While there is not going to be a Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade Show this year, the date the Show was scheduled to open will still factor into the cut-off date for cigars eligible for the 2020 Cigar of the Year Countdown. This year the show was scheduled to open July 10th, 2020 in Las Vegas, so July 9th will be the cutoff date. This means any cigar released after July 9th will not be eligible for the 2020 Countdown.

The following summarizes the eligibility criteria:

  • Cigar must have been released in a two-year window for release ending the day before IPCPR of the current calendar year. This is not limited to a new line, but new vitolas for existing lines are eligible
    • For 2020: July 10th, 2018 through July 9, 2020
  • Cigar still must be assessed one year prior to November 1st of the current calendar year.
    • For 2020: Cigar Must Have Been Reviewed on Cigar Coop between November 1st, 2019 – October 31st, 2020
  • Exclusions from Eligibility
    • Shop Exclusives
    • Regional Releases
    • Event Cigars
    • Lounge only cigars
    • TAA
    • Re-issued lines

Last year Cigar Coop made an unprecedented move to start the “eligibility window” for a Cigar Year the IPCPR/PCA Trade Show. The reason for this change is to give cigars released at IPCPR/PCA a more competitive chance.  Right now, most lists utilize a basic calendar year. In that situation, the cigar has to be released in a single calendar year to make the list. With the Trade Show taking place in July, and then the releases of many of these cigars staggered throughout the second half, the window to review many of these cigars is compressed.  Many media sites don’t get a chance to complete these reviews, and in many cases, cigars miss a list simply because of when they are released and when they are reviewed. Cigar Coop’s eligibility window policy aims to avoid that problem.

Cigar Coop believes the cigar must be reviewed before it goes into contention for Cigar of the Year contention – which is why we have this criteria.

Cigar Coop also doesn’t maintain a “rush” or “let’s get this cigar in before the end of the year policy” for reviews. We try as much as possible to use a “first in, first out method” and prioritize those cigars where the company is maintaining two-way press communications.