When you pull into the parking lot of a cigar lounge and see a space reserved for Al Micallef, you know you’ve chosen wisely.
This quaint shop has a few surprises around every corner. Their humidor is small and was not full but we found several cigars we couldn’t get anywhere else. The staff was young but knowledgeable and friendly. The shop looked small but had multiple rooms making it able to hold a large crowd.
We looked at all the “Top Cigar of 2022” lists from popular media to create this ranked list of the most popular companies. The more cigar blends chosen and the more often they were rated drove companies up the list.
Here is a look at all the Top Cigars from all the current lists, sorted by most times rated in the Top Five. Check it out to discover what you need to try and which brands need to be your favorite. Note: Cuban and extremely exclusive releases are excluded. Click on the images to see their lists.
Before the Mayans. The symbol for cigar from an ancient Central American civilization dons the band and the box for Foundation’s new Olmec Cigar. Foundation also is producing a Cigar marking the 100th anniversary of King Tut’s Discovery The box is a replica of one of the boxes found in the tomb, It’s called Highclear Castle Sinetro.
2. The whole package. El Septimo Geneva has brought the luxury again with El Septimo Cognac, El Septimo wine, and three different $5.5 million lighters. They also premiered the Emperor’s line of Connecticut and Maduro.
3. What’s that taste? Color has a flavor in the first Ozgener Family Bosphorus yellow by Tim Ozgener and Crowned Heads. He also promoted his Pi Synesthesia with artwork on the box inspired by his father’s tobacco leaf art.
4. Charity for the troops. Cigars for Warriors is Celebrating its 10th Anniversary with a medal. They are available for purchase to help the charity at their PCA booth or on their website after the convention.
5. Take you to school. Noel Rojas has made a splash with several different brands in their booth but if you haven’t seen “The Complete Guide to Becoming a Cigar Specialist” Vol. 1,-Nicaragua, you should. Buyers smoke the cigars in the box from the regions used to make the blend.
6. Cuban sized. Micallef Cigars is proud of their variety and with good reason. At PCA they are showing off their pack with eight of their blends in a londres size. They are also adding another size to the A line with the “a,” named after their ambassador’s program.
7. The summer of Bewitching. It’s another very good show for Steve Saka and Dunbarton tobacco. He has several projects he has been working on that are being promoted at the show. Another Muestra De Saka, Bewitched, the Holiday Edition Stillwell star, Todos Los Dias is back with the Mas Fuerte, and the limited edition. Mi Querida “SakaKhan”
8. American aged. The relatively new brand ATL, straight out of Atlanta is enjoying the 95 from Stogie Press for their Magic and using it for their success. The company uses Nicaraguan tobacco that is curated and aged in Atlanta.
9. New approach to tubos. Cigar Bros Humidors was showing their Vending Machine like Humidors. The stand-alone boxes are full of tubos with prices and cigar description.
10. The competition is steep Integra has stepped up the game and was showing their Boost 420 humidification insert that services 200 cigars. The 320 will keep up to 150 and they offer smaller sizes as well.
We live in the greatest country in the world. At the PCA Annual Meeting of the Membership sponsored by Foundation Cigar Company, breakfast was provided, cigars were plentiful and we respected the flag and recited the pledge as Cigars for Warriors presented the colors.
2. The Cigar Industry in general and PCA specifically is doing well. PCA reported on the recent court victory calling the FDA’s regulation of premium cigars “arbitrary and capricious.”
3. Drunk Chicken Cigars is no joke. In just three years, CEO Desiree Sylver has made others take notice. This minority-owned, woman-owned, veteran-owned company creates “cigars that can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere.” Look for the Fat Hen or the Mother Clucker.
4. Rebranding is worth it. El Artista has become Artista and the new look is clean and well done. They are known for the Big Papi and Buffalo Ten (we gave that a 97). They created a new master brand and introduced new blends. They also added a really clever new line called Paper Boy. (see cover photo)
5. Pipes are cool again. Dominican Big League created their version of the pipe by way of a specially-rolled cigar. by Francisco Almonte
6. ATF is not so bad. The ATF magazine is a quarterly publication that writes about Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Subscribe at ATFlifestyle.com. Their latest issue cover story was Matt Booth of Room 101 Cigars.
