Search results: reporting live this week from the 76th Annual International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) Trade Show in Las Vegas

Live Updates From the IPCPR Trade Show (Day 3)

15 Jul

Patrick S and Jon N will be reporting live this week from the 76th Annual International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) Trade Show in Las Vegas. Check back regularly for updates throughout the day.

Patrick S (7:00 AM PDT): Today is our last day of live reports from the show. Not surprisingly, last night’s CAO party with Lyrynd Skynyrd rocked. They played all the hits including Free Bird for the big finale.

Jon N (7:00 AM PDT): Patrick and I stopped by the Isla de Cuba booth yesterday to sample two of the brand’s latest offerings. I tried out the Wango Tango “longie” (a 7 inch by 38 ring gauge lancero), while Patrick lit up Blend 376 in a robusto-extra size (5.5″ x 50). I found the smoothly wrapped, beautifully constructed lancero to have a pleasing draw with plenty of smoke; I got lots of pepper and cedar from the medium to medium-full body. Patrick enjoyed his 376, whose flavors he described as “nutty and earthy, with just a hint of leather.” For the record, the Wango Tango lancero is wrapped and bound in Connecticut broadleaf tobacco, with a four-country blend of Central American fillers. The Blend 376 (so named, apparently, because Isla de Cuba “went through 375 blends before they chose this one”) is wrapped with Mexican San Andres leaf, with a Nicaraguan binder and a blend of fillers from Nicaragua, Honduras, and other “secret” Central American tobaccos. Much like the Classic and Aged Maduro lines, these offerings from Isla de Cuba did not disappoint, and I look forward to trying out some more in the coming months.

Patrick S (11:25 AM PDT): This morning we started out stopping by the PG booth to check out the new Soiree line, a “full-bodied after dinner cigar.” I also smoked a PG Gourmet petit corona from 1995 that was fantastically smooth, and Jon lit up a Gourmet corona which he describes as “nice and smooth, a little woody with a touch of pepper.” I’ll be dining with the Garmirians this coming Monday at Morton’s.

Patrick S (11:35 AM PDT): Our next stop was Arganese for the new ML3 and CL3. We also landed some samples of the Arganese Edición Especial Dos Capas, a very cool-looking barber poll perfecto which we will be reviewing in the coming weeks. Additionally we learned that Arganese will be making a line of cigars with Joe Gannascoli, the actor who played Vito Spatafore on the cigar-friendly HBO hit The Sopranos. Naturally, we snapped a photo of Joe with Gene Arganese (right).

Patrick S (1:30 PM PDT): J.C. Newman’s new stuff at the IPCPR is mostly in the accessories area, with new humidors and hygrometers, but we did hear about something they are working on for 2009. They plan to roll out an extension of the Diamond Crown line called the Julius Caesar (after the original “J.C.” who started the company over 100 years ago). The line will be stronger than the current Diamond Crown blend and will consist of three different perfecto sizes. They are currently working with the Fuentes to perfect the blend, which they hope to release at or before next years’ IPCPR.

Patrick S (1:40 PM PDT): This will be my final update from Las Vegas before I fly back to Washington, but I wanted to add that being at the show reinforced my feeling that the cigar industry is full of generally friendly people who are in it as much because they love cigars as for the profits. I wish I had two more days because there are many more booths and people that I wanted to visit with. Overall, I leave with a very optimistic view of the industry. While marketing gimmicks may be part of the trade, manufacturers understand that cigar smokers want quality and interesting smokes, and they are trying to meet those demands. It should be a good year for Stogie Guys everywhere…

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Live Updates From the IPCPR Trade Show (Day 2)

14 Jul

Patrick S and Jon N will be reporting live this week from the 76th Annual International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) Trade Show in Las Vegas. Check back regularly for updates throughout the day.

Patrick S (1:00 AM PDT): The floor opens at 10 AM here in Vegas and we’ll be there when it does. For more information checkout yesterday’s updates and also our preview from last week.

Patrick S (10:40 AM PDT): First stop was the giant Altadis section where Janelle Rosenfeld introduced us to to Altadis’ upcoming releases. On the super premium end is the new Romeo y Julieta Museum Edition, a limited release (retailing for $30 per cigar) that comes in a humidor box with a specially-commissioned painting by the 3D artist Charles Fazzio. Altadis is also releasing the “Mi Dominicana” by Jose Seijas, a Dominican Puro that will be available this month and will go for $7.50-9 per stick. Other exciting new relases from Altadis include a new box-pressed Maduro Montecristo called the “Reserva Negra” plus new cigars from the Turrent family and a maduro H. Upmann.

