A Look Back: The Top 10 Cigar Aficionado Cigar of the Year (2022 Edition)

A Look Back: The Top 10 Cigar Aficionado Cigar of the Year (2022 Edition)

Posted by Ana Cuenca on Jan 10, 2023

A Look Back: The Top 10 Cigar Aficionado Cigar of the Year (2022 Edition)

Since September 1992, cigar lovers across the US have anticipated the release of Cigar Aficionado's best cigar list.

What's the hype for this particular list? Well, they can consider the top-rated cigars from so many sources and evaluate them over the course of the year.

What defines the best cigars? Maybe that definition is held slightly by the one smoking them. But, the experts at Cigar Aficionado have such a wealth of cigar brand options their list is always a special highlight of the year. 

Those cigars earning a spot on the coveted list often have cigar ratings of 91 points or higher; making the list is quite an honor for cigar makers. 

Read on to learn more about the top ten making Cigar Aficionado's list and why they might be a cigar you want to try. 

1. H. Upmann No. 2

The Cigar of the Year named by Cigar Aficionado is H. Upmann No. 2. This surprise pick is relatively unknown to the more fantastic cigar world. 

Made in Havana, Cuba by H. Upmann, The company has a long history, 178 years to be exact,  of cigar making. They have survived bankruptcy, a political revolution, and even a change in ownership.

The H. Upmann No. 2 is filled with intense aromas, including layers of nutmeg, cinnamon, and salted peanut flavor, while adding a delicate floral quality to balance out its unique taste. 

Critics of the choice might question its mild flavors, yet Cigar Aficionado and other fans regale its full smoking experience. 

2. Rocky Patel Sixty Sixty

Made in Nicaragua at Rocky Patel's Tavicusa factory, the Rocky Patel Sixty Sixty is a celebration cigar, not just because it made this list. 

Rocky Patel is well known for his celebratory inclinations. So, there was much anticipation about what he might release for his 60th birthday. 

He didn't disappoint and even planned far in advance for the release. He even planned ahead so well that the cigar could age for two years before its release. 

3. Davidoff Nicaragua Diadema

In a surprise move for the Davidoff cigar maker ten years earlier, they jumped from their script to create the Davidoff Nicaragua Diadema.

This cigar is made entirely of Nicaraguan tobacco in the Dominican Republic. The cigar maker made another statement with this one by giving it the stark black label, a shift from other cigars made by them. 

The rich core of nutmeg flavors works to enhance the red fruit, walnut, and maple syrup flavors in the Diadema. 

4. Hoyo de Monterrey Elegantes

Hoyo de Monterrey Elegantes is a cigar joining the list with little fanfare. In fact, while it's been around for a while, true cigar lovers may have previously passed it by. 

This cigar is a thin, old-fashioned figurado shape, one which the Cubans refer to as a taco is less popular than other options.

The Hoyo de Monterrey features notes of nutmeg, candied apple, and vanilla, surprising many who try it for the first time. 

5. Oliva Serie V Churchill Extra

The leadership of Fred Vandermarliere from Belgium has proven a success after buying from the previous Oliva owners, who strategically started as inexpensive cigar makers, then worked their way into the premium market. 

The Oliva Serie V Churchill Extra represents how one cigar maker can carry on the traditions of another. This cigar features the flavors of cinnamon, baked apple, nuts, raisin, and minerals carrying on the original Oliva traditions.

6. Alec Bradley Black Market Churchill

Indeed, the cigar world is no stranger to the black market, including tax evasion, contraband material, or stolen goods.

While the Alec Bradley Black Market Churchill might allude, it's anything but the black market. 

Made in Honduras and covered with a Nicaraguan wrapper, this cigar surprises the cigar world with its use of Panamanian tobacco. It features accents of dried herbs and smoked hickory with rich spice flavors for a full-bodied cigar-smoking experience.

7. My Father Le Bijou 1922 Churchill

So many things make the My Father Le Bijou 1922 Churchill a unique choice for this list. This strong-bodied cigar is made from Nicaraguan tobacco and features the signature oscuro-oscuro dark wrapper from My Father cigar makings.

José "Pepín" Garcia of the Cigar Aficionado Hall of Fame created the Le Bijou 1922 to honor his father. 

Heavy notes of chocolate, leather, and spice are a part of the rich Le Bijou, which is French for the jewel.

8. Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Principe

While some cigars on the list offer a surprise, Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Principe really isn't. Padrón has won Cigar of the Year four times on Cigar Aficionado's list. 

Padrón has also been on the Top 25 list since it existed. They are cigar royalty when it comes to this list. 

Smoking the Anniversary Series Principe is like having a creamy, cappuccino-like smoke for your palate, which finishes with notes of cultured milk chocolate. 

9. Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real Nicaragua Churchill

Altadis USA did something that most corporations won't take the time or money to do. They stepped back, considered their cigar lineup, and made some major changes. 

The result is the Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real, a mild Dominican cigar. The Reserva Real Nicaragua is sold only in the US and features dense, creamy layers of salted caramel. Smokers will note its finish with Mideastern spices and coffee over a nutty, leathery core.

The long progression of flavors in this cigar makes it worthy of its spot on this list. 

10. Arturo Fuente Rare Pink Vintage 1960's Séries Sophisticated Hooker

The Sophisticated Hooker highlights Arturo Fuente and his renowned sense of humor. It also brings a cigar to the list with a social cause. The bright pink boxes let buyers know a portion of the proceeds will go to breast cancer research.

At first puff, smokers might notice the cedary and herbal blends but will quickly take note of the nutty, graham cracker sweetness showing big notes of black pepper, caramel, and red meat.

Cigar Aficionado Top Cigars

While there might be thousands of great cigars available, earning a spot on Cigar Aficionado's list is a high honor worth noting. The list brings surprises, expected entries, and a new star as the Cigar of the Year. 

Did you see a cigar you're intrigued to try? Check out our entire lineup of cigar brands to find your next favorite smoke, Cuenca's is proud of its large selection of quality and bast inventory, well kept in the best conditions.

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