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Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 460

18 Dec 2015

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.

fda_cigar1) As we reported last week, Cigar Rights of America (CRA) had been encouraging its members and supporters to contact Paul Ryan, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as their own representatives, to vehemently push for the inclusion of protections for premium cigars from FDA regulations within an omnibus spending bill. We learned on Wednesday these efforts were unsuccessful. The bill was introduced with no mention of cigars—unlike a previous draft, which included language that exempted cigars from FDA regulation. This places the fate of the industry firmly in the hands of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Officials at the OMB will now decide whether to proceed with the FDA draft of the rule, which would have a devastating impact on the industry, or request more changes.

2) To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Antillian Cigar Corporation, also known as Sosa Cigars, is releasing a new blend called Santa Julia. “Santa Julia was the name of the farm the Sosa family owned in Taguasco, Cuba,” reads a press release. “In the 1920s, Don Juan Sosa bought the Santa Julia farm with his son, Arturo Sosa. They grew sun-grown tobacco to be used as fillers and binders for cigars. The breath-taking Santa Julia farm encompassed over 900 acres of land, and employed mostly Sosa family members and some locals. Unfortunately, this farm was lost to the Castro regime.”  The Santa Julia blend includes an Ecuador Habano Oscuro wrapper, a Honduran bunder, and Dominican filler tobaccos. Two sizes will be offered, Torpedo and Toro, both with prices just under $10. The first shipment is scheduled for late January, and 20,000 cigars will be produced.

3) Inside the Industry: Sindicato recently released the new Sindicato Miami Edition. The single vitola (6.875 x 52) is made at the Casa Fernandez factory in Miami using Aganorsa tobacco. The recipe includes a shade-grown Jalapa Corojo wrapper, dual binders, and filler from Estelí and Jalapa. Just 15,000 cigars (in boxes of 10) are being made with each cigar having a suggested retail price of $12.95.

4) Deal of the Week: The new E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2015 is out, and if previous editions are any indication it will be in high demand. The cigar is now in stock at Smoke Inn. You can use the coupon code “Stogie10” to reduce the price by 10%.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Cigar Tip: Guide for Giving the Gift of Cigars

17 Dec 2015

large-cra_sampler_2015

On Tuesday we offered up some tips for giving the gift of bourbon for the holidays. Today, with one week until Christmas Eve, we provide some suggestions for picking the right cigar gift for the cigar smokers in your life:

Only give a box if you’re sure. Some cigar enthusiasts are completely loyal to one brand or one specific blend. If this is the case, you can’t do wrong by buying a box he or she is sure to love. Maybe this isn’t the most original idea—and maybe the box won’t be much of a surprise—but any cigar smoker will tell you that you can never have enough of your favorite smokes, especially if they’re made in limited quantities.

Samplers offer variety. Many cigar enthusiasts don’t have just one favorite cigar. For these folks, we don’t recommend buying a whole box. Instead, samplers are terrific. When you give a sampler of ten different cigars, it’s like giving ten different gifts. The recipient might not love all ten, but chances are he/she will really enjoy at least a few, and you might even be responsible for turning someone on to a new favorite.

Consider cigar accessories. Every cigar enthusiast needs a great table lighter, travel lighter, nice cutter, good ashtray, travel cigar case, humidor, etc. Instead of buying cigars, think about giving the gift of a cigar accessory. Many accessories can be personalized and, unlike cigars themselves, are likely to last for years to come.

Don’t forget cigar rights. Most cigar smokers have a fervent passion for defending cigar rights and opposing tobacco taxes and smoking bans. For these folks, a membership to Cigar Rights of America is an excellent gift. Benefits of membership include supporting professional lobbyists who fight for cigar freedoms, discounts at cigar shops, free cigars, and more.

With all that in mind, we thought this year we’d make one specific recommendation: a Cigar Rights of America sampler. It’s a perfect gift that covers two of our specific recommendations as both a cigar sampler and tangible support of CRA (each sampler includes a card they can send in for a free CRA membership).

Each sampler boasts ten cigars, including cigars that can only be found in the sampler and collectively would cost you way more than the $100 sampler price tag even if they were for sale elsewhere. The most recent version features such sought-after cigars as a special toro-sized Tatueje Black, the super premium Fuente Forbidden X, La Flor Dominicana Factory Press, and a Winston Churchill by Davidoff. These limited samplers can only be sold by CRA Platinum-Level Great American Cigar Shops, so find one near you and ask them if they have any in stock. Or, if one isn’t in your area, you can purchase one online.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: CRA

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 459

11 Dec 2015

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.

