Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 Cigars of 2023
At the beginning of the new year, Top Cigar lists from publications across the globe release their best cigars of the previous year. It’s to show cigar audiences what’s been smoked over the last 12 months and what each publication enjoyed the most.
We do our best to keep on top of each list to see where our list may differentiate and where it may be similar. On Wednesday, December 29th, 2023, our final list came out along with a top 5 video and podcast to coincide with the slow rollout of our Top 25 throughout December.
Though we don’t usually cover everyone’s end-of-the-year roundup, we feel it’s important to showcase Cigar Aficoinado’s list due to its long-lasting influence on the cigar community. They released their entire list before Christmas arrived, so cigar enthusiasts were able to enjoy sampling their top picks throughout the holiday season.
When it comes to Cigar Aficionado’s list, you’ll get a mixture of familiar faces sprinkled in with some new releases that came out in 2023. Let’s see what cigars they selected and share a few of our own opinions.
25. West Tampa Red Robusto
Number 25 cigar on Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 Cigars of 2023 list comes from General Cigar alum Rick Rodriguez and his new partner Gus Martinez. The West Tamp Red Robusto is a 5 x 50 medium to full-bodied gem that has made a huge imprint on the cigar world.
Rodriguez’s third release under West Tampa Cigar Co. is cloaked in a Mexican wrapper and bound and filled with Nicaraguan tobaccos. Some notes you’ll detect while smoking the West Tampa Red are wood, leather, cocoa, and a touch of cedar.
If you have a chance to find the West Tampa Red Robusto at a local cigar shop, I suggest you see what this 93-rated cigar is all about.
24. Padilla Miami 8 & 11 Churchill
Next up is the Padilla Miami 8&11 Churchill. Named after the location of the original Padilla factory (8th Street and 11th Avenue in Miami, Florida), this Churchill is now produced back in Miami at the El Titan de Bronze factory.
It’s a medium-bodied cigar that boasts flavor notes of cedar, earth, and sweet spice. While it features an Ecuadorian wrapper, it’s bound and filled with the finest Nicaraguan tobacco.
Coming in at $20.00 per stick, this 93-rated cigar earned its rightful spot on Cigar Aficionados 2023 list!
23. Rafael Gonzalez Corona de Lonsdale
Earning the 23rd place on the list is a Cuban puro that is neither a Corona nor Lonsdale. The Rafael Gonzalez Corona de Lonsdale is a medium-bodied gem with scrumptious notes of earth, cedar, cocoa, and sweet spice.
From the construction to the packaging, the Rafael Gonzalez Corona de Lonsdale is a true testament to the purity of what Cuban heritage cigars stand for.
22. Ozgener Family Cigars Bosphorus
With the Ozgener Family Cigar in the Bosphorus size landing at the number 22 spot on Cigar Aficionados Top 25 list of 2023, it’s safe to say Tim Ozgener is back in the cigar industry for good.
After his 12-year hiatus, Ozgener announced he’d be coming back to collaborate with Crowned Heads on some new lines. Et Voilà — the Bosphorus was born.
With tobaccos from Ecuador and Nicaragua, you’ll get delicious hits of coffee, nutmeg, cocoa, and leather. Although there aren’t Turkish tobaccos in this blend, the band and coloring of the Bosphorus pay homage to Tim’s heritage, which he is extremely proud of.
21. La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Lancero
Landing on Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 list for the third time, the La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero in the 7 ½ x 38 Lancero size, it’s safe to say this blend is one of Cigar Aficionado’s favorite.
Cloaked in an Ecuadorian wrapper, the LFD Double Ligero Lancero has tobacco from the Dominican Republic that makes up for the binder and the filler. These delicious tobaccos are grown on Litto Gomez’s La Canela farm, which hails in the Dominican Republic.
The farm grows tobacco in a way that ensures the final product of cigars has delicious flavors of raisin, cocoa, leather, and pepper.
20. Foundation Olmec Claro Corona Gorda
Coming in at number 20 on Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 cigars of 2023 is the Foundation Olmec. The Olmec came out in 2022 and is paying homage to an ancient civilization that lived in the Andres Region of Mexico from 1400 to 400 B.C.
Utilizing a Mexican wrapper for this 5 ½ x 48 medium-bodied gems, the Olmec uses Nicaraguan tobaccos for its filler and binder. You’ll find outstanding balance with each puff of the Olmec, detecting whispers of toast, nuts, vanilla, and citrus thanks to AJ Fernandez’s top-notch blending skills. With each stick priced out at $12.50, we suggest you find the Olmec by Foundation at your local cigar store today.
19. Foreign Affair by Luciano Cigars
Debuting at TPE 2023, the Foreign Affair by Luciano Cigars lands at number 19 on Cigar Aficionado’s list of 2023. The first new line from Luciano Meirelles is a cigar that pays homage to the increasing globalization of the cigar industry.
