2024 PCA Top 5 Predictions

PCA 2024 Pre-Game – Predictions for Top 5 Cigars of the Show

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. 

This article is usually in the running for the most controversial article of the year on Cigar Coop. This is the 11th year I have done this article. In the past, I have looked to see what the hottest cigars are at the Trade Show, and what would sell out at the Premium Cigar Association Trade Show.

This has been an evolving project. In 2022, I asked the members of the Cigar Coop Coalition to give me their picks. The idea was to allow team members to think independently and come up with their own list for what their picks were for the most impactful cigars – i.e. which ones would be hits.

For the most part, each member of our team looked at what he felt would be impactful cigars. Of course, this author had to make things more complicated on his list by having rigid criteria – something the cigar industry absolutely loves hates. This criteria was a personal choice and was not imposed on the other panelists.

More importantly as the curator of this article, I wanted the ability for each team member to express their honest opinions  and you the reader can decide which list lines up the best with yours.

Finally, this year in the spirit of partnership, we invited Aaron Loomis and John McTavish of Developing Palates to provide their 2024 PCA Top 5 cigar predictions as well.

PCA 2024 Pre-Game – Predictions for Top 5 Cigars of the Show

The deadline for our team to submit these lists was March 19, 2024, with any last-minute changes before going to proofreading review at the close of business on March 20. Invariably, there are some releases that might have been announced subsequently. In the end, in order to curate and publish this article, a deadline did need to be established.

Will Cooper’s Picks

2024 PCA Top 5 Predictions

Note: This list is limited to regular production or ongoing limited production. My list historically has been what I think will be the big performers at the show and less on personal preference.

Rank Cigar Notes
1 Umbagog Bronzeback by Dunbarton Tobacco People are going ga-ga over DTT’s Lancero, but Umbagog is a very good performer for DTT. This new addition comes in under $10. It isn’t sexy, but it will be the sleeper of the show.
2 Fonseca MX This will be an attractive follow-up to the successful My Father Fonseca. The My Father factory has been on fire and this should live up to expectations.
3 Conspiracy Cigars (CT/Mad) This is an all-star collaboration. This reunites Michael Giannini and Ernesto Perez-Carrillo. Add the expertise of Mike Giordano and Alex Goldman and it’s that much better. I can trust Ernesto to deliver a great blend, and QI delivering great packaging and swag makes this a winner. Note: I included both the CT and Maduro blends here).
4 Wise Man (Corojo/Maduro) The idea of Nick Melillo and the Garcias teaming up is exciting. I included both blends here.
5 Tyson 2.0 Undisputed by Gurkha (Corojo/Maduro) Mike Tyson is one of the most recognizable faces on planet Earth. The hype will be real for this cigar. The question will be, will it last? The cigar is being made by El Artista and that has me quite intrigued.

Bear Duplisea’s Picks

2024 PCA Top 5 Predictions

Rank Cigar Notes
1 LFD 30 Years
The 20th Steins were highly sought after, the 25th was an under-the-radar gem, so the 30th Anniversary is something I have been highly anticipating.
2 Kristoff Twentieth Anniversary
Kristoff has been quietly putting out terrific releases over the past few years, and 20 years is something worthy of celebration. I know Glen and his team have put a lot into this release.
3 Quesada 50th Anniversary
Quesada has been on fire since the release of the Liga F, and Manolo has found the Fountain of Youth, and his faith and child-like enthusiasm are contagious. Celebrating the company’s 50th has a tall hill to climb, considering the success and how amazing their 40th blend was.
4 United Cigars Gold Star Limited Edition
I’m a sucker for anything that honors veterans, but speaking to the cigar, I love the way Henderson Ventura approaches blends for himself and others. This partnership excites me.
5 Black Works Studio Paper Crane
James Brown is simply the hottest blender in the industry right now, in my opinion. Period. Are there blenders with longer careers behind them? Yes. But, James has yet to release a cigar in the past 5+ years that is anything less than outstanding.

