As May approaches the horizon, I wanted to take a look at the more memorable smokes of this year. It’s been an exciting 2019, and we’ve found some excellent new sticks at Stogies and Mash. Getting out to events, tasting and lighting up new cigars, it’s part of our passion for the gentleman’s vice. 2019 has opened us up to some premium items to enjoy. I wish there were a cigar version of the World of Whiskie’s we attended last month, but alas not here. I think another trip to the Big Smoke is in order in 2020; we’ll keep you all posted.
The Sticks: Our Cigars of the Year
First on our list has to be the Atabey Cigars we had at their event in February on the coldest day of the year here in Chicago. They’ve always been one of our number one sticks to buy and to smoke, no wonder it’s one of our cigars of the year. This winter brought a three-way split on a box between myself, Chris, and our good friend, Doctor Jon. There is a strict count on how many go in and out of my locker, but you can bet I will probably run out before the end of the year. They paired nicely with the scotch we drank that evening, but the draw is so perfect, and the flavor is so smooth. Hell, I can drink it even with a sweeter run or cognac or red wine and still enjoy every puff.
While Atabey gets special attention because of just how exceptional they are, there are more to list. The images in the slideshow below are some of our favorite cigars from 2019 so far. Feel free to browse and enjoy and read more on what we’ve experienced with each photo. If you have questions on any, please comment below. Also please remember to subscribe!
Long Ash Competition With Myself
It's not usual for me to have a long ash, I tend to be too fidgety on the couch to keep it from tipping onto myself, my clothing, my chair, or even the floor. If I'm lucky, I'll make the ashtray in time to catch the spill, but that's only if I'm diligent about keeping up with my smoke. But every so often a stick comes along that naturally lends itself to a long ash, and this other Avo 30th Anniversary stick I got at Biggs for their event was one of them. I only regret leaving the band on so long, because when I went to remove it...I lost the ash.
Avo Syncro Ritmo 30 Years Limited Edition
I cannot describe how awesome it was to have this beast with something that actually stood up to the flavor of the cigar itself. Thanks to Jordan for forgetting the old label Weller on his last visit, the Wheated version was able to handle this Avo and all of the pepper and spice that it unleashed even while remaining enjoyable. It takes a special cigar in order to live up to the bottle of Weller, and it takes a special bourbon to live up to this kind of cigar. Perfect combination just as I learned I aced my midterms at school and was on the fast-track to graduate with honors. An excellent week, indeed!
Aging Room Pura Cepa
This was a Big Smoke item we got in Vegas back in November last year, and it stayed a surprisingly long time in my box before I smoked it with some out-of-town guests that came to join me at the cigar lounge. Normally, I would have held off on this one for another year, but it called out to me. And with guests from Atlanta and Australia, there was just a mood for something exciting in the air. This delivered!
Black Label Trading The Bishop
Not often do I find a brand I've never heard of that has something that makes me rant and rave about their products. Black Label Trading not only did that with The Bishop, but James Brown did it again with the Killer Bee below. While I didn't smoke this one on the day of their event, I did the next day and it was every bit as enticing, alluring, and amazing as the Killer Bee was for totally different reasons. Altogether, I think I'll be back again for more of their products.
Black Label Trading Killer Bee
Like The Bishop above, the Killer Bee is a blend of several very unique and well-sourced tobbacos that James sourced to make this cigar shine. A man who moves his family to Nicaragua to build his own cigar brand is not someone flippant about the fundamentals of good cigar-making, and this shows just how serious he is about his craft. Based on the recommendation of the sales rep I smoked this cigar that night and was instantly hooked. Bought three more for later!
Atabey is on a level of its own, in a world populated only by the genius of the creator, Nelson Alfonso. Nelson was in Chicago for this event when I smoked this cigar and was the reason we bought a box together with Dr. Jon to split three-ways. I keep a very close count of very few things in my cigar locker, but those Atabeys are off-limits to anyone except for the very closest of friends and aficionados in my life.
H. Upmann The Banker
Featured on the first show of the year, this cigar was picked because of the smooth flavor, the easy draw, and the availability in most cigar shops around the country. What we didn't expect was to love it so much that we bought more before the show was even over. Together, the guests and I split a box of 20 between us and invested in enjoying more of these amazing sticks. I can't want to break open more on the long, warm days of summer.