It's been said that taste is subjective and that is never more true when it comes to rating and reviewing cigars. Different palates combined with different life experiences and different flavor preferences often lead to discourse over what is considered the best cigar of the year.
However, that does not stop every Tom, Dick & Harry from publishing their best of list each and every year. So how does a cigar enthusiast navigate through all these cigars to come up with a decent list of smokes to try? We decided that a consensus look at the best of the best would probably be a good starting point. For that reason, we analyzed the lists from 13 well known cigar publications and blogs to come up with our consensus best of list.
We looked at how many times the same cigar was listed as a best of stick. Then we examined how many time those sticks appeared in the top half or bottom half of the existing lists. Since lists vary with some publications ranking the Top 10 all the way up to the Top 25, we felt this was the most fair way to add weighting to the rankings. Finally, we looked at the number of times a cigar was rated as the top cigar on a list; and, then, force ranked the cigars based on their total points.
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Our scoring summary is listed below.
1 point for every time a cigar appears on a list.
1 point for each time the cigar was ranked in the top half of a list.
1 point for each time a cigar was ranked as the #1 cigar on its respective list.
As an example, Dunbarton Sin Compromiso appears on 4 best of lists = 4 Points.
That cigar also appeared in the top half of 4 of those lists = 4 Points.
Finally, it was the #1 ranked cigar on 2 lists = 2 Points.
Total for the Dunbarton Sin Compromiso was 10 Points; and it was, therefore, the consensus #1 cigar in the best of the best lists and probably worth a try.
THE TRUE CONSENSUS TOP 25 CIGARS Of 2018
|Cigar||# of Lists||Top Half of List||Ranked #1||Total|
|Dunbarton Sin Compromiso||4||4||2||10|
|Tatuaje El Triunfador Original||3||3||0||6|
|AJ Fernandez Ramon Allones||4||2||0||6|
|Villiger La Vencedora||4||2||0||6|
|Liga Privada T52||3||2||0||5|
|Foundation The Tabernacle 142||2||2||1||5|
|Foundation The Wise Man||3||2||0||5|
|EP Carrillio Encore Majestic||2||2||1||5|
|Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Decadas||3||2||0||5|
|Alec Bradley Prensado Lost Art||2||2||1||5|
|Joya de Nicaragua Silver||3||1||0||4|
|AJ Fernandez Bellas Artes Maduro||2||2||0||4|
|Southern Draw Cedrus||2||2||0||4|
|Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII||2||2||0||4|
|Caldwell The T||3||1||0||4|
|MLB David P. Erlich PLM Series||2||1||1||4|
|Warped Gran Reserva 1988||3||1||0||4|
|Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro||2||2||0||4|
|Davidoff 50th Anniversary Diademas||2||2||0||4|
|Espinosa Las 6 Provincias||2||2||0||4|
|Illusione One Off||3||0||0||3|
|Illusione Haut 10||2||1||0||3|
|Cornelius & Anthony The Gent||2||1||0||3|
|Mbombay Classic Torpedo||2||1||0||3|
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As in previous year's, a few manufacturers had impressive showings across the 13 lists. For the second straight year Tatuaje ranked at the top with the most cigars mentioned on each list, this year tied with Davidoff. Steve Saka, the brains behind the Liga Privada brand, has continued his success with his Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust company. Dunbarton dominated the lists scoring the #1 ranking on 2 lists and having a total of 6 cigars appearing on the lists.
CAVEATS & OBSERVATIONS:
- Last year we used 14 Top Cigar Lists to come up with our consensus list. One of the blogs we referenced last year is no longer active.
- With fewer new releases in 2018 we were shocked that there was even less consensus amongst reviewers than in the past 2 years.
- Joya de Nicaragua has always been a decent producer, but this year almost every list featured one of the sticks with their #1 capturing the top spot on Half Wheel's list.
- Matt Booth, formerly of Room 101 fame, made his comeback last year teaming up with Robert Caldwell to create The T which landed him on many best of lists.
- AJ Fernandez continues to be one of the top blenders in the cigars industry. His cigars were everywhere on best of lists and he was the manufacturer for a number of other brands on the lists.
With the number of cigars released every year it would be impossible for any blog or magazine to sample every brand in every vitola (size).
Different "Best Of" lists used different criteria for creating their lists. Some blogs only sampled cigars released in the last year, some excluded Cuban cigars, some set price limits on the cigars they reviewed
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