It can become quite a chore when you’re testing over 700 cigars and deciding which ones are the best. But it’s a good chore at that. First they star by looking back at all the cigars tested throughout the year in both Cigar Aficionado and Cigar Insider. Then they focus on the top-scoring smokes and start the blind-tasting process all over again. The tasting coordinator travels around to retail shops, purchases the cigars, removes the bands and orchestrates an entirely new tasting. The process takes multiple rounds and then they arrive at their list of 25.
The top three scores of this new test are selected and one final round of testing commencing. This is how we decide which one to name Cigar of the Year. Consistency and quality are crucial and failing the consistency test is a sure way to end up in the loser bracket.
You may not see your favorite on the list, but each of the Top 25 proved to be satisfying and excellent.