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Top 25 Cigars of 2023 (16-25)

Top 25

And so it begins! Our compilation of the 25 best cigars of 2023 begins with numbers 16 to 25. It was a difficult year to rank cigars. The weeks and months following August’s judicial rejection of the FDA’s bid to regulate cigars brought about an influx of new brands which upped competition, and along with increased limited editions made it particularly tough on our panel of smokers.

Our list is made up of the best regular production cigars available nationwide throughout the year. Cigars that met the criteria throughout the year were re-purchased and re-smoked multiple times to arrive at a list that we are proud to present to our readers.

In rankings 16 to 25, you will find the following:

  • Prices range from $9.20 to $23.99.
  • Five different sizes make appearances (Churchill, Toro, Corona Gordo, Robusto, and Perfecto).
  • Five wrapper countries represented in this portion of the list (Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Mexico, and Cameroon).
  • There was also a good variety of intensities from “mild to medium” to “medium to full”.
  • 10 different cigar factories ranging in size and production capacities appear in this section.

As for the industry, this past year brought about a leveling off as expected and sagely predicted in last year’s “Reading the Tobacco Leaves” editorial. However, sales figures were still quite strong across the board. Mergers and acquisitions rumors are swirling more than usual while new smokers are bringing energy to the industry along with different flavor profile and size preferences. It wasn’t all champagne and roses during the year as tobacco shortages – specifically high-quality wrapper shortages – forced cigar factories to make difficult decisions.

These shifts and trends will play out in 2024 in what looks to be a most exciting year in the premium cigar world.

Enjoy the list and don’t be afraid to let us know which cigars you think we nailed or missed at [email protected]!


16. Cuba Aliados Original Blend

Manufacturer: Fábrica de Puros Aladino in Honduras
Wrapper: Honduras; Binder: Honduras; Filler: Honduras
Vitola: Churchill; Physical size: 7 x 50
MSRP: $11.50
Rating: 92

The Cuba Aliados brand, originally owned by the late Rolando Reyes Sr., was purchased by Oliva Cigar Co. along with Puros Indios and Roly in mid-2021. Since then, the company has thoughtfully re-branded Cuba Aliados and distributed it worldwide. The Original Blend version brings a classic, Cubanesque profile that resonated with our panel.

17. Tatuaje Cojonú 2012 Sumatra

Manufacturer: My Father Cigars in Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola:Toro; Physical size: 6 1/2 x 52
MSRP: $13.00
Rating: 92

Since its original release in 2003, the Tatuaje Cojonú line has represented some of Tatuaje’s most captivating recurring blends, but the 2012 version, which is available in three different wrappers, is certainly one our panel’s favorites. The Sumatra version was the highest rated cigars in the March/April 2023 issue, qualifying it for this list

18. Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Edición Diamante

Manufacturer: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez in Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Robusto; Physical size: 5 x 54
MSRP: $22.86
Rating: 92

The original Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua, a maduro released in late 2020, took the #3 spot with its flavors of bittersweet chocolate, espresso, and smooth pepper. The company followed up that homerun with the Edición Diamante, which was born of one of the finalist blends for the original.

19. A. Fuente Don Carlos

Manufacturer: Tabacalera A. Fuente in the Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Cameroon; Binder: Dominican Republic; Filler: Dominican Republic
Vitola: Presidente; Physical size: 6 1/2 x 50
MSRP: $13.50
Rating: 92

The Arturo Fuente Don Carlos has always scored well with our panel and has appeared on our year-end list more than a couple of times. It is considered by many to be the benchmark for Cameroon-wrapped cigars and with good reason. It delivers an impeccably balanced combination of cedar, nuts, and cream with a touch of spice.

20. Illusione Singularé Origen

Manufacturer: Agricola Ganadera Norteña (Aganorsa) in Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Corona Gorda; Physical size: 5 5/8 x 46
MSRP: $12.35
Rating: 92

The Illusione Singularé, along with most other Illusione brands, underwent a branding overhaul in 2023. But unlike most of the rebranded Illusiones, the Singularé Origen was also re-blended and shifted from a limited, annual “vintaged” blend to regular production. The corona gorda scored a 92 in the May/June 2023 issue.

21. Gurkha Colección Especial

Manufacturer: PDR Cigars in Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Mexico; Filler: Undisclosed
Vitola: Robusto; Physical size: 5 x 52
MSRP: $12.95
Rating: 92

The Gurkha Colección Especial took a slightly different path to market than most cigars on this list. The line started out with one shape, a double perfecto that was exclusive to TAA (Tobacconists Association of America) retailers in 2022. Later that year the company decided to roll out the robusto, toro, and lonsdale to all retailers.

22. The Oscar Connecticut

Manufacturer: Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co. in Honduras
Wrapper: Honduras; Binder: Honduras; Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
Vitola: Toro; Physical size: 6 x 52
MSRP: $12.90
Rating: 92

Brands built by Oscar Valladares and his team in Honduras have been appearing on our list for years, but this is the first time his company has produced a Connecticut shade wrapped cigar that scored this well. The Oscar Connecticut just barely qualified for consideration but made an impressive jump during the re-tasting sessions.

23. Cohiba Riviera

Manufacturer: Scandinavian Tobacco Group Estelí in Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexico; Binder: Honduras; Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
Vitola: Perfecto; Physical size: 6 x 60
MSRP: $23.99
Rating: 92

This beautifully produced Cohiba in this elegant shape started to appear in stores by mid-2023 and it didn’t take long for our panel to catch on to its quality. The impeccably constructed perfecto, which sports a flawless Mexican San Andrés wrapper, made the cut by scoring 92 points in our Jul/Aug 2023 issue.

24. Villiger 1888 Nicaragua

Manufacturer: Villiger de Nicaragua Cigar Factory in Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador; Binder: Nicaragua; Filler: Nicaragua & USA
Vitola: Toro; Physical size: 6 x 50
MSRP: $9.20
Rating: 92

Villiger has been playing the long game in the US for several years but there was a noticeable step-up since opening the Villiger de Nicaragua factory in Estelí in late 2021. The factory, a joint venture with Joya de Nicaragua, has paid early dividends with high-flying releases like Villiger de Nicaragua Limited Edition and now the Villiger 1888 Nicaragua.

25. Camacho Broadleaf

Manufacturer: Diadema Cigars in Honduras
Wrapper: Honduras; Binder: Honduras; Filler: Honduras & Dominican Republic
Vitola: Toro; Physical size: 6 x 50
MSRP: $9.75
Rating: 92

We’re not privy to the inner workings of Camacho’s factory in Honduras but we can tell when something has changed. To our palates, this blend ushered in a new era for Camacho, still as bold and flavorful as ever, but with an elevated refinement that set this one apart. Wrapped in a Honduran Broadleaf, this blend muscled and finessed its way up the ranks.


Top 25
Categories: Cigars, Top 25

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