Factory of the Year: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.
Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A. is an Estelí-based factory that produces cigars for some of the biggest names in the industry, including Altadis U.S.A., Caldwell, Foundation, General Cigar Co., La Palina, Southern Draw and owner Abdel Fernández’s eponymous brand. Put simply, the factory not only produced an enormous number of new cigars this year, but also a large number of very good cigars.
Of course, this award is not solely about the number of cigars a factory produces, or how many companies entrust their products and reputation to it, or even how many great scores its cigars garnered; if it was, there would be very different winners in each of those categories. However, when you combine all of those attributes into a spreadsheet, Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A. came out on top, garnering at least a top-five rating from each of the four halfwheel voters.
Honorable Mentions: Cigars Davidoff, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua S.A., Fabrica de Tabacos NicaSueño S.A. and Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia.