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Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 392

25 Jul 2014

As we have since July 2006, each Friday we’ll post a mixed bag of quick cigar news and other items of interest. Below is our latest Friday Sampler.

National Cigar Policy Center1) Cigar Rights of America (CRA) and Tobacconist University have announced the formation of the National Cigar Policy Center, a portal of legislation that has been filed at the local and state levels that can advance the interests of premium cigar manufacturers, retail tobacconists, and consumers. “For some time, we have been collecting model bills that can advance the legislative agenda of premium cigar interests,” said Glynn Loope, executive director of CRA. “There is now a body of legislation that can serve the industry nationwide, by simply sharing this information. Even if a bill did not become law, it can serve a valuable purpose by assisting other states or communities.” Issues addressed at the National Cigar Policy Center include smoking regulations, taxes, cigar definitions, and the establishment of cigar bars and lounges. In addition, CRA and Tobacconist University are forming an advisory group of sitting and former legislators from across the country who can serve as a resource for advancing legislation that is beneficial to the industry.

2) The 82nd annual International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) Trade Show has come to an end. That makes now a great time to be a cigar smoker. New releases that were announced at the convention in Las Vegas will soon be hitting the shelves of a retailer near you. StogieGuys.com is here to help sort through what’s worth smoking. Stay tuned as we bring you trusted reviews of many of these new cigars. (This week alone we reviewed three new cigars: RoMa Craft Neanderthal, Joya Red, and Eiroa CBT Maduro.)

3) Contest: StogieGuys.com readers who register at CigarsFor.Me this week will be registered to win a free five-pack of cigars. CigarsFor.me specializes in recommending customers the perfect premium cigars without having to go through endless hours of research. Users simply fill out their quick Palate Profile and instantly they’re shown cigars that they’ll love. It’s fun, easy, and this week you can win free smokes. Click here.

4) Inside the Industry: La Flor Dominicana has introduced a 1994 Limited Edition Beer Stein in honor of the company’s 20th anniversary. The unique packaging is filled with a new cigar made with filler and binder tobaccos grown on La Canela in the Dominican Republic, wrapped in a Mexican San Andrés maduro wrapper.

5) Deal of the Week: Smoke Inn’s Deal of the Week (which goes live at noon today) features a dozen smokes for under $3 per cigar. While supplies last, $32.95 gets you two each of the Ortega Wild Bunch Wild Bill, Warlock Toro, Nestor Miranda Special Selection Coffee Break, Gran Habano Azteca Aguila, Toraño Exodus 59 Churchill, and Perdomo Noir Robusto.

-The Stogie Guys

photo credit: CRA

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 391

18 Jul 2014

As we have since July 2006, each Friday we’ll post a mixed bag of quick cigar news and other items of interest. Below is our latest Friday Sampler.

New World1) For the first time in his career, famed cigar maker A.J. Fernandez is teaming up with his father, Ismael Fernandez, to unveil a new cigar. Called “New World,” it is expected to debut at the upcoming IPCPR Trade Show. “The New World cigar relates to expanding one’s knowledge and questioning the status quo by discovering our personal New Worlds as we go through life,” said A.J. in a press release. “The team at A.J. Fernandez Cigars is grateful for the amazing support we have received from the consumer and therefore will offer the New World cigar at a value price as we invite everyone to join us on our New World journey.” New World will retail for $6 and be offered in four sizes: robusto, belicoso, toro, and gordo. It will feature a Nicaraguan wrapper around a Jalapa binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua.

2) According to a Cigar Insider poll of tobacconists across the U.S., Padrón is the country’s best-selling brand for the seventh year in a row. Padrón was followed by Arturo Fuente, Davidoff, and Romeo y Julieta. The survey also found two-thirds of shops reported higher overall sales than the previous year.

3) Inside the Industry: In what is a cigar industry first, the Meerapfel family, long known for their Cameroon wrappers, is combining Nicaraguan and Cuban tobacco in the same cigar. According to Cigar Aficionado, the new brand, La Estancia, is made with a Nicaraguan wrapper and binder, and equal parts Nicaraguan and Cuban filler. The cigars are made at an undisclosed Honduran factory in two sizes: Robusto (4.9 x 50) and Corona (5.1 x 42).

4) Contest Update: New Jersey lawyer Steven Jayson is the latest StogieGuys.com contest winner, getting a copy of the beautiful book, Tobacco Sheds: Vanishing Treasures in the Connecticut River Valley. A cigar smoker for about four years, Steven says the Onyx Reserve Mini Belicoso “got me through studying for the bar.” Congrats, Steven.

