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Habana Port’s Top 15 Cigars of 2016

Saludos,
Greetings, aficionados de la hoja! For the 7th annual time the staff at Habana Port has compiled a list of what we think were the best cigars for the past year. Our Top 15 Cigar Rankings for 2016 was a challenge to choose because of the high standards the industry has set for itself. We smoked over 1,000 fine cigars and finally ranked the top 15 fine cigars that are available in our humidor (with the exception of a few which are small-batch occurrences or were one-time runs).
For the fourth year in a row, instead of an Honorables Mention List (we used to award this to cigars that would have ranked 16 to 20), we list our Top 5 Sellers according to both gross dollar sales and units sold. Take a look at 2016’s Rankings and see what you think. We hope you agree with our choices. If you are interested in buying these cigars, visit any of our locations or shop online at CigarEarth.com.
No. 1 – Las Calaveras 2016 LC54 (Double Robusto)
Dimensions:  5 1/2 x 54rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Dark
From Crowned Heads, Las Calaveras is an annual release that pays homage to those who have passed away. The first vintage was released in 2014. The 2016 blend is very complex with its dark-grade Connecticut broadleaf wrapper.
No. 2 – Maestro del Tiempo 6102R
Dimensions:  5 1/4 x 48rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
It should come as no surprise to our regulars that Warped Cigars is one of our favorite cigar companies. The small batch brand owner blends according to the old school Cuban philosophies and Maestro Del Tempo is no exception. The 6102R vitola was a limited run and tasted creamier than its normal counterparts. Unfortunately they sold out fast and we do not know if or when they will return to market. But if they do,  you should do yourself a favor and grab a few quickly.
No. 3 – Davidoff Yamasa Piramides
Dimensions:  6 1/8  x 52rg
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Yamasa  (Dominican Republic)
The Yamasa is the latest from the world’s most luxurious cigar company, Davidoff. The cigar line is named after the relatively new growing region that is in the Dominican Republic. The blend itself is about medium-plus in strength and has a woody and mineral profile to it that is rather pleasant and smooth.
No. 4 – Padron Serie 1926 No. 90 Maduro
Dimensions:  5 1/2 x 52rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Maduro
In honor of the 90th birthday of the company’s founder and patriarch, the Padron Number 90 is the first tubed cigar from the 50-plus year old company. In between a traditional robusto and toro size, this format will satisfy most cigar smokers. The maduro wrapper has a more complex profile with notes of evoking coffee, cocoa and almonds.
No. 5 – Casa Cuba Divine Inspiration
Dimensions: 6 1/8 x 47rg
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: N/A
Supposedly this was the last blend created by Carlos Fuente who headed Arturo Fuente Premium Cigars before passing away. The Casa Cuba line is a small batch production created to satisfy Opus X retailers in between droughts of the much sought-after line. The regular Casa Cuba sizes use an Ecuador Havana wrapper. This vitola smokes with a slight sweet and woody profile that is clean.
No. 6 – Guardian of the Farm Apollo
Dimensions: 6 x 44rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua Corojo 99
For the second year in a row Warped Cigars has placed two different brands in our Top 15 list. Their second one is called Guardian of the Farm which is supposedly named after the dogs that guard The Aganorsa farms that produce their Nicaraguan leaf. The Apollo much like the 6102R’s have a different blend from the regular sizes and has a very balanced profile of cream, coffee and nuts. Get these before they are gone as this was a limited run.
No. 7 – Mi Querida Mas Sucia
Dimensions:  7 x 64rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Steve Saka’s sophomore cigar is a Spanish word that translates to “my dearest.” The term is sometimes used in the Latin world for a secret mistress. Most Liga Privada fans have been waiting for this kind of blend from the former president of Drew Estate. The large format has bold dark espresso and chocolate notes.
No. 8 – Tabaquero by Hamlet Paredes Toro (Rocky Patel)
Dimensions: 6 x 52rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
No. 9 – Perdomo Special Craft Series Stout Epicure
Dimensions: 6 1/2 x 54rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Jalapa, Nicaragua Maduro
No. 10 – Illusione Original Documents ~2~
Dimensions: 5 1/4 x 52rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
No. 11 – Alpha Dawg by Espinosa Short Churchill
Dimensions: 6 x 48rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua Habano Rosado Oscuro
No. 12 – Neanderthal HN
Dimensions: 5 x 52/58rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
No. 13 – Aganorsa Leaf Tabsa Habano Aficion No. 2 (Short Churchill)
Dimensions: 6 1/2 x 48rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Habano Nicaragua
No. 14 – Flor de D’Crossier Seleccion 512 Corona Gorda
Dimensions: 5 1/2 x 46
Country of Origin: Costa Rica
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
No. 15 – Alec Bradley Sanctum Toro
Dimensions: 6 x 52rg
Country of Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Honduras Corojo
Habana Port Cigar Merchants’ Top Sellers for 2016
Top Sellers by Gross Revenue, 2016
1. Alec Bradley Fresh Toro Sampler Pack (Alec Bradley)
2. AJ Fernandez Green Sampler Pack (AJ Fernandez)
3. Padron 1964 Anniversary Series Natural Exclusivos (Piloto)
4. A. Fuente Hemingway Natural Classic (Fuente Newman Premium)
5. A. Fuente Gran Reserva Maduro Rothschild (Fuente Newman Premium)
Top Sellers by Units Sold, 2016
1. A. Fuente Exquisitos Natural (Fuente Newman Premium)
2. Parodi King (Avanti)
3. Factory Throwouts #59 Natural (J.C. Newman Cigar Co.)
4. Griffin’s Griffiños (Davidoff of Geneva USA)
5. A. Fuente Gran Reserva Maduro Rothschild (Fuente Newman Premium)
Until the next post, siempre fumando,
Habana Port
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Habana Port’s Top 15 Cigars of 2015

Saludos,

Greetings, aficionados de la hoja! For the 6th annual time the staff at Habana Port has compiled a list of what we think were the best cigars for that year. Our Top 15 Cigar Rankings for 2015 was especially difficult to list as once again the quality of the cigars on the market was very high not to mention the past year saw a record-amount of new companies into our humidors as a result. We smoked over 1,000 fine cigars and finally ranked the top 15 fine cigars that are available in our humidor (with the exception of a few which are small-batch occurrences or were one-time runs). The Number One (and Nine) cigar comes from a new company to our humidors.

