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Weekly Cigar News Sampler: A.J. Fernandez Makes a Monte, Trump Eyeing Rollback of Obama Cuban Policies, and More

2 Jun 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 533rd in the series.

1) Altadis U.S.A. has announced a new collaboration with Nicaraguan cigar maker A.J. Fernandez that will be showcased at the IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas in July. Called Monte by Montecristo A.J. Fernandez, it is a spinoff of the original Monte line that was released in 2013 as the strongest Montecristo to date. “The new Monte by Montecristo A.J. Fernandez is a robust, medium- to full-bodied cigar,” reads a press release from Altadis. “Cloaked in a dark Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and bound with a Corojo ’98 binder, it delivers a stout, chocolatey aroma. A Criollo ’98 and Piloto Cubano Dominican filler yield a nutty and caramel sweetness. For those who like bold flavor, this smoke will not disappoint.” Four “horizontally-pressed” sizes will be available, each packaged in boxes of 20 and retailing in the $10.50 to $11.25 range: Toro (6 x 55), Robusto (4.5 x 54), Belicoso (6.1 x 54), and Corona (5 x 44). A.J. Fernandez has previously made cigars for industry behemoths Altadis and General Cigar, including H. Upmann by A.J. Fernandez and Hoyo La Amistad.

2) The Daily Caller reports the Trump Administration is moving towards rolling back Obama’s changes to U.S. policies regarding Cuba. The report cites comments by Senator Rubio and Congressman Diaz-Balart, both of Florida, along with anti-Embargo activist groups. All of President Obama’s actions on Cuba were done through executive action, meaning President Trump could undo the changes through the same process. Obama’s changes ended the policy known as “wet foot, dry foot” that gave Cuban illegal immigrants a path to legal status, opened travel to the island nation, and loosened restrictions on doing business in the country. Under the changes, although it remains illegal to import Cuban cigars for sale, it became legal for Cuban cigars to be imported for personal use when traveling overseas.

3) Inside the Industry: Davidoff is rolling out a limited edition belicoso that includes Florida Sun Grown filler tobaccos from Jeff Borysiewicz’s Orlando-area farm. The cigar is exclusive to the Davidoff Tampa Cigar Bar, a partnership between Davidoff and Corona Cigar Co., a Florida-based retailer owned by Borysiewicz. In addition to the Floridian filler tobacco, the cigar features a Habano 2000 Ecuadorian wrapper, a Habano Jalapa binder, and other filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. “This truly unique blend results in a rich, full-bodied, and luxurious smoke,” says Borysiewicz.

4) From the Archives: Introducing a newbie to cigars? Here are five suggestions to make sure they enjoy the experience.

5) Deal of the Week: We recommend Bespoke Post, a monthly collection of awesome items (think fine bar accessories, shaving kits, wine, workout gear, coffee kits, and more) delivered to your door for just $45. Available now are two cigar-oriented boxes. “Toast” features four cigars by H. Upmann and Romeo y Julieta, along with a cigar carrying pouch and a small desktop humidor. “Study” includes two Montecristo White cigars, two Glencairn whiskey glasses, a cigar tube, and a smoke-eating candle. You can skip or purchase every month. Sign up by Monday to get the June shipment.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: A.J. Fernandez

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