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Weekly Cigar News Sampler: Aging Room Pura Cepa Launches, Ventura Plans Event Tour in June, and More

11 May 2018

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 578th in the series.

1) Altadis U.S.A. will be making the Aging Room Pura Cepa line available across all distribution channels later this month. Spanish for “pure bred,” Pura Cepa is a Nicaraguan puro created by Rafael Nodal with tobacco from Ometepe, Jalapa, Condega, and Estelí. “I wanted a world-class cigar that ideally displayed the richness Nicaraguan soils can bring to quality tobaccos,” said Nodal. “With Pura Cepa, I strived to capture the very essence of the land’s core, and deliver a Nicaraguan puro blend for today’s most discerning smokers.” Three sixes will sell in the $12.50-$13.50 range: Rondo (5 x 50), Mezzo (6 x 54), and Grande (6.5 x 56). Each will be packaged in boxes of 20. In May 2017, a “strategic alliance agreement” was struck that makes tobacco giant Altadis the distributor for Boutique Blends Cigars. As part of the agreement, Rafael Nodal accepted a position within Altadis, and the Boutique Blends brands—including Aging Room, Swag, La Bohéme, and Oliveros—are sold through Altadis.

2) The Tampa Bay Times on premium cigars’ second chance for an FDA exemption: “A ‘Save This Factory’ banner will be re-hung next week on J.C. Newman Cigar’s Ybor City factory, and the company’s website lobbying against government oversight of premium cigars will be re-launched. Both were tactics company president Eric Newman used to fight the Food and Drug Administration as the agency weighed whether to lump in premium cigars with mass-produced stogies, vaporizers, and e-cigarettes as part of its regulatory expansion over tobacco.”

3) Hot Dickel, anyone? George Dickel Tennessee Whisky and Tabasco have announced a collaboration. George Dickel Tabasco Brand Barrel Finish will be hitting stores soon, with 750 ml. bottles of the 70-proof product selling for $25. George Dickel Tennessee Whisky is finished in Tabasco barrels that were previously used to age hot sauce for three years.

4) Inside the Industry: In June, Ventura Cigar Co. will kick off “Fathers, Friends, and Fire” events at tobacconists across the country. A $10 ticket (sold via participating tobacconists) will entitle guests to smoke with and meet Michael Giannini (who recently joined Ventura after a 17-year stint with General Cigar) and “fourth generation tobacconist” Erik Stokkebye. In addition, “to make Fathers, Friends, and Fire truly memorable, Ventura Cigar Co. commissioned exclusive mementos to give out at the events, which will not be available for individual sale,” according to a press release. “Events will feature a special cigar created by the father-daughter team [of] Omar and Indiana Ortez. Under Omar’s experienced eye, Indiana created the Father-Daughter blend, which balances their tastes for tobaccos… The Father-Daughter limited edition cigars will come pre-packaged in a two-cigar coffin box…”

5) From the Archives: Wonder why your morning smoke isn’t as enjoyable as you expect? It might be your toothpaste.

6) Deal of the Week: Here are over 80 deals, including cigars from Ashton, Oliva, Tatuaje, Rocky Patel, Padrón, Drew Estate, Davidoff, Cohiba, Crowned Heads, RoMa Craft, 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: Altadis

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