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Stogie Guys Friday Sampler CXXXIX

1 May 2009

In our ongoing effort to make as entertaining and informative as possible, each Friday we’ll post a mixed bag of quick cigar news and other items of interest. We call ‘em Friday Samplers. Enjoy.

Ybor City1) It looks like Florida will remain one of the few states without a cigar tax. As legislative wrangling continued this week over state budget shortfalls, reports had the $1-per-pack cigarette tax boost living and the cigar tax dying, at least on hand-rolled sticks. The state’s many cigar importers, manufacturers, retailers, and others have been applying pressure since the proposal was first advanced. And, while noting that nothing is certain until the process ends, Brian Berman, director of membership with Cigar Rights of America, said Thursday: “We believe it’s a dead issue.” Asked about a tax on machine-rolled sticks, Berman said that apparently had not yet been decided.

2) If you haven’t done so already, please consider joining the J.C. Newman Cigar Club with a modest membership fee of $18. In return, you’ll get a four-stogie Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino sampler, a golf shirt, coupons for free cigars and merchandise, and more. Plus, best of all, the fee includes a donation to the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation, a nonprofit that has already raised over $3 million to build schools and a health clinic in the Dominican Republic.

3) Inside the Industry: The cigar industry suffered two great losses this week. Fernando León Asensio, former head of La Aurora, passed away at the age 87. And Daniel Rodriguez, the last man to run Cuba’s famed El Corojo plantation before the Cuban revolution, died of cancer at the age of 76. They will be missed.

4) Around the Blogs: Stogie Review smokes a Rocky Patel Renaissance. Keepers of the Flame lights up a My Father. Stogie Fresh reviews a Belmore Cameroon. Cigar Monkey fires up a La Finca. Velvet Cigar tries the Rocky Patel Signature Series TAA. Cigar Spy inflitrates a Fuente God of Fire.

5) Deal of the Week: We’re not always in agreement with those Cigar Aficionado ratings, but this “Aficionado 90+ Sampler” contains some top smokes at a very reasonable price. Included are 12 smokes by Don Pepin, Padilla (1932), Gurkha, Oliva, CAO, Rocky Patel, and others, all for just $55. Get yours here.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Flickr

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