Date: September 2019
Author: Inspector Z

Cigar Journal Awards winners. Yesterday, at an award show hosted by Cigar Journal, the annual cigar awards were presented. And as usual, the room was filled with the cream of the crop of the cigar industry, distributors, cigar media and other guests. The Cigar Awards are the only consumer-based awards in the world of this magnitude. The awards started in 2000.

The winners

For Best Brand Cuba, the brands Bolivar, Cohiba, Montecristo, Partagas, and Trinidad were nominated. And Cohiba won. Cohiba also won the Best Cigar Cuba with the Siglo VI. The other nominees were the Bolivar Belicosos Finos, Partagas Maduro No.1, Quai D’Orsay 54 and the Trinidad Vigia. For Best Value Cuba, the Cigar Journal readers could vote for Fonseca, Jose L Piedra, Saint Luis Rey, Sancho Panza, and Vegueros. Saint Luis Rey won the award.

For the Best Brand Dominican Republic, the nominees were Fuente Hemingway, Ashton VSG, Avo Syncro Nicaragua, Balmoral Añejo XO, and La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero. Lianna and Carlito Fuente took the stage and delivered a powerful speech about family, love, and the cigar industry having to stand close together and fight the current storm. For the Best Cigar Dominican, Davidoff won the award with the Winston Churchill The Late Hour Churchill. With that, they left Arturo Fuente Magnum R 52, Diamond Crown Julius Caesar Toro, La Aurora AND Dominicano Robusto, and Gurkha Cellar Reserve Prisoner empty-handed. And for Best Value Dominican Republic, industry legend Ernesto Perez Carrillo took the stage. His encore won the award. The other nominees were Aging Room Solera, Kristoff Cameroon, La Flor de Ynclan, and La Galera Connecticut.

The Best Brand Honduras is the Placensia Cosecha 146, with Alec Bradley Medalist, Camacho Criollo, CLE Connecticut, and Rocky Patel Twentieth Anniversary as the other contenders. Christian Eiroa didn’t win best brand, but he took the price home for Best Cigar Honduras with the Eiroa The First 20 years 54×6. And delivered the funniest speech of the award show. Flor de Selva Maduro, Kafie 1901 San Andres, Leaf by Oscar, and Rocky Patel Vintage 1999 were the other nominees. Best Value Honduras was a battle between Aladino, Camacho Corona, Corrida Honduras, Flor de Copan Classic, and Villa Zamorano Reserva. Villa Zamorano won.

Last but not least was Best Brand Nicaragua. The nominees were Alec Bradley Nica Puro, Flor de Las Antillas, Oliva Serie V, Perdomo Nicaragua/Habano and the San Cristobal/Paradiso Quintessence. Nick Perdomo won the award, just like he won an award last year. The battle for the Best Cigar Nicaragua was a tough one, 5 great cigars fought for the award. Those were the Joya Silver Corona, Liga Privada No.9 Corona, My Father La Opulencia Toro, Padron 1964, and the Plasencia Alma Fuerte Generacion V. The winner was My Father Cigars. The Best Value Nicaragua went to A. J. Fernandez with the New World Cameroon. The other potential winners were the Brick House Maduro, Gilberto by Oliva, Joya Black, and Drew Estate’s Nica Rustica.

The category ‘best cigar other countries’ was a fight between Costa Rica with the Atabey Brujos and Vegas de Santiago D8. From Mexico, Casa Turrent 1901 was nominated. Corrida Brazil was the Brazilian contender but the winner came from the United States. It was the Tatuaje 15th Anniversary Habano Rosado Belicoso Fino.

The final two consumer awards are for best accessory. Boveda took the award home for the humidity packs. Cigar Oasis 3.0, Colibri Quasar Desktop cutter, Vertigo Big Buddha Lighter, and Xikar Step Cigar Ashtray were the other nominees. And the best cigar lounge went to Munich. Kempinski Cigar Lounge by Zechbauer won the award. The other nominees came from Warshaw (Aficionado Room), Buenos Aires (Cohiba Atmosphere), Paris (Gentleman 1919) and our personal favorite The Cabinet from Kuala Lumpur.

Cigar Journal picks

Every year, four awards are picked by the Cigar Journal staff. Those awards aren’t voted on by the public. The award for Charity & Community went to Toast Across America. That’s part of the Cigar Family Foundation. J.C. Newman and Arturo Fuente donate the cigars for this project, retailers donate 100% of the profits and it all goes to clean water, healthcare, and education in the Dominican Republic. In the last decade, over 6 million US dollar has been earned for charity.

The outstanding art award went to Italy. DeArt Furniture is an Italian design company that has made custom furniture for many cigar lounges worldwide.

The ambassador award is for Cigar Rights of Europe. And although they are a deserving organization, we feel that this award should have been given to Cigar Journal itself. The magazine celebrates it’s 25th anniversary and has been an ambassador for the cigar industry since the foundation in 1994.

And finally, the lifetime achievement award. One of the biggest honors a cigar manufacturer can get. This year, Rocky Patel was added to the list that includes both Carlos Fuente Sr and Jr., Henke Kelner, José O Padron, Benji Menendez, and Don Pepin Garcia.

Ministry of Cigars - Cigar Journal Awards winners

Congratulations to all the winners. And a big thank you to Cigar Journal for the awards, the event, and of course for the invite to the show.

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