Cigar Journal 25 vs. Cigar Aficionado 25

Here, we have finished a year again and we entered 2016, leaving 2015 behind. This is the time for the announcement of the top 25 cigars tasted in 2015 for the Cigar Journal (CJ) and Cigar Aficionado (CA) magazines, which I mainly follow, as well as the New Year celebrations and gifts.

This year, as I did last year, I tried to compare the first 25s of the two. I will examine points such as is there any similarity, where do they diverge, which tobacco uses mostly cigars. And first I can say this; There are more common points in the 2015 ranking of the lists compared to previous years. Let's start with the simplest similarity and look at which brand and vitola are selected for both.

What I have combined with the red lines in the table above are cigars that are the same as both brand and vitola. If you say which ones, Padron Family Reserve, Dunhill Heritage Robusto and La Boheme Pittore. As a brand, Alec Bradley was selected as the number 15 with Toro vitola in CA, while Robusto vitola entered the list in CJ.

In both of the lists, there is a situation that confirms my determination in last year's comparison. That is, the use of Nicaraguan leaves is on the rise. While Nicaragua used 40% in the filler leaf blends of the cigars that were on the list last year, this year this figure has increased to 51% (CJ) and 54% (CA). Both political stability and fields free from pests and natural disasters seem to have finally paved the way for Nicaragua. As the origin of the factory, again, Nicaragua appears with a dominant rate of 40%.

By contrast, the Dominican Republic, which was once the favorite - indeed still, of course - is at 30% on the CA list as a factory origin, it has already dropped to 12% on this CJ list. In contrast to this decline, Honduras is on the rise both in terms of factory origin and the proportion of tobacco used in blending cigars on both lists. This rate is based on the 25% limit for Honduras on the CJ list.

Ecuador leaves are again the favorite of the wraparound leaves with 38% on CJ list and 28% on CA list, as was and expected last year. But again, on both lists, Nicaraguan wrap leaves are second only to 25% and 28%. Nicaragua seems to have had its eyes on the coiled leaves.

What surprises me a little is that although Brazilian leaves have been widely known lately, they have not appeared in blends much. While none on the CJ list, its usage is only around 4% on the CA list. I was expecting a little more.

The Cuban cigars, the homeland of the cigar, on the other hand, find a place in the list around 10-16% as in the previous year. There was a similar result last year.

One of the main differences I could catch between the two lists is the ring thickness of the vitolas that make up the lists. Considering that CJ is from Europe and CA is from America, I think the difference I will talk about now reveals the difference between Europe and America in the choice of vitola. The ring thickness of vitolas on the CJ list varies considerably, with an average of 49, while the ring thickness of vitolas on the CA list, with an average of 52, is usually around 50+. In fact, only two cigars on the CA list are under 50 rings in diameter.

Another difference is the variety in the origins of the tobacco used in the blends of the CA-listed cigars. Brezila, Colombia, Costa Rica and Cameroon tobaccos are not on the CJ list, but on the CA list.

Before I finish the comparison, I would like to mention one last similarity between the lists, which must be an indication of the direction in which the preferences of those who are interested in cigars are actually going. You may have probably noticed that a considerable part of the cigars that make their way into the lists are cigars with wrapping leaves close to maduro or maduro. This is an indication of the growing interest in the more fermented, rested or sun-grown dressing leaves.

Regardless of what brand or vitolas are on the lists, however, my thesis is that the best cigar, the smokehouse, is suitable for their own taste and taste. As I said last year, there seems to be a cigar for every taste on the list, but for you, the best cigar will be the best cigar for your taste, even if it is not on the list. But again, Nicaragua is coming thumping again.

Enjoyable smoking ...