Worth the Hunt for the 1502 XO 2016 Toro Cigar

Enrique Sanchez Icaza knows quite well how to tease us on Twitter with his marketing of the 1502 XO. Like his other blends, the XO is from Nicaragua, but the Wrapper, Filler and Binder are all a secret -- It's like smoking a cigar blind -- and this particular blend is so fun to smoke. But you will want to sit alone and truly enjoy this beauty, like I did over two consecutive afternoons.

The 1502 XO is a yearly limited production line where each year will feature a different size (vitola) cigar. The 2016 1502 XO is a Toro and this cigar has 18 year old aged tobacco in the blend. Sounds enticing right? Well, you better go find it because the total production for this cigar is ONLY 1502 boxes, which means there is only a little more than 15k cigars available complete with a Serial Number for each cigar !

So ... I begged a little on Twitter and the cigar fairy delivered 1 to try ... and the other 2 found! OMG I need more of these XO cigars.

Is it possible that the box pressed build of this cigar is what draws me in to loving the 1502s each time. No, I think it's the promise of experiencing a little bit of Nicaragua ... I felt enraptured with this blend in hand. This cigar makes you take notice -- immediately! Just like well-manicured hands on a man or a snazzy suit, I feel that the XO has a prestigious look to it. I was excited to spend the evening with XO... and WHAT a night it was !

The LOOK of the 1502 XO has small seams, and a beautiful sleekness, but veiny medium chocolate wrapper appearance. It is BOX PRESSED, with an the wrapper overlaying edges of the foot.

The COLD DRAW yields COCOA and WOOD with a Natural TOBACCO scent.

The FIRST THIRD begins with some muted flavor notes of CEDAR and TOBACCO with LEATHER. There is a hint of RED PEPPER and SWEETNESS coming through, but in the background. Then further into the Third, a COCOA flavor and a hint of COFFEE rounds out the flavors as the PEPPER kicks in more prominent. .

The SECOND THIRD still has the CEDAR and musty TOBACCO in the forefront, with some COCOA and PEPPER secondary. Then about half way into the cigar the COCOA moves further into the background and the PEPPER increases dramatically. Then there is a hint of a CREAMY NUT  flavor, but it dissipates quickly.

In the LAST THIRD, the PEPPER, CEDAR, LEATHER are in the forefront with a DARK CHOCOLATE lingering on your palate. It's not a sweet cigar at this point, but there are a few flavors tucked in the background that reminds me that this is a complex smoke with aged tobacco.

I smoked 2 cigars for this review and both needed retouching during this time. The profile was smooth, rich with flavor in every puff. The body was medium to medium plus, with the RED PEPPER strongest in the Second and Last Thirds. Strong, but not overwhelming. The cigar smokes slowly with lots of smoke and relatively even burn.

In my opinion this is a cigar for the trained palate. Someone who LOVES FLAVORS, enjoys detecting them with each puff and looks forward to determining what nuances this AGED TOBACCO cigar holds for you. This is the cigar you want to savor and love with every puff.

I loved it and I hope you get an opportunity to find 2016's XO release. I look forward to trying future cigar sizes -- this XO is definitely worth the hunt ! The XO is an intriguing and delicious addition to one of my favorite cigar companies.

Wishing You Long Ashes --
Robusto Cigar Babe @RobustoBabe


Truly Entranced by Gaaja from Bombay Tobak

For a while Bombay Tobak owner Mel Shah was telling me of this cigar he was putting out that he believed I would love. While I patiently waited to try this gorgeous stick, I learned about all of the different types of tobacco used to create Gaaja.  This beauty was constructed in Costa Rica, with an Ecuadorian Hybrid Wrapper (Connecticut Desflorado & Mejorado 2004). The Filler is a combination of Dominican HVA Mejorado Ligero, Dominican Criollo 98 Viso, Ecuadorian Criollo 98 Viso, Peruvian Hybrid Habano, Paraguayan Hybrid Habano 2000 Viso. The Binder is Ecuadorian HVA Mejorado Seco.

