Top New Cigars: Labor Day Edition
It’s Labor Day weekend next Monday here in the U.S. – our unofficial goodbye to the warmest season. After that, it’s a whirlwind of back to school for the kids, raking leaves, and – before you know it – dusting off snow blowers and a whole bunch of other stuff we’d rather not think about. That’s why I always like to go big for summer’s last hoorah and pair my bellyful of beef and beer with a relaxing cigar in the late summer twilight. Now…you’ve got two choices. Smoke that same old stuff. Or…smoke something new, fresh, exciting. A new cigar that reawakens your taste buds. I’ve got a few to show you from Montecristo and Roma Craft – along with an affordable Vertigo lighter that’s survived all the tests we could throw at it…and still came out on top.
Check out our quick reviews and see which cigars and accessories we picked to smoke this Labor Day! As always, share your comments below. We wanna hear about your favorite new cigars, too!
Vertigo Crusher Lighter
I’ve always loved Vertigo lighters. Their formula: a great price + over-engineered construction = big value. The Crusher series is among their latest designs and features a triple torch flame, large fuel tank, and a metal housing. That’s a big step up from their economy-priced Cyclone series which was mostly plastic and could crack if dropped. Additionally, they’ve included an inset punch cutter which automatically discharges the tobacco plug when closed. And the price? A reasonable $26 (at press time) – far less than you’d spend on some big brand lighter that’ll probably have fewer amenities.
Montecristo Epic Vintage 12
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Nicaragua and Dominican Republic vintage 2012
Montecristo Epic fans have a lot to be excited about with this new cigar. First, it’s not too often that this series sees a new blend. Second, it comes with some super-aged tobaccos that make it well worth the wait. Vintage 12 references the 2012 growing season from which the Dominican filler leaves were harvested. Add some Nicaraguan leaves for spice, and a zesty Sumatra wrapper, and you’re in cigar flavor heaven. Flavors that remind me of orange peel, oak, and black pepper, with spice and a natural sweetness that combine to engage every square centimeter of your palate. This medium-bodied Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 comes with some sticker shock, but it’s reasonable enough to indulge on special occasions. Sending summer off right seems to be the right kind.
Baka by Roma Craft (New Sizes!)
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut Shade
Roma Craft’s Baka Bantu line released last year to complement their CroMagnon and Neanderthal line and turned quite a few heads in the cigar review scene. This year, the blend honoring the 40,000-year-old Baka culture in Cameroon is getting four new popular sizes added to its collection.
Acephalous – (5” x 56) Double Robusto
Hunter Gatherer (6” x 54) Double Toro
Ota Benga (4 ½” x 60) Petite Gordo
Poki (5” x 50) Perfecto
If you’re going for fireworks this holiday weekend, this’ll steal the show for your taste buds. I love the blend’s aromatic disposition filled with notes of nuts, vanilla, and sweet spices. It’s perfectly balanced and enjoyable whether you smoke one after your morning coffee, with your favorite nightcap, or anywhere in between.
* * *
My colleague Paul Lukens will be taking over Top New Cigars going forward (you can still find my reviews on #NowSmoking alongside Gary Korb). I want to thank each of you for your comments and the discussions we’ve shared, and above all, the joy this series has brought me over the past three years. I’ll surely miss keeping you up to date!