New Things for the New Year

It will be 2020 when you read this note, and we have some novel things in store for the new year. The most exciting is an event. Many of you have been to a Big Smoke, at which you can puff away in a cigar-friendly environment, meet some of the most famous faces in the world of fine cigars and enjoy some great drinks. It’s a fantastic party—and it just got even better.

On April 3 and 4, the Big Smoke will be combined with WhiskyFest. If you’ve never been to a WhiskyFest, imagine a Big Smoke of whisky, with some of the finest Scotch, Bourbon and rye, plus Japanese, American and Canadian whiskies, poured by many of the people who craft the brands. In short, it’s whisky heaven. 

Now imagine the best of both worlds, for two nights, and you have Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest. You can sample incredible spirits (there will be hundreds in the room) and you can smoke incredible cigars (you will go home with more than 25). There will be seminars on whisky during the evenings and a special cigar seminar on Saturday morning. And it’s all taking place in a wonderful, recently renovated and expanded hotel, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. You can read more about the hotel on page 33, and find out even more about the event at

It’s a wonderful time of the year to be in Florida. We’ll both be there, and we hope you will too.

This issue is always one of our most popular, as it contains our Top 25 Cigars, when our editors resmoke the top-scoring cigars of the year and find out which deserve to make the list, and which should be crowned Cigar of the Year. And this year we found a new angle: an ambitious man who smoked nearly all of the winners from our 2018 list during an epic, weeklong 50th birthday celebration. His story begins on page 63. 

You’ll also notice a few changes in this issue. Our Corona Gorda category (thicker cigars that are longer than robustos, but shorter than Churchills) has been renamed Toros/Corona Gordas. When Cigar Aficionado debuted in 1992, the term “corona gorda” was quite popular, but over the years it has been
replaced by the synonym toro, a size that’s become one of the most popular in the non-Cuban cigar world. Finally, you will notice a new page in the back of our book, called Last Leaf. We will be closing out each magazine with a great photograph from the world of Cigar Aficionado

We hope you enjoy the changes, and hope you enjoy smoking the Top 25.