The 25 Best Cigars of 2012

Deciding which cigar is the definitive best of the year isn't always an easy task, especially in lieu of all the great cigars in the market. We start by looking back at all the cigars tested throughout the year in both Cigar Aficionado and Cigar Insider—more than 700. Then we focus on the top-scoring smokes, and from there begin the blind-tasting process all over again. Our tasting coordinator heads out to the retail shops, purchases the cigars, removes the bands and orchestrates an entirely new tasting. After multiple rounds, we arrive at a list of 25.

To name Cigar of the Year, however, we select the top three scores of this new test and do one final round of tasting. But it’s important to remember that Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 Cigars of the Year distinction is not a simple year-end awards ceremony. It’s a tournament of performance and elimination and, is completely process driven. The best cigars of the year were able to consistently reproduce high scores throughout each round. Quality and consistency were crucial. Those that could not perform consistently were out. What’s left are the cigars you see here. Not everyone’s perennial favorites appear on the list, but each cigar in this year’s Top 25 proved to be satisfying and excellent.

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