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Commentary: OMG, IPCPR!

8 Jul 2013



I’m truly looking forward to my upcoming trip to the IPCPR convention in Las Vegas. Last year, I attended my first, when the show was in Orlando. It was, honestly, a bit overwhelming.

2012 IPCPR ShowPart of that was the size and scope of the show, part of it was me. Now, with some idea of what to expect, I feel I’m better prepared to deal with what’s there. As for myself, some doctor-administered performance-enhancing drugs to help with my deteriorating joints, and some weight loss should make negotiating the trade floor easier.

While I’m confessing I’ll also own up to my technological shortcomings, both skills and equipment. My cell phone is the old candy bar style, without a camera or texting capacity. Who knows if I could use either if it did? I do have an iPad, but it’s a first generation, so no camera there, either. So I’ll be leaning on both Patricks, both of whom I’m glad to say make my computer savvy positively Paleolithic.

For those who haven’t been to IPCPR, it’s somewhat difficult to grasp the breadth of exhibitors. They are by no means limited to cigars. You don’t just see My Father Cigars. You’ll also see My Cigar Chair. Hookahs might outnumber briar pipes. Matches, canes, knives, electronic smoking devices, hats, software… The list seems endless.

But cigars are at the heart of the show. “What’s new?” is the question on nearly everyone’s lips. New blends, new blenders, new lines, new sizes, new companies, new alliances.

So far, it appears there aren’t as many new offerings in 2013 as in the past couple of years, at least judging by pre-convention announcements and teases. Of course, that can change.

I would expect, though, that at least some manufacturers are finally recognizing that shops—virtual as well as concrete—have limitations on what they can stock and promote. A new line that simply displaces an old line isn’t much of an advance.

Of course, quantity isn’t the true measure. It’s quality. If there’s one new cigar introduced this year that becomes one of your favorites, that’s a success.

As for Las Vegas, you probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you how many years it has been since I visited. I’m not really much of a gambling, big-show entertainment guy.

There is one spot, though, I hope I can visit: the Bouchon Bakery at The Venetian. I’d like to try a cup of Equator Coffee. If I make it, I’ll let you know how it tastes.

-George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate