor, burn, and draw.   This can be both a positive thing or
a negative thing.  Aging certain cigar blends does not always guarantee
a better cigar, but with many blends it can make a difference.

Below are five 2010 blends that I think really took to aging well.  In
some cases, these cigars were already ranked as top cigars in 2010.  It
is that aging took it to the next level and made some very good cigars
released last year even better.

Click here for more detail.

1.Liga Privada Unico Serie Dirty Rat
2.262 Ideology
3.A. Turrent Triple Play
4.Nestor Miranda Art Deco
5.My Father Limited Edition 2010

Top Cigar Stories of the Year

This link contains the twelve biggest stories and themes to impact the cigar industry in 2011