2023 Large Company of the Year

Tabacalera USA is the winner of the Prime Time Award for 2023 Large Company of the Year. This award factors in innovation, continued quality, and impact on the industry coming out of a large company.

Tabacalera USA has one of the more iconic brand portfolios in the premium cigar industry, and it’s spread over several distribution channels, such as Altadis USA, JR Cigar, and Casa de Montecristo. The company works with two factories, Tabacalera de García in the Dominican Republic and Flor de Copan in Honduras. In addition, Tabacalera USA has strong partnerships in Nicaragua for its production with Plasencia Cigars and AJ Fernandez. Our panel noted a combination of new product innovation and consistent quality along its existing base as factors. What is quite remarkable is how Tabacalera USA has done this across the different production and distribution channels. With a lot of moving parts, Tabacalera USA has executed its business in an agile way.

The panel was thoroughly impressed with the company’s unwavering commitment to innovation, which is undoubtedly a key factor in its success. Tabacalera USA took a couple of its more recent workhorse lines and delivered new expressions. On its flagship brand, the Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Edición Diamante was released as a more refined expression of the existing darker, heavier Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua. While it is technically distributed by Tabacalera USA, the Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Sonata did the same thing with the existing darker, heavier Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua.

The company has done a great job putting contemporary spins on classic brands while still delivering excellent products. This was noted with the H.Upmann Banker Daytrader and the H. Upmann 1844 Special Edition Barbier barber poles. Tabacalera USA closed out 2023 with the third installment of its Trinidad Espiritu series.

Both Casa de Montecristo and JR Cigar had several collaborations with leading manufacturers, including releases done in conjunction with companies such as Drew Estate, Oliva, and Crowned Heads. This is the second time Tabacalera USA has won this award, following their 2019 win with Altadis U.S.A. They are only the second large company to win this award multiple times. On the Casa de Montecristo and JR Cigar side, both business units had several collaborations with leading manufacturers.

For more details on our selection process, click here. The full vote results appear here.

Complete List Winners 

2017 Plasencia Cigars
2018 Joya de Nicaragua
2019 Altadis U.S.A.
2020 Drew Estate
2021 Rocky Patel Premium Cigars
2022 Drew Estate
2023 Tabacalera USA