The Cigar Industry Report is a one stop place to catch up on the activity here at Cigar Coop and Stogie Geeks. It is a combination of our news reports, cigar reviews, and assessment updates we do throughout the week.  We will also recap what happened on our Stogie Geeks show.  Finally, each week we will look back at Cigar Coop history. Look for this report every Saturday morning at 8am Eastern time.

“Epic Encounters” – 2013 Cigar of the Year Countdown

In a Cigar Coop December tradition, we began a daily countdown of the Top 30 Cigars for the Yea for 2013.  We outlined our vision and criteria in this month’s Editor’s Corner.  Here were this week’s selections #30 through #25:

#30: Alec Bradley Nica Puro
#29: Viaje Full Moon 2013
#28: AFR-75 by PDR Cigars
#27: La Palina Collection Mr. Sam
#26: Rocky Patel II.XXVI
#25: Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 Island Jim

Feature of the Week: Benji Menendez to Retire at End of 2013

The big story in the cigar industry this past week was the announcement that Benji Menendez is retiring from General Cigar at the end of the year.  Menendez was most recently Senior Vice President of Premium Cigars.  His career spanned nearly 62 years and seven decades.  The story was originally broken from our friends at A Cigar Smoker’s Journal.  As they commented “Benji is the longest tenured man currently in the premium cigar business, never taking a paycheck from any other industry.”  General Cigar will release a commemorative cigar called the Benji Homage 62 that will pay tribute to his service to the cigar industry.

We covered this over the past week, and have links to stories from A Cigar Smoker’s Journal and Cigar Aficionado.

News and Previews

Legislative News

Stogie Geeks Episode 76
Eddie Ortega from Ortega Premium Cigars was our special guest for Episode 76.  Ortega gave us an overview of what’s he’s done since launching Ortega Premium Cigars, and gives us a glimpse into where he is heading in 2014.

We also discussed our smokes of the week:

Alec Bradley Mundial Punta Lanza No. 5
Arturo Fuente Unnamed Reserve 2013 Robusto
Brun del Re Premium Churchill
Don Carlos Lancero
E-Stunner by E.P. Carrillo – Brahman (Production Release)
E.P. Carrillo Edicion Limitada 2013
Kristoff Galerones Ceniza de Plata Toro
La Aroma De Cuba Corona
La Aurora Cien Anos Lancero Redux
La Aurora Preferidos Diamond
La Aurora Puro Vintage 2005
Opus X 2005 (Tube)
Opus X Petite Lancero
Rocky Patel Platinum
Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Belle Encre Perfecto (Redux)
Tatuaje Avion 13 Reserva
Tatuaje Noella (2008)
Vegas Robaina Famosos

On this date December 7th…