12 Feb 2016
As we have since July 2006, each Friday we’ll post a mixed bag of quick cigar news and other items of interest. Below is our latest Friday Sampler.
1) Joya Red, one of our favorite releases for 2014, is getting a new size. While the Half Corona (3.75 x 46) has been available in Europe for a few months, now the vitola will be for sale in the U.S. market. “The Joya Red Half Corona is designed to satisfy the contemporary smoker’s desire for a quick, but extremely pleasurable, smoke,” reads a press release from Drew Estate, Joya de Nicaragua’s distributor. “Joya maintained the same lower priming Nicaraguan tobacco blend as the rest of the Joya Red line. This new vitola comes in boxes of 20 cigars and 5-count ‘petacas.’ Joya Red is a medium-strength smoke packed with flavor, outstanding construction, and sharp burn… It has quickly gained popularity with contemporary consumers, making it Joya de Nicaragua’s second best-selling brand in the U.S. market in only a year and a half.”
2) Although Congress is free to ignore it, every year the President is required to send a proposed budget to Congress and this week President Obama submitted the final proposed budget of his presidency. Of note to cigars smokers, the budget proposed by the President this year includes $115 billion in tobacco tax hikes. Fortunately, observers agree that there is little support in Congress for massive new tax hikes.
3) Inside the Industry:Black Label Trading Co. (BLTC), founded in 2013 with “a focus on unique blends of small batch cigars,” has signed a distribution agreement with New Jersey-based Boutiques United (BU), according to a press release. “BLTC embodies what we view as a successful boutique cigar company. They not only make a fantastic product, but their leadership team has the drive to get it into the hands of cigar smokers.” noted BU owner Scott Zucca. “The vision, character, and integrity of the BLTC team is a perfect fit in the Boutiques United family.” Last year, BLTC opened its own factory in Estelí, Fabrica Oveja Negra.
4) From the Archives: Talk about a blast from the past, consider the following: Boutiques United (see above item) used to be called House of Emilio which was grew out of the Emilio Cigars line, and one of the first Emilio Cigars lines was Grimalkin which was later renamed La Musa Mοῦσα, a cigar we reviewed three years ago yesterday. In that review Patrick A wrote the following: “The quality, subtlety, and balance of the blend cannot be denied… La Musa Mοῦσα Toro, my favorite of Gary Griffith’s creations to date.”
5) Deal of the Week: Cigar fans looking for more information should consider joining the Montecristo Social Club. Signup is free, and if you provide a verifiable address you will receive a welcome pack including a free punch cutter.
photo credit: Drew Estate