I'm not sure, but this may be the first cigar I've tried with Paraguayan tobacco. Very exotic ! And just as Mel predicted, I was entranced by this lovely stick.

I've mentioned on this site how I love the bands designed by Mel's wife. It's like they are made with beauty and style in mind, like a decorative flying carpet. Gaaja's band has similar colors in the band as other mBombay Cigars, but with a swirly pattern that is attractive and very modern looking -- it's as if they deconstructed the larger band and designed this gem.

The LOOK and SIZE of Gaaja is a Toro Gordo with a wrapper that is light brown (Ecuadorian Hybrid) that has a few lines and almost invisible seams. It's a hardy looking cigar that fits fine in both a woman's or man's hand.

COLD DRAW is light tobacco with a sweetness and pepper.

FIRST THIRD has a WOODSY, PEPPER and FRUIT LIKE SWEETNESS  that stays within this entire third. The PEPPER tastes like a clean WHITE PEPPER on my palate, which varies in strength throughout this first third. There is an HERBAL quality that I can't quite decipher but it plays with the wood flavors. The SWEETNESS gently caresses the palate making this third enjoyable and a little on the lower end of MEDIUM.

The SECOND THIRD has more of the same flavors with the PEPPER and SWEETNESS being more dominant throughout this third (but not at all overpowering). The HERBAL seems to have turned more into a LICORICE flavor and the woodiness has taken a step into the background. The body has pushed up a bit to a full MEDIUM as this remains an easy and casual smoke.

In the FINAL THIRD a buttery component is present with TOBACCO flavor predominant in my mouth. The PEPPER is a little stronger now (in some of the cigars I've smoked) and not so much in some others, with the fruity SWEETNESS keeping the balance. The HERBAL tastes have receded and the WOODINESS is sitting in the distant background. As I'm nubbing this cigar, the PEPPER gets more intense for me. But, I enjoy very much how this cigar ends off with a spicy note.

Gaaja is a very satisfying cigar. The flavors are consistent and distinct. I enjoy the subtle flavors in the beginning and love how the cigar allows you to taste each component individually. It's a very good cigar to learn how to taste flavors as it teaches you to slow down and taste everything.

It's pure pleasure and I love to smoke this cigar when I have a lazy afternoon ... which seems to happen all the time. You gotta try this cigar !

Wishing You Long Ashes,

Robusto Cigar Babe


Spicy, Rugged and Smooth ... Just how I like my Nomad SA17

I adore @Godfadr Fred Rewey and his flavorful cigars. I heard so many yummy things about the SA17 on Twitter, that I knew I needed to try this delectable flavor bomb.

So for this review I smoked one in the comfort of my favorite cigar lounge and the second I reviewed on Twitter, during a session of #SundayCigarHerf. Best thing during that Herf was that Fred joined us so that we could ask him questions. So freakin cool ! Check out how #SundayCigarHerf works and join us one day.

The SA17 has lots of visible veins and it's rugged looking. I was drawn in by the rich San Andres wrapper and the Binder and Filler are all Nicaraguan, with both Esteli and Condega Ligero in the filler.

PRE LIT SCENT yields lots of BARNYARD on the WRAPPER with SPICE AND EARTH on the FOOT.

The COLD DRAW leaves a SPICE and tingle on my lips with a slight SWEETNESS.

FIRST THIRD is very SMOKEY and WOODSY. There is an EARTHY goodness present with a SPICE hitting the back of my throat.

SECOND THIRD I can taste CINNAMON and NUTMEG with a yummy Nuttiness like ALMONDS. The BODY is building in the cigar with the STRENGTH of the Nicotine giving me a little buzz. These flavors taste amazing together while being BALANCED with the SPICINESS of white and black PEPPER that is getting stronger with each puff.

LAST THIRD you can feel the smoothness of the cigar BODY in your mouth. It's luxurious with the NUTS, EARTH and PEPPER keeping the balance of flavors. The Nicotine bumps up again but it is manageable. I have to say that the middle of this cigar was my favorite when I smoked it for #SundayCigarHerf it but when I privately and slowly enjoyed the cigar, I could appreciate all the flavor nuances that helped balance out this smoke and make it very enjoyable.  This cigar is RICH !