Ben Lee’s Picks

2024 PCA Top 5 Predictions

Rank Cigar Notes
1 Quesada 50th Anniversary Quesada limited editions are always amazing cigars and I expect the 50th to continue that trend.
2 La Flor Dominicana LG La Flor Dominicana makes some of my favorite cigars, and the LG was an all-time favorite. I’m excited to see this line return.
3 Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Tuxtla Pete has done a great job with this wrapper and I’m excited to see what it does with the Cojonu 2012 blend.
4 Crowned Heads Blood Medicine I’m looking forward to finally being able to try this limited event-only blend.
5 Drew Estate Blackened S84 Shade to Black The Drew Estate Blackened was a fantastic cigar line and I’m loving the Connecticut-wrapped edition

Erron Nielsen’s Picks

2024 PCA Top 5 Predictions

Rank Cigar Notes
1 Black Works Studio Paper Crane James Brown keeps putting out hits.
2 Kristoff Twentieth Anniversary Brazilian Arapiraca. Either love it or hate it.
3 Quesada 50th Anniversary High expectations anytime an anniversary cigar is released.
4 LFD 30 Years I expect the 30th Anniversary to be a hit.
5 Umbagog Bronzeback Great price point for what could be a great cigar.

Aaron Loomis’ Picks

2024 PCA Top 5 Predictions

Rank Cigar Notes
1 Aganorsa Leaf Arsenio
This may be the most important cigar Aganorsa has ever released. With the decline in cigar quality since Arsenio’s passing and brands moving away from using them as manufacturers, this cigar needs to be great as a sign that this company can still produce at the levels they once did.
2 HVC Selección No.1 Connecticut
The first two Selección No.1’s have been wonderful, but if the same magic can be captured with a Connecticut wrapper, then this might be the ultimate trifecta value in cigars today.
3 RoMa Craft Tobac CroMagnon PA
A wrapper change due to Connecticut Broadleaf availability creates an interesting experience to see how the new offering performs.
4 Foundation Wise Man Corojo Moving the company’s first cigar to a new factory with a different blend will be interesting.
5 OneOff Black I’m always intrigued when Dion is working on a project, and this one sounds interesting.

Tripp Waldrop’s Picks

2024 PCA Top 5 Predictions

Rank Cigar Notes
1 HVC Hot Cake Fresh Out of the Oven I’m a big fan of Reiner’s blends, and looking forward to seeing a broadleaf take on the Hot Cake.
2 Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Corojo
Pete and My Father have been impressing with their Corojo wrapped blends, I don’t expect this to be the exception.
3 Black Works Studio Paper Crane
As much as I like James Brown’s blends in general, I get particularly interested when he works with CT wrapper.
4 Blackened Shade To Black
I was impressed with the pre-release blend, and I think this one will stir lots of interest this year. Especially being a more approachable blend for Metallica fans who don’t follow cigars.
5 La Flor Dominicana LG (Announced 2023, but still not have shipped at press time).

Denis Tsvang’s Picks

Rank Cigar Notes
1 Illusione Group of Five RB
This one just might be the sleeper we all talk about for months to come. plus, who doesn’t love a good mystery!
2 LFD 30 Years Anticipating their usual consistency and quality with this release for that “feel-good” taste of home.
3 Umbagog Bronzeback by Dunbarton Tobacco Excited to experience the extra blast pepper on this extension to a cigar I already love.
4 Crowned Heads Blood Medicine
Going full release from limited-access should be interesting. it’s tough to go wrong with Ecuadorian Habano at that price-point.
5 Black Works Studio Paper Crane You had me at Florado and corona gorda box-pressed.

John McTavish’s Picks

2024 PCA Top 5 Predictions

Rank Cigar Notes
1 Black Works Studio Paper Crane Trust in Black Works / James to release something great
2 Quesada 50th Anniversary Great presentation, anniversary cigar already generating buzz
3 Illusione Group of Five RB Been a while since Illusione had a big new release, they’re due
4 RoMa Craft Tobac CroMagnon Timeline One of their best selling lines, this has a lot of buzz around it
5 Aladino Fuma Noche by JRE Tobacco Co. JRE Tobacco has been consistently on fire

2024 PCA Pre-Game Series – Other Installments

Photo Credits – Provided by individual contributors