Category Archives: News/Features

Todos Las Dias Thick Lonsdale “Mas Fuerte” at 2018 IPCPR Tradeshow

IMG_9487Dunbarton, NH – Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust® (DTT) will be showcasing a single vitola line extension to it’s fullbodied Todos Las Dias (TLD) brand that is even bolder. It will be made available at the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers 86th Annual Convention in Las Vegas, NV, on July 13th, 2018. Continue reading Todos Las Dias Thick Lonsdale “Mas Fuerte” at 2018 IPCPR Tradeshow

Our Nicaraguan Adventure

Managua. We’re still only in Managua. Every time I doze off, I think I’m going to wake up in the van.

When we returned home after the IPCPR in Las Vegas, it was even worse. I’d wake up and there’d be nothing. All I’d do was smoke cigars, write reviews and publish them to the web. When I was in Vegas, I wanted to be home. When I was home, all I could think of was finding a way to get back to some cigar industry event.

Continue reading Our Nicaraguan Adventure

WHAT TO DRINK WITH YOUR SMOKE

For the experienced premium cigar smoker as well as those just discovering the enjoyment of hand-rolled tobacco, figuring out what to drink while relaxing with a good smoke is important. Pairing is initially a fairly easy thing. Lighter bodied cigars are best accompanied by lighter bodied beers, and so on down the spectrum. But craft brewers have pushed the envelope to create very different, and in some cases, truly astounding beers and ales. Not to be outdone, cigar manufacturers are constantly modifying their blends to create different profiles in their cigar lines. Getting a truly outstanding pairing can be a bit of a gamble but rewarding when you find the perfect pair. Continue reading WHAT TO DRINK WITH YOUR SMOKE

The 10 Most Compelling People from Day 3 of the IPCPR 2017

Day 3 1

Before we get into the Top 10, there is one person who stands above all the rest – Victoria McKee Jaworski from General Cigar. You know that person who makes you feel like a close friend (but that you see only once a year), that offers you coffee (and even knows how you take it) and asks about your children (then remembers their names)? That’s her. She had the company’s booth running as smoothly as clockwork, and made customers feel right at home. Plus she promoted their new products – Macanudo Black & White, Hoya de Amistad Silver, CAO Amazonia Anaconda and Partagas 1845.

Day 3 24 25

Day 3 26 28

1. Big Papi David Ortiz showed up to promote his cigar, take pictures with fans and sign posters of his cigar, named Big Papi. Red Sox fans, and baseball fans in general, were thrilled.

Day 3 30 31

2. Omar de Frias towered over the crowds as he made the rounds – always a crowd favorite. There were free samples at the FDA compliance meeting, provided by Fratello Cigars. And Omar ‘launched’ his new Navetta.

Day 3 5

3. The idea guys at Espinosa Cigars. Espinosa’s new Murcielago cigar, as well as the other lines, were well represented in their booth, with creative displays, unique bands and names. Truly an ‘overnight success twenty years in the making’.

Day 3 3

4. Toscano and his ‘Friendship’ cigar. In an Italian tradition that helps to embrace the rest of the world, the new Toscano is designed to share. Meet a friend, cut the cigar and a half, and share a smoke and a story. Toscano also has a few interesting naturally flavored cigars, like coffee and chocolate. Brought to you by La Aurora.

Day 3 27

5. Frank Santos, an old friend in a new company. Don’t you love it when someone is genuinely happy to see you? A.J. Fernandez did it right when he hired Santos to represent his brand.

Day 3 10 11

6. The coffee and whiskey man at the La Palina booth. Just hired for the event, he did an excellent job of representing the company to customers who stopped by for a beverage. Twin Engine Coffee has roasted and espresso for La Polina, and the fellow slyly convinced customers that they should get coffee for their shops while they stopped there to get cigars.

Day 3 19 20 21

7. Steven Bailey, of Anthony & Cornelius, was a truly genuine person who spoke about his early failures, which had driven him to research more and draw on others’ knowledge in order to achieve his recent successes, as well as his new blends, the Ariel and Señor Esugars.

Day 3 12 13 14

8. Carson Serino showed off his new Wayfarer cigars. Serino is already a CW favorite (with his Serino Royale, and I’m excited about the future release of the new stick.

