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Cigar Aficionado

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Cigar Aficionado
William Shatner enjoys a cigar on the cover of Cigar Aficionado Magazine
November 2017, cover featuring Michael Jordan and highlighting the magazine's 25th anniversary
Editor and publisherMarvin R. Shanken
CategoriesCigar culture, lifestyle
First issueFall 1992
CompanyM. Shanken Communications
CountryUnited States
Based inNew York City

Cigar Aficionado is an American lifestyle magazine that is dedicated to enjoying the “good life” and the world of cigars. It is a publication of M. Shanken Communications, which also publishes Wine Spectator, Whisky Advocate, Market Watch, Shanken News Daily and IMPACT Newsletter.[1]

The magazine reaches a total brand footprint of over 2.7 million.[2]

Launched in 1992, the magazine is known for its profiles on celebrities, including Michael Jordan,[3] Jack Nicholson,[4] The Rock,[5] Demi Moore,[6] Robert De Niro,[7] Arnold Schwarzenegger,[8] Usher,[9] Nick Jonas,[10] Tom Selleck,[11] Hugh Jackman,[12] Wayne Gretzky,[13] Charles Barkley,[14] Mark Wahlberg,[15] Michael Strahan,[16] and Steve Harvey;[17] for its cigar ratings and reviews; and the latest coverage on cigars, Cuba, gambling, golf, beer, spirits, and more.

David Savona is executive editor.

Origins and history


Cigar Aficionado magazine debuted in the fall of 1992, launched in New York City by Marvin R. Shanken, longtime publisher of Wine Spectator magazine. Prior to launching the publication, Shanken engaged in extensive market research, collecting more than 1,300 four-page surveys of cigar smokers which detailed their occupation, income, net worth, travel tendencies, as well as their drinking and smoking habits.[18] Survey results revealed a well-heeled and dedicated male demographic, with survey respondents professing an average household income of $194,000 and a net worth of $1.54 million and claiming to smoke on average ten cigars per week.[18] Shanken launched a large-format glossy magazine aimed at corralling these readers and advertisers of products targeted to this audience.

Cigar Aficionado began as a lifestyle magazine, including coverage of wine, spirits, travel, gambling, and antiques, in addition to interviews with leading personalities in the cigar industry and feature articles relating to the cigarmaking industry. From the beginning the magazine emphasized celebrity profiles, including cover stories on Rush Limbaugh, Jack Nicholson,[4] and Arnold Schwarzenegger.[8] The new magazine's successful blending of lifestyle reports and celebrity glitz has been credited with contributing to the 1990s cigar boom.[19]

The publication scored its first great journalistic coup on February 4, 1994, when editor and publisher Shanken met Fidel Castro in Havana for a two-hour interview.[20] During this interview Castro recounted the story behind the establishment of the Cohiba brand, told stories of the importance of cigars to his life as a revolutionary in the mountains of Cuba, and explained his decision to give up cigar smoking in August 1986 as part of a national campaign against tobacco use.[20] In addition to these topics of special interest to cigar smokers, the interview touched upon bilateral relations between the United States and Cuba, during the course of which Castro accused the United States of repeatedly "moving the goalposts back" for ending the Cuban economic embargo and said that "no other country has as unblemished behavior about human rights" as Cuba.[20]



Cigar Aficionado hosts the annual Big Smoke Las Vegas, which has drawn cigar-loving visitors from around the world since the early 90s, when Marvin R. Shanken held the first Big Smoke event, which took place in New York City. Big Smoke attendees enjoy premium cigars, spirits and food, and participate in cigar and tasting seminars.[21]

Cigar Aficionado and sister publication Whisky Advocate together co-host Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest, an annual event held in Hollywood, Florida since 2021.[22]



From its inception, Cigar Aficionado has made use of blind taste testing of cigars, comparing the merits of one brand to another, expressed on the basis of a 100-point scale similar to the one used in sister publication Wine Spectator.[23]

The publication annually releases its Top 25 list, where editors select the best cigars of the year. The full list and rankings are a product of a year-long journey and hundreds of reviewed cigars. The Top 25 includes the Cigar of the Year honor.[24]

Cigar of the Year

Year Cigar Rating Factory Location Ref.
2023 Fuente Fuente OpusX Reserva d'Chateau 97 Dominican Republic [25]
2022 H. Upmann No. 2 98 Cuba [26]
2021 Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Torpedo 97 Nicaragua [27]
2020 E.P. Carrillo Pledge Prequel 98 Dominican Republic [28]
2019 Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Maestro 96 Nicaragua [29]
2018 E.P. Carrillo Encore Majestic 96 Dominican Republic [30]
2017 Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Eye of the Shark 97 Dominican Republic [31]
2016 La Flor Dominicana Andalusian Bull 96 Dominican Republic [32]
2015 My Father Le Bijou 1922 Torpedo Box Pressed 97 Nicaragua [33]
2014 Oliva Serie V Melanio Figurado 96 Nicaragua [34]
2013 Montecristo No. 2 96 Cuba [35]
2012 Flor de las Antillas Toro 96 Nicaragua [36]
2011 Alec Bradley Prensado Churchill 96 Honduras [37]
2010 Cohiba Behike BHK 52 97 Cuba [38]
2009 Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Maduro 95 Nicaragua [39]
2008 Casa Magna Colorado Robusto 93 Nicaragua [40]
2007 Padrón Serie 1926 No. 9 97 Nicaragua [41]
2006 Bolivar Royal Corona 94 Cuba [42]
2005 Fuente Fuente OpusX Double Corona 95 Dominican Republic [43]
2004 Padrón Serie 1926 40th Anniversary 93 Nicaragua [44]

