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Commentary: In Truth Is Smoke

26 Aug 2013



One of the most enjoyable aspects of attending the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) Trade Show is the opportunity to meet new people in the cigar industry and see the fruits of their labor. Their enthusiasm and passion is infectious.

TorchAt this summer’s show, I met lots of people I didn’t know. I was, for example, mightily impressed by the men behind Table 36. Listening to them tell their story with so much zest and spirit was amazing.

Sitting down over a cup of coffee with Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars was simply a great experience. You don’t get to meet such a genuine, smart, and engaging person—whatever their field of endeavor—very often.

Another new contact was John Staurulakis of Veritas Cigar Co., a Wilmington-based firm that was introducing three blends at this year’s show. No one talked with more zeal about their cigars than John, the company’s national director of sales. He eagerly handed me one to smoke while we talked.

Sitting at the booth, John explained what the company had been up to in the past year. The first thing they did was decide to drop the cigars they had been offering, he said. “We spent the last year blending three new blends to debut here.”

When they got what they wanted, their new Torch line was born. Offered in five sizes, the cigar comes in three variations.

John laid out the details: One sports a sun-grown Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and Nicaraguan filler from Jalapa and Ometepe; another features an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper over an Indonesian binder around Jalapa filler; and the Ecuadorian Habano maduro wrapper on the third is matched with a Nicaraguan Habano binder and Nicaraguan filler from Jalapa and Estelí.

John said he got into cigars in school and spent lots of time at a favorite cigar shop before jumping into the business.

At IPCPR, he added, Veritas signed up about 18 new shops and, he emailed me later, “that number just keeps getting larger every day.”

If you spot a Torch, give it a try. One thing I can guarantee: They’re produced with passion.

-George E

photo credit: Veritas Cigar Co.

Drew Estate