Gird your loins!
The Blowin' Smoke Podcast Cretins' Prime Nine 2015 - Our favorite new cigars from the past year.
Hey, it was either THIS or Caitlyn Jenner's top nine favorite moisturizers. While that is intriguing, and several of the participating Cretins probably use one or two of them personally, cigars are more our thing, and we think there is a big difference between humidity and moisture.
That being said, you will, no doubt, take issue with our results. Good! You should. It is impossible to try every new release, let alone get a consensus. We also had many fantastic cigars that didn't break top nine scoring, but made it on one or more Cretin's lists. Let us know where you think we screwed up. (Hell, the Cretins bitch when one of their submitted favorites doesn't make the list!)
So, let's do this.
The Cretins were asked to submit their top five favorite new cigars from the past year, in order, as well as some brief commentary on their selections. Positions were scored. Points were tallied and we came up with our Blowin' Smoke Podcast Cretins' Prime Nine 2015!
Collaborations are fun. Imagine a world without bacon and eggs. Sad, really. Boilermakers. Turducken. Francesca Eastwood. All fabulous collaborations. The same goes for the boutique collaboration between the Romeo y Julieta folks at Altadis USA and Aging Room Cigars. Their efforts took the brand to a new level by really changing up the flavor profile and strength within a Dominican puro, no less. Let's be honest. You probably long held mental notes on Romeo y Julieta whatever they may be. We'll bet Romeo by Romeo y Julieta Aging Room will challenge that for the better. Cretins said -- "First, it's a great cigar. Medium, complex, tasty, and well made. Second, it's a complete break from what we're used to with RyJ." -- "I am now a ROMEO whore."
The Warped El Oso landed in this very spot last year, and this year they make another solid appearance with the Warped Futuro Seleccion Suprema. Speaking of collaboriations, the Futuro, or future, is a collaboration between Warped's Kyle Gellis and Max Fernandez of Casa Fernandez. A Nicaraguan puro, it features rare tobaccos from the Aganorsa vault and just brings the flavor and complexity. Should we hold this spot for something new from Warped next year? Welcome back. Cretins said -- "The best of both worlds...classic yet modern." -- "Rich with notes of cedar, cinnamon, coffee, and chili pepper spice." -- "An elegant and balanced smoke."
When you see the packaging, website, and associated marketing materials of Black Label Trading Company, you might get the idea that you're being enticed by a secret underground cult that sacrifices cigars instead of goats or virgins or virgin goats. Whatever they are doing, they are making believers out of the Cretins, and the 2015 Morphine has eased the pain quite nicely. Released as a small batch new blend under the same "Morphine" name, it still features two maduro wrappers. One "inny," and one "outy." I'm pretty sure that's how BLTC's James Brown describes it. Morphine is also a Nicaraguan puro and is made in the company's new factory called Fabrica Oveja Negra. The Cretins have redefined a "Morphine drip" as a BLTC Morphine, an adult beverage, and silence. Cretins said -- "Morphine is worth tracking down and smoking." -- "Both the Morphine lancero and robusto are phenomenal." -- "Good and spicy. A great pain killer." -- "A sneaky strong cigar that leaves your head spinning and wanting more."
Do you remember that line from "Ghostbusters" when the crazy chick, Gozer, asks "Are you a god?" Well, let me say, "AJ, when someone asks you if you are a god, you say "YES!"" AJ...er Lord AJ makes some amazing cigars for others, but he also puts his own name on some primo sticks too, AND keeps the pricing very reasonable. Win-win! This is one of them. There seems to have been a lot of brands doing flavorful, surprisingly bold things with Connecticuts lately. AJ Fernandez is a leader in that pack. With a mild to medium body, the New World Connecticut will surprise you with flavor and subtle spice that plays with your mind a little. THIS is a Connecticut? (Last year, the AJ Fernandez New World also made the Prime 9.) Connecticut wrapper, of course, with a San Andres binder, and filler from Nicaragua and Brazil. Cretins said -- "Beginning with cream and floral notes, building into damp cedar, and finishing with oak and a bit of floral grass." -- "So much flavor for a Connecticut." -- "A perfect cigar to start the day, or finish the day, or think about the day, or just smoke the damn thing all day."
Paraphrasing Butch and Sundance...who is that guy? Back to back! Shifting gears, the Enclave delivers a stronger smoke, fuller body, and more intense flavors than the Connecticut, as you might expect. AJ Fernandez wrapped an Ecuadorian Habano Rosado around a Cameroon binder and his own select Nicaraguan fillers. The results are deliciously unique and different from the New World yet signature AJ in its high quality and reasonable pricing. Cretins said -- "Smokey leather with white pepper meets you up front before transitioning back to black coffee with a baking spice undertone. It finishes with earth and light cocoa notes." -- "So easy to enjoy. Consistent flavor delivery. Nice little kick too." -- "AJ nailed it again with the Enclave...really like this cigar." -- "Earthy hit right from the start that carries through. Good full body taste."
No stranger to the Cretin Prime Nine, Fred Rewey and his Nomad Cigar Company has been going full speed ahead releasing two new lines in 2015 with one of them actually being a three in one...the Nomad Therapy which comes in a Connecticut, Habano, and Maduro style. One thing you can't help but notice with each new release from Nomad is Fred's increasing ability to blend for flavor...amazing flavor. Plus, remember what I said up above about that AJ guy...and his making great cigars for others...and that Connecticut wrapper stuff??? Well, cough-cough-cough... Combine this obvious passion, throw in a trenendous work ethic, sprinkle in an addicting social media presence, and Nomad's following continues to grow. It's obvious the Cretins are fans. Therapy Connecticut delivers just that with a Connecticut Ecuador wrapper, San Andres Mexico binder, and Nicaraguan filler. Cretins said -- "Dammit, Fred! Leave some room for someone else!" -- Another GREAT Connecticut!" -- "The Rape-y is so good, it should be illegal. (See what I did there?)" -- "Explain to me how this is a Connecticut." -- "My wife hates you, Fred." -- "Enjoy this with coffee, trust me."