7. It matters what you pair. When manufacturers blend a cigar, they often have a specific drink in mind for the consumer to make that cigar the best it can be. Luciano (in the Crowned Heads booth) showed off their wine to pair with their new blend, Mas Igneus.
8. Cigar manufacturers are humble and gracious people. Mrs. Have A Premium Cigar created jewelry, key chains and coasters for many vendors. They were very appreciative.
9. All the hype was right. 2022 is a great year for cigars and the health and excitement of this convention proves it. Surpassing pre-COVID numbers is something the organization can achieve and the industry needs.
10. Las Vegas may be hot but it’s very cool. The strip has many gems including the LinQ Promenade (Alley). Despite the over 100 degree temperature, the outdoor restaurants have cooling water and fans, to make the experience pleasant.
July 8, 2022— Black Works Studio (BLK WKS) is pleased to announce the release of Killer Bee Connecticut: Hand crafted in Esteli, Nicaragua at Fabrica Oveja Negra.
KILLER BEE CONNECTICUT will be available at select BLK WKS retailers later this summer. This cigar was first released in a small batch in 2018.
“We are excited about the return of the Killer Bee Connecticut. It was one of our most popular cigars in the Killer Bee line. After several years of requests, we are happy to announce Killer Bee Connecticut will now be a core-line product. With similar profiles to the Killer Bee, it may not be what you expect from a typical Connecticut cigar. The Connecticut wrapper gives an added creaminess and changes up the spice components quite a bit,” said James Brown, creator of BLK WKS and partner at Fabrica Oveja Negra.
KB Connecticut will be shipping in limited quantities this week.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Connecticut and Ecuador Maduro swirl cap & closed foot
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Petite Corona – 4.5 x 46 (24 count) MSRP $11.00
BLK WKS cigars are an expression of art showcasing the talent, technique, and tobacco behind boutique cigar factory; Fabrica Oveja Negra.
For more information contact info@BlackLabelTrading.com.
Carlito Fuente blended a 6 1/4x 52 with 13 tobaccos, including 2 wrappers and 2 binders, to celebrate Fuente Friday with 250 of their closes friends in Las Vegas at PCA 2022.
This cigar will never be sold,” Jose Blanco said. “It was made for us to smoke together. I came up with this idea because I’ve always been a big supporter of IPCPR, RTDA, PCA. “
The cigar was made and smoked at the opening event of the annual convention. Fuente said it was done to support PCA but to bring something unique to the retailers.
“We would not be here if it was not for the retailers who make everyone’s lives better, Blanco said. “Carlito made this blend using 13 different tobaccos. To make this blend you really have to know tobacco.”
They provided cigars to the first 250 retailers at the event and opened a Q&A for the audience.
“I wanted to have fun and interact with each and everyone if I’m you,” Fuente said “It’s about entertainment and it’s about sharing. I wanted to use tobacco I had not used before. I made a blend with tobacco from the memories I’ve had. I blend in my dreams.
“If you know tobacco, you envision what you want to achieve. You instruct the master roller of how to place the tobacco,” he added.
Blanco and Fuente opened it up to the audience to get opinions of the cigar as they smoked it.
“Taste is subjective,” Blanco said. “I’m picking up a lot of sweetness from it.”
Others mentioned flavors such as earth, pepper, cedar, baking spices.
“This is the kind of cigar you’d expect to pay more for because of the quality and the attention to detail that was used when it was made,” Jeff Slatton (HaveAPremiumCigar.com and CigarWeekly.com) said. “It has quality construction, and it is true of all the cigars made in your factory. Hats off to you sir.”
Blanco asked Fuente, “How many times have you made a blend with 2 tobaccos and they don’t work together?”
“It’s happened, Fuente said. “Many times. You realize something’s missing. What’s a great cigar? My dad said It’s a cigar you are enjoying. It’s one you are burning your fingers because you don’t want to put it out. It’s balance, it’s complexity.”