I keep a steady rotation of Nomad's in my humi and love to try new cigars from Fred. Absolutely flavorful cigar with impeccable taste.  You have to try this cigar!

Wishing you long ashes ... 
Robusto Cigar Babe   @RobustoBabe

A Cigar Fit for a Viking Princess ... None Other than Freyja by Las Cumbres Tabaco

The Freyja Cigar

It's not often you meet a Viking Princess in a sea of pirates, villains, witches and warriors, but the Freyja cigar,  blended by Emma Viktorsson, co-owner and marketing manager for Las Cumbres Tabaco, stands out in beauty, refinement and strength. From the gorgeously designed band with two scenes (the Goddess Freyja herself and Viking ships), to the flawless caramel color Dominican Criollo wrapper, the Freyja cigar was designed to stand out nicely on the B&M shelves.


- Wrapper: Dominican Criollo ’98

- Binder: Mexican San Andrés

- Filler: Dominican Piloto Cubano, Dominican Criollo ’98, Nicaragua Estelí
Vitolas: The names of Freyja´s cigar-line represent her and a few other Viking Gods:

- “Sessrúmnir” is Freyja Heavenly Hall – Sessrúmnir Corona Larga 5 3/4 X 42

- “Valhalla” is the main God Odin´s Heavenly Hall – Valhalla Robusto 5 1/2 X 50

-  Son of Odin, “Thor” – Thor´s Toro 6 X 54

- “Valkyrie” to once again represent this beautiful Goddess – Valkyrie Pyramid 6/2 X 52

"The name Freyja is for me the bridge between my Swedish roots and the Cigar-Countries,” says Emma Viktorsson, a ten-year cigar industry veteran. "Freyja is the main Viking Goddess, Goddess of beauty, love and fertility as well as being the head of the Valkyrie."

Truth be told, I have smoked more than 20 Freyja cigars of various sizes since its release last year, but for this review I smoked 2 Valhalla Robusto cigars. Here is a photo of Freyja at her launch party at Sanji Cigars in Bloomfield, NJ.

Sitting in the comfort of my favorite chair at the Cigar Vault lounge in Staten Island, I guillotine cut the first cigar ( and v-cut the second) and detect molasses, almonds and espresso in the Cold Draw with an earth and spice scent at the Foot.

The first few puffs are very nutty ( peanuts & almonds) joined by a clean white pepper spice that is strong to me but not overwhelming. A little further into the smoking experience, the flavors are joined by sweet hay, wood and espresso. A very good 1st Third with great burn & nicely melded flaves. This is a solid medium at this stage.

While smoking into the 2nd Third my palate is welcomed with caramel and cedar, then chocolate and espresso ! Yum this cigar reminds me of a Caramel Mocha Macchiato ! Pure indulgence on my part as my mind settles down, my shoulders relax and I snuggle into the armchair feeling completely relaxed.


Just when I  had become complacent with the flavors, the profile changes again challenging my senses-- I love it! In the Final Third, in one cigar the strong espresso and mixed nuts were more prominent. In the second cigar the spicy red pepper was the dominant flavor. But overall I could detect a sumptuous mix of espresso, leather, nuts, spicy pepper with an earth and clove finish.  The Freyja ranges in medium to medium plus in strength but full in flavor all the way through.

The Freyja is a finely blended cigar with complex flavors that tantalizes the tastebuds ! In two words, DELISH™ and Boxworthy !

Freyja has easily become one of my go to cigars and has earned a significant place in my Top 5 Cigars for 2015.

For more information about Freyja, Emma or  Las Cumbres Tabaco, please visit: http://lascumbrestabaco.com/freyja-cigars/ 

For Emma's fabulous Cigar Fantasia blog, please visit http://www.cigarfantasia.com/ 

Wishing you long ashes --

Robusto Cigar Babe


The Luscious Senorial Maduro Is a Flavorful Fix

Funny how a cigar that I dubbed as a top cigar of LAST YEAR consistently stays on my mind and between my fingers this year also! Plus, now Senorial Maduro is available in more B&Ms so wherever I go I can have my Senorial fix.

