21 Aug 2012
The 80th annual International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers (IPCPR) Association Trade Show may have ended earlier this month, but there’s a lot of info I collected there that didn’t make it into our three days of live coverage (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3). Because there is so much more than I had time to report on from Orlando, today is part two (see part one here) in series of updates from the convention:
A.J. Fernandez Cigars
Last year A.J. Fernandez, known as a protégé of the late and highly revered Alejandro Robaina, released Oval. He expanded the line with a Maduro offering this spring. But the newest cigar, introduced at the Trade Show, is Pinolero. It features a light sun-grown wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filler. It should be shipping any day now. Also of note from A.J. Fernandez was the news that his new factory in Estelí should be opening in November. The new facility will double capacity to 18 million cigars a year.
Boutique Blends Cigars
Boutique Blends Cigars is the new name for the company known as Oliveros Cigars. Following up on some high ratings in 2011, this seems to be a company on the rise. While they don’t do much to advertise it, the SWAG Puro Dominicana cigar is made entirely with tobacco from La Canela, which is better known as the source of some of the best tobacco used by Litto Gomez of La Flor Dominicana. A new SWAG SoBe (South Beach) cigar was also introduced using 100% Dominican tobacco. Two new sizes were introduced in the original Aging Room line, a parejo (6 x 46) and a perfecto. Also new is the Aging Room Havao line, made with a Connecticut wrapper, and the Aging Room Quattro, a box-pressed cigar featuring a rarely used Indonesian wrapper. Particularly interesting is the Boutique Blends/Oliveros’ shift from a company that a decade ago primarily made flavored cigars to a company that now makes overwhelmingly traditional, non-flavored smokes.
Lou Rodriguez Cigars
Lou Rodriguez, the only doctor I know who makes cigars, says he’s focused on growing his brand but not adding new lines at every Trade Show. That means no new releases this year. The brand is growing, however, and was in roughly 100 stores across the country before the convention started. Still, the Lou Rodriguez Edición Premiere is a must-try for those who like earthy, full-bodied Nicaraguans.
Miami Cigar & Co.
Always busy with plenty of new releases, 2012 was no exception for Miami Cigars, which also distributes for its partner La Aurora, the oldest Dominican cigar company. Fernando León is a new cigar by La Aurora that was the personal cigar of family patriarch Fernando León. The 100% Dominican Cien Años returns 10 years after it originally debuted. Merlion, made by La Aurora for Miami’s La Sirena line (Ecuadorian corojo wrapper over a Brazilian binder with filler from Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and Brazil) also debuted. On the Miami Cigar side, the Nestor Miranda Collection now features a third wrapper style, with a milder Connecticut blend being added to the Rosado and Oscuro. Another new cigar is the Añoranzas (pictured above) which has a Nicaraguan Habano oscuro wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and fillers. (To keep track of all their new releases, including some we didn’t mention, you should check out the Miami Cigars blog here and here.)
photo credits: Stogie Guys