Jon N (10:55 AM PDT): Patrick and I made sure to take the hotly anticipated Cubao out for a test drive this morning. We sampled some very pretty lanceros in a medium-brown Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. It’s a rustic, but attractive cigar packaged in an equally rustic cabinet with a cool, weather-worn look. We would describe the smoke as medium to full with earth, wood and pepper flavors and a slightly dry finish. The burn is nice and even, and the cigars handle flawlessly. Given the look, flavor, $7 price tag, and Don Pepin’s name, we expect the Cubao to be a big hit.

Patrick S (12:25 PM PDT): Our next stop was at the Reyes Family booth, where Frank Santos told us about their three new lines: Reyes Premier, Reyes Vintage, and Reyes Classic. At his recommendation, Jon and I tried the Classic, which is a mild-bodied cigar made with a natural Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper and filler from four different countries. The cigar was toasty with buttery flavors and the construction was flawless. Santos tells us that the decision to release cigars under the Reyes name is partially a tribute to Rolando Reyes who, while still actively involved in the company, recently handed the reigns to his 31-year-old grandson. He says the company will be focusing on its new lines and that at least in the short term any new releases (none are planed immediately) will likely be extensions of the lines with new sizes.

Patrick S (12:40 PM PDT): We also stopped by to see our friend Kinky Friedman. Kinky is debuting a new size, the Kinky Lady, a 7 inch by 42 ring gauge lonsdale. He also recently introduced a bundled line called “Kinksters.”

Patrick S (3:40 PM PDT): After a quick lunch we jumped back on the trade floor and dropped by the good folks at El Tiante Cigars. We’ve favorably reviewed their cigars in the past and now I’ve gotten my hands on some samples of their new cigar, El Tiante 23 Corojo, which they say is their strongest creation yet. The oily wrapper is similar in color to the Maduro line. I also snapped a quick picture with the Boston pitching legend himself.

Patrick S (4:00 PM PDT): After visiting El Tiante we went to see all the new sticks put out by General Cigar. We covered many of the new releases in yesterday’s post, but it seems the most anticipated is the Macanudo 1968, which is the most full-flavored Macanudo to date. Another interesting trend from General is the production of cigars in the thick 6 inch by 60 ring gauge size. A number of their lines, including the new Cohiba Dominicana, come in the new size. They have also completely re-blended and re-packaged the flavored Havana Honeys line (which was recently acquired by General) with a greater focus on quality and consistency. The Hoyo Excalibur Legend is another new smoke by General that we got a look at. The robust blend appears targeted at smokers who may have got their start with the Hoyo Excalibur line, but have moved towards more full-bodied smokes.

Patrick S (8:00 PM PDT): It was quite a day, but it isn’t over yet. Now I’m off to the CAO/Toraño party at The Palms. We’ll be back on the trade show floor tomorrow, so be sure to let us know in the comments what questions you want asked of the top cigar makers out there and we’ll do our best to get you answers.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Live Updates From the IPCPR Trade Show

13 Jul

Patrick S and Jon N will be reporting live this week from the 76th Annual International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) Trade Show in Las Vegas. Check back regularly for updates throughout the day.

Patrick S (10:15 PDT): This year the show returns to Vegas after being in Houston last year. Despite a recent smoking ban, this is still a great cigar town. There are plenty of places to buy cigars and lots of places to smoke them. I’ve already smoked cigars at the bar, the craps table, the roulette table, the sports book…you get the idea. I’ll be heading to Casa Fuente later today.  The show doesn’t get into full effect until tomorrow when the convention floor opens (when I expect the updates here to be more fast and furious), but tonight it opens with a cocktail reception.

Patrick S (1:23 PDT): We did hear from General Cigar on Friday about their new cigars. I’m looking forward to the La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Miami rolled in Miami, and also new blends in their Cohiba Line (a Dominican puro), the Macanudo Line (celebrating 40 years since General first started creating Macanudo), and the Hoyo De Monterey Excalibur Legend. General VP Victoria McKee will be personally introducing me to the new lines tomorrow, and we’ll be sure to give you our first impressions.

Jon N (6:20 PDT): Patrick S and I have arrived in Las Vegas, and we got to check out the trade show floor as it was being set up. The big names (Altadis, General, etc.) are in full force with large booths and plenty of floorspace. Like Vegas itself, the show floor is enormous—larger than life and probably pretty easy to get lost in. We look forward to doing so tomorrow morning. The following photos don’t show just how large the floor is.

Patrick S (6:40 PDT): No cigar smoker’s trip to Vegas would be complete without a stop at Casa Fuente. Not surprisingly, the place was packed, but we were fortuate enough to smoke some sticks with a great group of stogie smokers, including Jerry from Stogie Review and Bob from DogWatch Social Club. I enjoyed the Casa Fuente I had (which reportedly features the Opus X blend with a Cameroon wrapper), but I actually enjoyed the King B I bought there even more. Later this evening we’ll be heading back to the IPCPR show for the opening reception.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Stogie Guys