For the third year in a row, instead of an Honorables Mention List (we used to award this to cigars that would have ranked 16 to 20), we list our Top 5 Sellers according to both gross dollar sales and units sold. Take a look at 2015’s Rankings and see what you think. We hope you agree with our choices. If you are interested in buying these cigars, visit any of our locations or shop online at CigarEarth.com.
No. 1 – Lirio Rojo 2015

Dimensions:  5 1/2 x 44rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
The Lirio Rojo cigar translates to the Red Lily and is the limited holiday release from Warped Cigars, a new cigar company that is making a splash right now. We were the first shop in Louisiana to bring in Warped Cigars and many of our customers have been convinced. Made up of all Aganorsa leaf and constructed in TABSA, the Lirio Rojo was amazing. Many customers have agreed and have been stocking up knowing this line will not be available until next Christmas season. A complex yet smooth profile of cream, spice and coffee envelope the palate.
No. 2 – El Güegüense Corona Gorda

Dimensions:  5 5/8 x 46rg

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Nicholas Melillo was Drew Estate’s chief
tobacco buyer for over 12 years and was responsible for sourcing the company’s
large tobacco inventories for its famous lines like Liga Privada and Herrera
Esteli. He left the company and created Foundation
Cigar Company. His first line underscores his love of the country he has called
home for all these years. The inaugural brand is called El
Güegüense and is a nod to Nicaragua’s oldest folktale. Meaning “the wise
man”, El Güegüense is an all-Nicaraguan blend made at TABSA and uses
the famous Aganorsa tobacco. Production is capped at 200 boxes of each vitola
per month so it is a small-batch production. It features a Corojo ’99 wrapper
and binder from Jalapa, and a filler blend of Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98 from
Jalapa and Estelí. The flavor profile includes spice, cream, coffee and cedar.
No. 3 – Sobremesa Cervantes Fino
Dimensions:  6 1/4  x 46rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: La Meca Ecuador Habano Grade 1 Dark Rosado
Sobremesa marks Steve Saka’s first brand since
leaving Drew Estate and was 2015’s most-anticipated cigar. Habana Port was fortunate to have been selected as Louisiana’s only purveyor of Sobremesa. A full-bodied smoke crafted by Joya de Nicaragua, “over the
table” celebrates the time after a meal when friends and family stay at
the table to have pleasant conversation before everyone rises. It is the
experience of lingering casually with family and friends in conversation,
relaxing, drinking, smoking, and enjoying each other’s company. Sobremesa is
one of life’s simplest, yet greatest pleasures. The flavor profile has a creamy core
laced with abundant notes of cedar, cocoa and café, which is punctuated by a
tellicherry peppercorn retrohale. Pleasing to the nose, Sobremesa provides the
smoker a delightfully sweet, lingering finish.
No. 4 – L’Atelier Côte D’Oro 2015

Dimensions:  7 x 47rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua

The García family—of My
Father fame—offered L’Atelier Imports a small batch of pelo de oro tobacco, a strain
that is surrounded in a myriad of folklore. The tobacco was banned in Cuba due
to its propensity to mold, but is still grown by a select amount of people
around the world—including the Garcías. It is noted for its golden color—pelo de
oro translates into golden hair—and
the challenges of growing it. L’Atelier Côte D’Oro cigar pays tribute to the
similarities between growing Pinot Noir grapes and Pelo de Oro tobacco. Only
21k cigars were produced for 2015 which is the inaugural batch. We were highly impressed by this limited run with its chocolate and molasses overtones.

No. 5 – Illusione Fume d’Amour Viejos
Dimensions: 5 x 50rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
The Fume d’Amour was released in 2014 from Illusione and was an instant hit. More medium to mild-medium in strength, the cigar’s smooth and clean character is what set it apart.  This blend is a take off its Original Documents line. The difference is that there is no ligero in the Fume d’Amour. A bit of nutmeg, coffee and cream coat the senses. Very clean and superior to Cuban cigars of this strength.
No. 6 – La Flor Dominicana La Nox

Dimensions: 6 1/2 x 50rg
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Brazil
The new release from small-batch Dominican producer LFD, La Nox is distinctly packaged in 10-count circular black boxes that are held by magnets (although we understand that the company will now switch to 20-count boxes). The unique packaging showcases a blend that is also unique. Dark, bold notes of peppercorn, dark chocolate and espresso dominate the palate.
No. 7 – A. Fuente Don Carlos Eye of the Shark


Dimensions: 5 3/4 x 52rg
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: n/a

Perhaps no other cigar in 2015 garnered as much demand than the now-famous Eye of the Shark. One of 2 cigars celebrating the Fuente patriarch’s 80th birthday, the Don Carlos Edicion de Aniversario Eye of the Shark is like its famous Anejo Shark counterpart but with a thinner ring gauge. The cigar like its older brother is box-pressed at the foot and rounds out to a torpedo at the head. The flavor notes include banana, wheat and bread. Very tasty but good luck finding these as most shops sold out.

