Search results: "live today from the 78th annual International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association"

Live Updates from the IPCPR Trade Show (Day 3)

12 Aug

[Editors’ Note: NEW ORLEANS — Stogie Guys staffers Patrick S and Patrick M are reporting live today from the 78th annual International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) Trade Show. This convention is where cigar makers from around the world come to showcase their products and debut their new creations. Check back throughout the day for live updates.]


6:00am Central: Yesterday, Bruce Lewis of the Toraño Family Cigar Company told us that the recent changes at the his outfit have been very well received by retailers. The company is releasing three new lines (detailed in our interview with Charlie Toraño last month): Brigade, Master, and Single Region. In addition, Toraño is expanding the Exodus 50 Years series to include a box-pressed robusto size. We also learned that the Signature blend has become a private label exclusive to Famous Smoke Shop.

6:05am Central: Also yesterday, Pinar del Rio’s Abe Flores reported that the new 1878 Capa Madura is doing very well, with 8,000 boxes sold since it launched just over two months ago. Priced around $5 each, he hopes the blend will introduce smokers to Pinar del Rio and his other lines.

12:05pm Central: A quick chat with Litto Gomez revealed some exciting news from la Flor Dominicana, including that Airbender was La Flor’s “most successful release ever.” Debuting at the show is the new Airbender Chisel with a stronger, darker, and thicker wrapper because, according to Gomez, “the Chisel deserves respect.” Also new is the Maduro Soloman. Litto told us that the LG Vintage 2010 and Small Batch No. 3 would be shipping soon. Additionally, new 5-cigar samplers were also available including a maduro sampler with never-before released Coronado Maduro double coronas and Airbender maduros.

12:15pm Central: As expected, CAO released the new La Traviata Maduro in three sizes. I smoked one this morning and found a medium-bodied smoke with lush chocolate and espresso notes. I’m predicting that, much like the original La Traviata, this will be a hit, particularly at its $5-6 price point. Also out for the show are a number of line extensions including a small Cameroon perfecto, a large (6 x 60) Lx2, an Lx2 box press (4 x 45), and four-inch cigars in tins of five for both the Lx2 and La Traviata.


12:25pm Central: My Father will be releasing a Limited Edition line extension that will be personally rolled by Jamie and Pepin Garcia. The Limited Edition will come in coffins of twelve and only 2,000 boxes will be released. MSRP on the Limited Edition will be somewhere between $20-$25 per cigar and will be available in mid to late September.


12:30pm Central: Viaje debuted last year with their Oro and Platino lines and have since followed up with a bunch of micro lines. The line available at the show this year is Sartori, which means “enlightenment. ” Sartori’s MSRP is $12 per cigar and only 450 boxes will be produced. Also new from Viaje is a 50/50 Red Label with two different fused filler blends. Only 450 boxes will be produced.

12:40pm Central: We stopped by El Primer Mundo to talk with owner Sean Williams, who told us about the new Liga Miami that is being handmade in Miami at El Titan de Bronze. The blend is rolled “entubado,” meaning all of the filler leaves are rolled individually instead of being bunched and rolled at once. Then the filler is wrapped with two binders to provide extra support. Liga Miami features a Nicaraguan binder, Nicaraguan and Dominican ligero fillers, and an Ecuadorian sun-grown wrapper with an MSRP of $9.50 per cigar.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Live Updates from the IPCPR Trade Show (Day 2)

11 Aug

[Editors’ Note: NEW ORLEANS — Stogie Guys staffers Patrick S and Patrick M are reporting live today from the 78th annual International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) Trade Show. This convention is where cigar makers from around the world come to showcase their products and debut their new creations. Check back throughout the day for live updates.]

11:30am Central: Before the floor closed yesterday we were able to find out about the latest releases from General Cigar. Headlining were two new Macanudos, both seemingly designed to challenge America’s best selling cigar brands’ mild image. Already announced was the Macanudo Vintage 1997 Maduro, a first for Macanudo, which features a metal band/cigar holder that will ship with the first 70,000 cigars. Also announced (for an early October release) is the Macanudo Cru Royale, featuring an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, proprietary Dominican binder, and Nicaraguan,  Dominican, and Brazilian mata fina filler. The blend was created by master cigar maker Benji Menendez and originally designated for General’s Partagas line before the decision was made to release it under Macanudo.


