It’s that time of the year for Top Cigar lists. I’ve been seeing random people posting their lists on Instagram and the most famous of all, Cigar Aficionado, has theirs released.
Where do you stand on Top Cigar lists?
Personally, I don’t follow them. I may briefly look down the list and see if there is anything that has been on my radar that I haven’t heard of or smoked yet. I do, however, like to peep at Halfwheel’s Consensus when that rolls around - though, again, it doesn’t mean too much to me.
I don’t take issue with the lists. They make sense - everyone has favorites from each year and there is no problem sharing them. The issue arises when a viewer puts too much stock in a list. There are a couple reasons, the main one being that taste is subjective. Just because 1 list, or 2 lists, or 20 lists rank a cigar in the top 5 does not mean you’ll like it. On the flip side, because a cigar missed all the lists doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. Every cigar can’t be good enough for everyone, but it is good enough for someone.
The other issue is that every single list has biases and popularity plays as much a role as anything in the cigar community. Smokers fall in love with certain blenders, brand owners, reps, etc. and think everything they make is incredible - it happens and that’s okay! However, if someone didn’t follow along with the list creator to know that they loved these companies, then they wouldn’t realize the list is heavily biased.
I have fallen victim to popular influence with cigars. I have smoked numerous cigars that I see all over communities, IG, and the like and I am incredibly underwhelmed. I am usually a skeptic to popularity, so I don’t get too influenced during the actual smoking - but I certainly will buy things based on popularity.
Anyway, do what you want with lists, but if you’re new to the game, don’t invest too much into them. Smoke anything you can and you’ll be better off.