Top 25 Cigars Are Almost Here

CA Staff
Posted: December 27, 2012


The countdown clock is ticking down and there is less than one week left until we begin to reveal Cigar Aficionado's Top 25 Best Cigars of 2012. will be the first place we reveal the Top 25 list, and for the first time ever this year's reveal includes videos of Gordon Mott and David Savona smoking and discussing the ten best cigars of the year. 

Here is the schedule of how this year's list will be released on the website:

Wednesday, January 2: Cigars No. 10, 9, 8, 7 and 6
Thursday, January 3: Cigars No. 5, 4, 3 and 2
Friday, January 4: The Cigar of the Year
Monday, January 7: Cigars No. 11 through 25
Tuesday, January 8: Best Bargain Cigars

Don't miss any of these great cigars!


George C Commack, NY, USA, December 27, 2012 11:24pm ET
I wish the list came out December 1st, so I could put all 25 cigars on my Christmas list.
Jon Robbins Dallas, Texas, USA, December 28, 2012 2:36pm ET
Sooooooo True on that :)
Edwin Williams Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.A., December 30, 2012 6:47pm ET
2013 i will smoke the top 25, can't wait for the list to come out
Robinson Siraguza Cataño, Puerto Rico, January 1, 2013 1:22pm ET
I can't wait January 1, 2013 6:52pm ET
Time to find out who spent the most money on advertising last year. Does anyone really believe the AB Prensado was the BEST cigar of 2011?
Julian January 1, 2013 11:03pm ET
I agree, its time to see who spent the most. AB Prensado at #1 was ridiculous to read. Still can't believe it! We shall see what they say soon enough..
Manuel Meza Tucson, AZ, USA, January 2, 2013 3:30am ET
I'm 100% agree with you two about the AB prensado, it wasn't a bad smoke but certainly not worthy of #1, I think the La Aroma de Cuba is way better at #2. January 2, 2013 8:51am ET
It will definitely be interesting to see how this years list shakes out. I have a subscription to CA, but I'd like to see some validity to the list. Unfortunately, CA has developed such a credibility issue as far as their reviews go.
Michael Smith January 2, 2013 12:41pm ET
Agree on the "credibility" issue. I think CA should establish a blog where "we" the smokers can submit our comments & vote on the top 25 by Thanksgiving. They would make excellent stocking stuffers. :)
Brad Healey January 2, 2013 1:49pm ET
As a non US resident, I would like to see a Top 25 Non Cuban Cigar List & Top 10 Cuban Cigar List. There are many great Cuban cigars being left off the list for obvious reasons...the unfortunate inaccessibility by Americans & a lack of marketing dollars coming in from Habanos.
David Savona January 2, 2013 4:49pm ET
We've answered the credibility question over and over again, but it bears repeating: we buy the cigars at retail, smoke them blind, and determine the best.

Cuban cigars not scoring well because they can’t advertise? The top placing cigar (so far, as of this writing) is Cuban, the H. Upmann Royal Robusto. And Cubans have won cigar of the year in the past (Bolivar Royal Corona and Cohiba Behike BHK 52). Doesn’t that disprove your theory?

Also, please take a look at our Year in Review for the scores in Cigar Insider from 2012 ( and you’ll see a number of highly rated cigars, Cuban and non-Cuban.
Michael Smith January 3, 2013 8:46am ET
Hmmm. Yes David "you" do. January 4, 2013 6:31am ET
David, I love the magazine. I read Cigar Insider and everything you put out and love it. Honestly, I do. You will always have detractors, myself being one, who just don't buy into the List. The Romeo and the RP 50 in the Top 10? You'd have to do a blind, deaf and dumb tasting to get those ratings. I can name 5 cigars that I smoke on a regular basis that are better than those. Easily. CA suffers from a huge credibility issue among seasoned cigar smokers and it is really too bad because you're considered "the voice" of the industry.
Michael Smith January 4, 2013 9:32am ET
Concur capttrips, CA is a great mag and the insights gained helpful. It would be interesting to see a comparison between the CA top 25 and "a" top 25 from the consumers. Criteria/rating scale would need to be the same. Likely only a matter of time before another entity establishes a consumer top 25 list. Cheers to 2013!
David Savona January 4, 2013 2:06pm ET
I certainly understand that you have your favorite cigars—we all
do—and perhaps our top picks don’t mirror your own. Remember: taste is a subjective thing. But let’s go through how we create this list. It begins with the cigars we taste in a year, so for a cigar to make the Top 25 it must be rated—and it must rate well—during the year in Cigar Aficionado, or in the issues we consider for Cigar Insider. (Due to our publishing schedule, there are always a few issues of Cigar
Insider in a calendar year that are published too late for consideration in that year’s Top 25, and any highly rated cigars from those publications are put into next year’s qualifying category.)
Duplicates are eliminated—we don’t include in 12 cigars of one brand, for example, only one or perhaps two of the highest scoring cigars from a given brand. After that, the cigars are bought again and put into a contest with the other highly rated cigars. Our tasting
coordinator buys them again, takes the bands off and the tasting panel resmokes them. And when we get close to choosing the very top cigars we resmoke those yet again. It’s a lengthy and expensive process.

We’ve said it until we are blue in the face, but cigars taste entirely
different when the bands are off. If you don’t know the brand, country of origin, price, or any other detail, you’ll find yourself surprised, and surprised often. As a member of the tasting panel for some 17 years now, it’s happened to me many, many times. Inexpensive cigars can outscore expensive cigars, cigars from newcomers can outscore greatly heralded brands, and the hottest thing in the cigar world might score worse than a little known brand from somewhere unexpected.

We taste cigars blind and call them as we see them. When a new
cigarmaker comes into my office the first thing I show him or her is
the compartment in my cabinet humidor containing my tasting cigars,
adorned with generic file folder labels bearing numbers, or in the
case of Cigar Insider smokes, letters and numbers. Yes, we really
smoke the cigars blind. I have ones waiting in my humidor now for the March/April issue of Cigar Aficionado.

I understand the passion that is part of cigar smoking, and I understand how you have your favorites. But understand we take this
process very, very seriously, and aim to find quality cigars that we
can point out to our readers. It’s been the mandate of Cigar
Aficionado for more than 20 years now, and that will never change.
Victor Haze Cabrera January 5, 2013 2:08pm ET
List is great.
Kyle Freeman Des Moines, IA, United States, January 6, 2013 8:19pm ET
I personally love the list and think you guys do a great thing for everyone that wants to know about ratings. Thanks David!

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