Cigar Media Association Announces 2015 Cigar Industry Award Winners

The winners have been selected and we are proud to announce the winner’s for this year’s Cigar Industry Awards presented by the Cigar Media Association. The 18 members of the CMA created three categories narrowed down the nominations and then submitted their selections. The votes have been tabulated and the winners are:

  • Cigar of the Year: Matilde Oscura
  • Brand of the Year: Warped
  • CMA Member of the Year: Cigar Coop

Cigar of the Year:
There were a lot of great cigars nominated for cigar of the year this year, and it was a close vote at times, but in the end there was a clear winner and that winner was the Matilde Oscura. Showcased at the 2015 IPCPR, Matilde Oscura is the newest release from Matilde Cigars. Crafted with tobacco from throughout the New World, the cigar features a Mexican San Andres wrapper, an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder, and filler tobacco from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and United States. The cigar excelled in the Toro Bravo size, a 6 ½” by 54 ring gauge toro, and it delivered an array of complex flavors with impeccable construction. José Seijas has been in the industry for many years, creating and contributing in a lot of blends, but Matilde Oscura is possibly his finest piece of work. Congratulations to Matilde Cigars for a terrific cigar and a great sophomore year. It will be hard to follow the Matilde Oscura, but we look forward to future projects!

Brand of the Year:
The votes were very close this year, from beginning to end, but in the end there can be only one winner. For 2015, the brand of the year is Warped Cigars. A small company, based in Miami, Florida, Warped Cigars is a company that began in 2008. There was a brief hiatus when owner, Kyle Gellis completed school, but when he returned in 2014 it was a company that was nothing like it was before. Gellis and Warped Cigars don’t have farms or a factory, but instead team up with two different and at the same time great companies to create their successful blends. The company has blends coming out of El Titan de Bronze in Little Havana, delivering that old-school Miami/Cuban vibe, and is also working with Casa Fernandez and their famed AGANORSA tobacco in Nicaragua. For 2015, the company had four projects come out of Nicaragua and two out of El Titan in Miami. Most of their production was limited, whether it was an annual small batch or a release just for the 2015-2016 IPCPR calendar, but some of it was regular production as well. Two of these cigar releases were nominees for Cigar of the Year, Sky Flower and Don Reynaldo. Don Reynaldo became regular production this year and while Sky Flower was limited in its production, appointed retailers have stated that they should be expecting the second batch in March of this year. Along with those 2015 releases, the company also had regular production releases like La Hacienda, annual releases like Corto and Futuro Selección Suprema and the very limited, La Colmena Black Honey. 2014 was a year where Warped really made a statement, it was a great return for the company, but we believe 2015 was a far more successful year for them. They may not have had that new “buzz,” but they released some phenomenal cigars that made them be recognized as Brand of the Year.

CMA Member of the Year:
Last year, the Cigar Media Association presented an award for the Media Member of the Year. Individuals outside of the association questioned the award, and some slandered it, but we stand behind the award. Every company has internal awards – most sales, most improved, etc., and we wanted to have an internal award as well where we could recognize the great work that he or she did for the industry that year. We believe it is a great way of recognizing members of the media, and also recognizing the work that we all put into the cigar industry. We all have our own styles and methods, each great in their own way, and we want to recognize a media member for the excellent work they did in that year. There were a lot of great nominees for this award, we think that everyone involved in the association is contributing a great quality, but at the end we had a winner with Cigar Coop.

Cigar Coop is an individual who is in perfect tune with the industry. He is an individual who communicates with manufacturers, brand owners, marketing directors, sales representatives, retailers, consumers and anything else that was possibly left off. He is also an individual that reviews cigars daily, covers the news daily, writes editorials weekly and hosts a weekly cigar show. He truly covers all aspects of the media and does it at full speed. We have never seen Cigar Coop doing anything without giving it 100%, and that is why he is the Media Member of the Year. Besides giving everything he has for his own site and show, he is one that every media member can count on as a guest and panelist. He is a Cigar Rights of America Ambassador for North Carolina, and we consider him an ambassador of the cigar industry for the world as well. In our opinion, you could not find a more professional member of the cigar industry media, and more importantly, a friendlier one. Congratulations Coop!

The Cigar Media Association would like to congratulate all of this year’s winners and we look forward to next year’s awards.

