Last month, we described a dilemma known as “The Tabernacle Syndrome”. This was defined as follows:

The problem emerged when the cut-off deadline is reached for when a cigar is eligible to be included on an end of the year list. As mentioned above, it is possible a cigar might not have been smoked or reviewed and thus misses an opportunity to make the list. With the two-year window, if the cigar was released in the current year, the solution seems simple as it can easily go into next year and have eligibility. The problem becomes when you have several cigars fall under that scenario – which cigars go into the current end of the year list and which ones get pushed into the following year.

I’ve called this Tabernacle Syndrome because of the release of Foundation Cigar Company’s Foundation Cigar Company’s Tabernacle Havana Seed CT No. 142, which was a late December release. I saw several media outlets get this cigar review in before the close of the year. There is nothing wrong with this in theory as if it is a good cigar; it is worthy of competing for a spot on the year-end list. But the bigger question I have is whether this cigar was pushed up in the queue of a media outlet’s review schedule simply because of the company and the person behind the company? No doubt Foundation has a stellar reputation, and Nick Melillo is not only popular, but he has raised his game regarding cigar making. At the same time, the question becomes should his cigar be given priority? 

Last month we proposed a solution to adopt more of a “first in, first out model” that would essentially determine the order in which cigars will be reviewed. It seemed like an easy solution, but as I started looking at it, it introduced another set of problems.

The problem is that we have noticed many limited small batch runs get pushed out to a point that they are long sold out by the time we get to review them. It’s already been a problem on Cigar Coop and if a “first in first out” system were implemented, it could push many of these reviews further out.

The goal on Cigar Coop is to focus on core lines, but not ignore the limited or small batch segment. Therefore, we have decided to exclude the limited/small batch releases from the “first in first out” order of reviews. The limited/small batch release reviews will try to coincide more with the timeframe of the release. There will be a certain amount of these put into each monthly review cycle, but the goal would not be at the expense of the core review cycle. In the end, the goal will be to be careful with these limited/small batch releases to not subject them to “Tabernacle Syndrome.”

This will address keeping the integrity of considering cigar of the year candidates under two year system while allowing us to be a little more timely with review scheduling.