The 2009 Tarries Cigar Award Show

It’s the cigar award show you didn’t realize you were eagerly awaiting. The Tarries celebrates the unusual aspects of the cigar industry, shining an industrial-sized spotlight on dubious distinctions that may be either points of pride or the stuff of shame. But either way, nothing anyone wants to be known for!

And without further ado, may I have the envelopes please…

Best Smogar Of The Year
Winner: Nub Miami
The “Smogar” is the cigar world’s version of vaporware, or, software that is promised and hyped, yet never seems to materialize. The Nub Miami, a joint effort by Padilla and Nub cigars was easily the most anticipated, most un-arrived cigar of 2009. The word is it will be out some time this year.

Best Survival Of The Year Despite Repeated Prediction Of Failure
Winner: Padilla Cigars
I don’t think any cigar company have been as reported to be on the ropes as Padilla. Time and time again rumors circulate that Ernesto Padilla will soon have a lot more time to enjoy his boat and his rum. And in spite of it all, his cigar company continues to prosper, and produce quality, award-winning cigars.

Best Attention Whore Of The Year
Winner: Jerry Cruz
Jerry’s got more AKA’s than I have cigars. Whether it’s Jerry McCruz, Don “Cruz”ado, Jerry the Elf, Jerry the ‘Stache or or Jerry the Cupcake Killa, the question isn’t what will Jerry do for attention, it’s what won’t he do!

Best Application Of Glue To Cigar Bands
Winner: Oliva Cigars
A quick perusal through my cigar band collection (yeah, I like to look at cigar bands, what of it?) shows that there was no contest for this award. The bands applied to Oliva cigars come off the cigar easily and open cleanly almost every time. No damage or cemented bits of wrapper leaf in my Oliva band collection. They deserve some recognition for this.

Best Use Of Twitter To Promote A Cigar Brand
Winner: Jon Huber, Director of Lifestyle Marketing, CAO
It seems like Jon is on twitter more often than I am. And while his main purpose for using the micro-blogging tool is to promote CAO, he has found a way to do it without coming across as a spammer or huckster. All the contests are just gravy.

Best Application Of Salt To A Wound
Winner: Cigars International
CI wins this category handily for their tough (but comic) treatment of the now deceased Devil’s Weed line of cigars. (R.I.P. Devil’s Weed, we barely knew ye.)

Let’s have a look at that clip from Cigars International’s Devil’s Weed sales page:

“- Dude thinks cigar industry looks like a piece of cake.
– Dude drops life savings into startup company.
– Dude magnanimously claims he supports brick and mortar stores only, refusing to sell to “scumbag catalog discount house.”
– Financial suffering for Dude begins.
– Hat in hand, Dude seeks warm embrace of CI and accompanying bailout plan.
– CI rides in on white horse with checkbook and pen ablaze, staving off personal financial armageddon for Dude at 11th hour.
– Discounting commences, and common man can enjoy a nice product for dirt cheap.
– Retail stores who only nominally supported Dude’s brand get panties in knot and yell at Dude for ‘selling out.’
– Repeat as needed.”

Ouch! That’s a salty meatball!

Best Use Of A Celebrity Scandal For Marketing Purposes
Winner: Gurkha
There is just no topping the pioneering efforts of Gurkha in this field. When they offered Michael Phelps a sponsoring role during his much publicized Chronic-gate scandal, people far and wide heard the Gurkha name. You just can’t pay for that kind of publicity. Though Corona Cigar Company made respectable effort during Tiger Woods’ womanizing implosion, it just didn’t have the widespread impact of the original.

And that’s the show folks! Provided cigars aren’t made completely illegal by then, we’ll see you next year, with a whole new set industry oddities to celebrate. Don’t forget to tip your waitress and have a safe ride home!

Note, no offense is intended by any of these awards, we’re just looking for a few laughs. Please direct all complaints to Jerry. Brian never checks his email, and Jerry’s looking for attention anyway.