Cigar Media Association Cigar Industry Award Nominees for 2015

The Cigar Media Association is pleased to announce the 2nd Cigar Industry Awards. With the establishment of the Cigar Media Association in 2014, the members involved in the association created a process where they could honor and celebrate the companies and individuals in the cigar industry. This was first time a collaborative effort among various brands of the cigar media have come together for such a process. Once again the Awards return to recognize the 2015 accomplishments

Like last year, there are three categories. Like last year, there are three categories:

  1. Cigar of the Year: Our first category, Cigar of the Year, was an easy and practical category to come up with. Everyone always talks about Cigar of the Year, but we wanted media members come together to decide what cigar is truly Cigar of the Year. To quality was simple, the cigar needed to be released in the 2015 year and nominated by a Cigar Media Association member. Each member was asked to nominate five cigars for this category. Of course, multiple members votes on similar cigars, so it was easy to determine which cigars led the pack. From there, we took the five cigars with the highest votes and submitted them back to the members where there will be a final vote. The winner of Cigar of the Year will be announced January 22nd, 2016.
  2. Brand of the Year: Our second category, Brand of the Year, was a category that was created to recognize all brands on the market. This was a category that did not look at a specific cigar and that cigar’s accomplishments that year, but rather looked at a brand as a whole and how well received it was that year and the impact it had. In some ways, this is the big picture award, but at the same time, does not take into account a brand new release. You can look at a company that re-branded itself, a company that re-blended some past releases, or nothing at all. This company could go to that brand that did not have a huge victory, but a lot of subtle ones throughout the year. Like Cigar of the Year, we asked all the members to think of the five brands that the biggest impact on the cigar industry that year. From there, we took the five brands with the highest votes and submitted them back to members for a final vote. Like Cigar of the Year, the winner of Brand of the Year will be announced January 22nd, 2016.
  3. Online Media Member of the Year: Our third and final category, Online Media Member of the Year, was a category that was created to recognize the media site that delivered terrific content throughout the year. This award is given to the media member who best exemplifies what the Cigar Media Association is about, and provides the industry with a reliable and enjoyable source of content. This is an award given to the member that constantly delivered content to his or her readers throughout the year. All members of the association in good standings were able to qualify for the award, and each member was asked to vote for three members for the award. Once we had the three with the highest votes, we submitted them back for members for a final vote. The Online Media Member of the Year will be announced January 22nd, 2016.

Nomimees for 2015 Cigar of the Year

  • Don Reynaldo, Warped Cigars
  • El Güegüense, Foundation Cigar Company
  • Flor del Valle Sky Flower, Warped Cigars
  • Matilde Oscura, Matilde Cigars
  • RoMa Craft Tobac Neanderthal, RoMa Craft Tobac
  • Sobremesa, Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust

Nominations for 2015 Brand of the Year

  • A.J. Fernandez Cigars
  • Caldwell Cigar Company
  • Davidoff
  • Espinosa Cigars
  • Las Cumbres Tabaco
  • Rocky Patel Premium Cigars
  • Warped Cigars

Nominations for 2015 Online Media Member of the Year

2014 Cigar Industry Awards

The winners have been selected and we are proud to announce the winner’s for this years Cigar Industry Awards presented by the Cigar Media Association. The 14 members of the CMA created three categories narrowed down the nominations and then submitted their selections. The votes have been tabulated and the winners are:

Cigar of the Year: Illusione Fume D’Amour
Brand of the Year: Crowned Heads
CMA Member of the Year: Cigar Dojo

Illusione CigarsCigar of the Year:
When the votes came in, there were cigars here and there that were receiving the Cigar of the Year vote by members of the association, but the one cigar that was consistently ranking well, if not first, by the members of the Cigar Media Association was Fume D’Amour. It gives me great pleasure to announce that the 2014 Cigar Media Association Award for Cigar of the Year goes to Illusione Cigars for Fume D’Amour. Released at the 2014 IPCPR, Fume D’Amour is the newest regular production release from Illusione Cigars, and is a cigar that is ground breaking on many levels. It is translated as “to love smoke,” and is offered in a variety of more traditional vitolas. Crafted of entirely Nicaraguan tobacco, none of which from the ligero primings, the cigar delivers a wonderful amount of body while having a tremendous complexity level. No matter the vitola being smoked, Fume D ‘Amour delivers everything that a great cigar should while remaining balanced and refined. We can all agree that Dion has tremendous blending skills, and his work with Casa Fernandez and AGANORSA tobacco have created magnificent blends in the past, but this is possibly one of the best he has created, and is a regular production cigar at that. Congratulations to Dion Giolito and Illusione Cigars for a terrific cigar and a successful 2014 year. As always, we look forward to future projects!

