The 25 best cigars of any given year are, as would be implied, very good cigars.
There’s always a recency bias that takes place when we do these lists. It always seems like this year’s list wasn’t as good as last year's, or the year before that, etc. It’s a feeling that we share nearly every year. Each year—some months later—we learn that the 25 cigars that make this list in any given year are really quite good. It just seems, no matter if it's 2012 or 2019, we just need a bit of time to appreciate them a bit more.
We’ve already broken down some of the numbers in a post you can read here, but this list is an interesting one. A total of 22 different companies made the list, far and away the most we’ve ever had. Only 26 cigars were considered, the fewest we’ve ever had. A few months ago, we actually had to have a conversation about what would happen if we didn’t have 25 eligible cigars. For those wondering, we agreed that we would just publish whatever number we had.
As has been the case for quite some time, cigars were eligible for this list if they were reviewed in the current year (2019) and scored 91 or above. We only considered cigars that were released in 2018 or 2019 and redux reviews aren’t eligible. That means each cigar on this list was smoked a total of six times: three cigars for the original review and then each of the other reviewers, including Brian Burt, smoked one sample each. The scores were then averaged—with each person’s score weighted evenly—and ranked.
Last year, the difference between first and second was just .08 points, the smallest margin in our Top 25 to date. This year that margin was .015.
As always, the cigars on this list made it for one reason: how they smoked in 2019. Like our reviews, we didn’t factor price, vitola, release size, packaging, aging potential or anything else. This is a list of the 25 best cigars that met the aforementioned qualifications ranked in order; no fluff, just halfwheel.