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Weekly Cigar News Sampler: Executive-Level Changes at Drew Estate, Cigar Rights in the States, and More

3 Feb 2017

As we have since July 2006, each Friday we’ll post our sampling of cigar news and other items of interest from the week. Below is our latest, which is the 516th in the series.

Jonathan Drew

1) Jonathan Drew (pictured above) has been named president and founder of Drew Estate and will once again occupy an executive operating role at the company he founded, including responsibility for the entire portfolio of brands. This news comes two years since Swisher International bought Drew Estate. “The deal is important for the boutique cigar company, as it looks to return to its iconic roots and core values,” reads a press release dated January 30. “The objective is to unleash the entire team’s creative power under the leadership of [Drew] who will also continue with his new venture into the spirits industry as CEO of John Drew Brands, a startup initially focused on bourbon, rye, and rum.” Glenn Wolfson, CEO of Drew Estate, called Jonathan Drew “a dynamic entrepreneur, respected tobacco man, and a tenacious brand evangelist… [He] will reduce his travel and event schedule, instead focusing on the Rebirth of Drew Estate with a conceptual lens toward brand building and team building.” In addition, David Lazarus has been named senior vice president of sales, effective immediately. He will report directly to Wolfson.

2) State-Level Cigar Rights Watch: The Virginia General Assembly has been presented with two bills that would enable cigar shops to obtain a license to sell and/or serve alcohol on premises; simultaneously, a bill has been introduced in the Virginia Senate to enable local governments to designate outdoor public places as non-smoking. Lawmakers in Indiana are considering a bill that would raise the smoking age to 21. In Ohio, Governor John Kasich aims to significantly increase cigar taxes from 17% to 69% of the wholesale price.

3) Inside the Industry: Christian Eiroa’s C.L.E. Cigar Company—which represents brands such as C.L.E., Asylum, Eiroa Cigars, Puros Indios, Cuba Aliados, and more—has launched a new website. Cigar enthusiasts in Texas may be able to find a new version of La Flor Dominicana’s Special Football Edition figurado that has been shipped to Lone Star State retailers in celebration of Super Bowl LI, which takes place in Houston on Sunday.

4) From the Archives: With the winter cold going around, you may want to re-read this tip from 2010 about cigars and the common cold.

5) Deal of the Week: We recommend Bespoke Post, a monthly collection of awesome items delivered to your door for just $45. Past boxes include fine bar accessories, shaving kits, coffee kits, and more. You can skip or purchase every month. Sign up today and you’ll be able to get the February shipment.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Drew Estate

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