Brand of the Year:
There were a lot of brands, both big and small, and new and old, that had a great 2014 year. In fact, there were so many that the votes were very close at times in terms of who would receive this award. But the end of the day though, the 14 members of the Cigar Media Association voted and the votes kept pointing to one brand. It is my honor to announce that the 2014 Cigar Media Association Award for Brand of the Year Award goes to Crowned Heads. Crowned Heads CigarsHailing from Nashville, Tennessee, and led under the direction of Jon Huber and Mike Conder, Crowned Heads had a tremendous year and one fitting of the name. The year began with the company’s first project with My Father Cigars, Las Calavares, and a limited vitola addition to the successful Headley Grange line, Laguito No. 6, which was worked on with E.P Carrillo. Out of the gate, Las Calavares was a hit and it was a cigar that had smokers loving the dynamics between Pepin and Huber. Those releases were followed up by the company’s first TAA release, The Angel’s Anvil, a cigar that was once again made with E.P. Carrillo. After that, the company announced its first regular production release from 2014, and that was the successful Jericho Hill. The cigar was showcased at the 2014 IPCPR trade show and is a cigar that pays tribute to Johnny Cash and Nashville, Tennessee. While that would be enough work for most individuals, Crowned Heads wanted to take it further and released five more limited releases and one regional release in 2014. One of the limited editions, The Buckingham, was crafted for a member of the Cigar Media Association, Logan Lawler’s Cigar Federation, and the regional release done was The Tennessee Waltz, released for Huber’s state, Tennessee. While we all have our favorites from Crowned Heads, and the years in which they were released, there is no question that 2014 was a huge year for the company and that they dominated the media waves for nearly the entire year. Congratulations Crowed Heads, you had a terrific year and you should be proud of it. We look forward to your work in 2015.

CMA Member of the Year:
When the Cigar Media Association members discussed the concept of presenting awards, it was easy to say that we wanted a Cigar of the Year Award and a Brand of the Year Award. Those two are givens, but we wanted to offer a third award for the first year. We discussed the options available, and there are plenty, but what we kept throwing out there was an award for the Media Member of the Year. We thought it was a great way of recognizing online media, and also recognizing the work that we all put into the cigar industry. We all have our own styles and methods, each great in their own way, but we wanted to recognize a media member for the excellent work they did in that year. Every company has internal awards- most sales, most improved, etc., and we wanted to have an internal award as well where we could recognize the great work that he or she did for the industry that year. This is the first time this has been done, no online media outlet has ever done this, and we believe it says a lot about who is in the Cigar Media Association and what we stand for in doing it. There were a lot of great nominees for this award, we think that everyone involved in the association is contributing a great quality, but at the end we picked a winner with Cigar Dojo.

Master Sensei and the Cigar Dojo crew are doing terrific work right now and have a very unique approach to the industry. They are groundbreaking in many ways, and they are media member who is reaching out to the industry like no other. While most media members are website focused, Sensei is reaching out to the industry through the Cigar Dojo app on mobile devices and tablets, reaching consumers on the go. They have taken on a mission statement of Never Smoke Alone, and to this day have been accomplishing just that with their ever growing community. Along with the app, Master Sensei host his own show, Smoke Night Live, a show dedicated to and for the members of Cigar Dojo, DOJONATION. Continuing down this road of success, Cigar Dojo has lead and been involved with cigar releases to the market such as the Undercrown Dogma with Drew Estate and Smoke Inn, the Sarsparilla with Espinosa Premium Cigars and Famous Smoke Shop, and has had a cigar made in its honor with the La Jugada Nunchuck by Moya Ruiz Cigars. Cigar Dojo is a member of the online media that is truly going places, and the Cigar Media Association is pleased to have them on board. I am thrilled to announce the 2014 Cigar Media Association Award for Online Media Member of the Year to Cigar Dojo.

The Cigar Media Association would like to congratulate all of this years winners and we look forward to 2015.