19 Sep 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.
1) About one week after announcing it had acquired the brands associated with the Toraño Family Cigar Company, General Cigar revealed it has hired Sam Leccia as “Cigar and Blend Specialist.” General is now also distributing the Leccia Tobacco Company brands—including Black, White, and Luchador—through its Foundry Tobacco Company. Up until the announcement on Wednesday, the fate of Leccia Tobacco—formerly distributed by Toraño—remained unclear. The new arrangement with Leccia was detailed in a General Cigar press release: “Sam has built a strong reputation in the premium cigar category through his non-traditional approach to cigar making and brand building. He is best known for developing contemporary blends that put a unique and exciting spin on the tradition of premium cigars. In his new role at General Cigar, Sam will continue to develop his brands while leveraging the company’s vast tobacco resources, premium cigar blending expertise, and creative talent. He will also bring new, innovative products to the premium cigar market. As an ambassador for his brands, Sam will continue on his quest to share his passion for premium cigars with retailers and consumers across the country.”
2) In an email alert, the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) claims that at least two American tobacconists “have been seriously affected by banking restrictions brought on by the Justice Department’s ‘Operation Choke Point.’” The Operation “targets certain industries by pressuring banks to deny financial services to legitimate businesses for political reasons.” Reportedly, a couple IPCPR members have recently received written notices from their banks terminating their business relationships. If you’d like to learn more about Operation Choke Point, you can check out this PDF.
3) Serious Cigars in Houston is holding a different kind of rolling event. Sixty students will learn from a master roller how to roll a toro (6 x 50) from scratch. The $125 fee will get you, in addition to instruction, a catered dinner, cocktails, a custom chaveta, and up to 10 cigars of your own creation in a commemorative box. You can watch previous session highlights here.
4) Inside the Industry: Erik Espinosa’s La Zona factory is making the limited Cigar Dojo Sarsaparilla, a Mexican-wrapped maduro belicoso (5.5 x 52) that will be sold exclusively through Famous Smoke Shop. Meanwhile, cigar distributor Arango announced it is exclusively introducing a series of Chicago-themed frontmarks for CAO Gold Clasico, Macanudo Clasico, and Punch Clasico, all made for Arango by General Cigar.
5) Deal of the Week: If you’re a fan of the Man O’ War Ruination, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a deal as good as this. CigarsForMe.com is selling boxes of 20 for only $105, plus you get free shipping. Grab yours here.
photo credit: Leccia Tobacco