Cigar Aficionado Top 25 - 2019


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1 hour ago, Islandboy said:

Actually....for the last 4 years in a row, or as long as I’ve been paying attention, there’ve been EXACTLY 3 CC’s in the top 25: one in the top 5, one somewhere near the mid point, and one in the final third. After 4 years in a row observing the same pattern (more perhaps, I’ve not paid attention earlier than 2015), I’m starting to question the coincidence here. Curious to see how this year plays out with CC’s. 

 

Huh. That is very odd indeed. I guess I've never been a huge fan of CA. After I discovered Cuban cigars, I don't think I picked up another issue of CA.

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My feeling about Cigar Aficionado, has always been that it is a great magazine that is providing us a very valuable service. The longer they can con people into thinking NCs are as good as, or be

I believe that Cubans should be compared separately, it is a different world, another dimension. Separately, the rating of NC, CC separately.

It's a repeat of the same discussion, accusations, and conspiracy theories every year.  I'm just happy that there is a reasonably successful magazine supporting our hobby. The more cigar smokers

On 12/18/2019 at 12:24 AM, BoliDan said:

They certainly have an agenda. They are very tied to the American market that wants patrons to believe there is zero reason to explore Cuban tobacco. Trust me, If I owned a B&M in the US, I'd pump money in to that propaganda machine as well. None the less, if you enjoy NCs, (I do), it is a mag worth picking up. I'd trust more in halfwheel but CA is pretty cheap and detailed...

This is pure irony since Marvin Shanken the owner of the magazine is a self admitted Cuban cigar lover and most likely has one of the largest collections in the USA. 

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I don't care about CA's Top 10 list, but I do care about Cohibas.

I have to agree with everyone that has stated CoRos don't smoke well young. Hell, all my 17s are still disjointed at this point (just smoked one yesterday). The 15s are just starting to open up. Can't speak to 19s as I don't own any yet.

Anyways, regarding the high (95) score for a young CoRo- I'd say if wine experts can routinely barrel taste young Bordeaux & give a you a pretty narrow (accurate) score range, the same can be done for cigars. Sometimes you smoke young CCs & say 'this cigar sucks'. Others, 'young but I see lots of future potential here'. Experienced palates can extrapolate.

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1 hour ago, lovethehaze said:

aging room quattro wins... i have smoked some of the 9th place Nuevitas and they are pretty good. It's interesting to me that coro is top 4 but barely made the foh top 25..

They probably sampled psp CoRos only so across-the-board quality wasn't a factor. 

I've been impressed with Quattro.  I'd put the f55 box-pressed Churchill up there with Padron diplomatico (or a couple notches below).  The Quattro Nicaragua is good too, though I don't think I ever tried that vitola.  Regardless, I wouldn't have ever guessed it could make #1.  Curveball

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29 minutes ago, dshot said:

Aging room quattro wins over any age CoRo please. I think we can all see the non-sense in these lists year after year.

No where did it mention anything about various ages on the CoRo.   Aging room beat over a fresher Coro, not an aged one.

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17 minutes ago, SenorPerfecto said:

Once the Embargo is over, you can bet these lists will change dramatically. They'll hold out for a year or two, then 75% of the cigars on the list will be CCs.

As someone whose palate greatly prefers CC's, I would agree with this from a pure quality/taste perspective that the list should be 75% cc or more.  However as a businessman, I would likely say not so fast.  This list is tied to advertising/revenue for the magazine so unless Habanos starts to pump massive advertising dollars towards CA in conjunction with the lifting of the embargo, I would not expect to see massive changes in the list make up. 

Now with that being said, I am different than many here, I don't bemoan CA for their approach here.  At the end of the day, they are a for profit business enterprise and I see no issue in them having an advertising bias in their list as I would say their conflict is pretty apparent for all to see and should simply be a fact to consider for a reader of the list.  Also, thankful they exist despite disagreeing with most of their list.  With our hobby under attack at every turn, I find it difficult to see any fellow cigar lover as anything but a brother/sister in arms.  A sentiment that is only stronger for someone who is pushing the love of cigars in the public sphere through a print publication.

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I was hoping in all of these posts that someone would have a better idea on how this top 25 list is finally made?  CA has a monthly ratings and then some how these transition into their top 25.  Even being a former subscriber never helped me figure that one out?  As others have pointed out, print production is a mean business and CA is proud of their slick monthly but it is supported by the ads.  I did read once that each monthly cigar requires 5 to 6 boxes depending on box size and approximately 90 cigars are reviewed monthly.

