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Live Updates From the IPCPR Trade Show (Day 3)

15 Jul 2008

Patrick S and Jon N will be reporting live this week from the 76th Annual International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) Trade Show in Las Vegas. Check back regularly for updates throughout the day.

Patrick S (7:00 AM PDT): Today is our last day of live reports from the show. Not surprisingly, last night’s CAO party with Lyrynd Skynyrd rocked. They played all the hits including Free Bird for the big finale.

Jon N (7:00 AM PDT): Patrick and I stopped by the Isla de Cuba booth yesterday to sample two of the brand’s latest offerings. I tried out the Wango Tango “longie” (a 7 inch by 38 ring gauge lancero), while Patrick lit up Blend 376 in a robusto-extra size (5.5″ x 50). I found the smoothly wrapped, beautifully constructed lancero to have a pleasing draw with plenty of smoke; I got lots of pepper and cedar from the medium to medium-full body. Patrick enjoyed his 376, whose flavors he described as “nutty and earthy, with just a hint of leather.” For the record, the Wango Tango lancero is wrapped and bound in Connecticut broadleaf tobacco, with a four-country blend of Central American fillers. The Blend 376 (so named, apparently, because Isla de Cuba “went through 375 blends before they chose this one”) is wrapped with Mexican San Andres leaf, with a Nicaraguan binder and a blend of fillers from Nicaragua, Honduras, and other “secret” Central American tobaccos. Much like the Classic and Aged Maduro lines, these offerings from Isla de Cuba did not disappoint, and I look forward to trying out some more in the coming months.

Patrick S (11:25 AM PDT): This morning we started out stopping by the PG booth to check out the new Soiree line, a “full-bodied after dinner cigar.” I also smoked a PG Gourmet petit corona from 1995 that was fantastically smooth, and Jon lit up a Gourmet corona which he describes as “nice and smooth, a little woody with a touch of pepper.” I’ll be dining with the Garmirians this coming Monday at Morton’s.

Patrick S (11:35 AM PDT): Our next stop was Arganese for the new ML3 and CL3. We also landed some samples of the Arganese Edición Especial Dos Capas, a very cool-looking barber poll perfecto which we will be reviewing in the coming weeks. Additionally we learned that Arganese will be making a line of cigars with Joe Gannascoli, the actor who played Vito Spatafore on the cigar-friendly HBO hit The Sopranos. Naturally, we snapped a photo of Joe with Gene Arganese (right).

Patrick S (1:30 PM PDT): J.C. Newman’s new stuff at the IPCPR is mostly in the accessories area, with new humidors and hygrometers, but we did hear about something they are working on for 2009. They plan to roll out an extension of the Diamond Crown line called the Julius Caesar (after the original “J.C.” who started the company over 100 years ago). The line will be stronger than the current Diamond Crown blend and will consist of three different perfecto sizes. They are currently working with the Fuentes to perfect the blend, which they hope to release at or before next years’ IPCPR.

Patrick S (1:40 PM PDT): This will be my final update from Las Vegas before I fly back to Washington, but I wanted to add that being at the show reinforced my feeling that the cigar industry is full of generally friendly people who are in it as much because they love cigars as for the profits. I wish I had two more days because there are many more booths and people that I wanted to visit with. Overall, I leave with a very optimistic view of the industry. While marketing gimmicks may be part of the trade, manufacturers understand that cigar smokers want quality and interesting smokes, and they are trying to meet those demands. It should be a good year for Stogie Guys everywhere…

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Stogie Guys

16 Responses to “Live Updates From the IPCPR Trade Show (Day 3)”

  1. Phukit Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 11:59 am #

    Even though I'm disappointed I didn't get an invite, thanks for all the great IPCPR coverage. You guys did a kickass job.

  2. Jon N. Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 4:56 pm #

    This was a great weekend, and I couldn't think of a better way to have spent it. Big thanks to Patrick for keeping us both on task, running some pretty burdensome logistics (including, but not limited to, hauling his laptop around the show grounds so that we could post regular updates throughout the day), and arranging some very cool meetings and interviews.

  3. David Linus Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 5:10 am #

    What about humidors?

    Anything new and nice in the humidor section?

    Lots of pics and examples of cigars, but no use in expanding my collection if I dont have a place to put 'em.

    Can you give us some info?

  4. William N. Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 6:15 am #

    I posted a question on the day one thread about Avalon. Any news on them?

  5. Jon N. Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 10:34 am #

    William: I don't think we saw anything on Avalon while we were there. I certainly don't recall spotting a booth for them, either. That doesn't necessarily mean anything; in fact, the web address is still active and running. I just think that they weren't at the show (or, if they were, I couldn't see them).

    You should know that the cost of setting up even a small booth space at this event was upwards of $25,000 (per one exhibitor that we spoke with). That sort of price may be cost-prohibitive for a lot of the boutique and even mid-sized companies in the business.

  6. William N. Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 11:42 am #

    Thanks for the update. I saw that they were listed on the IPCPR web site, I guess they just didn't show up.

  7. Jon N. Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 12:09 pm #

    If they were listed on the site, I think it's far more likely that I just didn't see them. The place was pretty large and was always jam-packed full of people, booths, samples, display cases, and other distractions. 🙂

  8. Gregg Friday, July 18, 2008 at 2:41 am #

    I was at the show monday and came across the Avalon booth. The booth was outfitted in their unique "blues" theme. The booth was complemented with guitars and a pool table. They even had a some new box-pressed jukes to complement their line.

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