The Performance Rankings were introduced in 2012 as a statistical analysis based on the average numerical score of all cigars assessed on Cigar Coop.  It is meant to serve as a barometer in terms of how the cigars were assessed

Today we slice this data by Factory – a category introduced for 2017. This is not meant to be necessarily an award, but a look at how scoring went, and what can we learn from it.

The big change is that the calendar year (January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019) was used as opposed to the old Cigar Coop Year formula (Post Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving) For the 2019 year a total of 174 (down from 199 in 2017) cigars were considered for this analysis. The average score for the entire set of 173 cigars was 89.99. (Statistically, this was down 0.75 points from 2018 when the average was 90.74)

We used the following criteria to implement this:

  1. The cigar must have its score published during the 2019 Calendar Year: January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019
  2. All cigars scored were eligible regardless of release date. The goal here is to see how the factory performed during the Cigar Coop Cigar Year.
  3. Ties were broken with the factory with more cigars assessed breaking the tie (there were no ties this year).
  4. A minimum of five cigars assessed made in a particular factory were required to make this ranking.  For reference purposes, we list all factories used.
  5. While for the Prime Time Awards we separated by small and large factories, this distinction was not made for the Performance Rating. The Prime Time Awards factored in other intangible factors other than score. Performance Ratings are purely based on average score. The Prime Time Awards were voted on by all three members of the Prime Time team while this author assessed all of the cigars scored on Cigar Coop.

The following are the 11 factories and their average scores that met the criteria above to qualify for this list. The number of cigars from the factory is listed in parentheses.

Factory Performance Rankings – 2019




1 Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia (5) 91.60
2 Tabacalera La Alianza (10) 90.60
3 Fabrica Oveja Negra (5) 90.40
4 Fábrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, S.A (8) 90.38
5 Plasencia Cigars SA (9) 90.20
6 La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate (5) 90.20
7 Tabacalera AJ Fernandez de Nicaragua (14) 90.14
8 Cigars Davidoff (10) 90.10
9 La Zona SA (10) 89.60
10 My Father Cigars S.A. (11) 89.55
11 Tabacos de Valle Jalapa S.A. (TABSA) (7) 89.43
12 n/a (No Factory Specified) (6) 87.50


Best Factory Performance: Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia

Carried by the strength of reviews of the OpusX ForbiddenX and Diamond Crown Black Diamond lines, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia factory in the Dominican Republic tops the Factory Performance Rankings on Cigar Coop. The factory qualified with a five cigar minimum to take the honor. This factory is a model of consistency, and the Fuente family has a production operation as good as anyone. It wins the rankings by a full point – somewhat of a landslide.

Another factory in the Dominican Republic finishes in second place, with Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr’s Tabacalera La Alianza. Many of the cigars on this list come from the contract brands produced by the factory.

Fabrica Oveja Negra, the factory that won the Prime Time Award for Small/Medium Factory finished third, but it’s important to know that award is voted on and considers intangible/non-quantitative factors. This factory finished as the highest ranked Nicaraguan factory that met the minimum threshold

Meanwhile, last year’s performance winner, Fábrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, S.A. took fourth place.

Other Observations

  1. There were 12 factories that met the minimum five cigar rule. Technically the 12th factory was a catch all for undisclosed factories for cigars reviews, so in reality, there are 11. It is important to note that  11th place doesn’t mean worst factory, it just is the lowest average of those factories that met the minimum criteria.
  2. This year only factories from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic met the minimum threshold rule. While the Dominican Republic took the 1-2 spots, Nicaragua took eight spots overall and the Dominican Republic took three.
  3. Ernesto Perez-Carrilo Jr’s Tabacalera La Alianza and AJ Fernandez’s Tabacalera AJ Fernandez de Nicaragua are well known to be choices to make contract brands. There was no surprise these had 24 cigars between assessed on Cigar Coop.
  4. La Zona and TABSA are two factories that have performed well on the factory ratings over the years. This year appeared to be a down year and it was due to weaker releases among some of the cigars produced for third party brands and companies
  5. Each year, the Factory List is a good gauge to look at what should be reviewed the following year. The goal is to strike a balance between smaller and larger factories. This year was a good job, but it also seemed like Cigar Coop should be paying attention to other factories like General Cigar Dominicana, Tabacalera Perdomo, and La Aurora S.A.

For Reference – Other Factories

For reference, we included the average score for the factories the did not meet the minimum threshold.



J. Fuego Cigar Co de Nicaragua (1) 93.00
Las Lomas (2) 92.00
Tabacalera Carreras (1) 92.00
Charles Fairmorn (2) 91.50
El Aladino (2) 91.50
Tabacos de Costa Rica (3) 91.33
Quesada Cigars SA 91.00
San Lotano (2) 91.00
Tabacalera La Lavas S.R.L. (2) 91.00
Tabacos Cubanica S.A. (2) 91.00
Nueva Matacapan de Tabacos S.A. (1) 91.00
Tabacalera La Flor (1) 91.00
Tabacalera Perdomo (1) 91.00
De Los Reyes S.A. (2) 90.50
Fabrica de Tabacos Nica Sueño S.A. (2) 91.50
O.K. Cigars (3) 90.33
Tabacalera William Ventura (2) 90.00
Tabacos de Oriente (2) 90.00
Diadema Cigars de Honduras SA (1) 90.00
Flor de Copan (1) 90.00
G.R. Tabacaleras Unidas S.A. (1) 90.00
Nicaraguan Cigars S.A. (NACSA) (1) 90.00
Tabacalera Pichardo 90.00
El Titan de Bronze (3) 89.67
Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L (3) 89.67
La Aurora S.A. (4) 89.50
Tabacalera de Garcia (4) 89.50
STG Esteli (2) 89.50
Tabacalera de Aragon (2) 89.50
Tabacalera Villa Cuba S.A. (TAVICUSA) (2) 89.50
Oscar Valladares (2) 89.00
American Caribbean Cigars S.A. (1) 89.00
El Paraiso (3) 88.67
PENSA J.C. Newman (2) 88.50
Royal Agio (3) 88.00
Manifatture Sigaro Toscano (1)) 85.00