No. 8 – E.P. Carrillo Seleccion Oscuro Especial Dinamico
Dimensions: 6 7/8 x 49rg
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Oscuro
The self-proclaimed “Godfather of Boutique” released the Seleccion Oscuro in Spring 2015. Coming off the success of La Historia’s number 2 ranking from Cigar Aficionado, EPC upped the ante with this blend. The cigar itself uses a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over Ecuador binder and Nicaraguan fillers. Oak, leather, and a smoky pepper coat the palate. We felt the churchill format smoked the best hence our selection for the Dinamico.
No. 9 – Corto X50
Dimensions: 4 1/2 x 50rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Warped Cigars in general amazed us with all of its blends but the Corto was a huge hit among our customers (and the Habana Port staff) hence the 2nd Warped brand that hit our Top 15 list (the first time the same company scored multiple Top 15 spots in the same year). The box-pressed robusto is the company’s fullest-bodied blend and is constructed at TABSA. We feel that the demand for this cigar has exceeded Warped’s expectations because we have been out for weeks now and the company told us that the next shipment is not scheduled until some time in January. When we get re-stocked, so should you as these little beauties go fast.
No. 10 – My Father Connecticut Toro Gordo
Dimensions: 6 x 60rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut
In 2014, My Father Cigars, headed by Pepin and Jaime Garcia, decided to offer a shade-grown wrapper and thus the My Father Connecticut was born. Unlike most Connies, the MFC has a buttery, cedary tone with fuller notes. The Toro Gordo has been smoking quite well the past year and is a great blend for those who want to expand past the mild range as this is an appropriate segue into the next part of the strength scale.
No. 11 – Ashton Symmetry Belicoso
Dimensions: 5 1/4 x 52rg
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano

The first new Ashton in over 10 years, the Symmetry debuted in 2014 and has slowly garnered its fan base. A medium to medium-strong blend, the Symmetry has a leather and coffee mix and is made at Arturo Fuente’s factory. Well-constructed and smooth, the Symmetry offers a great experience to the smoker.

No. 12 – Padron Damaso No. 17

Dimensions: 7 x 54rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Undisclosed Connecticut-seed

Perhaps the most marketed wrapper this past year was the Connecticut shade. MFC, Drew Estate (with its UC Shade), AJ Fernandez’s New World Connecticut and now Padron have released Connie and shade-grown blends. Padron was perhaps the biggest story as the Cuban-style company has never used this wrapper. Due to competition, demand and a need to retain market share through shelf space, Padron released the Damaso. We loved the No. 17 which is a churchill format. However this blend is not for the typical Paddy fan. The blend is meant to target Ashton Classic, Davidoff White Label and Montecristo fans. A very mild yet creamy profile will please the refined smoker. Quite an historic release and worth a try.

No. 13 – La Imperiosa Dukes
Dimensions: 5 1/2 x 54rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Oscuro
The follow-up to the inaugural Las Calaveras batch, La Imperiosa is from small-batch brand owner Crowned Heads. Espresso, vegetal and mineral notes will tickle the palate. Another cigar that is made at My Father Cigars in Esteli, Nicaragua, La Imperiosa is the same blend as LC 2014 but now the blend is offered in different vitolas. We especially liked Dukes.
No. 14 – Room 101 Uncle Lee

Dimensions: 6 1/2 x 30/50/19
Country of Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Named in honor of the relative who introduced Matt Booth to cigars, the Uncle Lee from Room 101 is a medium-strong blend that has more leathery, spice and earth notes. The box is adorned with Lee’s image. Don’t let his creepy look deter you though. The cigar is rich and flavorful and definitely earned its Top 15 placement.

No. 15 – Alec Bradley Coyol Belicoso
Dimensions: 5 1/2 x 58rg
Country of Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Honduras (Trojes)
For the second year in a row (another 1st in our Top 15 List), the Alec Bradley Coyol makes the final cut in our rankings because this complex and smooth blend from Raices Cubanas (which has become AB’s go-to factory) continued to dazzle us and our customers. Meaning palm tree and named after a tobacco farm, Coyol has a bit of leather, coffee and earth. Medium to full, the Belicoso is a fatter-than-typical vitola.
Habana Port Cigar Merchants’ Top Sellers for 2015
Top Sellers by Gross Revenue, 2015
1. Padron 1964 Anniversary Series Maduro Piramide (Piloto)
2. Alec Bradley Fresh Toro Sampler Pack (Alec Bradley)
3. Tabacum Maduro Churchill (Habana Port)
4. Padron 1964 Anniversary Series Natural Exclusivos (Piloto)
5. A. Fuente Exquisitos Natural (Fuente Newman Premium)

Top Sellers by Units Sold, 2015
1. A. Fuente Exquisitos Natural (Fuente Newman Premium)
2. Tabacum Maduro Churchill (Habana Port)
3. Factory Throwouts #99 Natural (J.C. Newman Cigar Co.)
4. Casa de Garcia Maduro Churchill (Altadis)
5. Factory Throwouts #59 Sweet (J.C. Newman Cigar Co.)

Until the next post, siempre fumando,
Habana Port
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Habana Port’s Top 15 Cigars of 2014

Saludos,

Greetings, aficionados de la hoja! For 4 years the staff at Habana Port has compiled a list of what we think were the best cigars for that year. Our Top 15 Cigar Rankings for 2014 was especially difficult to list as once again the quality of the cigars was very high. We smoked many fine cigars and finally ranked the top 15 fine cigars that are available in our humidor (with the exception of a few which are small-batch occurrences or were one-time runs). However Numbers One and Two were neck-and-neck and in the end, the top cigar blew us away because we were not expecting it to be so tasty and complex.

