Which cigar would you say is the one for all others to measure up to. Not necessarily the most expensive or rarest but the one you would say is the all around best to compare others to in order to have a reference to start from.
The bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the cheap price is forgotten.
For any Cigar Padron Anni..either one. The pillar of consistancy... even if u dont like the flavor gotta admit that cigar is among the Elite! I will go with Davidoff as well even though not my cup of tea they are a solid stick.
Oliva is fastly becoming my standard. I know its typical to say that. I can smoke about anything that comes from Oliva, plus most of what they sell is reasonable. From the serie g to the masters selection, and of course the Nubs, and anything in between. I smoke CAO and other recognizable breands but Oliva is my standard.
I think this is an difficult question to answer since cigars come in so many different wrappers, strengths, flavor profiles, sizes, and shapes. The "benchmark cigar" all depends on what you like, IMHO.
That said, I would expect Fuente (or just Opus X), Litto Gomez/La Flor Dominicana, possibly Camacho, 601 (or anything by Pepin), Jesus Fuego, Rocky Patel for sure, CAO, La Aurora & more make this list.