5) Deal of the Week: This Silver Tray Sampler has five top-notch cigars for $26. Included are one each of the following: Crowned Heads Four Kicks Selección No. 5, RyJ 1875 Romeo’s Court, My Father El Centurion Belicoso, Tatuaje Regios, and Kristoff Sumatra Corona.

-The Stogie Guys

photo credit: A.J. Fernandez

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 390

11 Jul 2014

As we have since July 2006, each Friday we’ll post a mixed bag of quick cigar news and other items of interest. Below is our latest Friday Sampler.

Captiva1) The 2014 IPCPR Trade Show is just eight days away, and many new releases have been announced in anticipation of the biggest cigar event of the year. Among them is the Charlie Toraño Captiva, the first cigar to bear Charlie Toraño’s name. “Working alongside his father and industry legend Carlos Toraño for 15 years, Charlie has had his hand in creating unique cigar brands under the family name as well as for countless other major distributors,” reads a Toraño press release. “Charlie, who has held the title of President of Toraño Family Cigar Company for over a decade, felt it was time to create a cigar under his own name which represents his personal tastes and pastimes.” Named for a small island off the coast of Florida where Charlie takes his family each summer, Capitva sports an Ecuadorian wrapper around Nicaraguan fillers and will be sold in four sizes for $7.95 to $8.95. Charlie says the cigar “represents the slow rhythms of the island.”

2) Also expected at the IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas is the debut of La Palina Black Label. The line will be available in four sizes—Gordo, Toro, Robusto, and Petit Lancero—and includes a Brazilian Bahaino wrapper around tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The Classic Blend is the only other La Palina line to feature a Brazilian wrapper.

3) Inside the Industry: Kuuts Nicaraguan Blend—which has an Ecuadrian Habano wrapper around Nicaraguan binder and filler—is ready for release, with shipments to stores starting in August. In a pairing of two up-and-coming outfits, Toronto-based Mombacho Cigars S.A. has entered into an exclusive U.S. distribution agreement with Texas-based RoMa Craft Tobac, maker of Cromagnon, Aquitaine, and Intemperance.

4) Deal of the Week: This Super Ten Sampler takes over 50% off two big-name classic cigars. Just $37 bucks lands you five each of the Montecristo Classic Toro and the Romeo y Julieta Habana Reserve Toro.

-The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Toraño

Happy Fourth of July!

4 Jul 2014

flag-fourth

All of us at StogieGuys.com would like to wish you a very happy Independence Day. America’s 238th birthday is a wonderful occasion to spend time with friends and family. So we’ve decided to take our own advice and barbecue, see some fireworks, and smoke more than our share of celebratory cigars. We’ll return to our coverage of the world of cigars tomorrow. Until then, have a safe, relaxing holiday.

-The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Flickr

News: Saving Cigar City from the FDA & British Smoking Prohibition

3 Jul 2014

Tomorrow is Independence Day, which means we won’t be posting our regular Friday Sampler. Instead, we’re posting a two notable news items today that normally would be featured in the Friday Sampler.

Will FDA Regulations Close Tampa’s Last Cigar Factory?

Tampa’s last operating cigar factory—J.C. Newman’s El Reloj in Ybor City—now sports a banner urging passersby on I-4 to “Save This Factory” by registering their support for the industry with the FDA. Newman also set up a website (www.savecigarcity.com) that details the history of the family and the factory, as well as looks at the proposed regulations and their potential impact. This news report includes an interview with Aleida Sanchez, a longtime worker in the Tampa cigar industry, who would be one of the many victims if the FDA regulations force the factory to close.

British Doctors Lobby Says Ban Smoking for Those Born in 21st Century

The powerful British Medical Association voted at their annual conference to support a prohibition on smoking for those born after the year 2000. While currently everyone born after 2000 is a minor, and thus it is already illegal for them to smoke, the policy would eventually lead to 30- and 40-year-old adults being carded to determine if they, despite being adults, are too young to be allowed to smoke.

The speaker who proposed the resolution called it a move to “denormalise” smoking, and a step towards “the tobacco end game,” while another advocate of the radical policy suggested “it made no sense to allow smoking and ban drugs such as heroin.” While the resolution passed, not everyone agreed. According to the BBC, one doctor who is an ear, nose, and throat specialist spoke against the motion, calling it “a headline-grabbing initiative that would bring ridicule to the profession.”

-The Stogie Guys

photo credit: N/A

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 389

27 Jun 2014

As we have since July 2006, each Friday we’ll post a mixed bag of quick cigar news and other items of interest. Below is our latest Friday Sampler.

