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 cigar brand, a category we have ranked since 2012. This is not meant to be 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. This year we strictly implemented these rankings based on company. Previous years used brands and combined companies that distributed other companies.
  2. The cigar must have its score published during the 2019 Calendar Year: January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019.
  3. All cigars scored were eligible regardless of release date. The goal here is to see how a vitola performed during the Cigar Coop Cigar Year.
  4. A company must have five scored cigars to be eligible.
  5. While there were no ties, if there had been one, we would have had the manufacturer with more cigars assessed breaking the tie.





1 Crux Cigars (5) 90.60
2 Crowned Heads (8) 90.50
3 Drew Estate (5) 90.20
JC Newman Cigar Company (5) 90.20
5 Davidoff (14) 90.14
6 Cubariqueno Cigar Company (5) 89.60
7 General Cigar Company (8) 89.50
8 Altadis USA (6) 89.33
9 Viaje (5) 87.60

Best Company Performance 2019: Crux Cigars

Two years in a row, Crux Cigars tops the performance rankings for a company. It came in at the minimum of five companies to win the title. The focus on the reviews this year were around the company’s limited offerings – the Limitada line and Short Salomone.
Crux just nudged out Crowned Heads by 0.10 points in the average. Meanwhile, two bigger companies – Drew Estate and J.C. Newman Cigar Company finished third by 0.40 points.

Other Observations

  1. For the first time since the inception of the Performance Ratings for Brands, the top performer did not crack the 91 point total. Crux finished with 90.60 as the average – the lowest performance ranking for the overall first place finisher of the year to date. This reflects our overall strategy of making it more difficult to get high scores. The days of a company getting nearly a 94 point average (La Palina in 2013) are long gone.
  2. There were 9 companies that met the minimum five cigar rule. There are no quotas set for how many cigars per brand are reviewed. The ninth place doesn’t mean worst brand, it just is the lowest average of those brands that met the minimum criteria.
  3. There was some debate on whether the five cigar minimum should go to four. Ultimately, it was decided to keep the number as five – even though it resulted in only nine companies making the list.
  4. While the number of brands meeting the minimum rule continues to decrease, the number of companies reviews continues to grow. This year 66 companies had cigars reviewed – for an average of 2.63 reviews per company.
  5. Altadis, Davidoff, Drew Estate, and General Cigar are the “Big Four” companies that recently announced they were withdrawing from the 2020 PCA Trade Show. These four companies all met the minimum five cigar rule for the 2019 Performance Rankings. This accounted for 33 cigars assessed in 2019 or 19.07%. What this shows is these four companies release a lot of cigars assessed on this website. The average score from these 33 cigars was 89.85 – only 0.14 less than the average of 89.99.

Previous Brand Performance Ratings #1 by Year

2012 E.P. Carrillo (93.00)
2013 La Palina (93.80)
2014 Regius Cigars (93.40)
2015 Debonaire (92.60)
2016 Davidoff (92.63)
2017 Bombay Tobak (92.00)
2018 Crux Cigars (91.80)
2019 Crux Cigars (90.60)