20 Jan 2017
As we have since July 2006, each Friday we’ll post our sampling of cigar news and other items of interest from the week. Below is our latest, which is the 514th in the series.
1) The Obama Administration has executed a bevy of agreements with Cuba in its final month of power. “Since Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announced in December 2014 that they would normalize relations, the two governments have established a number of task forces to resolve outstanding issues between them,” reports the Washington Post. “That process sped up considerably this month as President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration approached.” While these most recent agreements are not cigar-related—they concern maritime boundaries, joint responses on oil spills, law enforcement cooperation, and search and rescue operations—they underscore Obama’s desire to strengthen relations in a lasting way that would be more difficult to unwind. “Trump has said that Obama got a ‘bad deal’ from Cuba and that Castro should have made more concessions toward civic and political freedoms on the island,” says the Post. “Obama has repeatedly argued that more U.S.-Cuba contact will force the government’s hand.”
2) 60 Minutes recently aired an interesting feature on Havana Club rum and the legal battle between the Cuban government and the French beverage giant Pernod Ricard—a 50-50 joint venture that claims to be the one true Havana Club—and the Havana Club made by Bacardi in Puerto Rico. Bacardi claims legitimacy since it bought the original Havana Club name and recipe from the family that had been producing the rum prior to the company’s nationalization via Fidel Castro’s Cuban Revolution. If this story sounds familiar, it should. It’s very similar to the legal war being waged by Cuban cigar brands and non-Cuban brands that carry Cuban names (i.e., Cohiba). You can watch the feature in its entirety here.
3) Looking for something different to drink? Consider Allen’s Coffee Brandy, also known as the Champagne of Maine. “For more than 20 years, Allen’s Coffee Brandy has been the top-selling spirit in the state of Maine, besting the number two competitor by a margin of two to one. And that’s just the 1.75-liter size. Annual sales reports for the state routinely place all four sizes of Allen’s among the top ten best sellers… It is the stuff of legend. And why not? It’s inexpensive, it’s sweet, and it packs a buzz and a punch.”
4) Inside the Industry: Camacho announced new box-pressed extensions to its three core lines that feature Connecticut, Corojo, and Ecuador wrappers. Coming in three new box-pressed formats (Robusto, Toro, and Gordo), the tweaked blends of the box-pressed offerings are designed to be fuller-bodied due to the addition of Pennsylvanian Broadleaf tobaccos. Suggested retail on the three sizes are $8 to $9.25.
5) From the Archives: It’s chilly out, so warm up with one of our five warm drinks for cold days. This article lays out the recipes for such classic cocktails as the hot toddy, Stonewall Jackson, hot buttered Rum, and Mexican hot chocolate. Or, if you prefer, a good cup of coffee. Read it all here.
6) Deal of the Week: Here’s a sampler worth checking out. Just $45 gets you a Warped Maestro del Tiempo, Davidoff Yamasa Short Churchill, Caldwell Signature Dos Firmas, Bellas Artes by A.J. Fernandez, and The Tabernacle by Foundation Cigar Co. Pick up two (or add other products to get to $75) and use the code “StogieDeal” to land a free triple-flame butane lighter.
photo credit: Flickr