The Perfect 10
If you haven't read part 1 of the "10 cigars that every aficionado must have", then make sure you visit the following link: https://goo.gl/dXg7jY
Selected from the regular production releases, I have put together a list of 10 cigars that I believe every aficionado must have at all times. Special releases cigars are not chosen as they are part of another category that will be tackled in my future blogs.
Some cigars are more expensive than others, yet the selected vitolas were solely based on the taste, blend and status that they bring to their brand.
6) Cohiba Behike
Launched in 2010, the Behike line includes three different sizes that are regarded as the most exclusive cigars in the world. All of them are blended with the Medio Tiempo leaf (the top 2 leafs of the sun grown tobacco plant) and are therefore produced in very limited quantities. The higher the tobacco leaf are on the plant the more flavourful they will be. The plants must be extremely well taken care of in order to even produce the Medio Tiempo leafs. Once selected they are fermented in a separate batch than all the other leafs. The packing is out of this world. All Behikes are found in an exclusive humidor of 10 cigars. To make things even more elite, the bands on the cigars are specifically made for this line and incorporate embossed holographic design. Be sure to savour every puff and I can guarantee you that the coffee and earthy flavours will blow you mind. The prices mentioned herein should not be used as a reference since these cigars are extremely rare and their price will vary from shop to shop.
Behike 52: 52 ring gauge x 119mm in length price at around 550$
Behike 54: 54 ring gauge x 144mm in length price at around 600$
Behike 56: 56 ring gauge x 166mm in length price at around 650$
7) Trinidad Fundadores
You might feel that my review on the Trinidad Fundadores might be slightly biased and this is for the simple reason that it is my all-time favourite cigar! Its slim and long figure is so elegant, hence it is absolutely necessary to roll the cigar with extreme meticulousness and care. I can totally understand why this cigar is and has been offered as diplomatic and VIP gifts since 1997. Medium bodied with wonderful aromas throughout, you will experience woodsy, spicy and slightly creamy flavours. Intensifying as you burn through the vitola, I cannot help but smoke this cigar to the very last, right until my lips burn and my fingers are red. It sounds a bit masochistic and yes, I can confirm that it is indeed. I have never savoured any Fundadores bearing the old band, for the simple reason that I was not able to find them anywhere, yet I was told they are phenomenal. They are 40 x 192mm in size and priced at around 20$ a stick. I strongly recommend and urge all of you aficionados to keep them ready stock for special occasions. Do not be surprised if you are constantly asked what cigar you are smoking! Simply reply with: "The best cigar every made, the Trinidad Fundadores".
8) Cohiba Esplendidos
If I am asked to describe Cohiba in 1 word, "Esplendidos" would be it as it is the master of all Cohibas. Churchill in size (47 x 178mm), you can find it usually in varnished boxes of 25 pieces or in 3-pack cardboards. If you believe 25 Esplendidos are expensive you can always share the cigars with your friends and split the cost accordingly. I've heard rumors that cigars in cardboard boxes will eventually absorb the plastic taste and basically ruin the smoke. The Esplendidos is such a versatile smoke that you can enjoy it by itself, with whisky, meat, fish, beer, coffee, and even a glass of water. The hand-picked leaves are carefully selected and blended together in order to create a wonderful bond of aromas. Earthy, creamy, leathery and peppery, the Esplendidos will tickle your palate and make you beg for more! My only advice is to free a good 2 hours to savour this 30$ wonder!
9) Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona
A legend to say the least. The Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona is a monstrous cigar bearing the original Hoyo de Monterrey band and now I truly hope Habanos does not update the band to the newer one. I was debating which to include: the Punch Double Corona or the Hoyo Double Corona and it all came down to a very simple decisive factor: flavour! Cocoa, coffee, cocoa and even more coffee with a slight leathery tone. The aromas are not overwhelming to a point of discomfort but they certainly hold the Hoyo de Monterrey characteristics of being smooth vitolas. A must try for every single cigar smoker out there! Don't be repulsed by its size (49 x 194mm), the cigar is priced at around 20$.
10) Cohiba Lanceros
Wonderful, simply wonderful! Believe it or not, the Cohiba Lanceros are (or were) Fidel Castro's favorite cigars. Its size is 38 x 192mm and is slightly slimmer than my favorite smoke (see "7"). I will not go into details of how the Cohiba brand started in 1966 but, in short, Fidel got aroused the smell of his bodyguard's cigar. From that moment on the Cohiba brand was born. Between the years 1966 and 1982, the Cohibas were only rolled for Fidel Castro and the Lanceros were given as Diplomatic gifts ever since. Let me provide you with this very helpful tip: take your time and enjoy this cigar. Do not rush through it as you might overheat the vitola and ruin the experience. The special blend that goes into making the Lanceros will provide you with delicate floral tones accompanied with nutty and creamy flavors. Do savour it with a drink, but I strongly suggest to refrain from eating in order not to ruin the taste. Priced at 20$ the stick, you can say that it is one heck of a bargain!