Paul Ryan1) This week, Cigar Rights of America (CRA), the premium tobacco industry’s consumer-driven lobbying organization, has been very actively encouraging its members to contact Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (pictured). “For several years, stakeholders from across the premium cigar industry have been fighting on Capitol Hill to preserve the products and lifestyle we love. The culmination of that fight is now at hand,” reads a CRA “urgent action alert” dated December 9. “Congress is currently considering how to extend funding for the federal government and, in the context of that debate, considering what federal regulations can be addressed to prevent massive loss of jobs and the decimation of whole industries. First and foremost for us is the certain destruction that awaits the premium cigar industry under an FDA’s regulatory framework.” StogieGuys.com encourages you to voice your opinion to your senators, your representative, and to Speaker Ryan, who can be contacted at 202-225-0600. For a refresher of exactly what’s at stake in this battle, please click here.

2) Steve Saka of Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust—who has been meeting with senators and representatives in Washington this week, along with CRA executive director Glynn Loope and Sean Williams of El Primer Mundo Cigars—took to Facebook to plead with friends, followers, and fans to follow through on CRA’s appeal to contact Senator Ryan. “I won’t lie, it’s looking rough,” he wrote. “Big Tobacco is against us, the anti-tobacco zealots are against us, the FDA is against us, however there is a sliver of [a] chance that we might be granted an exemption in the pending omnibus… The speaker’s office is actually asking members on both sides about this issue and is actively engaging—John Boehner never did this.” Paul Ryan assumed the role of Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in October following the resignation of the incumbent, John Boehner.

3) Inside the Industry: Popular cigar cutter brand Palio has been acquired by humidor and cigar accessory distributor Quality Importers Trading Co., which is based in Weston, Florida. According to reports, Quality Importers Trading plans to expand Palio offerings to include branded cutters for cigar companies. While the company plans to shift production from the U.S. to China, it will continue its lifetime warranty and replacement policy.

4) Deal of the Week: StogieGuys.com recommends Bespoke Post, a monthly collection of awesome items delivered to your door. Past boxes include fine bar accessories, shaving kits, coffee, and more. You can skip or purchase every month. Currently available is an offering called “Churchill” that includes an exclusive cigar from E.P. Carrillo, plus cedar spills, an ashtray made from reclaimed wood, and an odor-eating candle. Click here to sign up today.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: PaulRyan.House.gov

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 458

4 Dec 2015

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.

IPCPR HQ1) The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) has officially completed its move to a three-story commercial townhouse in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington. Previously, the organization had employees in five different states with a headquarters in Columbus, Georgia. “This new location, steps from the U.S. Capitol, will enable IPCPR to continue increasing awareness of premium cigar issues through education and advocacy of federally elected officials in Washington,” Kevin “Kip” Talley, Senior Director of Federal Legislative Affairs, told StogieGuys.com yesterday. “The capability to host social and fundraising events is also an exciting opportunity. Uniting IPCPR staff in one location will further empower our team to develop solutions to the complex legislative and regulatory issues we face as an industry, both at the state and federal levels. We are thrilled to unveil the new location to our members and encourage anyone visiting Washington to contact us for a full tour of our new facilities.”

2) Black Label Trading Company (BLTC) has announced the 2015 release of its Catacomb brand, which is made in Estelí at Fabrica Oveja Negra exclusively for Underground Cigar Shop in Fort Worth, Texas. Available in a Robusto and a Toro, Catacomb sports an Ecuadorian maduro wrapper around Nicaraguan tobaccos. “I was very excited to work with Underground to bring back the Catacomb this year,” said BLTC creator James Brown. “It’s one of my favorite cigars from the BLTC lineup. There will be a lot of similarities to last year’s cigar, but we did tweak a few things to take it to the next level. Overall, I feel it’s a bigger, bolder version of the 2014. It’s an intensely rich cigar with dense, chewy smoke…”

3) Inside the Industry: Cigar Insider reports My Father Cigars is set to release its most expensive cigar yet: “Dubbed My Father Garcia & Garcia, the brand is positioned as the company’s most high-end cigar to date and was created to celebrate the craftsmanship of José ‘Pepin’ Garcia and his son, Jaime. The cigar will come in only one size, a… Toro Deluxe, and contains a type of rare tobacco in the filler known as Pelo de Oro.”

4) Deal of the Week: StogieGuys.com sponsor Smoke Inn has the highly anticipated Sobremesa in stock. Most sizes are already sold out but, at the time of this writing, the Gran Imperiales (7 x 54) size is still available for order in either a five-pack or a box of 25. Do yourself a favor and give this awesome blend a try.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: IPCPR

Happy Thanksgiving!

26 Nov 2015

Thanksgiving

StogieGuys.com will be taking November 26 and 27 off to enjoy that most American of holidays: Thanksgiving. (We will return on Saturday for our regularly scheduled daily coverage of the world of cigars.) Known for food, family, friends, and football, Thanksgiving is a perfect time to enjoy a fine smoke. Have a safe and happy holiday!

