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Weekly Cigar News Sampler: BLTC Ships Bishops Blend, Unconventional Cigar Pairings, and More

14 Apr 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 526th in the series.

BLTC Bishops Blend

1) This week saw two announcements from Black Label Trading Co. (BLTC). The first, issued on Monday, concerned the shipment of the 2017 vintage of Bishops Blend. “It’s great to get Bishops Blend back in the market,” said BLTC creator James Brown. “This is a very special cigar. It is a representation of how I have grown as a cigar maker… The 2017 Bishops Blend has an extremely rich and sophisticated profile.” Bishops Blend is made at BLTC’s Fabrica Oveja Negra factory in Nicaragua and sports an Ecuador Habano Maduro wrapper, an Ecuador Habano binder, and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. Two sizes will be offered: Corona Larga (6.25 x 46, $10.50) and Robusto (5 x 48, $10.00). In addition to Bishops Blend, yesterday BLTC introduced the return of the Ecuador Habano Maduro-wrapped Last Rites Box Press Robusto (5 x 54, $10), which will debut on April 28 and be exclusive to R. Field Wine Co. in Honolulu.

2) NPR published a feature yesterday about how “cigar specialists” are working on unconventional cigar pairings as part of tobacco programs at luxury hotels and restaurants. It includes the tidbit that Tobacconist University is “currently developing a ‘certified cigar sommelier’ degree.” There’s also this: “Because a high pH level makes cigars fairly alkaline, [Mason] Foster [who works as a certified tobacconist at Bourbon Steak, a restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C.] relies on acidity to help balance the flavors, starting with consuming a tart candy, like Skittles, to neutralize the palate. Having only begun smoking cigars less than two years ago, the 25-year-old cigar sommelier has gone full-bore into his new passion, smoking a few cigars each day and going through some two pounds of Skittles or Starburst candies a week.”

3) In case you’ve missed it, bourbon has been experiencing a boom in recent years, with consumers (including quite a few cigar smokers) drinking it up in record amounts. High demand for your product is obviously what every company hopes for. That said, the problem for the bourbon industry is the product requires years to make, and ten or more years for many of the most sought-after brands. So what’s a bourbon producer to do? The anonymous BourbonTruth lays out the many imperfect options.

4) Inside the Industry: Crowned Heads’ Headley Grange Drumstick, their limited annual release, has begun arriving at retailers. One thousand boxes of ten in a lancero format (7.5 x 38, $9.90) are being released this year.

5) From the Archives: Hot, sweltering summer days can take a toll on your stogies if you aren’t prepared. Get your humidor in order with these tips.

6) Deal of the Week: For today only, here are 100 deals including cigars from Fuente, L’Atelier, E.P. Carrillo, Davidoff, Drew Estate, Tatuaje, and more. Free shipping is included on any purchase. If you really want to stock up, add promo code “GBP20D” at checkout to knock $20 off an order of $150 or more.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: BLTC

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