bundwallah

Habanos Vintage Chart (James Suckling, updated)

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Came across this updated list from JS's new site. Havana Insider dot com.

There was a previous post from 2011, so here's a new one.

Vintage List Article.

Cheat Sheet

  1. 2014
  2. 2015
  3. 2013
  4. 2012
  5. 2011
  6. 2010
  7. 2003
  8. 2009
  9. 2008
  10. 2007
  11. 2004
  12. 2005
  13. 2006
  14. 2002

What do you think? How would you rank the years?

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From my experience I would move 2003 and 2008 higher

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NSXCIGAR   

I don't always agree with Suckling but this list is pretty accurate IMO.

2003 and 2008 were standout years but I'd really have to think about it. 2003 was an oasis in a barren desert. 2008 was also a breakthrough year after a bad drought and the best since 03. But the last 5 years have been excellent in general. I think 03 and 08 were relatively great while 2012-2015 have been objectively great.

I think 09 was better or at least as good at 10 and 11, so I'd move that up a tad. But no major disagreements with that ranking in general.

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I have not sampled any of the newer years in quantity, but for me 2003 and 2008 are very pleasant years indeed.

Looking forward to sampling the newer stuff when they reach my threshold

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Elvis   

I thought 2008 was a brilliant year. It's good to know that someone believes they just keep getting better, it gives me something to look forward to.

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2006 was amazing.

Agree

I have not smoked nearly enough cigars to make blanket statements on vintage, but I've had some fantastic '06s

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Well, looking at that article, this caught my eye:

"A word of caution. Don’t touch any cigars from the end of 1998 to 2001. Many of these cigars had construction problems as well as bad tobacco blending. A new generation of factory workers came on board at that time, and many didn’t know how to make cigars. Moreover, policies were initiated to make large quantities of cigars and the blends were not correct."

While he's correct on the details there, I'd highly decry him for stating "don't touch ANY cigars from the end of 1998 to 2001". While there's loads of crap in those years (and frankly, I'd include 2002 in there as well, as things didn't come out of their funk until 2003), there's also some gems in there. Some of the best QdO and LGC I've had have been from 2000 and 2001 boxes, and even some Diplomaticos stuff as well.

If you know how to wade out the chaff, there are some goodies to find. To tell people "don't touch any" from that timeline does people a disservice, frankly.

I agree with you 100%. I have plenty of stock from 1998 and 2001 that are at their prime right now- no construction or off balance flavor issues. Near perfect cigars... what every collector wants. Notably Bolivar CEs and CGs, LGC Mdo No 2 and 3, and Montecristo No 1. I am surprised he would come out and say to don't touch at all.

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I agree with you 100%. I have plenty of stock from 1998 and 2001 that are at their prime right now- no construction or off balance flavor issues. Near perfect cigars... what every collector wants. Notably Bolivar CEs and CGs, LGC Mdo No 2 and 3, and Montecristo No 1. I am surprised he would come out and say to don't touch at all.

Not a big fan of Suckling rolleyes.gif He is jumpping on the band wagon and saying don't touch any 98' - 01' cigars!!! That is crazy to make a blanket statement like that. I have smoked thousands of 98' and yeah I have had maybe 10% that were snug or off flavor but "Come on now"

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Well, looking at that article, this caught my eye:

"A word of caution. Don’t touch any cigars from the end of 1998 to 2001. Many of these cigars had construction problems as well as bad tobacco blending. A new generation of factory workers came on board at that time, and many didn’t know how to make cigars. Moreover, policies were initiated to make large quantities of cigars and the blends were not correct."

While he's correct on the details there, I'd highly decry him for stating "don't touch ANY cigars from the end of 1998 to 2001". While there's loads of crap in those years (and frankly, I'd include 2002 in there as well, as things didn't come out of their funk until 2003), there's also some gems in there. Some of the best QdO and LGC I've had have been from 2000 and 2001 boxes, and even some Diplomaticos stuff as well.

If you know how to wade out the chaff, there are some goodies to find. To tell people "don't touch any" from that timeline does people a disservice, frankly.

agree.

talking to rob yesterday and was saying how a box of 1999 punch coronas have not failed to disappoint at every turn. a box of 2000 hoyo DC's the same.

but one of the greatest boxes i have ever had in my life - still a few left i think - was a box of cohiba robustos from 2000. mind you, it was a box hamlet selected for me. not only can he roll them, he can pick them as well.

