Tonight is the deadline for new cigar releases to be eligible for the 2020 Cigar of the Year Countdown on Cigar Coop.

Last year we introduced new rules making the deadline for eligibility to be the start of the IPCPR Trade Show, with a window of cigars released two years prior to be eligible. 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.

Releases means the cigar has shipped and landed on some retail shelves.

The following summarizes the eligibility criteria:

  • Cigar must have been released in a two-year window for release ending the day before IPCPR/PCA  of the current calendar year. This is not limited to a new line, but new vitolas for existing lines are eligible. Those cigars falling past the July 9th deadline are eligible for consideration the following year.
    • 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. Those cigars reviewed past the October 31st deadline are eligible the following year.
    • For 2020: Cigar Must Have Been Reviewed on Cigar Coop between November 1st, 2019 – October 31st, 2020
  • Exclusions from Eligibility for the Cigar of the Year Countdown
    • Shop Exclusives
    • Regional Releases
    • Event Cigars
    • Lounge only cigars
    • TAA
    • Re-issued lines

The reason for this change was to give cigars released at the Trade Show 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 IPCPR 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 often 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.