Every year, we are asked what our favorite cigars of the Premium Cigar Assocation (PCA) Trade Show are. This year, the four members of the Cigar Coop Coalition decided to write about our new favorite cigars from the 2022 Trade Show.
It is important to know that these are pretty much first impressions of upcoming releases. We also did not smoke every cigar in every size. In all of these cases, they were based on Trade Show samples, and in the end, this may not be indicative of performance once the cigars are released. We all had different criteria, and we wanted to keep the individuality of our picks in place. You may notice that I personally went with regular (non-limited) production cigars.
We opted not go with vitola-specific picks here, but this should help give a barometer of what we enjoyed.
Where there is an asterisk (*), it means the member of the team picked this cigar as a Top 5 Impactful cigar prior to the Trade Show.
Will Cooper’s Picks
“Like my Impactful Cigar predictions, I opted to focus on regular production cigars as I think these have the best chance of impact long-term. There were no honorable mentions here as I wanted to avoid participation trophies.” – Will Cooper
|1||Ace Prime Mas Igneus||This cigar made one of the biggest impacts on me I’ve ever had at a show. In this rare case, I smoked this multiple times and multiple sizes.|
|2||Casa Magna Connecticut (*)||This was more of new age Connecticut than I expected. It’s medium strength and bodied with full flavor.|
|3||Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf (*)||Who says Alec Bradley can’t produce a Broadleaf cigar? This “Experimental Series” passes with flying colors.|
|4||Tatuaje Havana VI Verocú Blue (*)||It was great to see this new regular production addition to the Tatuaje portfolio. This delivered a nice earthy profile with just enough sweetness.|
|5||Foundation Olmec Maduro||This Maduro should satisfy San Andres wrapper fans. It delivers a classic San Andres profile with just enough boldness.|
Bear Duplisea’s Picks
“As selfish as some of these choices may be there are a lot of smaller company releases that impressed me quite a bit. Two that come to mind that miss this list are the Patina Sumatra and Howard G’s additions to the Black Moses and Magic Stick lines. However, the determining factor for this list was not only personal palette, but larger scale market impact.” -Bear Duplisea
|1||Ace Prime Maria Lucia (*)||I’ve made no secret that this was one of my picks for top cigars going into the show and, in conclusion, I was right. Period.|
|2||Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf||A unique project from an established company that is taking on more risks and challenges. This cigar is terrific and for the second time in four years, AB has the dark horse cigar of the show.|
|3||Tatuaje Havana VI Verocú Blue||Pete is having a banner year. I’ve long said the Vercoú line was underrated and missing something to really capture the consumer’s attention. This new blend within the brand is it.|
|4||Cavalier Genève Inner Circle||I truly believe this is the next boutique brand to take that leap into the realms of the Espinosa, Illusione size and stature of company. This is a cigar that can take them there. They’re breaking identity slightly (a risk), but the blend speaks for itself.|
|5||Espinosa Knuckle Sandwich Chef’s Special||This may be an LE, but the Knuckle Sandwich brand has taken the industry by storm. Having Guy Fieri backing this project certainly helps, but this line will be in humidors for years to come. Espinosa Cigars has cemented itself as a humidor staple.|
Ben Lee’s Picks
|1||Espinosa Knuckle Sandwich Chef’s Special||Best cigar I had at the trade show|
|2||Ace Prime Maria Lucia (*)||Bold cigar that was smooth and rich|
|3||Casa Magna Connecticut (*)||Exactly as I expected. Casa Magna profile that I love with creamer undertones|
|4||Tatuaje Havana VI Verocú Blue||Best Verocú release yet|
|5||Patina Sumatra||Stunning. Amazing flavor. One of the top Sumatra cigars on the market.|
Erron Nielsen’s Picks
|1||Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf||Expectations were met. A lot of complexity to it…not a straight shooter. AB can clearly do a Double Broadleaf.|
|2||Ace Prime Maria Lucia (*)||Another great cigar out of Luciano. Well blended as their portfolio continues to evolve. This cigar lived up to the hype.|
|3||Espinosa 10th Anniversary||Espinosa continues to put out hits on the heels of the Knuckle Sandwich|
|4||Tatuaje Havana VI Verocú Blue||The Vercoú line was underrated and not on the radar of a lot of smokers. This new blend checks all the boxes and Pete continues to have a great year.|
|5||Espinosa Knuckle Sandwich Chef’s Special||While this is an LE, the Knuckle Sandwich line has lived up to all of the hype. While Guy Fieri is a great brand ambassador, this cigar holds up on its own merit.|
- ACE Prime landed on all four lists. Mas Igneus was on Coop’s list and the other members had the PCA Exclusive Maria Lucia on their lists.
- The Tatuaje Havana VI Verocú Blue landed on all four of our lists, but did not land #1 on any of the lists.
- With the exception of Bear Duplisea’s pick of Maria Lucia, none of the other predicted #1 Impactful Cigars prior to the Trade Show landed #1.
- Each member had at least one unique cigar on their list that was not on any other list.
- Will: Ace Prime Mas Igneus, Foundation Olmec Maduro
- Bear: Cavalier Genève Inner Circle
- Ben: Patina Sumatra
- Erron: Espinosa 10th Anniversary
- While it was not a requirement for this exercise, each cigar on each list had a corresponding product report on Cigar Coop.