Tobacco producers all over the world strive to produce the top rated cigars in the industry. This privileged distinction provides continued success to those that are well known for their superior smokes, while putting those new to the ranking on the industry map. There are a number of organizations that compile their own list of top rated cigars based on numerous flavor and appearance factors. Many true connoisseurs look to this list for recommendations when selecting quality stogies to add to their personal humidors.
Before mentioning specific brands making the list, many may wonder what goes into the ranking system. While many smoking magazines and the ICRS have their own lists with their determining factors, Cigar Aficionado magazine continues to provide a highly respected listing. The listing is compiled year after year in addition to their 1992 listing of all-time favorites. Smokers may believe that the ratings compiled are an individual perception, yet this listing utilizes a number of key aspects of what makes a superior smoke. It is important that judges experience more than one of each stick to gather accurate data as there can be slight variations even among those in the same box. The magazine’s judge panel determines their top rated cigars based on their appearance, construction, flavor, smoking characteristics, and the overall smoking experience. The combined score is out of a total possible 100 points.
For many brands, making this list can truly give them a place in the tobacco industry. Others strive to be consistent in their quality by making the list and improving their position each year. There are a number of familiar producers that can be found among the 2011 rankings, including Habanos S.A. who have made a number of the selected line-ups. The Partagas Serie P No. 2 placed fourth on this listing with its multifaceted Cuban flavors of pepper, espresso, and rawhide. Habanos S.A. also demonstrated their expertise with the #8 Punch Double Corona and the #15 Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona. Both of these top rated cigars are constructed entirely of the finest Cuban tobacco leaves with woodsy and sweet notes respectively. The Hoyo de Monterrey can also be found on the all-time rankings chosen by the magazine. The General Cigar Company landed the #18 spot on the 2011 rankings with their La Gloria Cubana Rabito de Cochino. This smoke was made by El Credito in the Dominican Republic. It consists of a mixture of leaves out of Ecuador, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. It scored in the nineties with its sturdy flavors of chocolate and lumber. Another premium stogie making the cut is the La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Matatan, which debuted in early 2010. Constructed by the Tabacalera La Flor S.A., it is said to be a perfect mixture of Corojo, Sumatra, and Cubano leaves creating its unique and zesty flavor. The Air Bender was a returning pick as it ranked 7th in 2010 as well. The 2011 compilation of the top twenty-five smokes has a wide variety of highly regarded producers and some of their finest collections. In addition to those previously noted, others include Padron, Alex Bradley, and Rocky Patel.
Each of the top rated cigars every year is selected for their consistency and excellence. To enjoy any one of these superior stogies is sure to be an experience in itself. From the petite H. Upmann No. 2 to the slim and lengthy Padron 1964 Anniversary Series Exclusivo Maduro, there is something for everyone’s enjoyment on the 2011 rankings, as well as those of the past.