Montecristo Espada1) In addition to Nicaragua being on pace to surpass the Dominican Republic as the largest exporter of cigars to the United States, one of the best indications of Nicaragua’s rise to prominence has been the fact that historically Dominican-centric brands are now creating Nicaraguan offshoots. Five years ago, this trend would be unthinkable. Examples include La Gloria Cubana, Davidoff, and Romeo y Julieta. And now we can add the storied Montecristo brand to the list. Altadis this week announced the release of Espada by Montecristo, a Nicaraguan puro with a Habano Jalapa Vintage 2010 wrapper, a Habano Jalapa Vintage 2009 binder, and a blend of filler tobaccos from Jalapa, Ometepe, and Condega. Espada is Spanish for sword. It will come in three sizes— Ricasso (5 x 54), Guard (6 x 50), and Quillon (7 x 56)—and retail for $11.25 to $12.50. Espada is made for Altadis by the Plasencia family. It will be packaged in suede boxes of 10.

2) According to a Reuters report, the FDA proposal to regulate cigars and e-cigarettes was made less drastic by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) when they reviewed it prior to the deeming document being issued for public comment. The article states OMB “weakened language detailing health risks from cigars… [and] deleted language in the [proposal] describing how the rules would keep thousands of people from taking up cigar smoking and have enormous public health benefits.” Further, according to the report, “OMB turned the FDA’s proposal as it relates to cigars from a two-part rule—one for traditional tobacco products and one for products that have not previously been regulated—into a ‘two-option’ rule, one of which would exempt ‘premium cigars.’” While the exact reasoning for the changes is just speculation, it’s worth noting OMB is responsible for evaluating the economic impact of proposed rules which, absent a premium cigar exemption, would be devastating to the handmade cigar industry. Another possible reason for the changes is if the FDA includes unsupported claims, it becomes easier for the rules to be challenged.

3) Inside the Industry: My Father Cigars is expected to launch its first Connecticut-wrapped line at the upcoming IPCPR Trade Show. Crafted in Estelí, the cigar will be called My Father Connecticut and feature an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper around tobaccos from the Garcia family’s farms: a Nicaraguan Corojo binder and a filler blend of Habano and Criollo leaves from Nicaragua. My Father Connecticut will be offered in Robusto, Toro, Toro Gordo, and Corona Gorda formats. It will retail for $7.30 to $9.40.

4) Deal of the Week: The Smoke Inn clearance section currently has a number of notable deals. Acclaimed cigars on sale include Añoranzas, La Dueña, Quesda Q d’Etat Daga, El Tiante Habano Oscuro, Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2012, and others.

-The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Altadis USA

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 388

20 Jun 2014

As we have since July 2006, each Friday we’ll post a mixed bag of quick cigar news and other items of interest. Below is our latest Friday Sampler.

KFC Flying Pig1) Drew Estate has announced its Kentucky Fire Cured blend will soon be offered in the “Flying Pig” format (3.9 x 60), a unique cigar shape that’s short, thick in the middle, and tapered at the foot and head. Drew Estate has released other Flying Pig cigars before, including the Liga Privada No. 9. The official unveiling will be at a private event at Oxmoor Smoke Shoppe in Louisville, Kentucky; the nationwide release will be at the IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas next month. “Kentucky is obviously a major inspiration for the Kentucky Fire Cured line, and that inspiration comes through in everything from the blend profile to the iconic imagery,” said Jonathan Drew, who will personally attend the event in Louisville. “The tobacco that gives the Kentucky Fire Cured line its distinctive smoky aroma and flavor is grown right here in Kentucky.” You can expect 12-count boxes of Kentucky Fire Cured Flying Pigs to start shipping to your local retailers in September.

2) To celebrate 20 years of cigar making, Litto Gomez of La Flor Dominicana will be releasing a yet-to-be-named limited edition cigar that will be packaged in porcelain Oktoberfest beer steins. The cigars are expected to feature Mexican San Andrés wrappers around Dominican tobaccos. Come September, Gomez is expecting to ship 60,000 of these special anniversary cigars in 20-count steins.

3) Inside the Industry: 7-20-4 cigars has announced a new “Factory 57″ line, which will use a Jalapa Habano wrapper, a Costa Rican binder, and filler from Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Colombia; it will come in four sizes retailing for $6.75 to $9. Nat Cicco is adding a Habano-wrapped version to its HHB line.

4) Deal of the Week: This “silver tray special” sampler features five cigars for $26 (35% off normal retail). Included are the Tatuaje Noella, Alec Bradley Prensado, H. Upmann Maduro Corona, CAO Gold Double Robusto, and Romeo y Julieta 1875 Petite #2.

-The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Drew Estate