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Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 427

24 Apr 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.

New World Connecticut1) A.J. Fernandez is set to release New World Connecticut, a line that previewed at the IPCPR Trade Show last summer. Expected to begin appearing at retailers in May, the blend features a Connecticut Shade wrapper around a Mexican binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and Brazil. “Master blender A.J. Fernandez created the New World brand to pay homage to the discovery of the ‘mystical smoking leaf’ named tobacco by the Europeans, when their ships landed in what is now known as the New World,” reads a press release. Fernandez says, “The New World cigar was a very special project as it was the first cigar that was created with the help of my father Ismael Fernandez since he joined me at A.J. Fernandez Cigars.” Four sizes will be available in 20-count boxes: Corona Gorda, Robusto, Toro, and Belicoso. “Smokers of the New World Connecticut will experience notes of cream, wood, and almonds in a very well-balanced and refined cigar.” The cigars will cost about $6.

2) Online retailer Famous Smoke Shop is launching an exclusive cigar called Inferno 3rd Degree, which is made by Oliva. “The first shipment has just arrived at the company’s warehouse and is currently available for sale on their website,” reads a press release. “The company has expressed that the new brand will be available in limited quantities, but is not a one-time release and will be a consistent offering for the foreseeable future. The Inferno 3rd Degree is the third release under the Inferno umbrella… Inferno 3rd Degree cigars utilize a blend of all Nicaraguan tobaccos with a triple-fermented Ligero and Viso longfiller core, and a Habano-seed binder, all encased in another silky Habano-seed wrapper.” Four sizes will be available in the $5.80 to $6.50 range: Churchill, Double Toro, Robusto, and Toro.

3) New Orleans’ smoking ban went into effect this week, but many bars went out in a blaze of glory. Shelly Waguespack, owner of the famed French Quarter spot Pat O’Brien’s, noted how the smoking ban contradicts the best aspects of New Orleans. “It’s that overall bohemian kind of free spirit that we have in New Orleans that makes it so unique, and it’s why people love it.” Pat O’Brien’s, along with Harrah’s Casino and other businesses, are suing to overturn the ban.

4) Inside the Industry: Davidoff is set to introduce a cigar at the upcoming IPCPR Trade Show that will, for the first time in the company’s history, include a significant percentage of Brazilian tobaccos. The Turrents, the famed Mexican cigar family, has severed is distribution relationship with Altadis USA and will soon introduce a Casa Turrent cigar which will be distributed in-house.

5) Deal of the Week: This Hidden Treasures Sampler features eight solid cigars for just $60. Included are the Padrón 3000 Natural, Camacho Ecuador Toro, La Jugada Habano Toro, Sindicato Corona Gorda, RyJ Toro, 601 La Bomba Bunker Buster, H. Upmann The Banker Annuity, and the Nat Sherman Timeless Dominican Hermoso.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: A.J. Fernandez

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 426

17 Apr 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.

Pappy Cigars1) Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented cigars started shipping this week from Drew Estate. Available exclusively at the Pappy & Co. website, the cigars pay homage to one of the rarest, most sought-after bourbons in the world. “This historic cigar features Kentucky-seed, Kentucky-grown tobacco that was fire-cured and then barrel-fermented,” reads a Drew Estate press release. “The blend includes a barrel-fermented ‘tapa negra’-style wrapper over a Mexican San Andrés base wrapper, as well as aged Nicaraguan filler tobaccos.” Two sizes are available: Robusto (5.25 x 52, $130 for a box of 10) and Toro (6 x 54, $150). Drew Estate President Michael Cellucci said, “We are excited to bring the Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented cigar to market with the barrel-fermented wrapper, something that has never been featured on a premium cigar in this way.”

2) Virginia-based 262 Cigars is launching a Lancero size (7 x 38, $8.10) in its Allegiance blend. This is the third Lancero offering from 262, which also offers the size in its Paradigm and Revere lines. Allegiance is marketed as a mild- to medium-bodied cigar with a Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper around a Nicaraguan binder and a filler blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos. “The Allegiance name, while stirring many connotations for many people, is 262’s official ‘line in the sand’ campaign” against tobacco taxes, bans, and regulations.