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I am from the old school of thought that aged cigars are always better. Now I know there are lots of guys that say "O" vintage cigars are cadavers and all past there prime. I try to explain that it is all about storage, and educating your palate. When you started drinking wine you prob started with some cheep red. But as you kept drinking wine you started drinking better and better wine. Then you prob started drinking aged wine same goes for scotch. That would be like saying I like Macallan 12 better then the Macallan 30!!!

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mk05   

You look at this list, then you think about who wrote it, and it either makes sense - or doesn't.

I mean, you'd assume that someone who understands wine would make the connection in terms of that a good year for Bordeaux may not necessarily be a good year for Australian GSM.

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joeypots   

2006 was amazing.

Agree. I haven't smoked as many cigars as James but I lucked out in '06.

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You look at this list, then you think about who wrote it, and it either makes sense - or doesn't.

I'm trying to wrap my mind around this. I'm either confused, or it's deeply profound. Heh. :)

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Colt45   
If you know how to wade out the chaff, there are some goodies to find.

mind you, it was a box hamlet selected for me.

Ta da! Not everyone has the same access. But, knowing that Habanos stands by their products and offers a risk free money back guarantee on every box makes things easier for everyone....

Oops! Buyer beware biggrin.png

I am from the old school of thought that aged cigars are always better. When you started drinking wine you prob started with some cheep red. But as you kept drinking wine you started drinking better and better wine. Then you prob started drinking aged wine

Not all cigars, like not all wines, are meant for, or stand to gain much from long term aging. It's all very dependent on what you start with. I have more faith in the reliability of a good wine producer than I do the producers of Cuban cigars.

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from my experience i would probably rate 2003 higher.

Surely i would rate 2007 higher because had and have so many outstanding Bolivar ( think BCG, BCE and BBF ),

LGC No.2, Hoyo des Dieux, PLPC, many Punch, RyJ Escudos and many SCdLH which were very good to outstanding.

Also not so much troublesome from the "bad" years but started to smoke them just about 4 years ago.

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CigSid   

Not a big fan of Suckling rolleyes.gif He is jumpping on the band wagon and saying don't touch any 98' - 01' cigars!!! That is crazy to make a blanket statement like that. I have smoked thousands of 98' and yeah I have had maybe 10% that were snug or off flavor but "Come on now"

While I agree with your sentiment, I have had closer to 20% with various problems, however I have had more than my share of excellent cigars from this era. Some of the best cigars in my collection are from 98 and 99... which leads me to say that I would take a chance and pay a premium on some Boli's or partagas from these years...

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Some of the best cigars in my collection are from 98 and 99... which leads me to say that I would take a chance and pay a premium on some Boli's or partagas from these years...

You can't put 98 and 99 in the same wagon. 1998 was almost devoid of any problem.

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NSXCIGAR   

I suppose as really, really general advice to less knowledgeable and experienced smokers avoiding 98-01 production isn't the worst advice. But as others have noted there was still some great stuff being produced during that time. There were only a few problem spots in 97/98 and 99 was significantly worse but I've had some great Montecristo, Partagas, Cuaba and Ramon Allones from 99 and 2000--both recently and at the time. I'd have to say 2001 was the low point for all brands and the only year I'd really recommend avoiding in general unless you know what you're buying.

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I haven't had any issues with '99 stock. '00 and '01 stock have been pretty bad except for a box of 2001 CoLa I had from El Laguito.

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Phinz   

I am from the old school of thought that aged cigars are always better. Now I know there are lots of guys that say "O" vintage cigars are cadavers and all past there prime. I try to explain that it is all about storage, and educating your palate. When you started drinking wine you prob started with some cheep red. But as you kept drinking wine you started drinking better and better wine. Then you prob started drinking aged wine same goes for scotch. That would be like saying I like Macallan 12 better then the Macallan 30!!!

I'm in the "most aged cigars are better" club, but I could never say "always," as some just drop a bit too much in strength for my taste. When it comes to scotch, I'm much the same: while the Macallan 30yr is an easy choice over the 12yr, in Ardbeg I'll take the 10yr over any of the more aged expressions (love that iodine twang!). Taste is a subjective thing, and it's part of what makes this hobby fun.

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eswary   

2006 and 2007 are pretty solid IMO. The whole Connoisseur series(1,2,3) from Partagas was great in 2007. Diplomatico was great in 2006.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Lotusguy   

I would rank 2002 way higher. Especially LGC come to mind, along with Dip 4 and 5

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