“Cigars are made to be enjoyed not to knock you on your ass. It’s too enjoy with others,” Blanco said.
Blanco said the retailers inspired him to want to share cigars with the audience.
“Hard work is what retailers do,” Blanco said. “I take off my hat to all the retailers all over the world because you are a part of the greatest industry in the world.”
Carlitos surprised the audience with two trips for two.
“It you talk the talk, you walk the walk, Fuente said. “I believe in family and you are my family. And you bring family to your home.”
He told the audience to look under their chairs and if they had a cigar taped under their chair they were the lucky winners to win round trip for two to Dominican Republic and a visit with him at his home.
Blanco: What’s the one thing that can ruin the perfect cigar? Smoking it next to an asshole.
A district court ruled the FDA did not properly adhere to the requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act by ignoring the evidence supporting a premium cigar exemption from regulation.
This comes on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last Thursday stating Congress did not give the Environmental Protection Agency authority to make broad requirements of states in the climate fight.
“Agencies have only those powers given to them by Congress,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote. “The agency … must point to ‘clear congressional authorization’ for the power it claims.”
The ruling yesterday called the FDA’s move “arbitrary and capricious.” The judge gave the opportunity for both sides to submit additional briefings before he issues his final judgement after July 26.
Credit has to be given to Premium Cigar Association, the Cigar Rights of America and the Cigar Association of America, Inc. for years of research, lobbying and lawsuits.
“Please understand this is and has been an incredibly complex and difficult task to get our Government’s Regulatory Bureaucracy to respond,” cigar manufacturer Steve Saka posted on Facebook. “A tremendous effort has been expended legislatively and legally to get us to this point.
“Without their efforts, I am not even sure if Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust would be in business today,” he added.
In June, the FDA ordered the vaping company Juul to pull its devices and nicotine liquid pods off shelves, determining they had not shown enough evidence that its products do not hurt public health.
“On July 5, 2022, FDA administratively stayed the marketing denial order” the FDA said in a twitter post. “The agency has determined that there are scientific issues unique to the JUUL application that warrant additional review.”
The stay temporarily suspended the marketing denial order during the additional review but did not rescind it. The message added the stay “does not constitute authorization to market, sell, or ship JUUL products.”
About to depart for the Premium Cigar Association Annual Trade Show in Las Vegas.
Although we are NOT introducing any new Core brands this year, we are showcasing FOUR exceptional Limited Production Puros for our Purveyors!
Muestra de Saka “The Bewitched” – is an intoxicating liga of choice Nicaraguan and US Grown fillers with our exclusive Cultivo Tonto San Andreas Negro binder swaddled in a Grade 1 Ecuador Habano Seed capa. Presented in a beautiful 6 5/8 x 48 prensado vitola with a spiral colita in 7ct boxes, this cigar rewards the smoker with a beguiling smoking experience with notes of cafe, caramel, cedar, and tempered spice. These will continue to ship as they become available.
Mi Querida Black “SakaKhan” – this is a 7.25 x 54 Limited Production of the most exclusive Mi Querida to date. “Black” is intended to be a 2023 release, but I had enough of a pilot crop of a unique Honduran leaf needed for this liga ready to roll ~3,500 10ct boxes of these big, bold beauties. These will be delivered in August.
StillWell Star Holiday Y2022 Release – a special, one time Production of a 6 x 52 luxury pipe tobacco cigar to celebrate the Holidays. The aroma and flavor are exceptional! Limited to only ~2,500 13ct boxes. These will be shipped out in early November.
Todos Las Dias “Thick Lonsdale” Y2023 – as you know we had to pause the production of this line due to a tobacco shortage, but we now have enough to do a limited batch production and I have decided to do so in what in my opinion is the best vitola, a 6 x 46 gem of a smoke. Offered in 10ct boxes. These will be delivered to our accounts in January 2023.
If any of these intrigue you, please let your favorite Retailer know – much thanks!
