10 cigars that every aficionado must have! (Part 1 of 2)

The Perfect 10

Do you remember that proud moment in your life when you decided to buy your first humidor? What actually went through your mind? Personally, I had simply thought of it as a storage place for my small and negligible cigar stock. Now be honest, what went through your mind when you decided to go for your second, third or even fourth humidor? In my opinion, when your reach this phase it means that you can finally consider yourself an aficionado. Most importantly, you must now carefully select a bunch of cigars that you would like to age, store and smoke.

This article will guide you through this process and present you with facts and personal opinions about the "10 cigars that every aficionado must have". All cigars mentioned herein are Cuban Handmade and are still in production.

1) Partagas Serie D No.4

This Robusto sized vitola (50 x 124mm) is considered to be the foundation of the Partagas brand. Officially released in the 1930's, it was then taken out of production in the 1960's only to be reintroduced in 1975. The D4 is a fully bodied cigar and has spicy, leathery and woody notes. I strongly recommend enjoying this cigar with a peated scotch where the aromas will perfectly together. Priced at around 12.50$ a stick, it is the first of the ten must have cigars in your humidor.

2) Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchills

Slightly longer and wider than the Robusto (55 x 130mm), the Wide Churchills is definitely a keeper. Considered as a recent cigar, the Wide Churchills was launched in 2010, approximately 4 years later than its little brother the Short Churchills. It is a medium bodied cigar that is rich in flavors such as vanilla, slightly peppery and woody. Its price tag of 12.50$ is too good to be true. I have had some hard time getting a hold of these cigars and are most of the time sold out.

3) Montecristo No.2

Finally a pyramid shaped vitola (52 x 156mm). The No.2 was originally rolled at the Upmann factory but, ever since Montecristo became Cuba's largest brand, the No.2 are now being rolled at multiple places around the island. The story behind the Montecristo brand is simply magnificent and is based on the wonderful novel "The Count of Monte Cristo" written by Alexandre Dumas in 1844. The leather and nutmeg flavors are so rich that its price tag of 14$ is no issue whatsoever. No wonder the Montecristo No.2 was voted cigar of the year 2013 by Cigar Aficionados.

4) Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No.2

Another Robusto sized cigar (50 x 124mm) but, this time, it is from the house of Hoyo de Monterrey. Being one of the oldest brands in Cuba, the Epicure No.2 owes its success to the amazing tobacco blend rolled within. A fairly smooth and airy cigar, you can expect fruity flavors with some mild oak. Mild cigars can be enjoyed at any time during the day and match wonderfully with coffee for breakfast or with beer for an afternoon delight. Purchase this vitola for approximately 12$.

5) Bolivar Belicosos Finos

Don't be fooled by the word "Finos" which means "Fine". Bolivars are known to be heavy, strong and full bodied cigars,just like the great Simon Bolivar: the political leader who liberated Latin countries (spanning from Argentina to the Carribean Sea) from the Spanish Monarchy and then establishing independent sovereign states. Pyramid in shape (52 x 140mm), the Belicosos Finos are generally referred to as the strongest and richest cigars in the Bolivar line due to its shape. A small friendly advice: don't rush when smoking the Belicosos Finos, savor every puff! The price tag is roughly 13$ per stick.