See also



  1. ^ "About Us". Wine Spectator.
  2. ^ "Download Our Media Kit". MShanken.com.
  3. ^ Shanken, Marvin. "One-on-One with Michael Jordan". Cigar Aficionado.
  4. ^ a b Marx, Arthur. "On His Own Terms". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  5. ^ Shanken, Marvin. "A Conversation With The Rock". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  6. ^ Rothstein, Mervyn. "No Apologies No Regrets". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  7. ^ Shanken, Marvin. "The Interview: Robert De Niro". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  8. ^ a b Shaw, David. "The World According to Arnold". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  9. ^ Fine, Marshall. "The Rise of Usher". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  10. ^ Savona, David. "The Jonas Effect". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  11. ^ Model, Betsy. "Magnum Opus". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  12. ^ Fine, Marshall. "No Limits". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  13. ^ Shouler, Ken. "Lord of the Rink". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  14. ^ Savona, David. "Sir Charles Holds Court". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  15. ^ Shanken, Marvin. "Mark Wahlberg—The Interview". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  16. ^ Fine, Marshall. "A Giant Second Act". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  17. ^ Fine, Marshall. "Man On The Move". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  18. ^ a b "Welcome to the Cigar Aficionado Club," Cigar Aficionado, vol. 1, no. 1 (Autumn 1992), pg. 11.
  19. ^ Lew Rothman, "Are You Kiddin' Me? Just How Dumb Does Everyone Think We Are?' Cigar Magazine, vol. 3, no. 4 (Winter 2006-07), pp. 138-140.
  20. ^ a b c Marvin R Shanken, "A Conversation with Fidel," Cigar Aficionado, vol. 2, no. 4 (Summer 1994), pp. 46-59.
  21. ^ "Cigar Aficionado's Big Smoke returns to Resorts World Las Vegas". 3 News.
  22. ^ "Join Us In 2023 at Cigar Aficionado's Unforgettable Cigar Events". TheBigSmokes.com.
  23. ^ See, for example, "Robusto Blind Tasting," Cigar Aficionado, vol. 1, no. 1 (Autumn 1992), pp. 30-35.
  24. ^ "The Top 25 Cigars Of 2022 Reveal Schedule". CigarAficionado.com.
  25. ^ Inc, M. Shanken Communications. "Cigar Aficionado". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved 2024-03-05. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  26. ^ "Top 25 Cigars of 2022". Maxim. Maxim.
  27. ^ "Top 25 Cigars of 2021". Padrón Cigars. Padrón Cigars.
  28. ^ "Top 25 Cigars of 2020". JR Cigars. JR Cigars.
  29. ^ "Top 25 Cigars of 2019". Gear Patrol. Gear Patrol.
  30. ^ "Top 25 Cigars of 2018". E.P. Carrillo. E.P. Carrillo.
  31. ^ "Top 25 Cigars of 2017". Cigar Country. Cigar Country.
  32. ^ "Top 25 Cigars of 2016". Cigars Unlimited. Cigars Unlimited.
  33. ^ "Top 25 Cigars of 2015". Holts. Holts.
  34. ^ "Top 25 Cigars of 2014". Cigar Place. Cigar Place.
  35. ^ "Top 25 Cigars of 2013". Foster's Daily Democrat. Foster's Daily Democrat.
  36. ^ "Top 25 Cigars of 2012". Cigar Obsession. Cigar Obsession.
  37. ^ "Top 25 Cigars of 2011". Cigar Place. Cigar Place.
  38. ^ "Top 25 Cigars of 2010". Cigar Aficionado. Cigar Aficionado.
  39. ^ "Top 25 Cigars of 2009". Cigar Aficionado. Cigar Aficionado.
  40. ^ "Top 25 Cigars of 2008". Cigar Aficionado. Cigar Aficionado.
  41. ^ "Top 25 Cigars of 2007". Cigar Aficionado. Cigar Aficionado.
  42. ^ "Top 25 Cigars of 2006". Cigar Aficionado. Cigar Aficionado.
  43. ^ "Top 25 Cigars of 2005". Cigar Aficionado. Cigar Aficionado.
  44. ^ "Top 25 Cigars of 2004". Cigar Aficionado. Cigar Aficionado.