10 Jul 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.
1) Steve Saka—the former Drew Estate CEO who is returning to the cigar industry from a two-year absence—has announced the first blend from his new cigar operation, Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust. Called Sobremesa, it will be made at Joya de Nicaragua in Estelí (using tobacco Saka provides to Joya) with an Ecuador Habano wrapper around a Mexican binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua. There will be five sizes—Corona Grande, Robusto Largo, El Americano, Gran Imperiales, and Cervantes Fino—but pricing is not yet known. “I have been running like a bat out of hell to finalize this liga and marquee that I haven’t really given that much thought about how I was going to sell the brand,” wrote Saka on Facebook. “I know that sounds insane, but here it is just a week before the IPCPR and I am in Nica still sorting and indexing leaf with JDN so as to figure out what exactly these cigars are going to cost to make… So I really don’t know the price, but I will. The only sales plan I have is that I was going to offer it to a few retailers first who are really truly close personal friends.”
2) The Foundation Cigar Company, which was recently launched by another former Drew Estate employee, Nicholas Melillo, has likewise announced details of its first blend, El Güegüense (“The Wise Man”). A Nicaraguan puro, the blend will feature a Corojo ’99 wrapper from Jalapa that’s described as “rosado rosado café” in color. It’s billed as “medium to strong” and will come in five formats: Robusto, Toro, Churchill, Corona Gorda, and Torpedo. El Güegüense is made at the TABSA (Tobaccos Valle de Jalapa) factory in Nicaragua using Aganorsa tobacco. Melillo, popularly known as “Nick R. Agua” on social media, left Drew Estate in May, where he served for 11 years with responsibilities ranging from tobacco purchasing and fermentation to quality control and shipment planning.
3) Originally released in 2013 as a limited release under the Miami Cigar & Co. umbrella, a re-blended KILO is returning to the market, this time as part of the United Cigar Group made in Nicaragua by Noel Rojas, who owns Guayacan Cigars. KILO sports an Ecuador Habano wrapper, Nicaraguan Corojo 2006 binder, and filler from three different variations of three-year-old Ligero from Rojas’ farms in Nicaragua and from Aganorsa. Barry Stein, the blender and driving force behind both versions of KILO, described the cigar’s return: “I always wanted to work with Noel, but my former employers were already locked into a factory in Nicaragua. Noel was one of the first friends I made in Miami and he taught me a lot about tobacco and blending that complemented what I learned at La Aurora from their master blender, Manuel Inoa. When the original KILO came out, Noel and I brainstormed on some tweaks to the blend that take the cigar to the next level, and I am happy to bring this to cigar smokers via United Cigar Group.” The cigar, which is available in 18-count boxes, is available as a Robusto (5 x 50, $9) and Toro (6 x 52, $9.50).
4) Inside the Industry: Crux Cigars announced the new “Crux du Connoisseur” line which will be available in three sizes in September and is made at Plasencia Cigars S.A. with a Habano wrapper from Jalapa, a Nicaraguan binder, and Honduran filler. At the IPCPR Trade Show next week, Duran Cigars will release the Limited Edition Roberto P. Duran Salomon (7.25 x 57), featuring an Ecuadorian Habano Criollo wrapper. Black Label Trading Company recently announced the Deliverance Nocturne, made in two custom salomon vitolas at the Fabrica Oveja Negra with a Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper, Nicaraguan Habano binder, and filler from Nicaragua and Pennsylvania.
5) Deal of the Week: Cigar Place is offering an additional 40% off its already discounted clearance section by using the promo code “clearance.” Notable deals include five-packs of the Henry Clay Brevas ($15), Padilla Habano Robusto ($17), and Macanudo Gold Label Hampton Court Tubos ($18).
photo credit: Facebook