9. CW member Jon Huber is at Crowned Heads, promoting their new Four Kicks Maduro and the soft-release Luminosa (from earlier this year).

Day 3 32

10. Johnny Soyak and his ‘Cigar in the Bottle’. Johnny shared both his apple-flavored Cognac and his unique concept at the show. The first time I saw this bottle was ten years ago at a charity auction, after he donated it to help a school for children with learning disabilities. He’s still around, providing good spirits in more than one way.

Continue reading The 10 Most Compelling People from Day 3 of the IPCPR 2017

IPCPR 2016 Day 2

IPCPR day 2

#10 True Fact.

Holland’s long cigar history began in the 1600’s. After 112 years in the Netherlands, Balmoral Cigars has expanded their new line and come to IPCPR to sell to American premium cigar lovers.

#9 Antique Lovers.

7-20-4 Cigars has brought back an antique brand (began in 1857) and expanded it to have a vintage look and feel. Their lines include Hustler with an exclusive Dog Walker size and one of the highest rated barber poles. The name comes from the orginal production facilities at 724 Elm Street, Manchester, New Hampshire.

#8 Cigar Chair.

From The Godmother of Cigars, My Cigar Chair was ergonomically designed and comes with a built in Ash Tray, 20 cigar humidor, magazine rack, foot rest and accessory compartment. These custom order chairs are for home or retail store lounges.

#7 Longest Mexican Cigar History.

After six generations (growers since 1880) in the same family, Casa Turrent is trying new blends with their Casa Torrent 1901, 1942 and 1973.

#6 Back the Blue

What happens when two police officers love cigars and create the Protocal brand to just sell locally? They sell out in two months and get a 95 rating on their lancero.

#5 Best Host

Ventura Cigar Co. From Phillips and King International hosted the press and retailers, providing information, samples, swag and Kentucky Burbon in increasing quality:Eagle Rare Burbon, Buffalo Trace Burbon and Pappy Van Winkle Burbon.

#4 Most new lines

Dion Gilolito’s Illusione Cigars packed in more new lines than anyone including an Anniversary line. They took the FDA deadline seriously.

#3 Most creative

Known as “Nick-R-Agua” Nicholas Melillo from Foundation Cigars presents four lines of cigars that look like they should be from four different blender. Melillo is most assuradely a master.

#2 Cigar Prices

Many brands are targeting the sweet spot price points by offering cigars in lower ranges they haven’t hit in years. Gurkha even brought out a new line in the $5 MSPR range with their Cellar Reserve 12.

#1 Best Cause

Sentinel Cigars is back and they’ve doubled down. They are known for selling their cigars for $1 over cost and contributing all the proceeds to wounded veterans but now they’ve coupled with African charities that are creating jobs in Rowanda (and clean water and more) by growning and selling African leaf.

EXTRA for Cigar Weeky

FOG’s Best Tojji Moments.

Barry from Ventura Cigars (formally with CAO) said, “That Bastard still talks to me” through the song Here Comes the Sun. He said it came on the raidio agin two weeks ago when he was smoking a Bucanero. Jon Huber from Crowned Heads couldn’t belive it when he was a photo of Toji’s daughter who is now 13. We miss you Bro.

  1. Best Prizes

JM’s Cigars BlackJack table with true prizes of Cigars, Shirts, Hats, coaster and stress balls.

  1. PDR (box)

Kiki

#6 Quality Booth

Winning the best in show small booth award, Master Blends showed of their passion for cigars and commitment to the show. Perdomo won large booth

 

 

 

 

Day Two – IPCPR Top 10

#10 True fact

Holland boasts a very long cigar history, dating all the way back to the 1600’s. After 112 years based in the Netherlands, Balmoral Cigars has expanded their new line, and has now come to the IPCPR to sell to American premium cigar lovers.

Day Two IPCPR Top 10 1

#9 Antique lovers

7-20-4 Cigars has brought back an antique brand (began in 1857), and expanded it to have a vintage look and feel. Its lineup includes the Hustler, with an exclusive Dog Walker size and one of the highest rated barber poles. The name comes from the original production facilities, located at 724 Elm Street, Manchester, New Hampshire.