Located in the historical “Cigar Capital of the World,” this renovation has turned a cathedral into an amazing cigar lounge. The indoor lounge is complete with a bar and the outside chairs are inviting and include a food truck on select days.
This place is well worth the visit. The humidor is large and stocked. Grand Cathedral is the Home of the “Casa Cuba Cigar Lounge & Club.”
CASA 1910 had their first booth at PCA in July. They premiered their Mexican puro “Cuchillo Parado” with Mexican tequila samples.
The company name references the Mexican Revolution, which began in 1910, ended dictatorship and established a constitutional republic. The cigar name, Cuchillo Parado, is named after a town in the Mexican state of Chihuahua that is considered the cradle of the Mexican Revolution.
The brand’s office is in Mexico City where they are boxing up their boxes of 10 and 20 Robusto-shaped cigars for shipping in November.
The cigar is 3-year aged Mexican San Andres Negro Binder and San Andres wrapper with five-year aged Mexican San Andres Negro filler. The 5×50 will retail for $150 for their 10 count box.
In an effort to fund the fight for premium tobacco rights, the Premium Cigar Association sent out the following:
Help us Raise $60,000 in 60 days for the Industry Defense Fund! The fight for premium cigars and pipe tobacco is raging! Help fund the fight so we can defend your business at the regional, state and federal levels TODAY!Contribute to the fight today by making a one-time or recurring contribution here and help us reach our goal of $60,000 in 60 days to protect your business!
We are facing an unprecedented challenge that is threatening the existence of premium tobacco businesses all over the US. It’s amazing that in the midst of the global pandemic and lockdowns, states are doubling down on their pursuit of misguided and harmful legislation! That is why we launched the PCA Industry Defense Fund —to help raise capital specifically for state advocacy and to defeat threatening legislation such as tax increases, local preemption, and outright bans. Now is the time for all of us to come together —manufacturers, retailers, and consumers, to ramp up our fight, build new partnerships, strengthen our grassroots voice, and take our industry advocacy to a new level! Help us fight for your business today!
In an effort to achieve its goal of building the largest distribution network of tobacco and tobacco-related accessory products in North America, El Septimo Geneva has purchased their first North American major distribution center
The center is located on 625 S. Bruce St. in Las Vegas. The center, renamed to 7 Global Distribution after it’s seven locations throughout the U.S., will sell over 2,000 different products.
El Septimo projects the revenue from its distribution center to reach $480 million for Phase 1 of its growth. El Septimo’s parent company is Younan Company, run by Chairman and CEO Zaya S. Younan.
The following press release was sent out by Cigars for Warriors today:
Ocala, FL –Operation: Cigars For Warriors
On July 29th, 2021 members of CFW’s volunteer staff discovered that they were unable to access our Instagram account @cigarsforwarriors.
At that time, we learned that an unknown individual had compromised the account’s security and changed both the login information and account name (to s0sy4log). Since then we have received a number of contemporaneous reports that the account has been used to send unusual posts and messages to our followers.
What We Are Doing
We have made numerous efforts to contact Instagram Support to resolve the issue and will continue to work to restore the account. In the meantime, we will be creating a new CFW IG account @Official_Cigars_for_Warriors and migrating our content there.
In addition, we are reviewing the security posture for all our social media accounts to ensure they are protected. We are not aware of any other compromised accounts or services at this time.
We will continue to monitor and assess the situation and we may be able to share additional information as we learn more.
How You Can Help
If you receive unsolicited posts or messages from @cigarsforwarriors, please immediately report them to Instagram and indicate that the account was hacked. If you receive any posts or messages from @herusofc or s0sy4log regarding the CFW account, please report them as well.
Although the account itself has been compromised, our hashtags are not. Please do continue to use those.
Operation: Cigars for Warriors is a registered 501(c)3 charity operating nationwide whose mission is to provide premium cigars and cigar accessories to US troops serving in active combat zones. Since 2012, over 1.2 million cigars have been donated to US servicemen and women, in addition to coffee, magazines, cigar lighters and cutters.