Ben’s Top 10 Cigars of 2009

Well, it’s that time of the year again where we all put out our Top 10 cigars of the year. These cigars are the ones I’ve thoroughly enjoyed over the year. My criteria was taste, price, availability, how many I had over the year. I’ve got them arranged 1 through 10, but honestly, any one of these could be number 1. That’s how close I rate these cigars. This year the cigar smoker was extremely lucky. Manufactures came out with some amazing cigars this year and a lot like CAO and Camacho priced them for the average cigar smoker in the price sweet spot of $5-$6.

Below, I’ve listed my top 5 overall cigars for reference of my preferred flavor profile.

Top 5 Cigars Overall:

10. Reyes Family Miami

This was a no brainer. I’ve had plenty of these cigars and this one is just amazing. The flavors of leather, cedar, sweet spice with hints of sweet cream and dried cherries give this cigar a unique flavor profile that I really enjoy. It’s hard to find these as they seem to sell out fast. Never the less, this cigar is truly one of a kind and an amazing smoke.

9. Room 101

This cigar is one that you either love it or loathe it. Well, for me, I love it. I had my first one at IPCPR this year and I’ve had several since then. This cigar has flavors of woods as a main base, nuts, coffee, fudge and pepper that ramps up at the cigar burns to the end. It also develops a slight hint of the aftertaste of bourbon. I really enjoy the cigar especially in the robusto size.

8. Oliva Serie V Lancero

This one has been around awhile now, but when I look back on what I’ve smoked the most this year, it was this cigar. I’ve never had a bad one, which says a lot when you’re talking about a lancero. This cigar is nutty with caramel and spice flavors with hints of coffee. The price is right with these also at around $5.50 a stick. Oliva has something special with these Serie V. Its big brother, the torpedo is also amazing and a staple in my humidor.

7. Cruzado Domenicos

This is another cigar line from Illusione and, yet again, another home run. I bought this cigar from New Havana Cigars along with some other samples and was blown away. This cigar has flavors of toasted cashews, leather, spices and black pepper with hints of creaminess. Truly a classy cigar.

6. Viaje Oro Robusto

Viaje was unknown to me until this year……what the hell have I been missing!?!?! This cigar is spectacular. Its flavors are earthy with creamy chocolate, cinnamon, spices, cedar and a hint of a floral note. It’s just a great cigar all around. Burn and draw are fantastic. Just….wow.

5. Illusione ~MJ12~

Besides a cool name (Majestic 12), this cigar comes completely wrapped in foil giving it that 50’s sci-fi vibe. This cigar doesn’t just look cool, it taste amazing. It has a great flavor profile of leather, dried fruits, cafe au lait, cinnamon, cedar and black pepper.

4. La Riqueza No. 4

This cigar was one of the most flavorful cigars I’ve had all year. Its overshadowed by the other Tatuaje lines, but this cigar, I think, I like better than most of them. It has notes of cedar, chocolate and coffee that develops into more notes of buttery nuts, black pepper and sweet spices. Nice complex cigar with medium body that appeals to most everyone.

3. CAO La Traviata

This cigar is amazing right out of the gate, another cigar that blew me away. Its has notes of nuts, black pepper and leather with an underlying creaminess and hints of cedar, cocoa and licorice. The amazing part is that CAO has priced this cigar at around $5 a stick? Are you serious? STFU!

2. J. Fuego Gran Reserva Corojo No. 1

I got the first one of these cigars from Charlie while we were on CigarWeekly and fell in love immediately. I had never heard of Jesus Fuego before this cigar and I was blown away. Everyone one I’ve had after that first torpedo has been spectacular. The cigar has flavors of woods and spices that slowly develops into a creamy, nutty profile. It’s not overly complex, but when it tastes this good, who cares?

…and now, for my top cigar of the year!

1. Illusione Nosotros

This cigar absolutely blew me away. I know these aren’t out yet, but I smoked a sample Dion Giolito gave me at IPCPR in New Orleans this year and I’m a better man for it. This cigar has a very unique flavor profile. It’s very spicy, but not just black pepper, but like chili peppers along with a woody, nutty, caramel sweetness and a hint of amaretto. Nice smooth cigar that ramps up gradually in flavor throughout the cigar. Very unique and very good. This cigar is just amazing.

Honorable mentions (I love these a lot too, but I couldn’t fit them in):
Camacho Connecticut, Illusione Eperney, Reyes Family vintage, Man O’ War Ruination, J. Fuego 777 Corojo, J. Fuego Delirium, Viaje Platino, Viaje 50/50, Murcielago, 601 Black, Tatuaje RC184, Nub Connecticut, Oliva Serie V 2009 Maduro, Diesel, My Father Cedros Deluxe, Alec Bradley Vice Press 6T, Jameson Black

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[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by NiceTightAsh, Buy Lighters. Buy Lighters said: – Ben’s Top 10 Cigars of 2009 – @tight_ash […]

Very nice list and read…. and I am very jealous of anyone that has smoked a Nosotros…. but now that you put it number 1 on your list… gah! I want this smoke!

look forward to more reviews.

I actually have had about 6 on your list. I did not care for the Aliados Miami though and the MJ12 that Tony and I reviewed must have been from a bum box cause they would have never been on a top 10 the way they tasted :(

some of us have to wait till next March to try your #1 cigar :p lol


Outstanding choices and spot-on commentary!


I love reading everyone’s Top 10 list. It’s interesting to see a mix of my favs, some new ones and some that I didn’t care for – like the Room 101. I’ve seen the house divided on that one big time.


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