Cigar Snob’s annual Top 25 list turns 10 this year, and the timing for this diamond anniversary is splendid. The year 2021 saw a continuation of growth building on the stellar sales year that was 2020. Premium cigar sales went deep and wide, making 2021 a great year for mainstream brands, iconic blends, and new releases.
Each year, we assemble a list of cigars that have ranked 91 or better during the year. You see the ratings in every issue, but for us, the smoking is daily, in the relentless pursuit of the best of the best. We sit, puff, ponder, write, repeat. You’ll see some familiar faces on this list. Like the New York Yankees of the 50s or the Chicago Bulls of the 90s, there are brands that have winning in their blood. The cigar world is wonderfully open to refinement and excellence and there will be a time when the kings will be toppled. Today, we give you what worked in 2021.
And a lot worked. We saw demand escalate, which kept some favorites on constant back order. “I take whatever I can get whenever I can get it,” one brick-and-mortar operator told us this summer.
Such an approach is paying off big time. The Cigar Association of America tells us that premium cigar imports were up 55 percent through July. The supply still can’t quench the demand. We’re in a good place.
Also in 2021, we met again in person for some trade shows and – you make the call – it was better than nothing. It will get even better if everyone keeps their perspective. That will mean fewer “virtual” experiences – a contradiction in terms, no? – and more of us embracing, hanging out and enjoying our pastime together.
Take a few minutes with the Top 25 list and feel free to vent, praise, and enlighten us at [email protected]. We always enjoy hearing from you.