For the second year in a row, instead of an Honorables Mention List (we used to award this to cigars that would have ranked 16 to 20), we list our Top 5 Sellers according to both gross dollar sales and units sold. Take a look at 2014’s Rankings and see what you think. We hope you agree with our choices. If you are interested in buying these cigars, visit any of our locations or shop online at CigarEarth.com by clicking on the links below.
No. 1 – La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse 2014

Dimensions:  6 1/2 x 52rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Simply put, the Noblesse from Ashton’s La Aroma de Cuba line surprised us. We had a feeling that the blend was going to be good when the company was showing us the cigar during the big trade convention during the summer but we did not know once we smoked it that the profile was going to be so complex, smooth and just friggin’ tasty. Ashton did not give samples so we only ordered 5 boxes of what is the first limited edition from LAdC. If we knew the cigar was going to be great, we would have ordered way more. The 2014 La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse cigar is limited to 3,000 boxes. It features a double binder (Habano and Criollo strain) and an Ecuador Habano Rosado wrapper. There are 3 filler components all from Nicaragua (Esteli, Jalapa and Namanji). We experienced a rich Cubanesque profile with 3 flavor changes (starting with an initial spicy character then to a creamy, almondy profile then to a final deep, dark woody and earthy tone).
No. 2 – HR Sublimes

Dimensions:  6 1/2 x 54rg

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Maduro 2000
From Cuban-born Hirochi Robaina and Omar Aleman comes the first cigar brand with the Robaina name outside the Mecca of cigar tobacco: HR. The expectations were high for this brand since news came out that this project was happening and the cigar delivered. Rich but smooth notes proliferate the palate and you would think that you were smoking a high-quality Cuban. A cappuccino-cocoa layer is well received. Look for big things from this brand in 2015.
Dimensions:  6  x 54rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres

Manufactured by the My Father Cigar factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, the Jericho Hill line has been a major hit in our stores. This is the latest brand from the Crowned Heads and the first permanent line manufacturered by MF for CH. Dark chocolate and espresso coat the palate. A slight box press shape and naked presentation underscores the quality of this blend. In the $9 range, Jericho Hill will continue to impress those who give this cigar a shot.

No. 4 – La Palina Mr. Sam Corona

Dimensions:  5 1/2 x 42rg
Country of Origin: U.S. (Miami)
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
La Palina is an old American cigar brand that has been resurrected by the grandson of the founder, Sam Paley. Created in 1896, the company was a major hit until Mr. Sam (the moniker bestowed upon him by his workers) passed away. The La Palina Collection Mr. Sam is rolled at the El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami, Florida. A dark Ecuadorian wrapper surrounds a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan filler, creating a beautifully crafted blend that is rich with flavor like caramel, hazelnut and toffee. Excellent blend.
No. 5 – A. Fuente Fuente Opus X Angel’s Share Robusto
Dimensions: 5 1/4 x 50rg
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Dominican Republic (Chateau de la Fuente Sun Grown)

Opus X is the stuff of cigar legend. The first Dominican puro, Arturo Fuente’s Opus X is a small-batch line and strictly allocated. As part of the company’s centennial celebrations, the Fuente family released the Angel’s Share, a nod to the wine and distilling process in which part of the liquid evaporates during aging and whose contents are enjoyed by the angels above. Instead of the top priming, Angel’s Share was said to use leaves from the middle portion of the tobacco plant so the blend is a milder version of the typical Opus X. We found banana, yeast and walnut bread notes from the cigar.

No. 6 – Achilles Heroicos
Dimensions: 5 1/4 x 50rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Achilles by Curivari represents the company’s current top line in both quality and price. Ten years in the making the Achilles is a tribute to the Greek hero. The robusto vitola caught our attention as the blend reminded us of a Cuban Trinidad with a distinct almond, milk and creamy layer. In a 10-count box format, the Achilles Heroicos would make the perfect gift for the most discriminating of cigar smokers.
No. 7 – 7-20-4 Factory 57 Toro


Dimensions: 6 x 50rg
Country of Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Nicaragua (Jalapa) Habano

From New Hampshire-based small-batch cigar company comes 7-20-4’s latest cigar creation: Factory 57. A multi-country blend makes up the anatomy for Factory 57 and the result is a blend that is rich and flavorful. We were impressed by the offering when we sampled it at the big cigar trade show and felt this is the best blend to come out by 7-20-4. Kudos to brand owner Kurt Kendall on this cigar. Leather, dark roast coffee and hickory notes.

No. 8 – La Flor Dominicana 1994 Mambo
Dimensions: 7 x 54rg
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres

LFD celebrates 20 years in the cigar industry with a line aptly labeled 1994. Medium to full, the cigar has a symphony of flavors. The cigar itself uses a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over Dominican binder and fillers. The tobacco flower on the band is a nod to the company’s initial logo. Wood, hazelnut and leather coat the palate.

No. 9 – Tattoo Caballeros
Dimensions: 5 x 50rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano

One of the lowest-priced cigars on our list is one of the best valued cigars in our humidor. In order to protect his trademark in English, Tatuaje owner Pete Johnson created the Tattoo line. Ranging in the $5 to $6 range, Tattoo is tasty. Each box is adorned with actual tattoos worn by Pete. A dark Ecuador Habano wrapper offers a woody, nutty yet slightly sweet experience that is simply delicious.