Foreign Affair has an Ecuadorian wrapper and an Ecuadorian-Nicaraguan binder blend, It also features filler tobaccos from Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua, making it a worldly stick. With a culmination of all these tobaccos, the Foreign Affair is loaded with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond, and honey flavors.
18. Tatuaje Miami Havana Cazadores
With the Tatuaje Miami Havana in the 6 3/8 x 43 “Cazadores” size making number 18, it‘s clear this 20-year-old blend can still stand the test of time. Produced by My Father and blended in their small El Rey de Los Habanos factory in Florida, Pete Johnson of Tatuaje has the utmost confidence and assurance in the My Father brand.
This medium-to-full-bodied blend is cloaked in an Ecuadorian wrapper and is bound and filled with Nicaraguan tobacco. Rollers at the El Rey de Los Habanos factory does their best to make the Miami Havana as close to a Cubanesque cigar as they possibly can.
Flavors you will be treated to when smoking the Cazadores are coffee, black pepper, and chocolate. This 93-ranked cigar costs $12.00 a cigar and is worth every penny!
17. Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Edicion Diamante Grande
With the Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Edicion Diamante making Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 cigars of 2023, it marks the second time this brand has made the list in the last two years. In 2021, the original Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua was number 2 on this very same list. So, it’s apparent this new, delicious cigar line from Montecristo is turning heads over at Cigar Aficionado.
Created by Rafael Nodal and AJ Fernandez, this Nicaraguan puro is comprised of delicious tobaccos that hail throughout Nicaragua, specifically Ometepe. Its delectable flavor profile consists of dark chocolate, baking spices, leather, and earth.
If you’re looking to smoke something with elegance, style, and award-winning prestige, the 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua Edicion Diamante from Montecristo is the cigar for you!
16. Cohiba Piramides Extra
Another Cuban puro graces Cigar Aficionado’s list, this time at number 16. The Cohiba Piramides Extra is a medium to full-bodied gem that comes in at 6 ¼ x 54 and is the only figuardo shape in the entire Cohiba Piramides line.
Due to being a little thicker and longer than traditional Cubans, it still offers a sophisticated profile that gives off hints of nut, oak, black pepper, and sweet spice.
If you like your cigars on the more luxurious side, the Cohiba Piramides Extra foes for $115 per cigar! But they’re worth every penny.
15. Ashton VSG Illusion
Made at Tabacalera A. Fuente, the Ashton Virgin Sun Grown in the 6 ½ x 44 Illusion in the 6 ½ x 44 Illusion size graces Cigar Aficonado’s Top 25 list at number 15.
This full-bodied cigar is wrapped in a gorgeous Ecuadorian wrapper while being bound and filled with tobaccos that hail from the Dominican Republic.
With the rich tobaccos that make up this delicious cigar, you’re going to experience a powerful earthy flavor profile followed by exquisite notes of cedar, peanuts, and a touch of cinnamon.
The Ashton VSG was gifted a 94 rating by Cigar Aficionado, which makes this $14.00 cigar worth adding to your collection today.
14. Long Live the Queen Ace of Hearts
This limited-edition size that followed Caldwell Cigar Co. release of “Long Live the Queen” in 2022 lands at number 14. Long Live the Queen in a 6 x 52 “Ace of Hearts” size is a regular production line for Caldwell Cigars due to the high popular demand for this medium to full-bodied blend.
Long Live the Queen Ace of Hearts lands a 94 rating by Cigar Aficionado for many reasons, one being its delicious blend of tobaccos leading to a mouthwatering flavor profile. It has a Cameroon wrapper and an Indonesian binder with filler tobacco hailing from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.
This combination of tobaccos blended at the El Maestro factory offers notes of almonds, caramel, chocolate, and coffee. Coming in at $18.00 a cigar, the Long Live the Queen Ace of Hearts is worthy of having a spot in your humidor today.
13. My Father Le Bijou 1922 100 Onos LE Corona Especial
Besides creating a cigar in 2022 to celebrate what would have been Jose Garcia’s birthday, folks at My Father Cigars should also be celebrating their placement on Cigar Aficionados Top 25 Cigars of 2023.
Landing at number 13, the My Father Le Bijous 1922 100 Onos LE Corona Especial was one of Cigar Aficionado’s favorite cigars they smoked in 2023. This Nicaraguan puro is a medium to full-bodied cigar that comes in a 6 ½ x 44 size.
Although this blend is different from the original Le Bijou line, its tobaccos are still hailed from My Father’s Cigar S.A factory in Nicaragua.
Flavor notes featured are cinnamon, red pepper, oak, vanilla, honey, and caramel on the back end. With a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $13.00, this anniversary cigar belongs in your possession today.