Another familiar face on the annual Cretin Prime Nine is back. Sam Leccia and his Leccia Tobacco scored top honors the last TWO YEARS, and he has returned with a new line that scored a tie for fourth place this year. Not too shabby at all. Sam has released a new line under the Luchador name...El Gringo. Much like the original Luchador line, this blend will slap you around if you're not careful. Both the flavor and strength department are more jacked up, but there is a sexy smoothness to the El Gringo too. Like getting your ass kicked by Scarlet Johansson. More Nicaraguan tobacco plus the always turning gears of this Leccia dude means brace yourself. Luchador El Gringo has a Nicaraguan oscuro wrapper, Nicaraguan habano binder, and ligero fillers from Pennsylvania and Nicaragua. Do you have your mask yet? Cretins said -- "The power bomb of spice." -- "Do not operate heavy machinery while..." -- "Full bodied yet smooth and balanced...like a shovel to the face."
If you haven't experienced anything from RoMa Craft Tobac and their Nica Sueno factory, you really need to reevaluate your life. The team of Skip Martin, Michael Rosales, and Esteban Disla, in addition to being majorly sexy mo-fos, are creating some unbelievably good, highly creative, and well sought after cigars. Follow them on social media, speak with them at events, or experience their cigars and you will know how personally involved and focused on their craft they really are. There is stuff happening at RoMa Craft, besides the cigars, that you just feel. These guys are all in. The Neanderthal was talked about for a couple years before making its appearance in 2015. When it started shipping, they were hard to find, but enough Cretins mooched, bribed, traveled, and begged for them, and were not let down. While the Neanderthal HN (Homo Neanderthalensis), a figurado with a flat cap (think of a neanderthal head), was a national release, some of the Cretins were lucky enough to also try the Neanderthal SGP (Shallow Gene Pool) which was a select store and event only exclusive. The Neanderthal has a Mexican San Andres maduro wrapper, a US Connecticut broadleaf maduro binder, and Pennsylvania double ligero, Nicaraguan (4 regions), and Dominican filler. Cretins said -- "A great strong cigar perfect for after dinner, assuming that dinner is a big ass steak." -- "A full, complex bomb of a cigar that doesn't let up from start to finish." -- "Fun size, complex flavors, and a full nic punch." -- Calling all hairy-chested nut scratchers...your cigar has arrived!" -- "A very uniquely shaped cigar that can be a bitch to cut, but fantastic and flavorful with rich coffee, pepper and cocoa notes." -- "Full bodied, but not overwhelming. Another RoMa Craft winner."
What the...? Nomad Cigar Company lands another spot on the 2015 Prime Nine. It's fair to say that more Therapy is a good thing, or the Cretins just need as much as they can get. Maybe that's a distinction without a difference, but the Therapy Maduro finds itself finrmly in the number two spot. You know the Nomad Therapy thing from the Connecticut blend in the number six spot. The Therapy Maduro has a Pennsylvania broadleaf wrapper around a Nicaraguan Jalapa habano binder, and Nicaraguan filler. Cretins said -- "Cretins need a LOT of Therapy." -- "I need a lot of maduro Therapy this year!" -- "Ramped up with more spice and body than Connecticut and Habano...the leader of the pack." -- "Extra spice, coffee and leather with a subtle sweetness too."
#1 - Nomad Esteli Lot 8613
OK, who let this guy in?! Wow! Nomad Cigar Company scores the top spot on the 2015 Cretins Prime Nine AND three spots overall! It's like this guy is blending just for the Cretins. Obviously, that's not true, but what Fred Rewey IS blending certainly is falling into the Cretins' wheelhouse. When the Esteli Lot 8613 hit, the chatter among the Cretins was wondering if Fred could top the S-301 or the C-276 as they were both very unique, bold and flavorful. It quickly turned to a combination of enthusiasm and anger. OMG! He did it! He topped them. Dammit! I need a box of these. There were times they were traded or passed about or spied at a tobacconist like Wonka's golden ticket. The Nomad Esteli Lot 8613 was a game changer to the game changer to the game changer. Talk about diversity, Fred's Nomad Cigar Company is truly showing how it is done. The Esteli Lot 8613 has an Ecuadorian habanp wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and filler. (Psst. And that AJ Fernandez guy makes it.) Cretins said -- "This could be the perfect cigar." -- "Well balanced flavor and strength." -- "This cigar is nearly perfect...full and complex." -- "A damn good cigar." -- "A consistent smoke that is always pleasurable, just like Fred." -- "This thing is a new cigar every two inches or so. Complex and deep, but not crazy. Like the perfect woman." -- "Every Elsteli Lot 8613 I have had (30+) has been just what I wanted and needed...spicy, rich, bold, effortless, and satidfying...consistently cuts right through to the pleasure place."
Congratulations, Fred Rewey & Nomad Cigar Company!
So, there it is. The Cretins Prime Nine for 2015 in all its glory. Congratulations to all those who made the list! Let's do it again next year.
But wait! We have to mention some great cigars that landed right on the bubble of the 2015 Cretins Prime 9. And I mean right on the freakin' bubble, folks! Check out these fantastic cigars too... Tatuaje Monster Series 2015 #8 -- Foundation Cigar Company's El Gueguense -- Roberto P. Duran -- Drew Estate Undercrown Shade --