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58 minutes ago, Schumi5 said:

As someone whose palate greatly prefers CC's, I would agree with this from a pure quality/taste perspective that the list should be 75% cc or more.  However as a businessman, I would likely say not so fast.  This list is tied to advertising/revenue for the magazine so unless Habanos starts to pump massive advertising dollars towards CA in conjunction with the lifting of the embargo, I would not expect to see massive changes in the list make up. 

Now with that being said, I am different than many here, I don't bemoan CA for their approach here.  At the end of the day, they are a for profit business enterprise and I see no issue in them having an advertising bias in their list as I would say their conflict is pretty apparent for all to see and should simply be a fact to consider for a reader of the list.  Also, thankful they exist despite disagreeing with most of their list.  With our hobby under attack at every turn, I find it difficult to see any fellow cigar lover as anything but a brother/sister in arms.  A sentiment that is only stronger for someone who is pushing the love of cigars in the public sphere through a print publication.

Habanos will be far and away the biggest advertiser on CA.

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1 hour ago, SenorPerfecto said:

Habanos will be far and away the biggest advertiser on CA.

You think so?  Do they put a lot of money into advertising in European or Asian markets today?  I don't know either way but don't recall having seen much in terms of marketing material (print ads, videos, or other media) from Habanos out there.

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20 minutes ago, Schumi5 said:

You think so?  Do they put a lot of money into advertising in European or Asian markets today?  I don't know either way but don't recall having seen much in terms of marketing material (print ads, videos, or other media) from Habanos out there.

There's no other CA out there.

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5 hours ago, SenorPerfecto said:

Once the Embargo is over, you can bet these lists will change dramatically. They'll hold out for a year or two, then 75% of the cigars on the list will be CCs.

The magazine may well no longer exist by then. Over the years it has morphed from a primarily cigar publication for enthusiasts to a wealthy men's lifestyle magazine featuring multi-million dollar yachts, planes, cars and stuff like that the average middle class cigar smoker will never afford/ has no interest in. The advertisement pages to content ratio is ridiculous also unless you love looking at ads. 

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11 hours ago, lovethehaze said:

aging room quattro wins... i have smoked some of the 9th place Nuevitas and they are pretty good. It's interesting to me that coro is top 4 but barely made the foh top 25.....

Correct me if I am wrong but the 2 lists are measuring different things. CA is a taste test I guess, where as the FOH list is looking at the quality of construction etc.

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22 hours ago, joey rockets said:

I was hoping in all of these posts that someone would have a better idea on how this top 25 list is finally made?  CA has a monthly ratings and then some how these transition into their top 25.  Even being a former subscriber never helped me figure that one out?  As others have pointed out, print production is a mean business and CA is proud of their slick monthly but it is supported by the ads.  I did read once that each monthly cigar requires 5 to 6 boxes depending on box size and approximately 90 cigars are reviewed monthly.

Sure. One of our main guys on Developing Palates does a show with William Cooper every year on the CA list and it's been covered quite a number of times. The overview is this:

  • A buyer that works for CA goes out and acquires cigars (with no direction as to brand and size)
  • Those cigars are each reviewed by a panel of cigar smokers (that panel changes)
  • Cigars that rate a 91 or higher in the CA Magazine or CA Insider are now eligible for Top 25
  • The buyer goes out and re-acquires the cigars 
  • Those cigars have their bands removed and are smoked by the panel blind and re-scored
  • Top scoring blind cigars are then scored again an unknown number of times
  • The best 25 cigars from that process make the end of the year list
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10 minutes ago, The Squiggler said:

*last 7 years in a row!

Hmm...the plot thickens. The coincidence of this happening for 7 years now seems nearly impossible to me, just saying.

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One thing that stands out to me is that, at a glance, the list doesn't have a cigar that is included in the top 25 in back to back years.   Of course the testers change so there is that too but if a cigar is consistently great, you'd imagine it should be included from one year to the next. I guess consistency is hard in the cigar business.

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11 minutes ago, Diabolicalpherpher said:

One thing that stands out to me is that, at a glance, the list doesn't have a cigar that is included in the top 25 in back to back years.   Of course the testers change so there is that too but if a cigar is consistently great, you'd imagine it should be included from one year to the next. I guess consistency is hard in the cigar business.

Because it can't happen. Read cigar surgeon's post above for how CA goes about their ways.  No cigar in the top 25 for 2018 was re reviewed in 2019, therefore, none of the cigars could repeat them selves on the list.  Next year, none of these cigars from 2019 will be reviewed and therefore won't be on the 2020 list.

It really isn't a list of the best 25 cigars of 2019.  It is the best 25 cigars than they already reviewed in 2019 list.  If it was a true top 25, they cigar testers would have to smoke thousands of cigars!

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