After loving Senorial for a long time, I waited for the Maduro version. I knew it was going to be love at first scent when I met Senorial Maduro at a smoke-filled lounge on the Upper East Side. Looking luscious, sleek and dark, he had all the looks I enjoy, but it was the cold draw and first puffs that drew me in and held me tightly. Not just a cuddle, I felt seduced, enthralled, and comforted with Senorial Maduro in hand. As I held onto him and admired his appearance, I realized how much I didn't want this union to go away. He's ohhhh soooo good.

The LOOK is a sleek, chocolate color MADURO wrapper.

The COLD DRAW produces a mix of CEDAR and EARTH. It's got a SWEETNESS that you can taste on your lips.

For the FIRST THIRD there is a blast of PEPPER and CEDAR. Then a few puffs in you can easily detect CHOCOLATE and an EARTHINESS with a definite RAISIN sweetness.  Further in you can taste the CHOCOLATE caressing your palate as it moves to the forefront along with the balance of the EARTHY tones. PEPPER is still present and the balance is very good.

The SECOND THIRD brings CHOCOLATE as the main flavor in this profile for a few puffs with EARTH, CEDAR, SPICE, and a hint of sweetness in the background. This is my favorite part of the cigar. Every stick I've smoked is consistent, delicious and balanced. Towards the end of this third, it gets a little more EARTHY, but it's very manageable with all of the other flavors this cigar puts out.

The LAST THIRD eases in with EARTH, CEDAR and PEPPER as the prominent flavors. In the background you can taste CHOCOLATE and a sweet RAISIN. 

I usually look for Senorial Maduro in the afternoon. With a cup of coffee as this cigar is a complete dream. He's bold, reliable and I love the way he smells. Medium in strength, Senorial Maduro is perfect for that afternoon delight when you know you want a little something to carry you through the day. Make no mistake, this is not a quickie cigar -- you will want to savor this beauty -- and completely enjoy everything that Senorial Maduro offers you.  Where have you been all my life Senorial Maduro ... Mmmhmmmm, completely delectable ... and BOXWORTHY too.

Wishing you long ashes,

Robusto Cigar Babe



Robusto Cigar Babe's Top 10 Cigars of 2015

So many cigars, so little time! First off, I'd like to thank all the cigar companies who graciously sent cigar samples to smoke. For the most part, I can find enjoyment in most every cigar I smoke. The best part is even if I don't review the cigars on Twitter or the blog, I talk about every cigar to the Meetup Groups I attend, Cigar Parties I organize, talks at cigar events, etc.

Also a big TY to the managers and owners of all of the cigar lounges I frequent in the TriState area as well as on Twitter: You guys/gals really know what customer service is and I'm so grateful to know you.

If you aren't on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook you are missing a whole world of knowledge and friendships in the cigar world! Just get on and start following people and chatting with them. I've learned so much from all the magazine and professional reviewers online as well as the cigar company owners, sales reps, marketing people, radio shows, cigar lounges, and other bloggers. We started #SundayCigarHerf on Twitter because it's the best place to LEARN how to taste cigars.

Why did I do a Top 25 Cigar List? Overkill, nah, it's just that I have smoked so many good sticks in 2015.  I could go on and on with companies like Camacho, La Aurora, Joya De Nicaragua, Jordon Alexander, Sindicato, Virtuoso, Arturo Fuente, LFD, and so many more ! 

My Top 5 Favorite Cigars: I've smoked more than 20 of each of the cigars. They are consistently my go-to cigars for full flavors & pure satisfaction.

My Top 6-12 Cigars are worth the hunt. These cigars are on my mind & have bewitched my senses.

My Top 13-25 Cigars are delicious sticks that are constantly being replenished in my humi.