3) The Tobacconists’ Association of America (TAA) is a smaller (more limited than the IPCPR) association of cigar retailers which is holding its annual meetings in the Dominican Republic this week. One of the benefits of membership is access to exclusive TAA  sizes or blends that can only be ordered at the annual show. This year, TAA members have offerings from 13 cigar makers to choose from, including an exclusive Padrón 1964 and a brand new La Flor Dominicana blend, among others.

4) Inside the Industry: A few years ago Viaje announced it was going to be exclusively producing small-batch cigars, but the company recently announced that its Exclusivo blend would be a regular production cigar available in three sizes. Gran Habano announced the release of the next edition of its S.T.K. lines; the Miami-made Mas Paz uses dual Ecuadorian Connecticut and Nicaraguan Habano wrappers, a Nicaraguan Habano binder, and Nicaraguan fillers in three sizes: Lancero (7.5 x 40), Corona Gorda (5.6 x 46), and Rolo (6 x 54).

5) Deal of the Week: This sampler features five cigars, free shipping included, for just $26. Included are one each of La Gloria Cubana Retro Especiale Taino, Perdomo Champagne Noir Super Toro, Curivari Selección Privada Diplomaticos, Kristoff Maduro Torpedo, and La Flor Dominicana Colorado Oscuro #3.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Drew Estate

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 425

10 Apr 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.

New Orleans1) In two weeks, New Orleans’ smoking ban will take effect—an event that’s notable since the Louisiana city is set to host this summer’s International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) Trade Show (you’ll still be able to smoke on the convention floor). An effort by Harrah’s Casino to have a smoking section on its gambling floor seems to have “fallen on deaf ears,” according to The Times-Picayune. But there are other tweaks to the law that are still under consideration. They include an exemption for cigar bars (defined as establishments with 10% of revenue from cigar sales and humidor rentals) and whether bars, casinos, and restaurants can have outdoor smoking areas. It will be interesting to see how this shapes up, especially since Harrah’s, and the bars and restaurants surrounding the convention center, were popular hangouts among the IPCPR crowd the last time the Trade Show was in New Orleans in 2010.

2) Davidoff is building a new factory in Honduras to support its Camacho, Room 101, and Baccarat brands, and has also purchased tobacco fields in Condega, Nicaragua, and Jamastran, Honduras. “The new Camacho factory in Danlí, Honduras, will sit on almost 450,000 square feet of land, and in its initial phase, operate over an area of 185,000 square feet,” according to Cigar Aficionado. “The new factory will be located near the Pan-American Highway, less than half a mile from the company’s existing box factory.”

3) Many people will tune in to the Masters Golf Tournament this weekend. Look hard and you might see cigar smokers in the gallery, although according to a local paper fewer than you used to. One patron told the paper: “Golf and cigars, they just blend… It’s in the outside, the open air… but you don’t see as many of them anymore.”

4) Inside the Industry: Maya Selva Cigars, producer of Flor de Selva, Cumpay, and Villa Zamorano, is celebrating its 20th anniversary in premium cigars. As a part of what it calls the “20 Años” celebration, the company, which has a strong following in Europe, will be releasing new cigars, including a limited edition “20 Años” Lancero to the Flor de Selva brand, and adding a Toro (6 x 52) to both its Connecticut and Maduro lines.

5) Deal of the Week: Only $25 (shipping included) lands you this five-cigar sampler. Included are the Room 101 Connecticut 808, Macanudo 1968 Toro, Quesada Q40 Toro Box Press, Alec Bradley The Lineage Robusto, and Rocky Patel Edge Maduro Missle.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Flickr

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 424

3 Apr 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 Trade Show1) Registration is now open for the 83rd IPCPR Convention and International Trade Show, which will be held July 17-21 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. The annual gathering of cigar manufacturers, retailers, suppliers, and media is closed to consumers. It will feature a keynote address from Larry Winget—bestselling author and motivational speaker—as well as seminars on government affairs, how to get and keep good customers, and steps retailers can take to improve their businesses. There will also be a cigar bash with a performance by the band America. This will be the first Trade Show since IPCPR announced it was moving its headquarters from Georgia to Washington, DC. The last time the event was held in New Orleans was 2010. Following the event, expect a flurry of reviews and information about new releases.

