PCA 2024 Top Cigars

PCA 2024 Post-Game Report -Top Cigars, Companies and Booths

We want to present our top cigars, companies, and booths from the 2024 Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade Show.

Each year, the members of the Cigar Coop Coalition pick their top five cigars going into the PCA Trade Show. This year, we are also releasing our top five cigars post-trade show. Each Coalition team member has also submitted a pick for the Company and Booth of the Trade Show. “The Company” pick is focused on overall performance at the Trade Show, while the Booth picks specifically focus on physical layout. The cigars picked are based on those that were smoked during or after the 2024 PCA Trade Show.

Finally, this year, in the spirit of partnership, we invited John McTavish of Developing Palates to provide his 2024 PCA top-five cigar predictions as well.

Will Cooper’s Picks

PCA 2024 Top Cigars

Coop’s Top Five

Rank Cigar Notes
1 Macanudo Emissary España Robusto This cigar had all of the wow factor. Not only did I enjoy it at the Trade Show, but it’s one I’ve reached for repeatedly following the trade show. The Spanish tobacco was a huge surprise. I had never had Spanish tobacco before, and normally, I am disappointed with non-traditional tobacco in the cigar. In this case, I can only infer it was the wow factor.
2 Umbagog Bronzeback While I had high hopes this cigar would sell, I was curious how it would perform. This one surprised me, and it was my favorite Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust cigar from the Trade Show. The original Umbagog is an excellent cigar, but this one brings a more Robusto flavor profile.
3 Aladino Fuma Noche This is Aladino’s first blend without its signature Corojo. While it doesn’t include Corojo, it’s still chock full of great JRE Tobacco. It’s rich and fuller smoke that won’t overpower you with spice. This is an absolute winner for JRE.
4 Micallef Blue Robusto It’s rare a Sumatra blend wows me, but this one with a Mexican Sumatra absolutely does. This follow-up to the Micallef Black has less strength but delivers a more nuanced and complex flavor profile
5 Oz Family Cigars Firsat This is the perfect gateway cigar into the Oz Family brand. It’s more of a traditional mild and creamy cigar, and that fits the bill perfectly for those looking for that profile.

Coop’s Company/Booth

Company/Booth Notes
Company of the Show Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust This was my pre-show pick, and I’ll stick with it. They lived up to all expectations, and they should be very satisfied with their show.
Booth of the Show S.T. Dupont S.T. Dupont focused on modern, contemporary luxury products for 2024 – and their booth exhibited this vibe. Great presentation and great vibe. The Game of Thrones throne from the studio certainly was a nice touch.

Bear Duplisea’s Picks

PCA 2024 Top Cigars

Bear’s Top Five

Rank Cigar Notes
1 Umbagog Bronzeback This was hands-down the best cigar I smoked at the show and what a show-stopper it was! Like Erron, I have already pre-ordered a few bundles!
2 Micallef Blue While the Bronzeback was the best cigar, not too far behind, and easily the biggest surprise was the Micallef Blue. A dynamite smoke that I predict will be the game changer for the company, even more so than the Black was campaigned to be.
3 LFD 30 Years
LFD has released winners for years, but their recent hits have been quieter. Quiet isn’t bad, but rather impressive, as their TAA, Golden Bull, and 25th Anniversary cigars will soon be joined by this 30th to an amazing collection of terrific celebratory smokes!
4 Kristoff 20th Anniversary
Glen Case and his team came through. This is a wonderful cigar celebrating an amazing 20 years in the business!
5 Macanudo Emissary España
Is it the Flint Knoll? But Abbot continues to guide this brand in the right direction with a fresh look and take on this historic brand. Macanudo is no longer resting on its laurels.

Bear’s Company/Booth

Company/Booth Notes
Company of the Show Drew Estate
DE showed why they are the king of tradeshows with an amazing presence and an innovative, interactive interviewing of retailers and media partners and more.
Booth of the Show Coles of London/ST Dupont Were they the biggest? No. But their presentation, their variety, the collective effort, and the ‘irons in the right fires’ was a beautiful approach.

Ben Lee’s Picks

PCA 2024 Top Cigars

Ben’s Top Five

Rank Cigar Notes
1 Umbagog Bronzeback The surprise of the show. Coop nailed this one with his pre-PCA pick. It’s a great size with a robust flavor profile. I’m going to buy several bundles of these as soon as they hit the cigar shop shelves.
2 Macanudo Emissary España I personally think this is the second-best Macanudo I’ve ever smoked, behind the Flint Knoll and just ahead of the 1968. It has an outstanding flavor.
3 Crowned Heads Coroneta
Coming in with both a habano and maduro, I enjoyed both of them a lot, with an edge to the habano.
4 Foundation Wise Man Released in both Corojo and Maduro, I thought both were excellent. My Father did a great job with these reblends.
5 Micallef Blue Sumatra, from anywhere, is hit or miss for me. This is a hit. Tasty cigar at a great price point, which was an excellent follow-up to the Black.

