Cigar Aficionado names top cigars of 2010

The Daily Star:

BEIRUT: The Cigar Aficionado countdown of the Top 25 Cigars of 2010 concluded this week naming the Cohiba Behike BHK 52, a Havana-made smoke, as the best cigar of the year.

The competition began with 700 cigars from around the world.  Throughout the year, the magazine rates cigars, awarding points on a scale of 0-90.  Based on previous rankings, Cigar Aficionado narrowed the competition down to a top 60 smokes and then conducted multiple rounds of blind taste tests to pick the top cigars of the year. The thoroughly vetted top 25 were released over the course of the past week.

Cuban cigars dominate the top 25, among them the number one pick, the Cohiba Behike BHK 52. Cohiba has long been a respected name among Cuban cigars but the BHK 52 is a classic cigar that blends rich, delicious smoke in a stylish red-brown wrapper.  It is the best to come out of Havana in a long time, and won among a field of Cubans that the magazine claims to be the strongest group since the mid 1990s.

The number two pick, the Viaje Oro Reserva VOR No. 5, is a relative new-comer on the cigar scene.  Produced in Honduras, this cigar’s flavors live up to the company’s name: “viaje,” or journey in Spanish. As it is smoked, the flavors transition from leather, to sweet spices and a hint of cocoa powder at the finish.

The powerful Fuente Fuente OpusX XXX Belicoso from the Dominican Republic takes the third spot.  Among the most successful cigars in history, Cigar Aficionado described it as, “a dynamite smoke, a complex powerhouse with full-bodied flavors of leather and earth.”

In fourth place comes the Padron Family Reserve No. 45.  The Padron Family has performed well in past years of the magazine’s top 25 and releases a reserve cigar every year to commemorate the company’s history.  This is a natural version of the 2009 reserve cigar, with a lighter wrapper and hearty flavor of cocoa, coffee, and spice.

Rounding out the top five is the Camacho Corojo Churchill.  Made from Corojo seeds, a particularly difficult plant to grow, this cigar has a big, full-bodied flavor.  A leathery and earthy smoke with “notes of earth and dark fruit” according to the magazine’s testers, is the best bargain on the list of the top 25 at only $7.

The top-ranking cigars often come with a hefty price-tag, with some of the picks reaching almost 30 euros a pop.

Luckily, Cigar Aficionado has released its list of 2010’s Best Bargain Cigars Friday.

The list includes over 50 cigars that are priced at $6 or less and have received a score of at least 83 from the magazine staff. Many high-profile cigar-makers made the bargain list, such as Arturo Fuente, C.A.O., La Gloria Cuban, Oliva, Padron, and Rocky Patel.


Habanos festival 2010 – Cohiba Behike

From February 22nd to 26th 2010, Cuba will become the main stage for the largest international meeting for the lovers of the best tobacco in the world: the Habanos. As every year, the event renders tribute to Habanos’ brands, this year particularly to Cohiba and to Romeo y Julieta, including an event specially aimed at women and Habanos. Attendees will have the chance to taste the new vitolas Habanos, S.A. will launch to the markets throughout 2010, and to experience first hand the secrets of a deep-rooted centuries old tradition.

Habanos S.A. invites you to enjoy a whole week of pleasure among friends with a common link: the passion for the Habano.

The festival programme includes the traditional activities during this unforgettable week, such as:

  • Visit to cigar factories
  • Trade fair
  • Seminars
  • Tastings and pairing ups
  • Habanosommelier contest
  • How to roll a Habano
  • Visit to tobacco plantations

On February 22nd, the event begins with the Welcome evening, which includes the Habanos S.A. novelties 2010 presentation, and the nominations for the “Premio Habano” awards. They will be followed by a private concert of Maestro Chucho Valdés (who has received again the Garmmy Latino award this year) and his guests. The closing of the Festival will be held on February 26th with the Gala Dinner that includes the traditional auction.

Habanos festival program 25 February 2010