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 well companies scored overall for the year.
Today we slice this data by cigar company, a category we have ranked since 2012. This is not meant to be an award, but a look at how scoring went, and what we can learn from it. Our awards are separate from this.
We have returned to using the adjusted cigar year method that fits our site – in this case November 1, 2020, through October 31, 2021. For the 2021 year, a total of 163 (down from 172 in 2019) cigars were considered for this analysis. The average score for the entire set of 163 cigars was 89.06. (Statistically, this was down 0.39 points from 2020 when the average was 89.45)
We used the following criteria to implement this:
- The cigar must have its score published between November 1, 2020, and October 31, 2021.
- Rankings are done by companies. Prior to 2019, rankings were based on brands and also combined companies that distributed for other companies.
- 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.
- A company must have four scored cigars to be eligible (reduced from five in previous years). There are no quotas set as to a minimum number of cigars. For the most part, a first-in, first-out algorithm is used to determine order cigars are assessed. Our focus is new releases and as a result, some companies simply land more cigars than others.
- While there were no ties, if there had been one, we would have had the manufacturer with more cigars assessed breaking the tie.
|Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust||4||89.50|
|8||Rocky Patel Premium Cigars||5||89.20|
|10||Foundation Cigar Company||4||88.75|
|13||General Cigar Company||10||88.20|
|14||JC Newman Cigar Company||4||88.00|
|15||VegaFina (Tabacalera SLU)||4||87.75|
|16||Forged Cigar Company||6||87.00|
Assessing the Results
- A total of 63 different companies had cigars assessed on Cigar Coop during the assessment period, two less than 2020 (the total was 64).
- An attempt was made to normalize the number of reviews better. As a result, there were fewer companies with over five reviews, thus the decision was made to lower to four.
- Meeting the minimum criteria, Espinosa Cigars was the only company with an average score over 90. This was fueled by strong showings by the two factories the company uses, San Lotano and La Zona.
- A decision was made this year to break off Tabacalera SLU’s VegaFina line from Altadis, and Forged Cigar Company from General. While both have the same parent companies, both have operated on their own.
- Altadis, Davidoff, Drew Estate, and STG (which includes General and Forged) are the “Big Four” companies that withdrew from the 2020 PCA Trade Show. All of these companies met the minimum four cigar rule for the 2021 Performance Rankings. This accounted for 38 cigars assessed in 2021 or 23.3% (up from 33 and 20.93% in 2020).
- Only Drew Estate of the Big Four had an average higher than the overall average for 2021 (89.06)
- At the same time, cigars from the Big Four (including Forged) averaged 88.45. This is -0.61 from the overall average of 89.06
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)
2020 Joya de Nicaragua (90.00) * (via tiebreaker w/ EP Carrillo and JRE Tobacco)
2021: Espinosa Cigars (90.50)
Those cigars that had less than four cigars assessed are included here for reference here.
|Vintage Rock-A-Feller Cigar Group||92.00||1|
|Joya de Nicaragua||90.50||2|
|All Saints Cigars||90.00||2|
|JRE Tobacco Co||90.00||2|
|Cattle Baron Cigars||90.00||1|
|n/a (Absolution – House Cigar)||90.00||1|
|RoMa Craft Tobac||89.00||3|
|Miami Cigar & Company||89.00||2|
|Oveja Negra Brands||89.00||2|
|AJ Fernandez Cigar Copany||89.00||1|
|CLE Cigar Company||88.67||3|
|Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co||88.00||2|
|The Cigar Culture||88.00||1|
|My Father Cigars||87.00||1|