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Weekly Cigar News Sampler: Jose Oliva in Line to Become Florida House Speaker, BLTC Releases Santa Muerte, and More

13 Oct 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 551st in the series.

1) If Republicans retain control of the Florida House in the 2018 elections, as expected, the next speaker will be Jose Oliva of Oliva Cigars. “The 44-year-old Oliva first came to office in a special, off-year election in 2011 to replace Rep. Steve Bovo (R-Hialeah),” reports the Tampa Bay Times. “He focused quickly on becoming speaker-designate for 2018…” Oliva’s website describes him as a “conservative and ethical leader,” and a “lifelong Republican who possesses a commitment to public service and community involvement.”

2) Black Label Trading Co. (BLTC) is launching the second annual release of Santa Muerte today. “Our limited releases tend to be full-bodied with a maduro wrapper, but this one is a medium-bodied cigar with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper,” says BLTC creator James Brown. “It features six filler tobaccos which create a very unique and rich flavor profile. You experience layer upon layer of coffee, malt, spice, and cocoa.” There are two vitolas: Corona Gorda (5.5 x 48, $10) and Short Robusto (4.75 x 52, $10).

3) Basketball all-time great Michael Jordan is known for enjoying cigars, which is why he is set to appear on the cover of an upcoming 25th anniversary issue of Cigar Aficionado. According to Sports Illustrated, in the interview Jordan says these days he “smokes six cigars a day,” a number that happens to equal the number of NBA Championships he won.

4) Inside the Industry: The FDA released additional guidance (PDF here) this week about the prohibition on free samples that was included in the final deeming rule. The document clarifies that while free samples to consumers are prohibited, discounts, coupons, or other offers are legal if there is a cash transaction when the tobacco product is received by the consumer. The document also reiterates that business-to-business free samples are not prohibited as long as they are not in quantities more than is “necessary to achieve a business or market goal.”

5) From the Archives: We’ve reviewed over 1,000 cigars (a number that doesn’t include over 1,000 Quick Smokes), and only a small percentage earned our highest rating. If you browse our archive of five stogie-rated cigars, you’ll probably see some names you might expect. But there are also many that are under-the-radar, plus quite a few that are no longer made or have undergone significant changes.

6) Deal of the Week: One of the most useful cigar accessories any cigar smoker can own is a travel case that will protect your cigars and keep them humidified for a few hours or a few weeks. Buy a five-count for the golf course or an overnight trip, or the larger 15-count size for a more extended trip.

The Stogie Guys

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