Well folks, this is it, the final candidates for the 2019 Stogie Press Top 25 Boutique Cigars. Yes, I know there is more than 25, that is because we will have some honorable mentions. In fact, going back through my reviews, I added one more to make a total of 29.
Remember, these are not yet ranked, they are only candidates. The final ranked list will be announced, as always, at the stroke of midnight December 31, as the ball in Times Square lights up the 2020 sign and champagne glasses clink through the US eastern time zone.
So without further adieu here are the final candidates:
Crux Epicure Short Salomone
The Crux Epicure Short Salomone was as spectacular as the original Epicure from 2 years ago. In fact, I feel it is better than the original. Size and shape does matter when it comes to cigars and the Short Salomone delivered on delicious flavors and aromas. There was a slight jag in the burn line but it held onto a large ash and otherwise burned like a champ.
RS Hubbard Cigar Connecticut Toro
RS Hubbard cigars may be a brand that is new to many of you out there, but you may want to get this on your radar screen. The RS Hubbard “The General” was a perfect cigar to start the morning and pair with a cup of coffee. The flavors were well balanced and transitions were smooth and flavorful. There was a slight wave in the burn from a construction perspective but never needed a touch up.
Left Hand Cigars Lefthander Toro
Left Hand Cigars is a cigar company started by Familia Rodriguez Tobacos LLC which is the parent company of Ohana Cigars. I found the Lefthander by Left Hand Cigars to be quite a pleasurable smoking experience. The flavors and aromas were spectacular and balanced with some intriguing nuances throughout the burn. Smoke output was amazing, billowing off the foot from the very first puff.
La Barba Ricochet Cru Mexi-Sol Petite Corona
The La Barba Ricochet Cru Mexi-Sol Petite Corona was an amazing petite corona. I have come to appreciate the craft from LA Barba over the years and this is just another example of the excellent work from La Barba. The burn was excellent and the flavors were balanced and enjoyable from the foot to the nub. The only dig on this was that it burned hot to the touch in the final.
Providencia Cigars Trinitas Corona
The Corona vitola expression of the Providencia Trinitas was just as spectacular as the original. For a small vitola this cigar packed a punch and delivered a complex yet balanced array of flavors and aromas. This is one I can recommend purchasing a box of. It burned clean, with zero hot spots along the way. When I think about corona vitolas, I think of my favorite, the Cuban Montecristo #4, the Providencia Trinitas is damn close.
MBombay MQBA Vintage Reserve Nikka
The MBombay MQBA Nikka was an elegant smoking experience with delectable and balanced flavors ranging from coffee and fruit to spice, cedar and even almond! The flavors and aromas made this cigar interesting from foot to nub. The burn was all but perfect all the way through the journey. This was quite a memorable cigar. If you like Lanceros/Lonsdales then go buy a box!
Dissident Soap Box Robusto
The Dissident Soap Box has been my favorite in the line with enticing flavor transitions and a savory aroma. This is a cigar that starts with a mild to medium strength and slowly ratchets up to full at the final. It is certainly a cigar that experienced enthusiasts would enjoy. There was a slight bitter component deep in the second third and a mild wave developed into the final.
The Chaffiot Collection – Original Connecticut Gordo
The Chaffiot Collection Original Connecticut was a well performing gordo vitola, in fact it was one the best 6 x 60 cigars I have smoked in a while. Though mild in body and not overly complex, it did offer some pleasant flavors like butter, sweetness, spice, and herbal notes. This is one I would find enjoyable as the first cigar of the day paired with a sweet cup of coffee. If you like mild cigars this is one you should add to your morning rotation.
ACE Prime M.X.S. Dominique Wilkins
The ACE Prime M.X.S. Dominique Wilkins was a slam dunk. This is a cigar that both an experienced or new cigar enthusiast would enjoy. Deeply complex in flavor and aroma with a medium strength it was a pleasure to smoke. There were some minor burn issues and it did have moment here and there when it got astringent or slightly bitter.
That completes the list of candidates for the 2019 Stogie Press Top 25 Boutique Cigars. Tune in New Years Day, as we announce the ranking and the Stogie Press Boutique Cigar of the Year at the stroke of midnight December 31. Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year and thank you once again for following Stogie Press.