Now onto cigars. Whether is coincidence or not, my two picks happened to be not Cuban. That is quite surprising given that Cubans have always ranked higher in my view and is a class above the rest, and makes up the majority of my smokes (favoured labels include Bolivar and San Luis Reyes). So here goes, my two best cigars for 2009: La Gloria Cubana's Series R and ... Padron's 1964 Anniversary Series.
The first one is Padron's 1964 Anniversary Series, especially the Exclusivo Maduro. This firm box-pressed cigar has a silky black wrapper. It has a perfect draw and burn, delivering rich, peppery smoke that has a heavy nutty flavor. A medium to full-bodied cigar.
Size: 5 1/2 x 50
Cigar Shape: Robusto
Cigar Filler: Nicaragua
Cigar Binder: Nicaragua
Cigar Wrapper: Nicaragua
Country of Manufacture: Nicaragua
Hell, actually the entire range of the Anniversary series are very good.
The next cigar is La Gloria Cubana's Series R. Packed in dark mahogany, cabinet-style boxes, La Gloria Cubana Series R cigars deliver their extra-bold bouquet as soon as the box is opened. Their full-bodied flavor comes from a special blend of long Dominican and Nicaraguan filler, superb Nicaraguan binder and a wonderfully aged and extra flavorful Ecuadorian wrapper. The result is a rich, full-flavored smoke. There is a natural range for Series R as well as a Maduro range for Series R. The maduros are 8.8 out of 10 in my books but the naturals rate a 9.4/10. Go for the Number 5 and Number 6.