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The 25 Best Cigars of 2013

The smoke has cleared and the ashes have settled. After puffing our way through an entire year of taste tests, the editorial team at Cigar Aficionado has chosen the Top 25 Cigars of 2013. We smoked more than 700 cigars to get to the 25 that made this list, and the process was a thorough one.

As the year drew to a close, we reviewed the list of cigars that had scored at least 91 points in Cigar Aficionado or Cigar Insider blind taste tests throughout the year. We culled that list to 45 cigars, eliminating those no longer on the market and considering only the highest-scoring cigars from each brand. (If a Cohiba Robusto, for example, scored 93 points and a Cohiba Esplendido scored 91, we promoted the Robusto to final consideration and eliminated the Esplendido.) What was left was a list of 45 standout cigars. Our tasting coordinator then repurchased each of those cigars at retail. He removed all of their identifying bands and replaced them with numbered labels to conceal their identity. These were passed out to the tasting panel at Cigar Aficionado.

At the conclusion of that taste test, 13 cigars had rated high enough to be considered candidates for Cigar of the Year. Our tasting coordinator once again stripped those cigars of their identifying bands, created a new code and redistributed the 13 cigars for a final blind taste test conducted by editor and publisher Marvin R. Shanken, executive editor Gordon Mott and senior editor David Savona. That final battle left us with a clear winner.

The Top 25 list contains cigars from a host of countries, with a wide range of flavors and prices. They are a superb group. We trust you will enjoy smoking them as much as we did.

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