No. 10 – Padron Family Reserve No. 50 Maduro
Dimensions: 5 x 54rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
In 2014 Padron celebrated their 50th anniversary in business in the U.S. Founded in 1964, when Jose Padron fled Cuba to escape the tyrannical Communists, the world-renowned cigar company has surpassed even the “top” Cuban cigars. In order to mark the occasion, the family has released two 50th anniversary celebratory cigars. The first cigar and the one that got our number 10 spot is a permanent offering and is under the Family Reserve line (the second is a limited line called the 50 Years, aka the Big Hammer). Dubbed the Family Reserve No. 50, the cigar is offered in a natural and maduro wrapper. We enjoyed the maduro as it exhibited an initial spice to the palate then smoothed out to a coffee, dark chocolate and oaky blend.
No. 11 – Illusione Ultra OP. No. 7
Dimensions: 6 1/2 x 58rg
Country of Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Nicaragua Corojo

Dion Giolito has proven that his palate is quite sensitive and supreme. The Illusione Ultra is a full-bodied line which is a bench-pressed cigar typically. This past summer he released the OP No. 7 which is a large round parejo. Rich leather, oak and dark berry coat the senses and is one for the connoisseur.

Dimensions: 5 1/2 x 44rg
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano

Jose Seijas was General Manager of Altadis’ Dominican factory which produces over 40 million cigars a year. He retired from the company in 2010 but he was not ready to bow out of the cigar world. He opened La Matilde which is a much smaller operation but his decades of tobacco prowess has proved useful for his first blend named Matilde Renacer. The Corona is a nicely proportionate vitola and the flavor spectrum of the blend includes raisin, wood and coffee. Look for this cigar to enter more shops in the next 2 years.

No. 13 – Viaje Zombie Antidote
Dimensions: 6 1/4 x 44rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
The follow-up to the Zombie, brand owner Andre Farkas offered the Antidote. A thin lonsdale format, the Antidote is a clean blend with notes that remind you of light leather and coffee. Besides the quality of the tobacco, the cigar is packaged to look like a syringe in a prescription bottle underscoring the medical theme and design of the cigar. When the zombies infect you, be sure to smoke the Antidote.
No. 14 – Alec Bradley Coyol Belicoso
Dimensions: 5 1/2 x 58rg
Country of Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Honduras (Trojes)
Alec Bradley has consistently released great blends over the last decade. Coyol marks another complex and smooth blend from Raices Cubanas which has become AB’s go-to factory. Meaning palm tree and named after a tobacco farm, Coyol has a bit of leather, coffee and earth. Medium to full the Belicoso is a fatter-than-typical vitola.

Dimensions: 5 1/2 x 46rg
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Habano Ecuador
From industry veteran Jose Blanco comes his first brand from his own cigar concern. Having worked at La Aurora for close to 30 years and then at Joya de Nicaragua for 2 years, Jose founded his own cigar company dubbed Las Cumbres which is based out of the Dominican Republic. Senorial is the first product from LC and we were impressed with the corona format. A light coffee and touch of caramel and wood, the Corona Gorda Number 5 is smooth and medium-bodied.
Habana Port Cigar Merchants’ Top Sellers for 2014
Top Sellers by Gross Revenue, 2014
1. Buenaventura BV560 (Curivari)
2. Brick House Mighty Mighty Maduro (J.C. Newman Cigar Co.)
3. Padron 1964 Anniversary Series Maduro Piramide (Piloto)
4. A. Fuente Exquisitos Natural (Fuente Newman Premium)
5. Tabacum Natural Robusto (Habana Port)
Top Sellers by Units Sold, 2014
1. Buenaventura BV560 (Curivari)
2. A. Fuente Exquisitos Natural (Fuente Newman Premium)
3. Tabacum Natural Robusto (Habana Port)
4. Tabacum Maduro Robusto (Habana Port)
5. Brick House Mighty Mighty Maduro (J.C. Newman Cigar Co.)

Until the next post, siempre fumando,
Habana Port
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Cubanacan Cigars

Saludos,

Greetings, guajiros. We are excited to present to you one of the jewels we discovered at the big cigar trade show a couple months ago. We have had the cigars in our stores for about 2 months but had wanted to see how our locals reacted to the blends before we published our findings. Habana Port is proud to introduce to you Cubanacan Cigars.

Cubanacan is the brand and factory that hails from Esteli, Nicaragua. Although a relatively new company, the team behind Cubanacan has generations of experience. The factory is managed by Omar Aleman, a Cuban-born tabacalero who managed the Havana-based Partagas cigar factory and La Corona, the Cuban cigar factory that produces RyJ among other Cuban brands. He comes from a long line of tobacco men. In fact, when he was living in Cuba, Omar used to buy tobacco from the late Alejandro Robaina (Robaina’s grandson, Hirochi, is currently working on a joint brand with Omar aptly called HR. Click here to read the story at CigarAficionado.com).

While we are at the show we spoke to Omar and his son in Spanish and he was describing to us some great cigar stories, especially one about his grandfather in Cuba who smoked all his life. The week before he passed away, he announced that he was retiring from smoking cigars. The rest of the family immediately knew this unprecedented decision meant that he knew he was about to go on to the next life soon. He passed away a week later. Do not be depressed though as Omar’s grandfather lived a long and rich life and passed all his knowledge and passion for tobacco and cigars to his progeny, Omar. Now he continues the rich cigar tradition in Esteli.