Ben’s Company/Booth

Company/Booth Notes
Company of the Show Drew Estate Drew Estate is back! Also, they came back strong. They were, by far, the most busy booth of the show. It was packed from the opening of the first day to the last minutes of the last day. All this action, and they only were featuring one new release. Granted, it was an amazing new release, Blackened S84 Shade to Black for Metallica. Yes, I’m a Metallica fanboy.
Booth of the Show Plasencia Gorgeous booth with beautiful wood bracing. Very elegant-looking.

Erron Nielsen’s Picks

PCA 2024 Top Cigars

Erron’s Top Five

Rank Cigar Notes
1 Umbagog Bronzeback Late add to the pre-show list. Big fan of the original, and this is even better. Already bought several bundles upon their release.
2 Micallef Blue Excellent follow-up to the Black with this Sumatra wrapper. Low price point and a great cigar will be appealing, and I think it will be a big hit.
3 Macanudo Emissary España Robusto Surprise of the show. Not the Flint Knoll, but also a lower price point. Second hit from Macanudo
4 Black Works Studio Paper Crane On my list for pre-show and delivered on expectations. James has another hit.
5 Essence Series. E.P. Carrillo Sumatra Wasn’t on my radar going into the show, but cigar delivered and at a very low price point, this was a winner.

Erron’s Company/Booth

Company/Booth Notes
Company of the Show S.T. Dupont Very well put together booth and showed their presence in a meaningful way.
Booth of the Show Drew Estate Big return from Drew Estate and didn’t disappoint. The booth was electric, and JD was front and center.

Tripp Waldrop’s Picks

Tripp’s Top Five

Rank Cigar Notes
1 Macanudo Emissary España Honestly, I have pretty low expectations going into most Macanudos. I was shocked by how great this one was and how unique the flavor of the Spanish tobacco was.
2 Micallef Blue This one left a fantastic first impression on the first smoke and hits a great price point.
3 Foundation Wiseman Corojo I wasn’t sure what to expect from this reblend, but I was impressed with the first smoke.
4 Black Works Studio Paper Crane For me, the Paper Crane has lived up to what I was hoping for. Classic Oveja Negra Connecticut, with a little less power than something like the Porcelain
5 Umbagog BronzeBack A more intense version of one of my go-to cigars

Tripp’s Company/Booth

Company/Booth Notes
Company of the Show Drew Estate
Booth of the Show Plasencia
I didn’t even get a chance to go in the booth, but the towering, visually striking design was beautiful and served as a landmark throughout the tradeshow.

John Mc.Tavish’s Picks

John’s Top Five

Rank Cigar Notes
1 HVC Selección No. 1 Connecticut
Renier said on the Coop Virtual Trade expo show he didn’t like CT, and it was the hardest cigar to blend. His hard work shows through.
2 Powstanie Connecticut Justice
Usually, larger ring gauge CTs are better. Usually.
3 Umbagog Bronzeback
Unexpected sleeper of the show.
4 Macanudo Emissary España
Another surprise from the show.
5 Patina Oro de Nicaragua
Once we get the review samples, we’ll see how it stands up to the blockbuster anniversary release, but this one should be another hit.



Company/Booth Notes
Company of the Show S.T. Dupont

The more I thought about this, the more I realized that S.T. Dupont really knocked it out of the park. It wasn’t just about the product; they had the GoT throne as well as models to create an atmosphere at the booth.

Noted Releases: Notre Dame collection, El Rey de La Habana Haute Collection, Padron Anniversary collaboration, Maharajah and Maharani, Game of Thrones Collaboration, Graff’ty, Necklace, Casablanca collection, El Septimo Collection, Koi Fish, Momento Mori collections, Fire X Collections

Booth of the Show Drew Estate
Drew Estate came back and made a major presence. They eliminated the tower but still brought their A game with a booth that was themed around the Blackened brand. Add to that their media piece doing interviews with JD, and you have a pretty big statement with their return

Coalition – Overall

Favorite Cigars


  1. Cigars were all consolidated into a line
  2. If a line had two blends and did not reference a specific blend, the points were divided in half.
Erron John Coop Bear Ben Tripp Total
Umbagog Bronzeback 5 3 4 5 5 1 23
Macanudo Emissary España  3 2 5 1 4 5 20
Micallef Blue 4 2 4 1 4 15
HVC Seleccion No. 1 Connecticut 5 5
Black Works Studio Paper Crane 2 2 4
Foundation Wise Man Corojo 1 3 4
Powstanie Connecticut Justice 4 4
Aladino Fuma Noche 3 3
LFD 30 Years 3 3
Kristoff 20th Anniversary 2 2
Crowned Heads Coroneta Maduro 1.5 1.5
Crowned Heaths Coroneta Habano 1.5 1.5
Essence Series. E.P. Carrillo Sumatra 1 1
Foundation Wise Man Maduro 1 1
Oz Family Cigars Firsat 1 1
Patina Oro de Nicaragua 1 1


  • Drew Estate – 3 Votes
  • ST Dupont – 2 Votes
  • Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust – 1 Vote


Three-way tie (2 Votes Each): Drew Estate, S.T. Dupont, Plasencia


2024 Pre-Show Picks

For reference, the Coalition’s picks are found here.

2024 PCA Pre-Game Report Part 3: Predictions for Top 5 Cigars of the Show