12. Trinidad Espiritu Series No. 1 Belicoso
Being one of three cigars on this list to hail from Altadis U.S.A., the Trinidad Espiritu Series No. 1 in the belicoso size comes in at number 12. Trinidad Espiritu, made by A.J. Fernandez and Rafael Nodal, created a brand to pay homage to how the cigar world looked in the late 70s.
This Nicaraguan puro was blended at Tabacalera AJ Fernandez with a gorgeous Criollo ’98 wrapper. It’s a medium to full-bodied cigar that comes in a 6 1/8 x 52 and has delicious flavors of raisin, cedar, cocoa, and dried blueberry on the backend.
With a 94 rating and priced at $11.00 a cigar, there’s no question the Trinidad Espiritu No. 1 should belong in your humidor today.
11. Romeo y Julieta Linea de Oro Hidalgos
Another cigar to come from Altadis USA is a Cuban puro from Romeo y Julieta. The 4 7/8 x 57 medium-to-full-bodied gem that is the Romeo y Julieta Linea de Oro Hidalgos is a Cuban extension of the core Romeo brand — much like the 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua is to the Montecristo brand.
When you light up this cigar, you’ll get extraordinary flavor notes of nut, citrus, raisin, almond, and cocoa.
With another 94-cigar rating on this list, the Romeo y Julieta Line de Oro Hidalgos is priced at $67 per cigar. If you have expensive taste, this Cuban puro is the one for you!
10. El Pulpo Beliciso Grande
Now we enter the Top 10 of the Top 25 Cigars of Cigar Aficonado’s 2023 list, and their number 10 is one of the newest cigars Cigar Aficionado has added to their list in the last few years.
The El Pulpo Belicoso Grande is made by AJ Fernandez at his factory, with collaboration from brothers Gus and Billy Fakih who are former cigar shop owners. This medium to full-bodied cigar is cloaked in a Mexican wrapper with a binder and filler that hail from Nicaragua.
With a 94 rating and the price per stick at $17.00, this affordable gem made with love is a perfect cigar to add to your collection today.
9. La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Belicoso
Coming in at number 9 on Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 list of 2023 is a fan favorite here at Jr Cigars, as well as Cigar Aficionado’s. The La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Belicoso is made by My Father Cigars in 5 ½ by 54 sizes. La Aroma de Cuba itself was introduced by Ashton Cigars in 2003 and has had major success over the last twenty years.
The Mi Amor is cloaked in a Mexican wrapper, all while having delicious Nicaraguan tobaccos that make up the binder and the filler. It’s a medium-to-full-bodied cigar that has scrumptious notes of chocolate, nuts, and cedar.
With these 95-rated cigars coming in under $10 per stick, the La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Belicoso should make its way to your to-be-smoked pile.
8. Alec Bradley Prensado Torpedo
The Alec Bradley Prensadois a twelve-year-old blend that is worthy of scoring so high on this list. A blend that is old by cigar standards and still makes these yearly roundups shows you how great Alec Bradley has been for a very long time.
With Alan Rubin selling Alec Bradley to STG in February of 2023, fans of the brand were unsure where the future of the company would go after the move.
However, this medium-to-full-bodied blend comprised of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobacco still making headlines must reassure fans of the brand — even just a little bit.
Boasting top-notch tobaccos, the Prensado Torpedo has wonderful flavor notes of earth, nut, cocoa, and citrus on the backend. If you’re unfamiliar with the Prensado or Alec Bradley as a whole, then grab yourself one in any size and experience fantastic cigar-making at its finest!
7. Blackened Cigars M81 by Drew Estate
A cigar that flew under everyone’s radar until the masses started smoking it more and realizing it was a phenomenal cigar is the Blackened M81 by Drew Estate.
A collaboration between James Hetfield of Metallica and Drew Estate made headlines across the industry when it was released early 2023. In conjunction with the Blackened M81, Drew Estate, Hetfield, and a distiller created the Blackened American Whiskey to pair perfectly with the cigar.
This 5 x 43 medium-to-full-bodied blend uses a wrapper from Mexico, features a Connecticut Broadleaf binder, and boasts Nicaraguan and Pennsylvania Broadleaf tobaccos for the filler. This culmination of tobacco sets up your palate for an exciting experience of flavors like cinnamon, earth, toast, and leather.
Pop on the Black album, pour yourself a glass of the Blackened American Whiskey, light up the Blackened M81, and enjoy!
6. Partagas Serie P No. 2
The number six cigar of 2023 from Cigar Aficionado is the Partagas Serie P No. 2. Another Cuban puro to grace this year’s list, it’s a 6 1/8 x 52 medium-bodied cigar with flavor notes that exude from every puff.
The Partagas Serie P No. 2 is the ultimate signifier of Cuba’s Partagas Alphabet series, which has been popular for decades.
