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.
1) Yesterday, Black Label Trading Co. (BLTC) creator James Brown announced a new “small-batch cigar line” called Black Works Studio. “Part of the motivation for opening our own factory, Fabrica Oveja Negra, was to experiment and develop unique blends highlighting Nicaraguan tobacco,” said Brown in a press release. “Black Works Studio (BLK WKS) is my first opportunity to use our factory as my playground. Blending cigars is my passion and I ended up with several blends and ideas on the shelf [so] the time was right to launch a new brand.” Three cigars are expected before 2016: NBK (6 x 46, $9, Ecuador Habano Oscuro wrapper), Killer Bee (4.5 x 46, $7.50, Ecuador Maduro wrapper), and Rorschach (5 x 38, $4.30, Ecuador Habano wrapper). A national launch party for BLK WKS will be held on December 11 at Club Humidor in San Antonio. The current BLTC lineup includes Last Rites, Benediction, Royalty, Lawless, and Salvation. Fabrica Oveja Negra was opened early this year in Estelí.
2) Drew Estate is launching a new cigar called Acid Chi-Town, which will be exclusively distributed by Arango Cigar Co., a wholesale distribution company based in Northbrook, Illinois. The robusto-sized cigar (5 x 50) will feature a Cameroon wrapper around Nicaraguan tobaccos. “Arango Cigar Co. has been a long-time ally of Drew Estate,” said Michael Cellucci, president of Drew Estate. “We’ve built a great relationship over the years… We’re excited to work with them on Acid Chi-Town as we continue to bring new and fresh ideas to the popular Acid cigar brand.”
3) A recent editorial by the Tampa Tribune highlights what is at stake for Cigar City if the FDA regulations crack down on cigars: “Last year, outraged citizens sent more than 80,000 messages to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in an effort to save Tampa’s last cigar factory from a bureaucratic noose. Yet the FDA’s decision on the matter still has not been made public, and legislation that would resolve the issue is mired in Congress, despite strong bipartisan support. The fate of J.C. Newman Cigar Co. in Ybor City is at stake. It is the last working cigar factory in Tampa, which once had 150 factories and was renowned as the Cigar City. If the FDA does not adopt sensible rules on premium cigars, the factory’s 130 jobs could be lost. So could the city’s association with the cigar industry, which began when Vicente Martinez Ybor relocated his cigar factory from Key West to Tampa in the 1880s.”
4) Deal of the Week: Looking to try some of the many new releases but don’t want to commit to a five-pack? This “Hot New Sampler” features eight high-end new releases for just $80. Included are the following cigars: Amadeus Habano Sidewinder 3, Johnny Tobacconaut Ranflactic, Casa Magna Domus Magnus II Marcus Arelius, El Güegüense Toro, Rocky Patel 20th Anniversary Toro, Matilde Oscura Toro Bravo, Espinosa Especial No.1, and Murcielago La Lune.
–The Stogie Guys
photo credit: BLTC