23 Dec 2013
In this special segment of Random Thoughts from the Humidor, I look back at 2013, its new cigars, and the lists we’ll use to judge them by.
Best of 2013 Lists
Now is the time for “Top Cigars of the Year” lists. Lots of them. In fact, a “List of the Best Lists” list is probably not far off. (We don’t have plans for one this year, but we reserve the right to change our minds.) They’re fun, but I don’t pay too much attention to them. Probably because I’m fortunate enough to try most new cigar blends that appear on various lists so I can draw my own conclusions. In fact, I’d estimate I’ve tried in excess of 50 new cigars this year (not including multiple vitolas of the same blend). If you feel strongly about whether we should compose a 2013 list or not, please let us know.
New Cigars… Lots of Them
In case you were wondering just how many new cigars there are, our friend Frank Herrera took a look at the number of trademarks that have been filed that include the word “cigar”. Filings have exploded. From early last century through the 1980s, trademark filings never averaged more than 100 a year, even though many more cigars were smoked at the beginning of the 1900s. This decade, they’re on pace for nearly 1,000 a year, a roughly 50% increase over the decade of 2001-2010. Besides being good for trademark lawyers, like Frank, I think it’s largely good for cigar smokers, too. More competition keeps everyone on their toes, and it lets newcomers try and create their own niches in the market with unique cigars that appeal to small subsets of cigar smokers.
About That Top 25 List
It’s hard to miss Cigar Aficionado‘s Top 25 list. It even generated CNBC segments, though curiously I don’t recall CNBC coverage in a year where the winner wasn’t a Cuban cigar. I looked through previous year’s CA lists, and I find that this one resonates with me far more than previous editions. With the exception of the top pick (the Cuban Montecristo No. 2), I’ve smoked all the blends in the top ten this year (and I’ve smoked plenty of Monte #2s in the past). Kudos especially to Aging Room (#2) and Buenaventura (#7), two under-the-radar gems that made the list.
photo credit: Stogie Guys