Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year from the Hillbilly Hilton

Another year has come and gone, and to be quite frank, I am glad to see 2013 pushed out the door. 

Granted 2013 was a banner year for the cigar industry. New brands entered the market, a few old Cuban brands were resurrected, and the first commercial flight, in 50 years,  made the 90 mile journey to Havana from Key West Florida.

Who knows what 2014 will hold.  New opportunities will be abundant. Stay tuned its going to be a wild ride.

My first cigar in the New Year turned out to be a great disappointment!   I had been eying this cigar for the better part of two, maybe three, years and this year when I was on Maui, for Thanksgiving,I picked up an Island Prince Dark from the Kauai Cigar Company. Price-point being a factor I picked up the 42 x 4 1/2 Luana Iki meaning Short Pause for Please in Hawaiian, which has a single stick price of $9.99. 

Here's what intrigued me about this cigar.  The filler is a sun grown tobacco that is grown on Kauai.  After harvesting and curing tobacco, which is to become the filler,  is  then shipped to Nicaragua  where the manufacturing process is completed at a "small and personal factory."

The Island Prince Dark boasts a Habano wrapper and is touted as the fuller bodied, most complex, of the two cigars in the this line.

Unfortunately I found that this cigar was not complex at all and actually had no flavor profile. We'll see maybe next year I will try one of the other lines that Kauai Cigar has in its portfolio, but there is no need to run out and buy a box of the Island Prince.

Finally, like all cigar aficionados, at year end I go through my dossier or journal and highlight my top 10 cigars of the year. My top ten cigars are ones that I enjoyed from 1/1/2013 – 11/30/2013, The order is random, very random, and in the interest of full disclosure I am the Arizona Disseminator for House of Emilio, distributors of Emilio Cigars, Herederos de Robaina, Rodrigo, Guayacan Cigars, 1502 Cigars (GPC), Ezra Zion, Nomad, and Bodega Premium Blends.  My “affiliation” with House of Emilio in no way influenced the outcome of this list.  So without further delay here are my top cigars for 2013.
  • Ezra Zion Tantrum Prensado Pequeno*
  • Davidoff Nicaraguan Puro Short Corona
  • Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Perfecto
  • Nomad Estel√≠ LE 1386 Toro*
  • Ortega Wild Bunch Fast Eddie Lancero
  • Nomad S-307 Toro*
  • Room 101 Master Collection One Mutante Lancero
  • Guayacan Habano Ecuador Toro*
  • Davidoff Club House Toro
  • Regius Seleccion Orchant Robusto LE
Honorable Mention
  • Psyko 7 Robusto
  • San Cristobal Revelation by Ashton Robusto
  • Azan Natural Maduro Robusto
  • Fratello Robusto
  • Esteban Carreras Chupa Cabra Robusto Grande
Bear in mind there no rhyme or reason to this list except these are the cigars that I enjoyed them once and in the following weeks or months I made a point to find more.

So there you have my first cigar of 2014, and my Top Cigars of 2013

I wish each and every one of you all the very best for a happy and healthy 2014.


*House of Emilio brand

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