2) Officials in Nevada are pushing a bill that would enable colleges to ban smoking on their campuses. “University of Nevada, Reno President Marc Johnson presented SB 339 to lawmakers on Wednesday during a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee,” reports the local CBS affiliate. “The bill would allow Nevada colleges to levy more stringent rules against smoking or chewing tobacco on college campuses. Johnson said the university wanted to help prevent university students from becoming life-long smokers.”

3) Along with making great cigars, the cigar industry makes many charitable contributions. The annual Night to Remember fundraiser for prostate cancer research showcases that generosity. Now in its 21st year, the event has raised $21 million for the cause, including $1.1 million at this year’s event, held this week in New York City. In addition to numerous cigarmakers, celebrities, including political talk radio giant Rush Limbaugh, former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, former NBA star John Salley, and media magnate Rupert Murdoch, were in attendance.

4) Inside the Industry: When La Palina cigars launched, all its cigars were made at the Graycliff factory in the Bahamas. Now, La Palina’s last remaining Bahamas-made cigar line, the Family Series, is shifting to the El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami. In addition to the new factory, the blend is being changed along with some of the sizes.

5) Deal of the Week: Drew Estate fans should check out this special. For a limited time, box purchases include a five-pack of Undercrown Toros and a Drew Estate cutter, plus free shipping.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: IPCPR

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 423

27 Mar 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.

Hoyo 1501) General Cigar has announced a new Hoyo de Monterrey line will be appearing at retailers starting in April. Called Edición de Cumpleaños 150, the blend includes a Habano shade-grown wrapper—the first ever grown in Estelí—around an Ecuadorian binder and a variety of Nicaraguan filler tobaccos. “The cigar is a study in contrasts, with a hearty, well-oiled leaf that burns to a strong, yet sweet smoke for an unparalleled taste experience,” according to a General Cigar press release. As the name suggests, Edición de Cumpleaños 150 celebrates the 150th anniversary of Hoyo de Monterrey. It will be offered in a single size (6 x 54) for $7.99 and packaged in 15-count boxes.

2) Drew Estate is rolling out new packaging for its Liga Privada Papas Fritas cigar (4.5 x 44) which will reduce the per-cigar price from $6.40 to $5.25. Papas Fritas will now be found in 50-count boxes instead of 4-count tins or 28-count boxes. “Papas Fritas has been a good choice for any Liga Privada fan looking for a short smoke,” said Drew Estate President Michael Cellucci in a press release. “We neede something for fans of Papas Fritas who already had plenty of tins and wanted a better value, so now we’re offering the cigar with no tin. The tins will now become a collector’s item and the Papas Fritas will be a little more budget-friendly. It’s a win-win.”

3) In last month’s “Question of the Month” (which admittedly ran significantly longer than a month), we asked how you feel about year-end best-of lists. “They inform some of my purchases” won with 51% of the vote. The other choices were “I read them only for entertainment” (26%), “I highly value these lists” (13%), and “They annoy me” (10%). Be sure to weigh in on this month’s question by voting in the sidebar to the right. And feel free to contact us if you’ve got a good suggestion for a future poll.

4) Inside the Industry: In April, Espinosa Cigars is introducing the Espinosa Especial. The new blend, which will come in three sizes, features a Mexican Capa Negra wrapper and around a binder and filler combination using tobacco from each of the four main cigar growing regions of Nicaragua: Estelí, Jalapa, Condega, and Ometepe.