With hints of syrup, coconut, hay, and honey, the Partagas Serie P No. 2 is on the more inexpensive side when it comes to Cubans. A box of 10 will run you about $43.00 per cigar. For the ones who enjoy smoking Cuban cigars, the Partagas Serie P No. 2 is one of the easier brands to find around the world.
5. E.P. Carrillo Allegiance Confidant
Landing the number 5 spot on Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 Cigars of 2023 list is the E.P. Carrillo Allegiance in the 6 x 52 “Confidant” size. The Pledge and Encore by E.P. Carrillo have been rewarded by gracing number one spots in 2018 and 2020 on this very same list. So, it’s safe to say that E.P. Carrillo knows a thing or two about placing high on this prestigious list.
This medium to full-bodied cigar is cloaked in an Ecuadorian wrapper while featuring Nicaraguan tobacco for the binder and for the filler. One thing to note about this cigar is the elegant green band it sports, symbolizing both nature and tobacco.
With notes of spice, wood, cinnamon, and pepper, the E.P. Carrillo Allegiance Confidant is a cigar worthy of a spot in everyone’s humidor.
4. Rocky Patel A.L.R. 2nd Edition Toro
Coming in at the number 4 is a familiar face! The Rocky Patel A.L.R. 2nd Edition in the 6 ½ x 52 Toro size was number 5 on Cigar Aficionado’s Top Cigar list of 2019. Moving up one spot from four years ago just shows the quality of this medium to full-bodied cigar has gotten better with time.
The “A.L.R.” stands for Aged, Limited, and Rare — three elements this cigar displays perfectly. With a wrapper from Mexico, the A.L.R utilizes Nicaraguan tobacco for the binder and filler from the famous Tavicusa factory.
With rich flavors of chocolate, coconut, hay, and leather, the luxurious complexity of the A.L.R stands above the rest of Rocky Patel’s portfolio. This 96-rated cigar is $16.25 per stick, which is worth every penny!
3. Oliva Serie V Melanio Toro
The cigar that’s at number 3 for Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 cigars for 2023 is a very familiar cigar to this list. The Oliva Serie V Melanio has had some sort of version of this cigar on CA’s list over the last few years, in which it always lands in the Top 10.
This 6 x 52 Medium to Full-Bodied cigar was manufactured at the Tabolisa factory in Nicaragua. With binder and filler tobaccos hailing from Nicaragua, the Oliva Serie V Melanio is wrapped in a stunning golden Ecuadorian wrapper.
Flavor notes you’ll detect while smoking this 96-rated cigar are cedar, cumin, caramel, and leather on the backend. This highly sought-after cigar is a little less than $16.00 per cigar, which is a steal when it comes to the Serie V Melanio, which has top-notch quality from start to finish.
2. Padron Series 1926 No. 48 Maduro
Our final two cigars are some of the most prestigious the industry has ever come across. Mix that with how many people spend day and night trying to get these limited and rare cigars in their possession, it adds to the lure and appeal of both brands.
Cigar Aficionado appointed the Padron Series 1926 No. 48 Maduro the number two spot on their Top 25 Cigars of 2023 list. This medium-bodied Nicaraguan puro comes in a 5 ½ x 60 size with an MSRP of $24.90. Most Padron’s are high-luxury priced cigars and for a very reason!
The No. 48 size was released exclusively through TAA retailers due to the anniversary of the association’s birthday! With beautiful bursts of flavor notes like chocolate, nuts, sweet spice, and honey, the Padron Series 1026 No. 48 Maduro is one of the most distinguished cigars in the industry.
This stick is a popular choice for a celebratory smoke, and the folks over at Padron should light up a Series 1026 No. 48 Maduro themselves for landing number 2 on Cigar Aficionado’s list today!
1. Fuente Fuente OpusX Reserva d’Chateau
The moment is finally here! Cigar Aficionado’s Number 1 cigar of 2023 goes to Arturo Fuente.
The Fuente Fuente OpusX Reserva de-Chateau first came onto the scene with such force in November 1995. Almost thirty years later, it’s still holding a prestigious award such as Cigar Aficionado’s top spot on their yearly Top Cigar list.
This Dominican Republic puro is medium-to-full-bodied and comes in a 7 x 48 Churchill-esque size. It’s rated a 97 on Cigar Aficionado and is a cult classic in every sense of the term. It has this “White Whale” reputation and is highly sought after across the industry.
Some may wonder why a twenty-eight-year-old blend has earned a position as the number one cigar in 2023 — but that just goes to show you the power and elegance the OpusX possesses.
Being a touch above $19.00 per cigar, that’s a steal for a stick with such a big reputation. If you happen to find your hands on an OpusX at any point, don’t hesitate, to grab it and never let it go