The first five places in the 2022 ranking carried out annually by Cigar Aficionado magazine, were once again taken by the three countries that the entire world recognizes as the most prestigious cigar manufacturers: Cuba, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. First and fourth place went to cigars made in Cuba, second and fifth went to two Nicaraguan cigars and third place went to a cigar made in the Dominican Republic, but with the particular characteristic that all the tobacco that makes it is grown in Nicaragua.
The Cigar of the Year was won by the Cuban cigar H. Upman No. 2. This iconic brand in the world of tobacco, achieved the desired award with a cigar rated 98 points. The H. Upman No. 2, with a dimension of 6 1/8" by 52 ring gauge, was made in Havana with an all-Cuban tobacco blend.
Although in other occasions it has also been selected by Cigar Aficionado to be part of its annual list of the Top 25, this time it managed to achieve the category of Cigar of the Year.
According to the jury that evaluated it, smoking this cigar is a totally captivating experience. It exhales a room-filling aroma and mouth-filling texture, allowing you to revel in its layers of flavors of nutmeg, cinnamon and salted peanuts, while displaying a delicate floral quality that brings a delicate balance in a way no other cigar managed during the year.
The second place of the Top 25 of the year 2022, was occupied by the Rocky Patel Sixty Sixty. It obtained 96 points and was produced by Patel at his Tavicusa factory (Tabacalera Villa Cuba, S.A.), in Esteli, Nicaragua. This cigar was conceived as a tribute to Rocky Patel's 60-year life and his refined passion for premium cigars.
Large and box-pressed, the Sixty Sixty is covered with an oily Mexican ripe wrapper from San Andres, placed over a binder and filler made from premium Nicaraguan leaves. Its elaboration has received special attention, with cigars that are aged for six years before blending and that, once ready, spend at least two years in the aging room.
The third-place winner of the 2020 Ranking was the Davidoff Nicaragua Diadema. It was made by Cigars Davidoff, in the Dominican Republic, although the tobacco used for the wrapper, the filling and the binder are grown entirely in Nicaragua.
At medium-full strength, this cigar scored a 95, is part of the Nicaragua Series, introduced by the Davidoff brand in 2013, which until then generally produced milder cigars with Dominican tobacco and light Connecticut seed wrappers. The Diadema Line was introduced some time later, with the intention of enhancing the smoking experience with the conical and curved shapes of the Diadema.
The Cuban-made Hoyo de Monterrey Elegantes was the fourth-place winner. With dimensions of 6 1/4" by 47 ring gauge, this cigar scored 95 points in the 2022 Cigar Aficionado classification.
Filled with the finest Cuban tobaccos, the Elegantes is a beautiful, light-bodied Habano with a cinnamon wrapper that exudes aromas of cedar mixed with chocolate. Its smoke starts off with a smooth body and medium strength that builds only slightly until the finish. Its flavors are a mix of light aromatics with notes of caramel and cream, almonds, and hints of cinnamon in the middle.
The remarkable Oliva Serie V Churchill Extra cigar is the jewel in the crown of the Oliva Cigar Company in Nicaragua. Made by the best rollers in Oliva, this incredible cigar, a fifth-place winner in Cigar Aficionado's 2022 ranking, is crafted with light fillers from the Jalapa Valley of Nicaragua, a spicy binder from Nicaragua, and a beautiful sun-grown Ecuadorian wrapper.
It's a large cigar (7" by 52 ring gauge), packed in a box of 24, full-bodied and flavorful loaded with tons of coffee, spices, and everything good, including dark chocolate. It packs a punch, both in flavor as in strength and ends with a thick layer of earth on the palate.