We all had this one wrong. We were fully expecting another Cigar to be Cigar of the Year by Cigar Aficionado. In fact, last week I had heard in New York (from multiple sources) that Alec Bradley’s Family Reserve T11 was going to take the honor. Instead the Cigar World is shocked that the Cohiba Behike BHK52 is Cigar Aficionado’s choice for 2010 Cigar of the Year. What started out as a promising Top 10 has turned real disappointing.
The issue – this is a Cigar that the majority of your readership cannot get their hands on. Why? -because this cigar is from Cuba. Now many may argue with me that this is a reason to leave a non-Cuban limited run cigar out of consideration for Cigar of the Year. However even though a non-Cuban limited run cigar is hard to get, it is still legal to get. You can’t say that about a Cuban cigar in the U.S.
One can argue from the Cigar Aficionado view. Yes from everything I read – this was a great year for Cuban cigars. I wouldn’t know, because I haven’t had these new ones. The other argument is that Cigar Aficionado takes a global perspective to things and isn’t U.S. focused.
But we must remember that if there was not a U.S. Cigar market, there would be no Cigar Aficionado. I consider this a major slap in the face to the consumers, retailers and manufacturers who now can not lay claim to an honor that really still is the industry standard. I implore Cigar Aficionado to next year keep the Cuban cigars on their own list for now. The Cubans certainly deserve recognition, but it needs to be a level playing field.
Perhaps it is time for the cigar community to organize – and really come up with a consensus #1 pick.
Finally I can’t comment on the Cohiba Behike BHK52. I haven’t had it. I can’t legally get the stick. I can say people in the UK have raved about it. I can also say that this cigar carries a hefty price tag about $40.00 to $50.00 minimum. One thing can be certain – this might become the most counterfeited cigar in the marketplace in 2011.