My Top 10 Cigars of 2015

1. Oliva Series V Melanio Maduro

Consistently delicious, completely delectable and sumptuous smoking experience. Well, you know how I feel about Melanio Maduro. This is pure luv !

2. Camacho Barrel Aged

I know this will sound weird to my cigar friends but the Barrel Aged cigar flavors are as close as you can get to an infused cigar without it being one. The story I read about how this cigar was blended intrigued me so much, I had to try it. Love the wide dimensions of flavors, smooth and creamy smoking experience with a touch of bourbon-soaked wood taste and smell. Delish! Buy 1 and join us for #SundayCigarHerf in the coming months.

3.  Las Cumbres Tabaco "Senorial Maduro"

The moment I knew I loved the Senorial cigar, I was waiting for the Maduro to appear. It's a really good cigar blended by Jose Blanco whose reputation in the cigar industry speaks volumes. I can't get enough of this cigar and I had the opportunity to introduce it to many friends at lounges and on Twitter. Supremo ! Boxworthy! Tune into #SundayCigarHerf in coming months to herf this LIVE online.

4. Ashton Symmetry

I first became intrigued by the cigar because @cigarzonave store tweeted about it and then I read about it in Cigar Aficionado Magazine. It looked and sounded like it was in my wheelhouse. I'm really high on Ecuador Habano wrappers lately. The Symmetry is beyond great! Loved it so much I bought a box after smoking my first Symmetry. It's underrated in my opinion. I think the ESG gets more play, but this is truly a great smoke. YUMSymmetry !

5. Las Cumbres Tabaco "Freyja"

Simply it's a cigar that continues to change and delight with every puff I take. The range of flavors blended into Freyja makes a great pairing for coffee, whisky, craft beer, and even Coney Island Rootbeer! Completely Delish ! See full review on the site.

6. Oliva Serie V (also Maduro Especial)

I know! How could this NOT be in the Top 5 ! I hear your thoughts believe me. I love it. I really really do. But lately, hmmmmm, I'm just craving a less full strength. Don't get me wrong, Oliva Serie V is still my FIRST TRUE LOVE, and you never forget your first. Absolutely lovely, dark and handsome smoke. Wait ... maybe this should be #5 part 2 ... You know what I'm talking about !

7. Punch Rare Corojo
Such a satisfying smoke. My #SundayCigarHerf co-host @HN_JAD turned me onto it during a planned meetup of co-hosts and Twitter friends during #Houston2015. From the first few puffs, I was hooked. Now every time I go to a lounge I look for it. If I could find it more, it might have ended up in the Top 5. Really, really great stick !

8. American Kick Ass (AKA) Nth Degree Cigar

Another cigar company that @HN_JAD got me to try and love is AKA Cigars. I think last year my fave from AKA was the Hybrid. I still love it, but it's the Nth Degree this year that seems to be the one I reach for. It might be the captivating smoky scent or the complexity of the coffee, chocolate and creaminess that makes me want more. Made in the Davidoff Factory, this cigar is packed with top shelf tobacco. So Damn Good ...

9  MBombay Kesara Nikka
So, here's the deal. Sometimes I want lighter strength but still full flavor. I've been searching a long time for a cigar like this and Nikka just does it for me. I first became intrigued by @CigarzonAve posting pics on Twitter. Then Mel from @Mbombaycigars graciously sent me some to try. I took the Kesara Nikka with me to a party and WOW, everyone wanted to know what smelled so good. Plus, the BAND is so beautiful, I feel it's attractive to women and men!  I love this cigar and really need to buy more of it. This cigar is Container Worthy ! Yes, I would have said Boxworthy but it's sold in these really cool containers. Innovative and delicious!

10.  1502 Ruby

I've loved the Ruby since it was first introduced to me by #SundayCigarHerf co-host @CigarChairman on Twitter. Love it. But sometimes I can't decide whether I want the Ruby or the Black Gold. Different but equally delish. Company owner and blender Enrique is also a crazy cool sort of guy who owns the most colorful wardrobe. That's the way I think of this cigar, as an expression of Enrique's personality -- fun, unique and talented. It's a very satisfying cigar!

