2024 PCA Pre-Game Coverage

For the 14th year, the Cigar Coop brand will provide coverage of the Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade Show and Convention. This is also the 14th consecutive Trade Show we are covering, and we are proud to be a part of a tiny group of media to say that. Our four-part series for the 2024 PCA Trade Show has you covered whether you are going to the Show or following from home. 

Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust is my selection for “The Company” at the 2024 Premium Cigar Association. This is the second time in four years Dunbarton has captured the honor.

In 2018, I started a tradition on Cigar Coop of selecting one company that I felt would be poised to be the star of the trade show. This has often been judged on product innovation, building momentum, and, more recently, intangibles going into the show.

Steve Saka, owner and Master Ligador at Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust, said he had a weak lineup going into the show. If you compare this to other years, one might argue in favor. However, when I peeled the onion on this one, Dunbarton was a clear choice based on the information we had.

Dunbarton has several news releases. If you read my top five predictions for the 2024 Trade Show, Umbagog Bronzeback was my top pick. It might not have been the sexiest cigar pick, but many retailers will tell you Umbagog performs well in their shops. This year, Umbagog Bronzeback answers the question, “What’s New,” and I expect a lot of sales for this cigar.

The #GFY Lancero Collection might have me more perplexed than Saka. On the surface, the world does not need a lancero collection, but nonetheless, Dunbarton has brought a sample that is creating excitement. Saka is taking the approach of taking pre-orders and then producing an amount to satisfy those pre-orders. If you heard Saka on the Virtual Trade Expo, he has already taken close to 1,800 orders. I imagine this number will increase after the PCA Trade Show. I think Lanceros are highly overrated, but this has clearly connected with retailers and consumers.

Additionally, I’m intrigued by Sobremesa Brûlée Wagashi becoming a national release. Back in November, Wagashi was released as an exclusive to Smoke Inn in conjunction with Cigar Dojo. In a world where many have struggled with single-store releases, Dunbarton has excelled in this category. Wagashi was one of the biggest recent single-store releases, selling well over 1,000 boxes.

While some of these sales numbers still look small compared to the big companies, Dunbarton is not only creating high-quality items but also exuding excitement and energy with its portfolio, generating a lot of positive buzz.

In addition, my impression is that Dunbarton was one of the most prepared companies going into the 2024 PCA Trade Show. Not only is their preparation top-notch, but based on the company’s history of execution, I expect that to be top-notch as well.

Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust: PCA 2024 Releases

Winners of  “The Company”

2018 Drew Estate
2019 Aganorsa Leaf
2020 No Show
2021 Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust
2022 United Cigars 
2023 Altadis U.S.A. / Forged Cigar Company
2024 Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust

2024 PCA Pre-Game Series – Other Installments

Photos Courtesy of Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust