#2 2023 Cigar of the Year: Alfonso Extra Añejo No. 2 by Selected Tobacco
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler: Peruvian & Nicaraguan Ligero
Country of Origin: Costa Rica
Factory: Tabacos De Costa Rica
No. 2: 5 x 52
The #2 2023 Cigar of the Year is the Alfonso Extra Añejo No. 2 by Selected Tobacco. In 2022, Selected Tobacco launched a fourth brand in the Alfonso portfolio. Alfonso gets its name from Nelson Alfonso, who is the owner of Selected Tobacco. For the past decade, Selected Tobacco has been known for its three other brands: Atabey, Bryon, and Bandolero – all of which are distributed in the U.S. market by United Cigars. Alfonso is an ultra-premium brand that revolves around exquisite packaging and extra aging. The first line to be released under the Alfonso brand was the Alfonso Extra Añejo. The name Añejo is appropriate because it means “aged.” It’s the No. 2 size that lands at the #2 spot.
In terms of the aging process, Alfonso did something different with the Alfonso Extra Añejo line. Normally Alfonso has aged his cigars in cedar-lined rooms for two to five years. During that process, the humidity is raised and lowered throughout the aging period. For the Alfonso Extra Añejo, in addition to aging in the cedar rooms, the process also includes aging the cigars in French Oak over a five-year period. Incidentally, the Byron Seleccion 1850, another Cigar that Selected Tobacco placed on this Countdown, also uses the same process.
The Alfonso Extra Añejo utilizes Ecuadorian Connecticut leaf for the wrapper and binder. The filler is a combination of Peruvian and Nicaraguan tobaccos. As with all Selected Tobacco products, production comes from Tabacos de Costa Rica in the Puriscal region of Costa Rica. The No. 2 is a Robusto-sized offering that measures 5 x 52.
During the smoking experience, the Alfonso Extra Añejo No. 2 delivered notes of natural tobacco, cream, cedar, peanut, berry, and black pepper. These flavors were medium-bodied and countered by medium strength. This was an incredibly smooth cigar right down to the nub. The flavors that truly shine on this blend, and the medium-bodied profile brought out the best of them.
Selected Tobacco becomes the fifth company to land multiple cigars on the 2023 Countdown. Not only is this the second cigar for Selected Tobacco on the 2023 Countdown, it’s also the second cigar from Tabacos de Costa Rica, and the second cigar out of Costa Rica to land on this year’s Countdown. From a historical context, this is the highest-placing cigar ever for both that factory and country. Meanwhile, this is also the second year, Selected Tobacco has placed at least one cigar on the Countdown.
- For details on how the 2023 Cigar of the Year Countdown works, see our 2023 criteria.
- Full 2023 Cigar Coop Cigar of the Year Countdown
Photo/Media Credits: Cigar Coop