Cigar Media Association Announces Cigar Industry Award Winners for 2016

In 2014, the Cigar Media Association established a set of Cigar Industry Awards. It marked the first time that cigar media had come together collaboratively and recognize excellence in the cigar industry.  This year, the awards return for a third consecutive year, and we are proud to announce this year’s winners.

As in the past there are three categories of nominations: Cigar of the Year, Brand of the Year, and CMA Member of the Year. Each member of the CMA had the opportunity to submit a list of nominations. Based on those nominations, a list of finalists was created from the top vote getters.  The final nominees were then sent out again to the members of the CMA for a weighted vote. The results were tallied and the top vote totals in each category receive the CMA award.

Cigar of the Year: Mi Querida by Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust

2016 Nominees

Davidoff Nicaragua Box Pressed
Davidoff Yamasá
Mi Querida by Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust (WINNER)
Padrón 1926 Serie Natural
RoMa Craft Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion
Warped Maestro Del Tiempo

Mi Querida is the sophomore release from Steve Saka’s Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust company. The cigar was Saka’s long-awaited Connecticut Broadleaf release under his own brand.

In addition to the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, the cigar uses Nicaraguan tobaccos for the binder and filler. Mi Querida is currently available in four regular production blends as well as several other limited vitola offerings. To produce this cigar, Saka partnered with the NACSA factory in Nicaragua to produce this blend.

Mi Querida made its debut at the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show and it didn’t take long for the cigar to receive critical acclaim. In fact, the cigar appeared on many media members end of year lists. In the final voting, it came out on top against some very tough competition among the finalists.

Previous Winners

2014 Illusione Fume D’Amour
2015 Matilde Oscura
2016 Mi Querida by Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust

Brand of the Year: A.J. Fernandez Cigars

2016 Nominees

AJ Fernandez Cigars (Winner)
RoMa Craft Tobac
Warped Cigars

In 2016 Master Blender A.J. Fernandez made a lot of waves for collaborating on projects for many high profile projects, but at the same time it was a great year for his own company, A.J. Fernandez Cigars.

In 2016, the company had a banner year. The year was highlighted but he release of two major new brands – Bellas Artes and Last Call. At the same time, the brand continued to maintain strong demand for its New World and Enclave lines – all while maintaining high standards of excellence and quality.

Previous Winners

2014 Crowned Heads
2015 Warped Cigars
2016 A.J. Fernandez Cigars

CMA Member of the Year: Kiss My Ash Radio

2016 Nominees

Cigar Dojo
Kiss My Ash Radio (WINNER)
Smooth Draws Radio Show

This was probably the closest vote in the history of the CMA Awards as there were three excellent nominees. What was most interesting is that each finalist has a podcast / radio component to it. It is perhaps a reflection of the changing landscape in cigar media. This year, Kiss My Ash Radio takes the 2016 honors.

Kiss My Ash Radio is a cigar-oriented radio show out of the Palm Beach Florida area hosted by “Honest Abe” Dababneh, Adam “The Brewmeister” K, and “Lady M”, Emily Hassell Crosby. The show has been a staple of Saturday mornings for the past five years. The show has featured many high profile guests and brings a wonderful mix of cigar-focused content and good-natured humor. On March 19, 2016 the show celebrated a milestone with its 200th episode. It also expanded to several affiliates, including the high-profile New York and Atlanta markets.

* Note: Members of the CMA Board abstained from the final vote in this category.

Previous Winners

2014 Cigar Dojo
2015 Cigar Coop
2016 Kiss My Ash Radio