Where there’s smoke, there’s cigars. After another year of tasting, scrutinizing and rating nearly 750 cigars, the editors at Cigar Aficionado today announced E.P. Carrillo Encore Majestic, a Dominican Republic cigar made solely from Nicaraguan tobacco, as the 2018 Cigar of the Year. The Top 10 list is now available, each with an exclusive video of the editors providing tasting notes and feedback, at CigarAficionado.com.
For the Top 25, an annual tradition since 2004, Cigar Aficionado chooses the highest-scoring cigars of the year, typically 91 points and higher, and subjects them to yet another test by the magazine’s tasting panel. The cigars are repurchased at retail, stripped of their identifying bands and blind-tested through multiple rounds of tastings. Only the cigars that performed on the highest level, round after round, and at the highest consistency remained.
This year’s winning cigar wouldn’t be possible without the man behind the brand, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo. The courageous cigarmaker has been through many phases of the cigar industry and reinvented himself several times throughout his long career. While he’s released a number of great brands since opening his own factory in the Dominican Republic, none have been as brilliant as the E.P. Carrillo Encore. The cigar solely uses Nicaraguan tobaccos and is elegant, refined and nuanced from first puff to last. A detailed video on the cigar is available here.
Following E.P. Carrillo Encore Majestic, Dominican Republic, $11.50, Cigar Aficionado’s Top 10 Cigars of 2018 are:
- No. 2 – My Father La Opulencia Toro, Nicaragua, $11.80
- No. 3 – The Wise Man Maduro Robusto, Nicaragua, $10.50
- No. 4 – Padrón Family Reserve No. 44 (Natural), Nicaragua, $32.10
- No. 5 – H. Upmann Sir Winston, Cuba, £32.91
- No. 6 – Arturo Fuente Hemingway Work of Art, Dominican Republic, $9.65
- No. 7 – JFR Lunatic Habano Short Robusto, Nicaragua, $5.98
- No. 8 – Olivia Serie V Melanio Churchill, Nicaragua, $14.00
- No. 9 – Alec Bradley Black Market Estelí Torpedo, Nicaragua, $8.75
- No. 10 – Montecristo Nicaragua Series Robusto, Nicaragua, $11.75
For more details on each cigar, including the tasting notes, scores, and a video of the editors tasting the cigars, visit Top25.CigarAficionado.com. In addition, a description of cigars 11-25 will be unveiled on the site on December 21. A list of affordable cigar buys is now available on CigarAficionado.com.
The full Top 25 list will also be published in the January/February print issue of Cigar Aficionado, available on newsstands January 29, 2019.