Thanks for reading!

Well, that's all of it. Were you surprised at my Top 10 picks? If you follow me on Twitter, IG or take part in our #SundayCigarHerf, you probably realize what I really enjoy smoking. I look forward to hearing your reactions and tasting notes about these cigars.

Have an amazing 2016 filled with LONG ASHES, delectable CIGARS, lots of FRIENDS on and off line, & a PROFITABLE working year so you can afford all these great sticks !

Robusto Cigar Babe


Robusto Cigar Babe's Top 11-25 Cigar Faves of 2015

So many cigars, so little time!

Why did I do a Top 25 Cigar List?
It's because I have smoked so many good sticks in 2015 and I could go on and on  adding to this list with companies like Camacho, La Aurora, Joya De Nicaragua, Jordon Alexander, Sindicato, Arturo Fuente, LFD, and so many more ! Plus, this list doesn't even include house brands by some of my favorite cigar lounges like Santana Cigars in Lefforts Garden, Brooklyn (great owners!) or Oro Cubano Lounge in Vineland, NJ (a swanky lounge), or the much anticipated Martinez Cigars in New York City.

Here is how My List is separated: 
My Top 5 Favorite Cigars are comprised of sticks that I've smoked more than 20 of each of the cigars. They are consistently my go-to cigars for full flavors & pure satisfaction.  See the Top 10 list next week.
My Top 6-12 Cigars are worth the hunt. These cigars are on my mind & have bewitched my senses.

My Top 13-25 Cigars are delicious sticks that are constantly being replenished in my humi.

Here are my Top 11 - 25 Cigars of 2015

11. Curivari Buenaventura BV560

As you can tell I get a lot of my cigar tips and cravings from friends and reviewers on Twitter. This little yummy is from @HN_JAD. This cigar tastes as close to enjoying a cookie as you can get. The graham cracker taste is very distinct and enjoyable. Who doesn't like Cookies!

12. Davidoff Cigarz on the Avenue 20th Anniversary blend

This cigar was graciously gifted by @CigarzonAve to try along with a Davidoff The Artist, which is also very delicious. But the Cigarz on the Avenue 20th Anniversary blend is smooth and rich in flavors. So good and only available at this shop in Florida. They deliver, but I suggest a road trip anyway!

13. Casa Fernandez Aganorsa Leaf Maduro

Truly the hot chocolate stick, this cigar won my heart immediately and has opened my senses to all of the Casa Fernandez lines. The Aganorsa Leaf Maduro is robust with a San Andres Maduro wrapper blended with Aganorsa fillers and binder tobaccos from Nicaragua. Every stick I've had -- and I buy a box every time I see it -- is a treasure and a treat !

14.  Joseph NicaVana "Mesmerize"

The Mesmerize is a stunner. The blend was introduced to me by @cigarchairman and I really progressed my palate with this cigar. One of four blends created by Alan Fonseca for his new company, the Salamanca Cigar Group (@The_DonFonseca ), Alan was the founding partner of Ezra Zion Cigars. While smoking this cigar, I could actually detect and taste orange peel! It was quite an awakening in my cigar journey. It's a fine cigar that I need to buy more of as of this writing.  Available in AZ and CA right now, but making national distribution in Spring, 2016.
15. Nat Sherman Sterling

In my opinion the Sterling is the most underrated Nat Sherman cigar and probably the best one in their line. The Sterling is a little expensive in NYC, but it's worth every penny. These cigars combine aged Dominican fillers with a Dominican binder and a stunning Ecuador-grown wrapper. It provides a creamy smoke with complex flavors and a long finish. 
16.  Las Cumbres Tabaco "Senorial"

A favorite in my household this cigar is impeccable and flavorful. It's a go-to cigar for when I'm having tea or amaretto. It's an enjoyable smoke any time of the day. Was a favorite in 2014 and it's a wonderful blend for 2015 too. In fact I smoked one yesterday, so it's continues to be freaking awesome any year. Boxworthy!

