Another Cigar of the Year countdown is the annals of Cigar Coop, and Stogie Geeks history.  The post-game show has only just begun.  Over the next week there will be many additional features on our year end wrap-up.  We will feature some other awards and a few surprises.

Consistent with the vision, the goal of the 2014 Cigar of the Year countdown is to find the best cigars encountered for the year.  The selections won’t necessarily be the best selling cigar, they might not be the best priced cigars, nor will they be the most widely available.  This is about what delivered the best experience.

We assembled a list of the Top 30 cigars from a pool of 257 reviews for the 2014 Cigar Year on Cigar Coop.  Here is some analysis of the numbers

1. Limiteds Still Ruled


It was hard to argue that Nat Sherman’s limited cigar – the
Joel Sherman 75th Celebration was not the Cigar Coop  best cigar in 2014.

The Joel Sherman 75th Celebration by Nat Sherman finished was the Cigar Coop Cigar of the Year.  This was a limited release and its the third year in a row (and fourth in five years), a limited release has gotten the honor.

Our definition of a limited edition is much broader and encapsulates both production and distribution factors.  This could be the reason why the limited editions dominated the countdown by a 2 to 1 margin – exactly the same as last year.

The philosophy of this countdown is to find the best cigars released – the “epic encounters”.  It’s hard to ignore the quality of these limiteds and thus we feel should be recognized.

Limited Releases: 20
Regular Production Lines: 10

2. Weaker Year for Maduro?

Phil Zanghi’s Debonaire Maduro was the Cigar Coop top maduro
for 2014.  This used Connecticut Broadleaf for the wrapper

In 2012 ten maduros made the Countdown. Last year the number was twelve.  This year the number was half of the 2013 number with only six.

We noted this was a huge year for San Andres wrapper – which went into a lot of maduro releases.  As we covered, there are market drivers for why this wrapper was so prevalent.  While the number of maduros went down, Connecticut Broadleaf still led.  There were three Connecticut Broadleaf releases with maduro wrappers with three (down from six of last year).  San Andres came in second with two (down from three last year).

Maduro Entires on  the 2014 Countdown

Connecticut Broadleaf – 3
San Andres Maduro – 2
Brazilian Mata Fina – 1

3. No dominant Brand


Davidoff led the way with three cigars from their brands – it was the
Davidoff Art Edition 2014 that was their top banana

This year, Davidoff led the way with three entries in the countdown.  Casa Fernandez lead the entries in the top ten with three.  A total of sixbrands had multiple entries – the same as last year.

Brands with Multiple Entities on the 2014 Countdown

Davidoff – 3
Casa Fernandez – 2
General – 2 (*)
Regius – 2
Tatuaje – 2
Viaje – 2

* General given the brands of Torano were acquired by General, the Torano Exodus 1959 Finite 2013 entry is included with General.

4.Dominican Republic and Nicaragua Dominate

The Dominican Republic won the title in terms of country of origin over Nicaragua 14-12 in terms of cigars on the Countdown.  Last year, Nicaragua won the title over the D.R. 13-10.  The only other country represented this year was the United States with 4 (up from two).

Of the 30 cigars, the country of origins were broken down as follows:

Dominican Republic – 14
Nicaragua – 12
United States – 4

A few other notes:

  • Honduras was shut out of the countdown for the first time.
  • The Dominican Republic dominated the top ten with six entries including the top four spots.
  • Three of the four U.S. cigars were made by Casa Fernandez, a company that does have operations in Nicaragua.

5. Factories

This year, Casa Fernandez led the way with six entries in the Top 30 – split between their U.S. and Nicaragua operations. Davidoff finished second with four. On a side note, the Quesada Factory captured the #1 and #2 cigars on the list.

The factories that had multiple entries on this year’s countdown were:

Casa Fernandez – 6
Davidoff – 4
Debonaire – 2
My Father – 2
Tabacalera La Palma – 2
Quesada – 2

6. Nicaragua Leads the Way with Puros

In a big year for Nicaraguan Puros, Casa Fernandez’s
Aniversario Series Boheme No. 35 was the top ranked one
In terms of tobaccos from one country of origin, this was a strong year for Nicaragua with eight.  There was only two Dominican puro on the list, and both came from Davidoff (Davidoff Art Edition 2014 and Avo Limited Edition 2014 – Avo 88)
Nicaragua – 8
Dominican Republic – 2

6. Ecuador Reigns Supreme with Wrappers

Ecuador once again led the way with wrapper origin with 10 (this was down from 13 last year).  Nicaragua came in second with eight (up from three).  All eight Nicaraguan wrappers were used on the eight Nicaraguan puros on this year’s countdown.

Ecuador – 10
Nicaragua – 8
USA – 4
Dominican Republic – 3
Mexico – 2
Brazil  -2
Unknown -1

7. First Timers

Las Cumbres Tabaco Senorial by Jose Blanco
Jose Blanco’s Las Cumbres Tabaco had a top ten cigar
with the Senorial.

Nine companies landed on the Countdown for the first time.

Both Las Cumbres Tabaco and Caldwell Cigar Company were first year companies to make the Countdown.
8. No Cigar this Year
Some companies that have been long time staples of the Countdown did not have entries this year.  257 cigars were considered with only 30 slots open, so the competition was tough.  These companies have long excellent traditions and by no means are these meant to say they had a “weak year”
  • Alec Bradley
  • Drew Estate
  • House of Emilio Brands
  • La Palina Cigar
  • Miami Cigar and Company
  • My Father Cigars (Although they did have two cigars made for Tatuaje on the list)

Now that the 2015 Cigar of the Year countdown is completed, we have other activities around our Year in Review.  We recently published our Top 12 Stories/Themes for 2014.  Here are the remainder of the activities.  We have added three new “special awards” that will be given out.  We are not revealing the details as of yet

1/2/15: Special Award (To be Announced)
1/5/15: Best Aged Cigar
1/6/15: Special Award (To be Announced)
1/7/15: Best NewVitola for 2013
1/8/15: Special Award (To be Announced)
1/9/15: 2014 Honorable Mentions
1/12/15: Top Brand List for 2014