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Flickr

Cigar Tip: Have a Happy Thanksgiving… with Cigars (2015)

25 Nov 2015

With football on the TV, turkey in your stomach, and family gathered, Thanksgiving is a great day to enjoy a fine cigar (or several). So, as we have for the previous eight years, today the StogieGuys.com team tells you what cigars we’ll be firing up after our big meals.

Patrick A: After the big meal, I’m not sure if I’ll be in the mood for some strong black coffee or a dram of full-bodied bourbon poured neat. Probably both, I suppose, and probably in that order. Either way, I think the Neanderthal SPG will be an excellent pairing choice—not to mention a bold smoke for a sure-to-be-full stomach. This Mexican San Andrés-wrapped power-bomb from Skip Martin’s RoMa Craft Tobac is loaded with all the pepper, oak, and espresso I’ll be craving. I look forward to celebrating my favorite holiday with Neanderthal’s intensity and strength, as well as its significant dose of nicotine to get the metabolism moving.

Patrick S: Spending Thanksgiving with family is great, but it does make smoking a post-dinner cigar less convenient. I’ll probably just pop onto the back deck with a whiskey sometime after dessert and  hope it isn’t too chilly. For that reason, I’m planning on sticking with one of my favorite smaller format cigars, the Illusione Epernay Le Petit. The small (4.5 x 44) petite corona shouldn’t last more than 45 minutes, but if the 100+ previous Le Petits I’ve smoked are any indication, the ligero-free Nicaraguan puro will feature a balanced combination of coffee, wood, and creamy notes in the mild to medium range. That should be just right before joining the family inside to watch the conclusion of the Turkey Day football showdowns. Of course, if it isn’t too chilly out, I’ll follow it up with a second, more full-bodied cigar and stream the game on my phone.

George E: Our plans for Thanksgiving are somewhat unsettled, and so is my cigar smoking. I’ll undoubtedly fire one up sometime during the holiday, but when and where I’m not sure. A lot depends on the dining schedule. If we eat at home, I’ll likely smoke on the deck (the forecast is near perfect here in Florida) and my choice will be Nick Melillo’s El Güegüense Robusto. I have smoked only one Robusto, but it was among the best new cigars I’ve had this year—a spicy, strong, smooth Nicaraguan puro. If we go out, I may traipse to the nearby cigar shop afterward to light up and watch a little football. Since I haven’t been there in nearly two months, I’m sure there will be many new offerings to tempt me. If so, I’ll let you know what I had.

Previous cigars the StogieGuys.com team designated as Thanksgiving smokes include:

 

Not a bad list, eh? If you’re so inclined, feel free to let us know what you’ll be smoking tomorrow in the comments below. And be sure to have a safe and joyous Thanksgiving.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: N/A

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 457

20 Nov 2015

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.

Regis Broersma1) General Cigar, a subsidiary of Scandinavian Tobacco Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of cigars and pipe tobacco, has appointed a new president. “Regis Broersma becomes new President of General Cigar Company… [He] is Dutch-born and has a comprehensive, international background in sales, marketing, and general management,” reads a press release. “Regis Broersma has worked in the cigar industry since 2002 and has a great passion for cigars.” Broersma (pictured) succeeds Dan Carr, who was dismissed earlier this month. “In addition, Scandinavian Tobacco Group assigns the responsibility of its entire global handmade cigar businesses to an Executive Vice President. Craig Reynolds assumes this responsibility, which includes General Cigar, its international business, and Cigars International, which is a leading online retailer in the U.S.”

2) Nomad has announced a new cigar called H-Town San Andrés Lancero, which will be exclusive to Stogies World Class Cigars, a large tobacconist in Houston that also sells cigars online. It joins the series of exclusive lancero smokes made for the retailer by brands like Room 101, La Palina, Fratello, Alec Bradley, Tatuaje, and Quesada. The first Nomad H-Town San Andrés Lancero release will be 2,000 cigars (200 boxes of 10) which will retail for $8.50 apiece. “I am honored to be a part of a very exclusive group of blenders participating in this series,” said Nomad founder Fred “Godfadr” Rewey. “Lanceros offer a flavor experience that cannot be found in other sizes.”

3) Inside the Industry: The Cigar Association of America, the industry trade group that represents cigar manufacturers, recently announced it has selected Javier Estades as its new chairman. Estades is the Chariman of Tabacalera USA, a division of international cigar giant Imperial Tobacco, which oversees Altadis USA.

4) Deal of the Week: StogieGuys.com recommends Bespoke Post, a monthly collection of awesome items delivered to your door. Past boxes include fine bar accessories, shaving kits, coffee, and more. You can skip or purchase every month. Next month will feature an exclusive cigar offering from E.P. Carrillo, including previously unreleased cigars available only to Bespoke Post subscribers. Click here to sign up today.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: ennsviktor.com