5) Deal of the Week: Check out this five-cigar “plethora of flavors” sampler for $25 shipped. Included are the Partagas 1845 Double Corona, La Gloria Cubana Serie N Rojo, Affinity Belicoso, Four Kicks Robusto, and La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Robusto.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: General Cigar

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 422

20 Mar 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.

Harrahs New Orleans1) Harrah’s Casino is in the midst of a “last-ditch” effort to gain an exemption from New Orleans’ smoking ban, which goes into effect April 22. “In a press release issued March 18, Harrah’s said it will request a smoking section on its gambling floor while promising ‘to offer programs to make patrons and employees aware of the dangers of smoking and programs to quit smoking,’” according to The Times-Picayune. “The company said it plans to shop this proposal to City Council members in the next few days… Harrah’s rehashed its argument that banning smoking on its gambling floor would run off a large number of its customers, reduce its revenue, and cut yearly sales tax collections by $500,000. It also claimed the law could jeopardize the $3.6 million in gambling money the state sends to the city to cover some public safety and sanitation costs and another $13.6 million in annual lease payments the casino pays to New Orleans.” Notably, New Orleans is the host site of the next International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association Trade Show in July.

2) Viaje Cigar Co., which took a break last year from issuing its annual Summerfest cigar, is planning its return this summer. According to the company, noted for small batch and seasonal releases, the 2015 Summerfest will have a new blend and a new manufacturer. Summerfest was released annually from 2010 through 2013 in a single size each year, with all but the first having a shaggy foot.

3) Inside the Industry: Eric Piras has entered into a partnership with Roberto P. Duran Premium Cigars & Azan Tobacco Group. A French national based in Hong Kong, Piras has nearly 20 years of experience in sales and marketing in the cigar industry. Piras is formerly of Altadis (later acquired by Imperial Tobacco Group), where he strengthened distribution channels. “I am thrilled to have Eric Piras on our team,” said Roberto Pelayo Duran in a press release. “His global network is enormous and diverse. I am very confident that with Eric on board we will be able to expand Roberto P. Duran Premium Cigars & Azan Tobacco Group brands into new markets around the world.”

4) Deal of the Week: This Silver Tray Sampler features 5 cigars for just $25 with free shipping. Included are the Hex Perfecto, BG Meyer Standard Issue Toro, E.P. Carrillo Cardinal 54 Maduro, Kristoff Sumatra Robusto, and Gran Vida Connecticut Corona.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Flickr

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 421

13 Mar 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.

Habanos1) A recent article from the Associated Press sheds some light on how the Cuban cigar industry is anticipating an end to the embargo. “Habanos, which reported global sales of $439 million last year, estimates it could sell roughly 70 million to 90 million cigars [in the U.S.], nearly doubling Cuba’s current production, if the embargo were lifted.” But despite the recent thaw in diplomatic relations, an outright end to the embargo is not expected anytime soon. And even if it were, questions remain about Cuba’s ability to drastically increase production. “The country suffers from major infrastructure deficiencies, and tobacco farmers sometimes complain of transportation delays following the harvest that can cause the leaves to go bad.” Still, under the new rules that allow Americans who travel to Cuba to bring back $100 of Cuban cigars, “officials said that this year alone they expect to double on-island sales of hand-rolled cigars… from 3 million to 6 million.”

2) Viva Republica is releasing a Culebra, limited to 1,000 coffins of three intertwined cigars (5.75 x 39 apiece). Three different blends will be represented in each Culebra: Rapture, Rapture Maduro, and Guerrilla Warfare. Viva Republica retailers will sell the Culebras for $18. The official launch will be held tomorrow at Tobaccology in Manassas, Virginia.

3) Inside the Industry: Room 101 is adding a second cigar to its retailer exclusive series called the Ichiban Roxxo, which will be headed to the Cigar Realm shop in Ashland, Virginia. Tatuaje announced on its Instagram that it is introducing a new event-only sampler featuring five Tatuaje blends (all 5.5 x 52) with a melamine ashtray.

4) Deal of the Week: Fans of My Father Cigars will want to check out this store-exclusive lancero release of the highly-ranked Flor de las Antillas made for Stogies World Class Cigars in Houston. Lancero fans should also see their store-exclusive Room 101 H-Town Namakubi Lancero. Use the discount code “SG10” for 10% off your first order, plus land free shipping on all five-pack or box purchases.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Habanos