11:45am Central: Also from General Cigar are two new La Gloria Cubana blends. Artesanos de Obelisco is a box-pressed pyramid inspired by the “Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration” obelisk in Santiago. The cigar ($9 MSRP) comes in a distinctive semi-circle box and uses an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, Connecticut broadleaf binder, and Dominican and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos. Meanwhile, La Gloria Serie N is a new Nicaraguan heavy line of four sizes with an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. Rounding out General’s new cigars is the Hoyo de Monterrey Reposado en Cedros, which uses a proprietary aging process designed to impart extra cedar flavors. It sells for $6.50-$7 each and comes in three sizes. Also of note from General is that the Cameroon-wrapped Hoyo Excalibur 1066 is changing names and bands, and will now be known as Hoyo de Monterrey Cameroon.


11:50am Central: Most of Davidoff’s new products are accessories. Two of the most interesting are the Davidoff Lacquer White Palladium Series, which includes a Prestige Lighter, Double Cutter, and Round Cutter. The second accessory is a new set of porcelain ashtrays called Mosaic and Phoenix. On the cigar front, Davidoff will be introducing a Maduro Toro to compliment the Robusto and Corona already in the line. They are also adding a Maduro to the Primeros line. Primeros Maduro will have an Ecuadorian Sungrown wrapper. Earlier in the year Davidoff rolled out a new line, Puro d’Oro, which they say is continuing to do really well. We inquired about the Colorado Claro and were informed it may be as long as 10 years before we see it again as it takes that long to store up enough tobacco to make a release.

11:55am Central: The Joya de Nicaragua camp is adding a box-pressed Toro (6 x 52) to both the Dark Antaño and regular Antaño lines.


12:05pm Central: Drew Estate has launched the Dirty Rat as part of the regular production of a new line, Unico Serie, under which all of the company’s unique cigars will fall. Contrary to what many have believed, the Dirty Rat doesn’t share a blend with either the No. 9 or the T-52. It will be sold in boxes of 12 at an MSRP of $12 per stick. Steve Saka, president of Drew Estate,  said the “Dirty Rat isn’t a limited release, it’s just a pain in the ass to make.” Drew Estate will also be adding a Belicoso and a Corona Doble to the T-52 line, as well as a 3,000-box run of the T-52 Flying Pig. In the Acid line, “Toast” will now be available nationwide. Lastly, Drew Estate has partnered with Starbuzz and will be releasing a line of Acid Shisha for Hookah Smokers.

1:35pm Central: Kurt Kendall, owner of 7-20-4, gave us the scoop on this dead trademark for a brand of clear havanas that was produced in a factory in Manchester, New Hampshire. About four years ago, Kurt started the process of obtaining the expired trademark and is now producing cigars under the name again. The cigars are made in Honduras with a Brazilian mata fina wrapper, Costa Rican binder, and a filler blend of Nicaraguan, Honduran, Mexican, and Colombian tobaccos. 7-20-4 introduced two new sizes: a Londres and the “Dog Walker,” which is about the size of a petit corona.

1:50pm Central: Dion Giolito of Illusione doesn’t have any new products this year other than the Singulare, which will be a yearly, limited release that will change sizes and blends every year. Dion said that Singulare is the mildest cigar that he makes. He described it as being very light on the palate with most of the taste coming through the nose. The Cruzado Domenicos is being phased out and replaced with a Domenicos Extra: a 6 inch by 56 ring gauge cigar. Under the Illusione line, he also has an HL Maduro and an HL Candela. When asked about why he chose to make a candela, he replied that he loves them and always smokes them and wanted to make one of his own. Epernay gets the Le Matin as a box-pressed line extension. Nosotros will be getting a facelift with the addition of a second band on the cigar and the Illusione warranty seal on the boxes.


3:00pm Central: As expected, Avo debuted their new Heritage line. A spicier, more full-bodied blend than Avo smokers may be used to, it uses the LE 2009 “compañero” wrapper from Ecuador and a Dominican San Vincente binder with filler consisting of Dominican ligero, Dominican seco, and Peruvian seco. It is being launched in four sizes that will sell for $7-9.50.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Live Updates from the IPCPR Trade Show (Day 1)

10 Aug

[Editors’ Note: NEW ORLEANS — Stogie Guys staffers Patrick S and Patrick M are reporting live today from the 78th annual International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) Trade Show. This convention is where cigar makers from around the world come to showcase their products and debut their new creations. Check back throughout the day for live updates.]


6:00am Central: Before I arrive in New Orleans, here are a few thoughts on what to expect this year. One trend we’ll see more of are brick and mortar exclusive cigars. Cigar makers know that small independent smoke shops are the hardest hit by smoking taxes and bans, so offering them some protection from being severely undercut by online and catalog prices makes a cigar more desirable to a shop owner. I’ll also be curious to see the prices of new cigars. After year after year of higher and higher prices on new cigar lines, we saw some more reasonably priced introductions at last year’s show.

