Cigar Aficionado

One Million and Counting

Every year that we run the Top 25, we watch the page views creep ever closer to a threshold that, for us, is the magic number: ONE MILLION. In previous years, we’ve come so close—oh, so close. But this year, we surpassed it, with room to spare. Today. So, first of all, this is a thank you to all you cigar smokers, and cigar lovers, and folks just interested in the world of cigars—you are the ones who made this possible.

But let me give you an idea of where you are all from. Since we started the top 10 countdown last Wednesday, we have had visitors from more than 160 countries. Yes, the bulk of them, more than 70 percent, come from the United States. But the list includes Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Switzerland, Denmark, Brazil, Ecuador, Luxembourg, Jordan, Israel, Togo, and yes, even Angola and Burkina Faso.

We have always believed that cigar lovers have their own global community. But now the hard evidence is out there. I’m sure you’ve all experienced a moment when you are traveling, with a cigar in your hand, when someone walks up to you and asks, “What are you smoking?” It’s not a question that comes from someone not familiar with cigars. It is a cigar smoker’s question.

We also know that in the United States, the cigar community crosses all kinds of barriers: political, religious, regional, gender and socioeconomic. The Brotherhood of the Leaf (BOTL) that so many of you identify with is a cross-section of America and of the world. At our Big Smokes, for instance, you witness hedge fund guys chatting with police and firemen, women describing their favorite cigar and just plain folks from all walks of life enjoying a great smoke in a setting with like-minded people.

The Top 25 is more than an expression of that community—it is the industry’s Oscars. The first week of January is the moment when the entire cigar world pauses to gauge Cigar Aficionado’s take on the best cigars of the year. Not everyone agrees with us, of course, but that’s part of what makes it interesting. We do take the 700 to 800 cigars we smoke every year (the calendar for the Top 25 runs from October to October); we choose the best scoring cigars that represent a cross-section of brands from different countries and different manufacturers, and then we put them through several rounds of blind-tastings to come up with the final list. We do weigh different factors in choosing that list, but in the end, it is a real playoff among the best cigars of the previous year.

I’d like to say we hope you enjoy the list. But it’s clear from the traffic that you do.

"Loved cigars for years and just subscribed to Cigar Aficionado,keep up the great much knowledge to be had.Nothing like ending my day with a great Maduro!" —February 19, 2013 21:13 PM
"Congrats to the one million! When I get home from work, there's nothing like a premium <a href " >cigar< /a> to kick back and relax." —January 24, 2013 14:47 PM
"I absolutely love your magazine and bow to you and your colleagues extensive knowledge of cigars but really?? a $7 cigar beating the 1966 to the top place??? I apreciate most your readership cannot get the 1966, but that shouldnt lead to it not receiving the accolades it deserves. I'm sure you take into account 'value for money' as part of your marking criteria however although expensive, the quality of this cigar means the 1966 HAS to be the ultimate cigar of 2012. ps. thanks for putting my buddies and i in the latest edition smoking our COHIBA SIGLO V1 GrAN RESERVE'S, now thats a cigar!!! " —January 23, 2013 13:14 PM
"Woah!! One million? That is huge!! It makes sense though, I ordered a sampler of FDLA toro the day it was announced as #1 and it took until this week to have that sampler shipped to me. Congratulations Cigar Aficionado!! " —January 22, 2013 17:07 PM
"Great job and grats as always, but now it's getting hard to find my Nat Shermans!! " —January 19, 2013 23:37 PM
"After returning to the pleasure of smoking cigars look forward to the insider and aficionado glad to see I have 8 of the the top 25 in my humidor now great job all the way around " —January 15, 2013 18:20 PM
"Gordon, CA's reach is also reflected that the Top 5 cigars disappeared from dealers faster than nightcrawlers at dawn.I'll have to wait to try them but always look forward to the ratings. Thanks " —January 13, 2013 15:02 PM
"Great job guys and congrats! What an achievement! I enjoy your magazine and web site. Great reviews, great articles and great cigar pics. Keep up the great work. Regards from Ontario Canada." —January 10, 2013 18:05 PM
"Since I discovered cigars four years ago and Cigar Aficionado three years ago I depend on your reviews. Great job. Please keep up the good work. John Walsh ST.John's, NL, Canada" —January 10, 2013 11:43 AM
"Congrats Gents! When a man has done his best, what more can he do? Smoke a premium cigar!" —January 8, 2013 22:34 PM
"Thank you for the "Top 25" as well as your great website. Keep up the good work!" —January 8, 2013 21:37 PM
"The one millionth viewer should win the top 25 cigars! Just a thought for next year. Thanks C A" —January 8, 2013 18:17 PM
"Great job guys. It's always exciting to watch daily what cigars are making the list and apparently the world is watching! I'm happy to see you've incorporated more cigars into the Cigar Cinema. Now just get Mottola to do more screen time." —January 8, 2013 14:22 PM
"Thank you Gordon, David and the rest of the staff at Cigar Aficionado. All lovers of the leaf wait for this time of the year. For us Canadians however, many of the cigars ae not available in the local B&M (speaking for Alberta) and/or are expensive. It is unfornuate, as I am limited to what I can try." —January 8, 2013 09:55 AM
"Thank you Gordon for all you do for the cigar industry and cigar lovers around the world. Keep up the good work!" —January 8, 2013 02:59 AM