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Weekly Cigar News Sampler: Plasencia Makes First IPCPR Appearance, A.J. Fernandez Launches Enclave Broadleaf, and More

21 Jul 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 540th in the series.

1) Not to be lost among the many news items circulating in the wake of last week’s IPCPR Trade Show in Last Vegas was the debut appearance of Plasencia Cigars at the industry’s most important event. Plasencia has long been known as a leading producer of premium cigars—and is currently the largest grower of tobacco in Nicaragua and Honduras—but this is the first time the company participated as an exhibitor at the IPCPR Trade Show. This is also the first time they’ve had their own cigars to showcase. The highlight of the Plasencia booth was the new Alma del Campo, the second of five cigars in the “flagship” Alma Series (the first cigar in the Alma Series, Alma Fuerte, was introduced in New York in 2016). Alma del Campo is a Nicaraguan puro using only Plasencia-grown tobacco with five sizes retailing in the super-premium $13-17 range. Plasencia also introduced the Cosecha Series, a mellower, Honduran-wrapped line with fives sizes selling in the $10-13 range. According to a press release: “Plasencia Cigars was founded in 1865 by Don Eduardo Plasencia when he began growing tobacco in Pinar del Rio, Cuba. Since then, first in Cuba, and subsequently in Nicaragua and Honduras, five generations of the Plasencia family have been growing some of the world’s best tobacco… Today, Plasencia Cigars manufactures more than 40 million handmade cigars per year for many of the world’s top cigar brands, growing tobacco on more than 3,000 acres in several locations throughout Central America. Launched in 2016, Plasencia’s namesake branded cigars are distributed in the United States by Miami-based Plasencia 1865.”

2) Another IPCPR news item we’d like to highlight is the debut of the first A.J. Fernandez cigar to use a broadleaf wrapper. Enclave Broadleaf, as it is called, is the follow-up to the original Enclave blend, which was introduced in 2015 with an Ecuadorian wrapper. In addition to its dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, Enclave Broadleaf sports Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. It will be sold in three vitolas: Churchill (7 x 52, $9.50), Robusto (5 x 52, $8.50), and Toro (6.5 x 54, $9). In addition to making his own cigars, A.J. Fernandez is well known for crafting cigars for other companies; while this is the first broadleaf-wrapped cigar under his own brand, he has used broadleaf in cigars for other companies before.

3) Last week, the Washington Post published a story on Omar de Frias, who left a high-paying job at NASA to chase his dream and start his own cigar company, Fratello Cigars. The story is well worth a read, but so are the comments, which demonstrate the nasty anti-tobacco vitriol which has become so acceptable in today’s society. In a Facebook post about the reaction, Omar de Frias observed: “I laughed at many of these comments, specially at the one guy who wants me to die. Then I thought about how ignorance is probably one of the biggest issues we face as a society and our industry.”

4) Florida Senator Marco Rubio took the opportunity to voice his concerns about the FDA’s premium cigar regulations at an Appropriations Committee hearing regarding a bill for FDA funding. In his statement (audio above), he bemoaned the “extremely adverse and what I hope are unintended consequences” of FDA regulations on premium cigars.

5) From the Archives: People spend a lot of time deciding what cigar to smoke, but probably not enough time deciding which cigar shop to frequent. In this article from 2009, we discuss what to look for in a good cigar shop.

6) Deal of the Week: For today only, here are 100 deals, including cigars from Mi Querida, Ashton, Oliva, My Father, Rocky Patel, Davidoff, Drew Estate, CroMagnon, 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: Plasencia Cigars

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