What were the top three cigars of 2023?

As usual, the digital magazine Cigar Aficionado[1] published its annual ranking for that year at the end of December.

The first place went to a cigar manufactured in the Dominican Republic, and the other two to cigars from Nicaragua.

Rank 1:

The winning cigar of the renowned Cigar of the Year award was a limited edition of the famous Fuente Fuente OpusX Reserva d'Chateau, an excellent cigar released in 2017 to celebrate the brand's 22nd anniversary.

It is crafted at the Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia factory in the Dominican Republic. The tobacco leaves used for this cigar are grown on the Chateau de la Fuente estate in Bonao, Dominican Republic. The particular soil of this region, lighter and clayey, along with careful cultivation, is responsible for the reddish Ecuador Connecticut Shade wrapper, with enviable elasticity and exceptional flavor, that covers this delicious medium to full-bodied cigar with a sophisticated flavor profile.

This high-end cigar, measuring 7" by 48 ring gauge, is an excellent choice for smokers seeking a complex and balanced cigar.

Rank 2:

With 96 points, the Padrón Serie 1926 No. 48 Maduro took second place in Cigar Aficionado's 2023 annual awards. It was crafted by Padrón Cigars Inc. at its factory in Nicaragua. It features a Nicaraguan wrapper, binder, and filler. It has a strong body and a powerful, deep flavor with a hint of sweetness.

Although the brand was launched in 2002 to celebrate founder José O. Padrón's 75th birthday, the No. 48 size was released in 2016 to commemorate the 48th anniversary of the Tobacconists' Association of America. This cigar, which for some years was sold exclusively through select retailers, is now part of the Serie 1926 line.

With dimensions of 5 1/2" by 60 ring gauge and its rich smoke of cocoa, almond, honey, and cinnamon, the Padrón Serie 1926 No. 48 Maduro proves that Padrón was able to successfully expand the blend while retaining all the desirable qualities that make this series so distinctive.

Rank 3:

The Oliva Serie V Melanio Toro took third place in the 2023 Top 25.

Crafted by Tabacalera Oliva S.A. (Tabolisa), based in Nicaragua, this excellent cigar measuring 6" by 52 ring gauge is another example of Oliva's serious commitment to quality and the high level achieved by Oliva's outstanding group of masters.

With a medium to full strength body, its Ecuadorian Sumatra seed wrapper and blend of Nicaraguan tobacco produce smoke brimming with earth and spices, from cumin and cardamom to ground cloves and Jamaican pepper. An underlying thread of cedar brings balance and structure.

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