2010 Zen Cigar of the Year

Yeah it's a bit late, but I've done a lot of pondering as to who is worthy of a "Zennie". Remember a candidate for Cigar of the Year must have been newly created for 2010; for example, Arturo Fuente Hemingway would not be eligible. The official list is located here. So without further ado, here are the nominees in random order:

Zen Cigar of the Year

Read the full review of 2010 Zen Cigar of the Year...

Top Cuban Cigars of 2010

Cohiba Maduro 5 Genios

It's the middle of December again and, like every year, I am bringing you the list of the best Cuban cigars of 2010 (strictly based on my personal experiences). In fact, I'm quite surprised at the result because, for instance, I would never have thought that two cigars of a brand that I never particularly liked could make it to the list. Note: these are not just 2010 releases (in fact, none of these were released in 2010...) but simply my favorite cigars that I smoked in 2010.

  1. Cohiba Genios. No, not the Behike. Although the new release is certainly an excellent cigar, I think that the Genios are more complex and flavorful. This is a cigar I take out of the humidor for special occasions only; I must have smoked 5 or 6 this year and they all were amazing.
  2. Partagas Shorts. I could have placed this one on the top, but nobody would take that list seriously, so here goes. Due to the lack of free time (and recent cold weather), the Shorts, along with another cigar that you will soon discover, has been my go-to stick. I managed to acquire some aged boxes, have been ageing them some more and with 3-4 years they are just amazing.
  3. Trinidad Robusto T. Still as good as last year, Trinidad Robusto T resists and only loses a few spots. If you still haven't tried one, do yourself a favor.
  4. Partagas 8-9-8. I rediscovered this cigar in 2010. Impulsively bought a box from 2008 in Duty Free and the 3-4 that I managed to find time to smoke were great. I will try to update that old review in 2011!
  5. Montecristo No. 5. So this is my second go-to cigar this year. Again, it's better if you age them a couple of years like I did.

I hope you enjoyed the list and, as usual, I will be very happy to hear about your good smoking experiences in 2010. Unleash the comments!

2009 Blog Highlights: Summer

In the "Blog Highlights" series, we are taking a look back at the best cigar reviews & articles published on CigarInspector.com in 2009. Enjoy.

Oliva Serie G Maduro

Oliva Serie G Maduro

We ran a contest back in June and some participants submitted their cigar reviews. One of the best ones was written by Charlia a.k.a. Labman and concerned a great cheapie, the Oliva Serie G Maduro.

Montecristo No. 4 Reserva

Montecristo No. 4 Reserva

I had a chance to smoke a few very rare cigars in 2009, and the one I enjoyed the most is probably this Montecristo No. 4 Reserva. As it is extremely hard to find, I didn't include it in my top cigars list, otherwise it could have shifted the Trinidad Robusto T from the top spot.

Cain Habano

Cain Habano Belicoso

Cain is a marca released by Sam Leccia, supposed to be as strong as it can get. The Cain Habano, reviewed by Michael, is the blend that received better reviews across the blogosphere.

2009 Blog Highlights: Spring

In the "Blog Highlights" series, we are taking a look back at the best cigar reviews & articles published on CigarInspector.com in 2009. Enjoy.

Cubao Lancero

Cubao No. 3

So far, this is the only Cubao review that has been published here. Jason talks about the lancero size and thinks that it deserves the high praises this blend received from cigar blogs and publications.

La Gloria Cubana Serie R Maduro

La Gloria Cubana Serie R No. 5

Despite the ugly looks, La Gloria Cubana Serie R Maduro earns a good rating from Lee. Considering its relative cheapness ($5 a pop), this blend can be considered as a good budget cigar.

Panacea

Panacea Red Perfecto

In May, a lot of blogs started publishing raving reviews of Panacea cigars. CigarInspector.com was no exception and I reviewed the Panacea Red, which was a genuinely pleasing cigar.

Buying cigars in Madrid

In 2009, I spent my Christmas holidays in Madrid, Spain. Not only this is a very beautiful city, but it also has a couple of places that might interest cigar aficionados. Spain consumes more cigars than any other European country. This is why almost every tobacco shop (estanca) has a basic selection of Habanos (Partagas Serie D No. 4, Montecristo No. 4, Cohiba Robusto...) stored in decent conditions. However, some of the shops have a walk-in humidor. I visited two of the most famous cigar shops. Fortunately, they are located close to each other, next to the Bilbao metro station.

Jesus showing me his best Cohibas

Cava Cardenal Cisneros (Google Maps >) has a huge walk-in humidor and a very complete selection of both Cuban and non-Cuban cigars. Jesus, the owner, speaks English and will happily show you what he's got. I purchased some Partagas Serie D No. 3 LE 2006 and the new Regional Edition from Ramon Allones. This is the shop that I truly recommend.

Out of curiosity, I went to the other shop, Cava de Magallanes (Google Maps >), located just a few hundred meters away. There's also a walk-in humidor (which seemed slightly over-humidified to me), nobody was able to speak English though (make sure you carry a pocket dictionary if you're on a visit, English-speaking people are rare birds). However, I was able to purchase a few of Vegas Robaina Maestros.

And if you want to smoke a puro straight away, there is a Vips (sort of cafe-shop-restaurant) on the plaza Glorieta de Queveda which has an indoors smoking area, quite comfortable.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

We wish you a very happy new year 2010, full of success and achievements! Thank you for your continued support and keep on reading the blog, just like in 2009 we'll make sure to bring you quality cigar-related information this year.

Meet the Smoking Hot Cigar Chick!

Hello everyone, I hope you all are having a great Sunday. As usual on this day of the week, no long in-depth posts or reviews, just sharing the good stuff. You probably have seen videos and pictures of beautiful women smoking cigars. However, quite often these women do not know much about cigars, besides the fact that it helps them look sexier. A few days ago I stumbled upon a blog held by a woman who knows more than most men about our favorite hobby. It's called Smoking Hot Cigar Chick and is definitely worth a visit. You can watch one of her reviews, concerning the Oliva Serie V, below. Enjoy.



Top Cuban Cigars of 2009

Trinidad Robusto T

It's the middle of December and here comes the list of the best Cuban cigars of 2009. I had no problems selecting the #1, but the competition for positions 2-5 was quite tough.

  1. Trinidad Robusto T. This is an example of how a Cuban cigar can live up to the expectations. What an amazing cigar!
  2. H. Upmann Magnum 48 LE 2009. For the immediate pleasure and for its ageing potential, the limited edition from H. Upmann gets the #2 spot.
  3. Ramon Allones Specially Selected. As consistent as last year, this robusto keeps a place in the top 5. Still a solid box purchase.
  4. San Cristobal de la Habana Oficios. My discovery of the year - I fell in love with this vitola.
  5. Partagas Shorts. Properly aged, this is one of the best petit coronas the Cuban terroir has to offer. Unbeatable price/quality ratio.

I decided not to include very limited releases as well as regional editions in the above list as these cigars are hard to get.

The disappointment of the year, you will probably agree with me, is the Montecristo Open.

I am curious to hear your experiences. What Cuban cigars did you enjoy in 2009?

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