We brought in the Cubanacan Habano and the Maduro. We also have 2 other brands from their portfolio called Soneros and Mederos which we will discuss in more detail in the future. The company also announced HR as we mentioned above which should hit the market in the 4th quarter 2014. We received a few samples but they were young so we are still aging them. Check out our Twitter feed when we announce our sampling of the HR for the first time. The Cubanacan Habano line is very flavorful yet smooth. Starting out with an initial spice, the profile changes to a creamy and cocoa layer. Definitely sure to be a hit in the cigar world. The Cubanacan Maduro line is rich, very flavorful yet smooth. The profile is a complex array of toast, molasses and cola syrup with a woody finish.

The cigars are in the $7 to $8 range in our stores or if you are outside Louisiana, you can order them online from our sister site CigarEarth.com by clicking here. Let us know what you think of what will be a future Top 25 contender.
Until the next post, siempre fumando,
Habana Port

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Señorial Cigar by Jose Blanco

Saludos,
Greetings, Dominican dons and dames. Be one of the first to try Señorial by Jose Blanco. Habana Port is the first cigar shop in Louisiana to have been appointed an official merchant of Las Cumbres which is Jose Blanco’s proprietary cigar company after his tenure at Joya De Nicaragua and La Aurora before that. This cigar is handmade by his cousin Jochi and is very complex. Read more information about his blend or order at CigarEarth.com if you can’t visit any of our humidors.
Until the next post, siempre fumando,
Habana Port
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Habana Port’s Top 15 Cigars of 2013

Saludos,

Greetings, aficionados de la hoja! Our perception of time seems to be out of whack. The year 2013 feels like it has just flashed by us. It also seems like yesterday when we began our annual Top 15 List three years ago. The cliche that time flies by when you are having fun holds true for us since we are proud cigar nerds who love what we do. Even though it took many man-hours to smoke and judge the plethora of cigars, it was fun for our staff at Habana Port to organize this year’s Top 15 Cigar Rankings. We smoked many fine cigars and finally ranked the top 15 fine cigars that are available in our humidor (with the exception of a few which are small-batch occurrences or were one-time runs). 

Of note, we implemented a few changes with our List this year. We used to base part of our Top 15 decisions according to what our customers bought and enjoyed the most. We dropped that part this year and will rank our list according to what our staff personally smoked and loved. Yet we will not ignore our customers’ opinions. Instead of an Honorables Mention List (we used to award this to cigars that would have ranked 16 to 20), we will list our Top 5 Sellers according to both gross dollar sales and units sold. Take a look at 2013’s Rankings and see what you think. We hope you agree with our choices. If you are interested in buying these cigars, visit any of our locations or shop online at CigarEarth.com by clicking on the links below.
No. 1 – Casa Fernandez 35th Anniversary

Dimensions:  6 x 54rg
Country of Origin: U.S. (Miami)
Wrapper: Nicaragua Habano
From one of the most influential cigar companies in the world comes a cigar that celebrates a company milestone. Also known as the Boheme, the Casa Fernandez 35th Anniversary cigar is exceptional. From the initial light, the flavors are smooth yet rich and definitely epitomize the blending philosophy of this company. A distinct sweet, leathery and cocoa profile envelope the palate and leaves the smoker in bliss. The anatomy is composed of 5 to 6 year-old Nicaraguan tobaccos and only top-level cigar rollers in Miami were allowed to construct these special cigars. Casa Fernandez only produced 2,000 10-count boxes in one box-pressed vitola so hurry in to our shops to get the last few we have remaining.

Dimensions:  6 x 44rg

Country of Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Honduras
Flor de Selva is a cigar brand that has been in existence for over 15 years with its distribution focus on Europe. Flor de Selva is the brainchild of Maya Selva who is originally from Honduras but moved to Paris. In 1992, she decided to return to her familial roots and began her education about the cigar business under the tutelage of Nestor Plasencia, Sr. She contracted the famous Plasencia to construct her cigars and the first batch was released in March 1995. Flor de Selva attempts to showcase the finest tobaccos Honduras has to offer and so the puro’s blend is very clean and elegant. The flavor profile is one of a cedary, buttery, creamy nature with an undertone of coffee.  Measuring 6 by 44 rg and sporting an elegant pig-tail cap (or rabo de cochino as it is referred to as in the industry), the Flor de Selva Fino cigar will last about 45 minutes.
No. 3 – La Flor Dominicana Chapter No. 1
Dimensions:  6 1/2 x 58rg
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Brazilian Ligero Oscuro

LFD is known for being bold, strong and rich. The new Chapter One is no different with the exception that it is smoother than lines like the Double Ligero or Oscuro. The La Flor Dominicana Chapter One really impressed us. Using their famous Chisel format, the company decided to beef up the dimensions to account for the box-press. This cigar is actually the first blend to be produced by company founder’s son, Antonio Gomez, who has assumed more responsibility within the company over the last few years. The cigar uses a dark Brazilian wrapper and has an espresso and dark choclate profile. Packaged in 10-count boxes the Ch. One is available in limited quantities.

No. 4 – L’Atelier Extension de la Racine 2013 ER13

Dimensions:  5 7/8 x 52rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
The relatively new L’Atelier Imports cigar company (a joint venture between Tatuaje’s Pete Johnson and other industry peers) released a cigar at the IPCPR Trade Show in 2013 that could only be purchased by merchants who attended the show and placed an order. Hence the L’Atelier Extension de la Racine 2013. It features a Nicaraguan sun grown criollo wrapper with Nicaraguan fillers including the sancti spiritus tobacco that has been used on a few other cigars from My Father Cigars. Supposedly the ER13 is based after the Cuban Cohiba Siglo VI. The cigar delivers and if you did not tell us, we would have thought the ER13 used Cuban tobacco. A creamy, cedary, nutmeg and milky profile tickles the palate. Again, this is a limited available cigar.
No. 5 – La Palina Goldie Laguito No. 5
Dimensions: 5 5/8 x 54rg
Country of Origin: U.S. (Miami)
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano

