Cigar Trophies are awarded. During a virtual event, Cigar Journal celebrated the best cigars in the world with its annual award show. Usually, the award show takes place on the first evening of Intertabac, in Dortmund. Intertabac is the largest tobacco trade-show in the world. Cigar manufacturers from all over celebrate the industry at the show, hosted by Cigar Journal. Due to the cancelation of Intertabac over covid-19, this year was different. During a Zoom and a Facebook/YouTube live stream, the trophies were awarded.
The Cigar Trophies are the largest, customer decided, cigar awards in the industry. Consumers can nominate their favorite cigars, favorite lounges, and favorite accessories on the Cigar Trophy website. A shortlist is created, and then the voting starts. “Around 150,000 votes were submitted in these 12 days and it became clear that products with a large community in the social media networks could rely on the support of their fans,” explains Reinhold C. Widmayer from Cigar Journal magazine. “It was all the more exciting to watch the race for the coveted voices every day.”
Where for Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic consumers can vote for three categories, Cuba is limited to two: Best Brand and Best Cigar. There is no Best Value category for Cuban cigars.
For the category Best Brand Cuba, the following five brands made the shortlist. Bolivar, Cohiba Linea Clasica, Montecristo Linea Clasica, Partagas, and Trinidad. Partagas received the most votes and gets bragging rights for a year. The nominations for Best Cigar Cuba are the infamous Cohiba Behike BHK52, Montecristo Linea 1935 Layenda, Partagas Serie D No.4, Ramon Allones Specially Selected, and Trinidad Vigia. The consumers voted Cohiba Behike BKH52 as the best Cuban cigar this year.
According to the public, Arturo Fuente Don Carlos, Davidoff Signature Series, Diamond Crown Classic, La Aurora 1907 Ecuador, and La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero are the best Dominican brands for 2020. The nominees for best cigar Dominican Republic, the audience nominated the Arturo Fuente Hemingway Best Seller, Balmoral Anejo XO Connecticut Rothschild Masivo, Davidoff Grand Cru Toro, La Aurora ADN Dominicana Churchill, and La Flor Dominicana 25th Anniversary. For the Best Value category, votes could be cast for Davtian Mestizo, Kristoff Vengeance, La Aurora Cameroon 1903, La Galera Maduro, and VegaFina 1998.
The Cigar Trophies for the Dominican Republic are awarded to Arturo Fuente Don Carlos for best brand Dominican Republic. The best cigar Dominican Republic is for Davidoff Grand Cru Toro. And finally, La Aurora Cameroon 1903 is the winner of the best value Dominican Republic category.
Fans from Honduran cigars could vote for three categories: Best brand, best cigar, and best value. In the first category, the battle was between Camacho Corojo, Eiroa the first 20 years, Flor de Selva Classic Collection, Kafie 1901 San Andres, and Rocky Patel Vintage 2003. Rocky Patel is also nominated for Best Cigar Honduras with the Number 6 Robusto. The other nominees are 2012 by Oscar Corojo Toro, Aladino Reserva Corojo Robusto, Alec Bradley The Lineage Toro, and Asylum 13 Medulla Oblongata. Patel is also nominated for Best Value Honduras with The Edge, alongside Camacho Criollo, La Libertad, Eiroa Classic, and Villa Zamorano.
The winner of the best brand Honduras is Camacho with the Camacho Corojo. Rocky Patel won the cigar trophy for best cigar Honduras with the Number 6. And Villa Zamorano gets the award shipped to the office for best value Honduras.
The heavyweights battle for the prices in the Nicaraguan categories. For Best Brand Nicaragua the fight is between A.J. Fernandez with his Dias de Gloria line, My Father Cigar’s La Promesa, Oliva Series V, Padron 1964 Anniversary Series, and Perdomo Estate Seleccion Vintage. Now that is a selection we would take on vacation. Best cigar Nicaragua isn’t any less impressive. Bellas Artes Maduro Lancero by A.J. Fernandez, Luciano The traveler, Padron 1926 No. 35 Maduro, Perdomo Estate Selection Vintage Imperio Sun Grown Box-Pressed, and Plasencia Ala Fuente Generacion V are the nominees. Even the best value Nicaragua is filled with big names. Brick House Maduro by J.C. Newman, Undercrown Sun Grown by Drew Estate, Joya De Nicaragua Antaño 1970, Oliva Series G, and the classic series by Padron are all contenders.
The winner of the best brand Nicaragua is Oliva Series V, who beat the other powerhouses fair and square. The ‘best cigar Nicaragua’ trophy goes to Perdomo Estate Seleccion Vintage. And Padron Classic Series is voted as the best value cigar coming from Nicaragua.
Cigars from other countries than the big four are competing against each other. This year, the category best brand other countries see contenders from Costa Rica with Atabey, Mexico with Casa Turrent Serie 1901, Italy with Toscano Antico, America with The American by J.C. Newman, and Brazil with Villiger Do Brazil. J.C. Newman gets to take the trophy home for The American.
For the best cigar, Brun del Re 1787 Rainforest Short Robusto from Costa Rica was nominated with the Casa Turrent Serie 1880 Toro from Mexico. Other contenders are the Ewgeny Oregin No.3 from Russia, The American Churchill from the United States, and Toscano Antico from Italy. The Cigar Trophy goes to Italy for the Toscano Antico.
The other categories that the public can vote for each year are ‘Best cigar lounge’ and ‘Best accessory. This year lounges from Hong Kong (Bertie Cigars), Australia (Cigar Social in Perth), Malaysia (The Duke in Kuala Lumpur), Pittsburgh (Burn by Rocky Patel), and New York City (Soho Cigar Bar) are on the shortlist. Soho Cigar Bar gets to show off a Cigar Trophy in the lounge.
For the best accessory, all kinds of different accessories are nominated. From the brand new Henk Cigarbone to the industry standard Boveda Humidity Control Packs. The ES Elegant Smoker, the beautiful French knives from Les Fines Lames, and the Italian design cigar cutter Smoking Moses RazorCut are also nominated. The winner is Boveda, and it’s not the first Cigar Trophy they take home. Last year Boveda won the same category for the same accessory. Maybe it’s time for Cigar Journal to consider a new rule: once a cigar, lounge, or accessory won, they are not eligible for next year’s Cigar Trophy. Brands are a different story. So for example, next year Boveda can’t win the Cigar Trophy for the Humidity Packs, but the Boveda Butler can be nominated.
Cigar Journal keeps a few categories for themselves, where they decide who is the winner. Charity and Community is one of those categories. This year Cigars for Warriors is awarded for the charity they do. The Outstanding Art Trophy is for Humberto Areas from Cigar Package design. Reinhard Pohorec gets an award for being a great cigar ambassador. And the lifetime achievement award is for Robert Levin from Ashton Cigars and the Holts cigar store in Philadelphia.