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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

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

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 387

13 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.

Cohiba Cigar1) The latest decision in the long legal battle over the Cohiba trademark in the United States is a win for Cubatobaco. Since 1997 the Cuban national tobacco company has been attempting to have the Cohiba trademark, now owned by General Cigar, cancelled. The latest decision, by the Federal Circuit Court in DC, will let the Cuban company proceed with its attempt to have General Cigar’s Cohiba trademark cancelled and to obtain the valuable trademark, and opens the door to even more litigation. The ongoing legal battle involves two of the largest players in the American cigar market since General Cigar is the current owner and the Cuban cigar distribution company Habanos is partially owned by the parent company of Altadis USA.

2) Camacho Cigars is introducing its first Nicaraguan puro. The BG Meyer Standard Issue is the company’s first cigar linked to writer/director Rob Weiss, a member of Camacho’s “Board of the Bold,”  known for his work on the series Entourage. According to Camacho, BG Meyer is “a medium to full intensity smoke featuring five different tobaccos that have aged for up to 8 years. Available in five popular formats… and will retail from $8 to $10.”

3) Inside the Industry: Last week Joya de Nicaragua announced its latest cigar line, Joya Red. Since the announcement last week, the company announced that, due to a conflict with the name Cardinal, Joya de Nicaragua has changed the vitola name to of the 5.5-inch vitola to Cañonazo. While Joya’s statement doesn’t say who the conflict is with, it almost certainly is E.P. Carrillo, who has a line of cigars called Cardinal.

4) Deal of the Week: The Stogie Guys Sampler at Corona Cigar Co. was recently updated. Just $30 gets you 7 cigars, including an Undercrown and the limited Avo Lounge cigar.

-The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Stogie Guys Friday Sampler No. 386

6 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.

Miami Cigar1) In preparation for the 2014 International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) Trade Show, which will take place in Las Vegas in July, Miami Cigar & Co. this week unveiled its new look, which coincides with the outfit’s 25th anniversary. “Along with the unveiling of the new design elements at the show, Miami Cigar & Co. will host a by-invitation 25th anniversary event at the fabulous Hyde Bellagio Las Vegas,” reads a press release. “The event…will welcome friends, colleagues, media, collaborators, and celebrities who have helped Miami Cigar & Co. reach this milestone. The event will also symbolize a passing of the torch as Nestor Miranda has decided to pass along day-to-day operations to his son-in-law, Jason Wood.” Wood is currently vice president of the company. “It has been an honor for me to begin the process of creating a new look and feel which is worthy of what Nestor Miranda and the Miami Cigar & Co. team have accomplished over the last 25 years,” he said.

2) Jeff Borysiewicz, president of Corona Cigar Co., has stepped down as chairman of Cigar Rights of America to spend more time with his family, concentrate on his cigar shops in Florida, and focus on his first crop of Florida Sun Grown tobacco. He will be succeeded by Robert Levin, president of Ashton and the Holt’s of Philadelphia. “We sincerely thank Jeff for his hard work for the last four years,” said Levin. “We would not be having the discussion of an exemption for premium cigars were it not for the legislative efforts of Jeff and the CRA staff and team of advocates. Jeff will remain active with our advocacy and legislative efforts, offering his expertise and passion for the premium cigar industry.”

3) Inside the Industry: Joya de Nicaragua has revealed its latest cigar line, which is called Joya Red. It was “developed for the modern smoker by the youngest executive team in the industry, together with the most senior master blenders of Nicaragua,” according to a press release. The Nicaraguan puro will come in four sizes and be positioned as a milder Joya smoke, using a Habano wrapper of a lower priming than usual, and featuring less ligero tobacco than is typical of the oldest cigar maker in Nicaragua.

4) Around the Blogs: Cigar Fan fires up the East India Trading Company Rogue. Cigar Inspector inspects the Cult Ometepe. Stogie Fresh smokes the Liga Privada Único Serie L40. Stogie Review reviews the Eiroa Prensado.

5) Deal of the Week: This sampler lands you five premium cigars for just $26. Included are such highly-rated sticks as the Fausto FT166, Sindicato Affinity Belicoso, Cain F 654T, Montecristo Classic No. 3, and the Vega Fina Robusto.

-The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Miami Cigar & Co.