Date: January 2012
Author: Cigar Inspector

Cigar Aficionado releases their Top 25 cigars of 2011

Every year, as most cigar publications (online and offline) release their top lists, there’s one list that probably gets more attention than others. Cigar Aficionado, a major cigar magazine, knows how to create a lot of buzz for its controversial “best of”. What do I think about their list? For me, it’s just a list like any other bloggers’ lists out there, i.e. a totally subjective opinion that doesn’t pretend to be the ultimate truth and shouldn’t be considered as such.

Cigar smokers may ask themselves how come the Alec Bradley Prensado, a definitely good smoke but rarely qualified as exceptional, can earn the #1 spot, but I say why not (congrats, guys!)? For instance, Cigarfan, a highly-respected BOTL, ranked it as his #2. By the way, his #1 is Cigar Aficionado’s #2. We may also wonder why the CA’s list only has two four Cuban cigars, with the Partagas Serie P No. 2 taking up the 4th spot, is this the right proportion? Not really, at least for me. But everybody is free to determine his/her own proportions and favorites, so like every year I’ll scan the list, add a couple of smokes to my “gotta try it” basket, and move on.

12 thoughts on “Cigar Aficionado releases their Top 25 cigars of 2011

  1. Cuban cigar may be the best choice for aging, not for fresh smoking, IMHO. But I do love cuban cigars than others, for its complexity and magic changing after several years aging.

  2. It all comes down to money period, as is everything else on this planet. NO WAY in heck did they get that list right, but then again that’s my opinion as is cigar Aficionado’s top cigar. How can you smoke an inch and decide its an amazing cigar??? It’s like watching the first 30 minutes of a movie and stating its the best picture of 2011. In the end AB spent the most money advertising and quietly sliding it under the door to get that top spot. As far as second place what a horrible choice CA Magazine has turned into an advertising machine and if you put enough money into the machine you’ll get top spot.

  3. When I began smoking cigars before the “cigar boom”, I might have agreed that, overall, Cubans were the best cigars. But recently, specifically over the last decade, their have been so many truly fantastic non-Cuban blends in release, that whenever I have a Cuban cigar, it only serves to reinforce my feeling that Cuba no longer makes the finest cigars on the planet.

  4. I live in the US and do not care a thing about Cubans. Also, the few that I have had..maybe two dozen…most have had horrible construction and similar flavor and are very expensive for what they are. IMO, make a great cigar for a decent price…it’s what the customer deserves. Those surprised must not know how much profit is built into cigars these days…not everyone charges retail and very good smokes are out there for a fraction of what a “cuban” would cost. I had a prensado when first released, and was so pissed for what I paid I have not have one since.

  5. Don’t stop inspector green label best JW in my opinion and the only malt in the range. So there are 4 CCs in list well that’s more like it took you at your word Denis as my copy of CA not arrived yet LOL!

  6. LOL. Thanks for pointing this out, I should stop sipping on that bottle of Green Label those long winter evenings.

  7. Inspector — I think yours is the sensible take on the list. There’s no need to get riled up about something so subjective unless you think CA really is some higher authority on cigars, which they aren’t, at least vis-a-vis experienced smokers.

    Also, just a point of fact, there are 4 CCs in the top 25 (I’m not saying there shouldn’t be more).

  8. A lot of love coming from CC lovers. I feel almost every year is a misrepresentation of cubans on the CA list. Although my specialization on this site is NC’s, I do enjoy cuban cigars greatly. The last commentor I believe is correct in saying 2011 was incredible year for Cuban tobacco. I also think late 2010 box code cigars are very good as well. I haven’t smoke a lot of cubans this year so if anyone has any tips on some hidden gems I should look out for, let me know.
    So far I am loving the PSD4, VR Famosos (my favorite), Partagas Serie P2, Cohiba robusto, Bolivar Belicosos Finos & Royal Coronas, + a few regional editions and LE’s thanks to some generous BOTLs.

  9. hmmm… 2 cubans in TOP 25 of 2011? In my opinion 2011 was one of the best years for cuban cigars in the last decade! Several new releases and really really good cigars! In my humidor I’ll be storing 98% cubans in 2012, even though Cigar aficionado thinks it should be only 8%. :-Þ

  10. Would you believe maths was my best subject at school? That should of course be an 8(eight)% representation not 4!

  11. Personally I found the very limited number of Cubans on the 2011 list surprising,illogical but understandable in view of Cigar Aficionado readership being mainly USA based and in the main unable to purchase and enjoy Cubans locally. Let me say that I’m a subscriber to CA and have a copy of Marvin Shanken Cigar companion which I’ve found informative,instructive and very well written. However and this is where the logic escapes me of only two Cubans in the top 25? In the regular tasting sections of October and December 2011 Cigar Aficionado Cuban cigars are rated 1st,equal 1st or 2nd in 9 of the 12 tastings in other words a 75% success rate but only a 4% representation in the 2011 top 25! But as has been said by many on this excellent site taste is very personal and the world would be a very boring place indeed if we all had the same ideas and opinions. Cheers,Hdownunder.

  12. I have to be honest when I say I was taken by surprise that the AB Prensado won Cigar of the Year. Although a solid cigar, I think there are better smokes within AB’s own brand. But this is all my opinion. Most of the Top 10 smokes on CA’s list are solid sticks. The Warlock through me off, but it’s no pushover of a cigar neither (but Top 10?). Most hard core cigar smokers know about CA’s practices of only smoking the 1st inch of cigars for their reviews ( a practice that Gordon Mott and David Savona have protected publicly). Although I don’t agree with the practice, and i firmly believe that a cigar is much more than the first inch. (What if the cigar turns to wet cardboard after the first inch?).

    I do like how the Cabaiguan Guapo finally got it’s do. That is one of my all time favorite smokes, and a legend among modern day cigars. I know that it is one of the most talked about releases in the last few years among my smoking buddies. The Partagas Serie P2 was amazing cigar that I love and keep a box in the humi (especially 2010 & 2011 box dates). Casa Magna is always a solid stick but I think it has been outdone by it’s premium cousin the Domus Magnus. Rocky Patels continue to bore me unfortunately and I continue to wait until he breaks out of his mold and does something different from his usual line of smokes. What more can I say about the Epernay line though,…..simply one of the most balanced and versatile smokes to be paired with drinks and cocktails. My favorite combo is Sauternes and an Epernay. Keep smoking my friends!

Leave a Reply