The Top Ten Cigars of 2006

Posted: Jan 01, 2007 12:00 AM
The Top Ten Cigars of 2006

The other day, one of my readers asked “Why do you have to be so political and controversial in every column? Why can’t you just relax?” Well, those are good questions. And maybe they’re best answered with a non-political column on my favorite cigars of 2006 – a column written for my fellow cigar-smoking friend Dennis Prager. And, since I’m not being political, this is also for my favorite fat lesbian Rosie O’Donnell.

(Author’s Note: This column was sponsored, in part, by Donald Trump Enterprises, which has since filed for bankruptcy after an unsuccessful suit for sexual hair-assment against the producers of “The View,” a once-popular daytime talk show for recovering alcoholics).

10. Don Lino Africa by La Aurora. This 6 ½ - inch, 58- ring monster is among the more attractive cigars on my list. The dark and veiny wrapper gives a distinct coffee flavor to an otherwise earthy cigar. Few cigars I characterize as “earthy” make my annual Top Ten. But this one has too fine a burn, too nice a draw, and too powerful a punch not to merit inclusion.

9. La Flor Dominica Double Ligero DL-700. Measuring over 6 inches in length with a ring gauge of 60, this one will keep you occupied for a couple of hours. This is a rich medium to full-bodied cigar dominated by a coffee flavor. It is also slightly nutty with a good, firm draw. Several of my friends have placed this cigar in their year-end Top Five.

8. Saint Luis Rey Reserva Especial Belicoso. This is by far the best bargain on my list. I get these cigars for $3.30 a piece from my buddy Steve Gimello at Brooklynn Cigars in Wilmington, N.C. ( At just over 6 inches, this 52-ring cigar is just the right size. It has a fantastic draw and burn with a dominant chocolate flavor. Creamy vanilla notes add to the flavor of this excellent medium to full-bodied cigar.

7. Sancho Panza Extra Fuerte Cadiz. This is a complex cigar – one I’ve heard described as woody, earthy, nutty, and leathery. I’ve detected coffee and chocolate flavors, too. After you smoke this medium-bodied 6 1/8-inch by 54-ring Virgin Sun Grown gem, write me at to tell me how it tasted to you.

6. Oliva “O” Churchill Maduro. I’ve recommended this powerful 7 by 50 Nicaraguan before. But beware of the new packaging. The cloth cigar ring is gone - replaced with a standard paper ring – but it is still the same potent, full-bodied, after dinner smoke.

5. The Coronado by La Flor. This cigar comes in a 50, a 54, and a 60-ring version, all of which are seven inches long. I prefer the 54-ring but all are wonderful smokes.

Beware: This is a very powerful smoke. But the earthy flavor is complimented by a wonderfully rich and cedary finish that some will find to be the ideal combination in a full-bodied cigar.

4. The Edge Corojo by Rocky Patel. This 6 ¼ – inch, 52-ring cigar caused me to stop reading the cigar ratings in Cigar Aficionado. To call this cigar “grassy,” their raters must have smoked it right after putting down a crack pipe. Just after this spicy, potent cigar gets going, it begins to take on a sweet, hardwood flavor. Warning: It is potent, hence the name “The Edge.”

3. The Chisel Double Ligero Maduro by La Flor Dominica. This is the best tasting, most potent maduro I’ve ever smoked. It is best to use a “V” cutter on this 6-inch by 54-ring beauty – but not before operating any heavy machinery.

2. Rocky Patel Virgin Sun Grown Torpedo. I think every man deserves 72 of these virgin sun grown cigars when he gets to heaven. It is a rich, cedary, medium bodied cigar with a unique and tangy finish. This 6 by 52 gem just keeps getting better with every puff. I’ve burned my fingertips many a time on this wonderful cigar. I was hard pressed to keep this one out of the #1 slot.

1. The Chisel Double Ligero Natural by La Flor Dominica. Given my love of corojos, maduros, and virgin sun growns, it is really quite shocking that my #1 pick for 2006 is a cigar with a natural wrapper. Nonetheless, this is the best tasting cigar I’ve ever smoked. I’ve singed by eyebrows many a time sniffing the wrapper of this rich, cedary 6 by 54 beauty. The slightly spicy taste adds complexity to the finest fell-bodied smoke that money can buy. The communists in Cuba could never match the perfection found in this fine Dominican figurado.

Now that we’re done, could someone please pass the “V” cutter? It’s right next to my copy of The Satanic Verses.