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The 25 Best Cigars of 2004

The editors of Cigar Aficionado have rated cigars for more than 12 years, but never named a best cigar of the year—until now. This year, in an effort to create the ultimate buying guide to the very best cigars on the market today, the tasting panel pored over the ratings from the past year of Cigar Aficionado and Cigar Insider, our sister publication, and resampled our favorite smokes. The cigars were smoked again—in some cases, several times—until we came up with a list of the 25 best. Each is truly remarkable. Together, the collection should delight any cigar lover.

Each of the cigars in our Top 25 list scored at least 90 points, outstanding on our 100-point scale. But we looked for cigars that impressed us beyond the score. You'll note that our Top 25 ranking is not in order of score—we weighted the list to reflect other factors to create this cigar hierarchy.

Price and availability were considered, as was consistency of performance. We sought out cigars that had a special something, an X factor that made them stand out from the rest. The cigars on this list are the very best from the factories that make them, in some cases made with tobacco much older than that used on other brands. Many are the product of years' worth of labor. Some are the result of special tobaccos, or even entire farms created exclusively for that project. Several are new brands, while others are old reliables that still dazzle after years on the market. Many are dark, but only two are maduros. Some retail for more than $20, and others sell for less than $5. One is made in millions of units, while others are produced in quantities of only a few thousand.

The scores that appear take into account the results of the multiple tastings in our publications, as well as the special repeat tastings conducted for this story.

Check out the Top 25 Cigars of 2004


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