Or are they heavily weighted towards manufacturers that provide the most advertising revenue support to Cigar Aficionado?
Those willing to give a handy usually make the top ten.
So it does have an element of bias.
If so we're so going
is that for the second year in a row, their "best cigar of the year" isn't even in my top 20. Keep in mind that I am huge, huge, Don Pepin fan when I say that there is simply no rationale for placing Flor de las Antillas in the #1 spot. It's just not a 96 pt smoke. Same thing for the AB Prensado last year.
I bought a box shortly after the announcement. I thought they were ok but not worthy of number one. Not even top 10. I had one last weekend and feel they improved considerably with a year to age. Still not spectacular, but solid.
On the other hand, I like the Flor de las Antillas a lot. Compared to other Don Pepin's, it's a slightly less flavorful smoke with more balance than punch so I can see where you think it might not measure up. While taste is paramount, I love how they look -- slight box press, flawlessly smooth chocolate wrapper, classic ornate band. It's a gorgeous cigar. No.1? Eh, that's all subjective anyway. But I wouldn't kick it out of bed for eating crackers.
I had a Prensado with 2 years on it and it was quite good. But right off the dock, not so much. My biggest problem with that choice was I think it's only the 3rd best cigar in the AB portfolio.
And I did enjoy the Flor de las Antillas for what it was, and I think you hit it on the head. Sort of DPG light. But better than the Cohibia Edicion Limitada, the Padron 85th Anny, or the Zino Platinum Crown Series? That's just crazy talk.