17.  Acme Cigars "Route 66"

In partnership with AKA Cigars, Acme's Route 66 has a medium to full body, with rich tobacco, sweet and creamy flavors that included cocoa, molasses, coffee, and wood. I can see this cigar becoming a huge seller because it can be smoked in about an hour and is very flavorful. Perfect after dinner smoke. Yumdillicious !

18.  House of Emilio AF2

It's hard to separate my love between AF2 and AF1 but here is the difference: AF2 blended by AJ Fernandez is crafted from rich Nicaraguan fillers with PA Ligero and shows off with a beautiful Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper. Flaves are caramel, coffee, cream and spice. It's an amazing smoke. I always have several in my humi and you should too!

19. Emilio Cigars Draig Cayuquero

One of my favorite Emilio cigars, I believe it is underrated because of the band which does not photograph well. If you overlook that aspect you will find a flavorful and satisfying smoke with accented red and black pepper. Cayuquero is a Nicaraguan blend with a lighter shade Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper. I buy it at Cigar Federation in 5 packs. Which reminds me I need more!

20. Camacho Ecuador

I loved this cigar from the first time I tried it at Cigar Aficion in Staten Island (thanks Passat). This cigar boasts a gorgeous Ecuadorian Habano wrapper with Honduran and Dominican tobaccos bound in an earthy Brazillian Mata Fina leaf. It's potent but really good with coffee and bourbon.

21. House of Emilio AF1

Yes, I love another Emilio Cigar and it's the brother to the AF2. This cigar is loaded with Nicaraguan tobaccos in the filler, covered with a slow fermented San Andres Maduro wrapper. Flaves are rich with spice and sweetness. In limited production, I sometimes have to wait to buy these beauties.  Buy it on Cigar Federation. Worth the hunt for this one !

22.  Camacho Shellback

A limited release from Camacho, in a line known as the Brotherhood Series. The cigar features an Ecuador Habana wrapper and a binder and filler from Nicaragua. medium to full body, this cigar has an initial pepper kick then it is SMOOTH with nutmeg/cinnamon, cedar and earth with underlying sweetness. Buy a box before this goes away. I have 2 boxes in my humi ... ha ha ... I'm no fool. Might do very well with a little bit of age!

23.  1502 Nicaragua

Enrique teased Twitter with the idea of Nicaragua long before I ever smoked this cigar by the same name as the country, so his marketing genius worked in my opinion. Besides that, the cigar is the perfect addition to the two other 1502 cigars I treasure -- the Ruby and Black Gold!  Nicaragua contains tobaccos from the four main growing regions: Esteli, Jalapa, Condega and Ometepe. It exudes honey and vanilla, with a delicate fruitiness and some nuts. You gotta try this cigar!
24. Ventura Cigars, Psyko Seven

Many people will be surprised that I didn't list the Maduro version in the Top 25, which is unusual given my love for Maduro, but I really find it takes away from the complexity of the original Psyko Seven.  First, I love the mixture of the 7 regions in this cigar. It's a fantastic idea that introduces the great flavors that can be achieved through thoughtful blending. Haven't tried this cigar? You are definitely missing a great smoke. Yep, it's a good one !
25. Nat Sherman Timeless 556 Nicaragua

On twitter I would see @cigarchairman smoking this cigar every weekend. So, I bought a few and tried it out and wasn't impressed at all -- which surprised me because I find the CM and I have similar likes in cigars. Then I realized that I bought the Dominican version by mistake ! The moment I tried THIS cigar I realized how much I love spice ! A Nicaraguan puro, it is rich and full bodied creamy experience. I like to smoke it with an alcoholic beverage and it goes very nicely with Johnny Walker Blue (but really what wouldn't) and a Maker's Mark 46. Everyone should have this stick in their humi!

Thanks for reading!

I look forward to hearing your reactions and tasting notes about these cigars. Tune in next week to read about my Top 10 cigar picks for 2015.

Don't forget to put your guesses of what you think are my Top 5 Cigars of 2016 below in the comment section before January 10th.

Robusto Cigar Babe