8:30am Central: Before hitting the Trade Show floor today, it’s worth mentioning that Hendrik “Henke” Kelner from Davidoff gave a tasting and blending seminar last night. The event started with a quick overview of the different factors that are responsible for the way tobacco tastes. Those factors were broken into three categories: cultivation (soil, climate, seed, leaf position, farmer), manufacturing (curing, fermenting, aging), and production (expertise of blender). He also discussed how different regions of the tongue respond to different taste stimuli (sweet, salty, bitter, acid) and that blending a cigar is really directing how the tongue is stimulated. After that quick overview, we smoked three pure grade tobaccos to determine which part of the tongue that particular tobacco was stimulating. Then we smoked a completed blend of the three tobaccos, which turned out to be a Davidoff Gran Cru No. 3. Finally, we smoked two more Gran Cru No. 3s, but each with different wrappers. Overall the experience was very educational and I highly recommend attending a tasting and blending seminar if you get the chance. Davidoff has been giving them across the country as part of the roll out of the Puro d’Oro.

8:50am Central: Yesterday, provided a preview of the Trade Show entitled “Cigar Smoke Descends Over New Orleans” for Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller. You can read the whole article here.


11:15am Central: Our first stop this morning was Altadis,where we learned more details about the cigars we covered in yesterday’s preview. The new H. Upmann Sungrown, made at the La Flor de Copan factory in Honduras, will be available in six sizes ranging in price from from $6.25 to $7.75. Altadis’ new Nicaraguan line, Warlock, comes in five sizes, priced $5.50-6.50. The A. Turrent Triple Play Maduro comes in five sizes, all selling for between $7 and $8.

11:20am Central: Altadis also told us about two new interesting lines. The first, Dos Familias, is a collaboration of the Turrent and Ortez families that’s made in Nicaragua with a San Andreas criollo wrapper around Nicaraguan and San Andreas binder and filler. Also previously unannounced is the Don Diego Fuerte, an extension that’s made in Nicaragua by Omar Ortez with an Ecuadorian Cubano wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder, and filler from Nicaragua and the Dominican. It comes in five sizes and is priced from $5-$6.50.

12:35pm Central: We stopped by the Cuban Crafters booth to get the latest from Don Kiki Berger. The only “new” line is the J.L. Salazar Maduro, which has been available for some time but is only now a regular full production series. The always friendly Don Kiki said he’ll have something new in a few months. Prompted by a reader’s question, we asked about the Miami Medina Habano and were told that, despite being well-received, they aren’t being made right now and only a few remain at their Miami headquarters. You won’t find them online, but if you ask a Cuban Crafters retailer to order some, or call headquarters directly, you may be able to get them.


3:15pm Central: Felipe Gregorio has three new lines coming out. The first is Vallejuelo, which features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper an a blend of Cuban-seed lijero filler. Vallejeullo will be available in three sizes with an estimated MSRP of $4.50-$6.00. W20 is another new line, this one celebrating the 20th anniversary of the company just like the Power celebrated the 15th anniversary. W20 has a marrón Habano 2000 wrapper and tis supposed to cater to those looking for full-bodied cigars. Finally, Felipe Gregorio is releasing the rosado-wrapped Minotaur at a price point of $15 a cigar for the only size in the line. Minotaur is sold in boxes of 15 and was made at the request of a prominent cigar distributor in France. It is blended to approximate the profile of Cuban cigars to make it more marketable in Europe. Interestingly, none of the new lines say Felipe Gregorio anywhere on the product, and it appears the company may be moving away from that name as part of their marketing. Also of note is that the company says their business is much stronger abroad than in the U.S.

4:55pm Central: Alan Rubin of Alec Bradley gave us the rundown on his new lines. First up was the Maxx Connecticut, which was crafted in response to requests from his sales staff. He told us you can’t build your name on a Connecticut wrapped cigar, but he felt that his brand is now established enough that it could produce a well-received Connecticut cigar in its Maxx sizes.

5:05pm Central: While he was enthusiastic about the new Maxx, Rubin was most excited to tell us about the new Tempus Maduro. To get the maduro leaf, he resurrected an old Cuban technique where the pulp of canna fistula fruit is boiled and the resulting liquid is sprayed on aging pilons of wrapper leaf along with water. Rubin says the process causes the maduro leaf to age more quickly, thus maintaining a full flavor while also having the traditional sweetness of a maduro. The new Tempus Maduro is available in five sizes and Rubin says the reaction from cigar shops has been very positive.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Stogie Guys