As this is the first year, the 14 members have created three categories, but they plan to add more categories in the coming years. There are so many wonderful individuals and companies in the industry, that it is only appropriate that more categories be added over time to honor them. As this is the first year though, there are three categories and those categories are:
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 to have 14 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 2014 year and nominated by a Cigar Media Association member. Each member was asked to nominate five cigars for this category, and that left the association with a maximum of 70 cigars to vote on. 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 16th, 2015.
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 16th, 2015.
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 16th, 2015.
Nominees for Cigar of the Year:
- Espinosa Laranja Reserva
- Herrera Esteli Norteño
- Illusione Fume D'Amour
- Las Calaveras by Crowned Heads
- La Flor Dominicana 1994
- La Palino Goldie Laguito Especial
- Padrón Family Reserve No. 50 Natural
- Quesada 40th Anniversary Corona Clasica
Nominees for Brand of the Year:
- Crowned Heads
- Drew Estate
- Warped Cigars
Nominees for Online Media Member of the Year:
- Cigar Dojo
- Seth's Humidor
- Stogie Geeks / Cigar Coop