Twenty twenty-two was a milestone year for Cigar Dojo, as we celebrated our 10th anniversary. The year kicked off with our 10th-ever Cigar of the Year list, and continued apace with multiple commemorative cigar collaborations, 10th anniversary events, merch, and more. The cycle now begins once more, kicking off our next decade with the 2022 Cigars of the Year awards.
Below, you will find the schedule for our Cigar of the Year reveals, as well as our guidelines showing what cigars qualify for each list.
COTY Awards Schedule
Top 5 Limited
Top 10 COTY List
Regular production (no limited editions, shop exclusives, etc. Ongoing, small-batch production is accepted)
Sold in the USA
Released in 2022 (this is perhaps the most important factor—without this distinction, a year-end list may as well be called “Top Cigars We Happened to Be into This Year”)
To assemble this list, each member of the Cigar Dojo staff (a panel of seven for 2022), including contributing reviewers, builds their own personal ranking of the top 10 cigars of 2022 (using the guidelines listed above). Cigars are then given points, with the no. 1 cigar receiving 10 points, the no. 2 cigar receiving 9 points, etc. Cigars that do not receive at least two votes are then discarded, ensuring that an outlier cannot enter the list simply because it receives 10 points from a single vote. After the points are tallied, the top 20 cigars are then tweaked by Cigar Dojo’s founding members, Eric and Jordan Guttormson, ensuring all picks are consistent with the culture Cigar Dojo has worked to cultivate since 2012.
Beginning with the 2021 awards, we removed the price cap for the list. This continues for the 2022 list, as we’ve found that the regular production qualifier tends to weed out most top-dollar cigars on its own. And on the occasional chance that such a cigar is eligible, we wouldn’t want to exclude it simply based on our presumptions of other hobbyists’ budgets. This rule was originally put in place to make it as easy as possible for the average cigar smoker to acquire the entire Top 10, but we now feel that being regular production is enough to accomplish our goal.
Top 5 Limited List
Cigars must have a limited production for 2022
Sold in the USA
Released in 2022 (this can include size changes, such as a pre-existing line being introduced in a previously unreleased format for 2022)
Because our Top 10 list is geared towards regularly-produced cigars that can be acquired by most anyone, this can leave some of the most fun releases of the year (e.g. limited/limited-edition cigars) unnoticed. Limited cigars will often incorporate rare tobaccos that, while having the potential to showcase some of the most unique smoking experiences available, are intrinsically difficult to obtain. We feel that these cigars deserve to be recognized, but should not be lumped into the standard collection of core offerings for the given release year.
UPDATE: New for 2022, we’re now allowing both limited and limited-edition cigars on this list. Over the past few years, we’ve tried to keep our list in line with the criteria used on Dojoverse, making for a cohesive standard between our app and written content. This is one of those changes, as Dojoverse doesn’t distinguish between limited cigars and limited editions. This also opens up the limited category for more cigars to qualify for the list (as there are certain releases that are too limited for the regular list, yet not technically limited editions, therefore not qualifying for either list). We will still maintain the spirit of this portion of the list, favoring limited editions and limited/ongoing cigars with batches of 25,000 cigars (or less) produced per year.
As with recent years’ rankings, this list is limited to five cigars.
Exceptional Awards List
Sold in the USA
Released in 2022
The Exceptional Awards list is unique, highlighting a wide range of cigar styles, including our picks for the top-ranked “luxury cigar,” “value cigar,” “under-the-radar cigar,” and more. Because of this, each award contains slightly different guidelines, with each category collectively meeting the two guidelines listed above. Additionally:
Under the Radar: top cigar that we feel is somewhat unnoticed by the average enthusiast.
Value: top cigar that is geared towards affordability—for 2022, the cigar must be priced in the $8-and-under price range.
Luxury: this cigar personifies the luxury lifestyle, including upscale/exotic packaging and/or a general feel of opulence.
TBA: this award category has not yet been announced.
Brand: Cigar Dojo staff members vote on the cigar brand that they felt saw the biggest gains, made influential changes, and generally captured the attention of the cigar world throughout 2022.
All 20 Cigar of the Year winners are given a plaque, showing off the cigar along with a few stats to give a quick impression of each blend. The guidelines behind these stats are as follows:
Country: the country where the cigar is rolled
Body: our subjective conclusion of the cigar’s body on a scale of 1–5
Price: the median price (MSRP) across a cigar’s entire line is evaluated and averaged to the nearest dollar. Median prices that fall between $0 and $8.99 are considered affordable (one price symbol); prices ranging from $9 to $14.99 are considered average (two price symbols); prices $15 and above are considered expensive (three price symbols).