Day Two IPCPR Top 10 4

#8 Cigar chair

From The Godmother of Cigars, My Cigar Chair has been ergonomically designed, and comes with a built in Ash Tray, 20 cigar humidor, magazine rack, foot rest and accessory compartment. This custom order chair is ideal for home use or for retail store lounges.

Day Two IPCPR Top 10 2

#7 Longest Mexican cigar history

After six generations (growers since 1880) in the same family, Casa Turrent is trying new blends with their Casa Turrent 1901, 1942 and 1973.

Day Two IPCPR Top 10 5

#6 Back the Blue

What happens when two police officers love cigars and create the Protocol brand to just sell locally? They sell out the line in two months, and get a 95 rating for their Lancero.

Day Two IPCPR Top 10 6

#5 Best host

Ventura Cigar Co., from Phillips and King International, hosted both the press and retailers, providing information, samples, swag and Kentucky Bourbon in increasing quality (Eagle Rare Bourbon, Buffalo Trace Bourbon and Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon).

Day Two IPCPR Top 10 7

#4 Most new lines

Dion Gilolito’s Illusione Cigars packed in more new lines than anyone, including an Anniversary line. They took the FDA deadline seriously.

Day Two IPCPR Top 10 8

#3 Most creative

Known as ‘Nick-R-Agua’, Nicholas Melillo (from Foundation Cigars) presented four lines of cigars that look like they should be from four different blenders. Melillo is most assuredly a master.

Day Two IPCPR Top 10 9

#2 Cigar prices

Many brands are targeting the sweet-spot cost points by offering cigars in lower price ranges they haven’t hit in years. Gurkha even brought out a new line in the $5 MSPR range with their Cellar Reserve 12.

Day Two IPCPR Top 10 10

#1 Best cause

Sentinel Cigars is back, and it has doubled down. Sentinel is already known for selling its cigars for $1 over cost, and for contributing all the proceeds to wounded veterans. But now, it’s coupled with African charities, which are creating jobs in Rwanda (plus providing clean water and more) by growing and selling African leaf.

Day Two IPCPR Top 10 11

EXTRA for Cigar Weeky

FOG’s Best TOJE Moments…
Day Two IPCPR Top 10 3
Barry, from Ventura Cigars (formerly with CAO), said, “That Bastard still talks to me,” through the song Here Comes the Sun. He said the song came on the radio again two weeks ago while he was smoking a Bucanero. Jon Huber, from Crowned Heads, couldn’t believe it when he saw a photo of TOJE’s daughter, who is now 13. We miss you Bro!

I got a bad one. What do I do?

It eventually happens to all of us. You get a cigar that is underfilled/overfilled, plugged, or just does not taste good to you. But you spent good money on it. So what do you do?

If it’s a matter of disagreeable flavors, try purging your cigar. Hold your lighter near the burning end of the cigar and blow through the cigar. This will cleanse trapped gases that can cause bitterness that will mask the true flavors of the cigar.

If the cigar has serious construction issues (underfilled, where is it too “mushy” when you roll it between your finger and thumb, or plugged, where it is like sucking on a pencil) there are a couple of options.

For soft cigars, smoke very slowly and purge often. It will burn hot and uneven, but if you are careful you can salvage the smoke.

For plugged cigars, you can try using a draw poker, which is a metal rod you push through the center of the cigar to attempt to break up whatever is blocking the air flow. This can happen if a leaf or two get twisted together and form a hard spot. If the draw poker does not work, put the cigar back in your humidor and give it some serious time. As it ages the obstruction may shift or relax.

The other option is to cut the cigar up and shred it into pipe tobacco. Of course, if you don’t smoke a pipe this is pretty much pointless.

And yes, there will be cigars with perfect construction that draw and burn well that you just do not like. Most people tend to soldier through it so they don’t feel like they wasted their money. That’s an option, but I generally just put the cigar down in the ashtray and let it go out, replacing it with something better.

If you smoke cigars long enough, you will come across cigars that are either flawed or that you just do not like. I tend to buy smaller cigars when trying something new. It’s a lot easier to put down a corona than a churchill when it comes to feeling like you wasted your money.