Cigar smoking is like art in that opinions differ wildly about what is best. And no matter which side of the aisle you’re on, it’s often difficult to explain exactly why you like what you like. You can use words and say things like “I prefer an almond flavor in my smoke,” or, “the cigar has complexities that I appreciate,” but in the end it comes down to an individual’s taste whether or not they will love or hate a particular cigar. What matters most of all in fact is the cigar, and not only the brand, but how that cigar has been raised from the soil, to the plant, to the care the tobacco had in aging, and onto the hand roll and finally the shipment and storage. But barring all that, we’ve put together a list of what we think are the top 5 cigars for summer 2011.

 

Perdomo Reserve Oscuro Limited - The Perdomo Reserve Oscuro Limited is a cigar in a league all its own. If you’re already familiar with this brand then you know the heritage of quality they’ve created, and with this offering they’ve left nothing to be desired. Coming from Esteli,Nicaragua, and undergoing three fermentations this dark oscurowrapped beauty is among the best of the best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ashton Aged Maduro #10 - The Ashton Aged Maduro is rolled with a naturally fermented Connecticut broad leaf rapper which adds a strong but not over powering favor to these delicate, dark little treats. And while they can be expensive they are well worth the try.

 

 

 

 

 

Fuente Fuente Opus X XXX Belicoso -Year after year Arutro Fuente puts out these top shelf sticks without ever a dip in the quality. There may be some years thatstand out as exceptional but in general the Opus line is nearly untouchable in the industry, and the XXX Belicoso is no exception.

 

 

 

 

 

H. Upman N0. 2 - H. Upman is another brand that’s not unfamiliar with sitting at the top of the class. This cigar is a consistent year in and year out, but be careful they have a full flavor that can sneak up on you.

 

 

 

 

 

Ashton VSG - The VSG been at the top of many people’s lists for years now. But Ashton isn’t letting up on its command of the market with these wonderfully flavored, smooth cigars. And while cigar lines can often waiver with age, Ashton, with its VSG has maintained a level of excellence that other cigar makers only can reach once in a life time and never repeat.

 

 

 

Any list of great cigars is always incomplete and subject to the changing whims of people’s tastes. As time passes certain flavors fall in and out of currency, but these five cigars we just described are well worth the expense. Think of it as therapy.

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