The Goldie is a unique specimen for a few reasons, but the main one is that each and every cigar in the release was rolled by master roller Maria Sierra, who was one of the first women trained to roll cigars in Cuba, and who started her career at El Laguito, where Cohibas are produced, in 1967. Maria was trained by both Avelino Lara, who created the Cohiba blend, and Eduardo Rivera Irizarri, who was Fidel Castro’s personal cigar roller, and is a 95 rated Category 9 roller in her own right. -halfwheel.com


We at Habana Port began carrying La Palina earlier this year and we were impressed by their top-end line dubbed the Goldie. So much so, the LP Goldie No. 5 rounded out our Top 5 cigars. The 2nd Top 5 cigar to be rolled in Miami, the Goldie comes packed in 10-count boxes and because it is a line that is only produced by one roller, this cigar does not last long on our shelves even with its $20 per stick price point.

Dimensions: 6 1/2 x 52rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano 2009
2013 was certainly the year of Garcia. Flor de las Antillas was awarded the coveted No. 1 Cigar of the Year spot by Cigar Aficionado and the company celebrated its 10th year in the U.S. in May. It is fitting that the company would focus its attention on a 10th anniversary cigar and the results were fantastic. We felt that this blend is the best cigar to be released by Pepin Garcia and My Father Cigars. Very complex layers yet an overall smooth sensation make up the experience of the DPG 10th. Each cigar is packed in its own coffin and 14 cigars account for a full numbered box (only 35k cigars were produced).

Dimensions: 6 x 50rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Sumatra

From Eddie Ortega comes the triumphant return of Cubao. Now distributed by Ortega Cigar Company, the Cubao Sumatra is like the old Cubao: it is still manufactured at the Garcia family’s My Father Cigars factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, and the blend remains the same. The real difference is that Cubao will only be offered in small lots to ensure the quality remains high. Cubao still features a Sumatra wrapper complemented with Jalapa binder and fillers from the Esteli region. These carefully selected, aged tobaccos create a spicy medium-to-full bodied cigar with notes of cedar, earth and nuts. We also detected a Cubanesque feel with this cigar.

Dimensions: 5 1/4 x 50rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua

Good fortune. This marks the second year in a row that Buenaventura has made our Top 15 List. Last year, the BV ranked Number 2. Even though it slipped a bit, the overall pricing and quality are still fair.  This cigar has caught the attention of many publications the past year including Cigar Aficionado who gave it the Number 7 Rank for the past year. The brand owner wanted the smoker to have the experience of being inside a bakery when lighting up this beauty. So they state the liga has bready, wheaty notes. To us it had an earthier note, but it was tasty nevertheless. We also thought it was brilliant of Curivari packing these cigars in 10-count boxes (like he has been doing with all of the cigars in his portfolio). It is easier and cheaper for the consumer to “purchase a box” when it is 10-count. And that is what we have been seeing with the Buenaventuras especially since they are in the lower $5 per stick range.

Dimensions: 7 x 49rg
Country of Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Honduras

Raices Cubanas. The factory that has produced more Cigar Aficionado Top 25 cigars over the past 5 years than any other factory in the world. Owned by Romay Endemaño and operated with his wife Maria Portao and son Hugo, Raices Cubanas is now legendary. Without question the hottest cigar producer right now, Raices Cubanas is responsible for the handiwork of brands like Illusione, Viaje, Curivari, 7-20-4, Casa Fernandez and Alec Bradley. Now with the help of AB’s distribution network, the factory has a brand of its own. The profile of the Raices Cubanas 1941 cigar is a true embodiment of its blending philosophy. A distinct, sweet leather spectrum coats the palate. The year 1941 (which marks the birth year of Romay) adorns the imagery of the cigar’s packaging.

Dimensions: 6 x 44rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Herrera Esteli is the inaugural cigar blend created by its namesake, Willy Herrera, at Drew Estate’s famed Esteliano factory. Famous for having managed the Miami boutique cigar factory, Titan de Bronze, Willy’s blend was influenced by his Cuban sensibilities of taste and aroma. The cigar is an exquisite blending of the finest South and Central American long leaf black tobaccos. Approachably smooth on the palate, it allows the smoker to experience a wide-ranging depth of woodsy, nutty flavors accented with a tantalizing white pepper-like spice and a naturally sweet finish.  Very Limited Availability and sold exclusively by Appointed Merchants like us. The Lonsdale Deluxe to us smokes the best out of all the vitolas in the H.E.line.
Dimensions: 7 x 38rg
Country of Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Habano Connecticut (4 Years)

AKA is a small-batch cigar company out of Texas owned by Jay Lundy and Tom Poehler. The cigars are manufactured to their specifications by Camacho in Honduras. The first two lines they released were made for the full-bodied market so the company was missing out on potential mild fans. The Solace is the answer to that and does it deliver. A marshmallow and vanilla bean with cedar profile impressed our staff even though the strength is mild to medium. The wrapper is what gives the cigar its smooth flavor. The Harmony is the least produced vitola whose dimensions underscore the elegant philosophy of this cigar.

Dimensions: 4 1/2 x 50rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexico

Dion Giolito could not have imagined the popularity his Illusione R (or Rothchilde) would garner when he released the cigar early in the year. So much so it inspired Casa Fernandez to create a JFR with similar dimensions. The flavor profile is one that has an initial spicy character then rounds out to a floral, earthy and nutty finish. Constructed in the TABSA factory in Nicaragua, this Illusione that sells for $5 cannot be passed up.

Dimensions: 6 x 46rg
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Brazilian Arapiraca
After Jon Huber, owner of Crowned Heads, discovered that Jesse James lived in Nashville under the alias J.D. Howard, he thought it was fitting that his small-batch cigar company that calls the Tennessee city home name their 3rd brand after the outlaw. Manufactured by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo in the Dominican Republic, the J.D. Howard features a Brazilian Arapiraca maduro wrapper with an Ecuador Sumatra binder and Nicaraguan fillers. The result is a cigar that is medium-strong in strength and has very complex notes. The flavor profile can best be described as peppery at first with a rich and balanced character of wood and cocoa. The HR46 vitola is elegant and smokes a bit more flavorful.
No. 14 – A. Fuente Fuente Opus X Double Robusto
Dimensions: 5 3/4 x 52rg
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Opus has become the stuff of legend in our industry. Conceived and first sold in the late 90s, the main selling point behind the cigar is that it was the first all-Dominican blend of tobacco to be incorporated into a cigar. Before that it was very difficult to cultivate enough Dominican wrapper to be used commercially and the Fuente family discovered the secret. Since then the strictly-allocated cigar has been heralded as one of the greatest cigars of all time. Our opinion is that the cigar seems to be getting tastier these last few years and this year’s Double Robusto tickled our olfactory senses. A raisiny-cedar-vanilla combo proliferates and satisfies.
Dimensions: 5 x 50rg
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Maduro
What list wouldn’t be complete without a “Paddie”? The 2000 is a robusto-sized vitola that has been consistent all year round. Founded in 1964 and evolving throughout their history, the Padron Series consists of medium-to-full-bodied long-filler cigars. The tobacco in this line is sun-grown and aged for a minimum of 2.5 years. The Padron 2000 Maduro exhibits a toasty, sweet profile.
Habana Port Cigar Merchants’ Top Sellers for 2013
Top Sellers by Gross Revenue, 2013
1. Alec Bradley Easy 5 Sampler (Alec Bradley)
2. Macanudo Cafe Court (General Cigar Co.)
3. A. Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8 Natural (Fuente Newman Premium)
4. Buenaventura BV560 (Curivari Cigars)
5. Brick House Maduro Mighty Mighty (J.C. Newman Cigar Co.)

Top Sellers by Units Sold, 2013
1. Factory Throwouts #99 (J.C. Newman Cigar Co.)
2. Macanudo Cafe Court (General Cigar Co.)
3. A. Fuente Exquisitos Natural (Fuente Newman Premium)
4. Tabacum Natural Robusto (Habana Port)
5. Factory Throwouts #59 Sweet (J.C. Newman Cigar Co.)

Until the next post, siempre fumando,
Habana Port
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Don Pepin 10th Anniversary Cigar

Saludos,
Greetings, mavericks of My Father Cigars. The Don Pepin 10th Anniversary cigar is available now. In honor of the 10th anniversary of the opening of Don Pepin’s Miami factory, El Rey de los Habanos, he created this limited-edition cigar. Each cigar comes individually packaged in its own coffin box. Only a limited amount of the cigars were produced. We suggest you hurry into either of our locations to secure yours. Otherwise you can also order at http://www.cigarearth.com/Don-Pepin-Garcia-10th-Anniversary-Limited-Edition-by-My-Father-2752.htm
Until the next post, siempre fumando,
Habana Port
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Curivari's Gran Rey Belicoso Cigar

Saludos,
Greetings, cult followers of Curivari. Today’s afternoon delight is Curivari’s El Gran Rey Belicoso cigar. Clean floral and coffee notes dominate the palate. This is a blend that the smoker could choose as a morning cigar or first of the day stick. The Nicaraguan-based small-batch cigar company had hit a home run with the El Gran Rey cigar line. Click here to order online.
Until the next post, siempre fumando,
Habana Port
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Flor de Selva Cigars (Cigares)

Saludos,

Greetings, habitué of Honduras. We at Habana Port Cigar Merchants are proud to introduce to you Flor de Selva. This cigar brand has been in existence for over 15 years with its distribution focus for the most part on Europe. Flor de Selva is the brainchild of Maya Selva who is originally from Honduras but moved to Paris. In 1992 she decided to return to her familial roots and began her education about the cigar business under the tutelage of Nestor Plasencia, Sr. She contracted the famous Plasencia to construct her cigars and the first batch was released in March 1995. Flor de Selva showcases the finest tobaccos Honduras has to offer and so the puro’s blend is very clean and elegant. The flavor profile is one of a cedary, buttery, creamy nature with an undertone of coffee. Flor de Selva is quite mild but very complex in its flavor profile. Perfect for both the beginner and expert.

You can imagine our pleasure when we saw the company making its U.S. debut at the big cigar trade show in July 2013. Knowing the reputation of the company and her blends, Habana Port was the 10th U.S. cigar retailer to open an account with Maya Selva Cigares and the first in Louisiana (in fact we may have been the first in the country to receive a shipment as our invoice number was #1). We invite you to try one of the most famous cigar brands you have not heard about. We are initially offering the Robusto (4 3/4 x 50), the Robusto Maduro (4 3/4 x 50 and the only size that utilizes a Maduro wrapper), the Tempo (6 x 60) and the Petit-Cigares (3 1/2 x 20 and one of the smallest handmade cigars on the market).

For more information regarding the woman behind Flor de Selva, check out Cigar Journal‘s small bio by clicking here.

If you cannot visit our stores, you can purchase your Flor de Selva cigars on our e-commerce site, CigarEarth.com, by clicking here.

Until the next post, siempre fumando,
Habana Port