Karl “The Mailman” Malone was at IPCPR promoting his new La Aurora Barrel Aged by Karl Malone. It was a logical step in his moves to delve into the cigar industry. He and his family launched a retail tobacco store in Ruston, La called Legends Cigar and Vape on June 23rd.
Later this week the annual Convention for the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers kicks off in Las Vegas. As usual, there are a lot of things that I’m looking forward to; Here’s a “short” list of examples (and by no means everything). Continue reading IPCPR 2018 Preview #IPCPR2018
300 HANDS, is an all too real story of collaboration told through a new line of premium cigars from Southern Draw Cigars. The result of approximately 300 small steps and those hands producing nearly identical handmade rolled bundles of our patiently aged and naturally fermented tobaccos that we know as premium cigars. The process of hand making a premium cigar is a deliberate marriage of art and skill that has been passed down from generation to generation and our beloved Nicaragua, with its complex tobaccos and dedicated people, is now the most prominent supplier of this unique art form to the United States. Continue reading Southern Draw Cigars to launch 300 HANDS at IPCPR 2018
Discover CEDRUS by Southern Draw Cigars – only at IPCPR 2018. Continue reading Discover CEDRUS by Southern Draw Cigars
June 29, 2018 – Austin, Texas
Southern Draw Cigars will inform its valued retail partners of a price increase that will take effect on August 1, 2018. Continue reading Southern Draw Cigars announces general business updates and price increase
Cornelius & Anthony Premium Cigars is proud to release The Gent and Mistress lines at this summer’s 2018 IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas. Both The Gent and Mistress are produced at the La Zona factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. Continue reading Cornelius & Anthony to Release The Gent & Mistress
Crafted by Joya de Nicaragua, S.A.
Master Blender: Sr. Steve Saka
Esteli, Nicaragua Continue reading DTT Sin Compromiso to be released
Dunbarton, 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
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.
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
At the opening dinner, Macanudo Inspirado provided capa, binder and tripa fumas. This is the first time I have seen this presentation, a chance to experience the tobacco that goes into a cigar by itself. I am intrigued. Continue reading Macanudo Fumas
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
- Best Prizes
JM’s Cigars BlackJack table with true prizes of Cigars, Shirts, Hats, coaster and stress balls.
- PDR (box)
#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
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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).
#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) presented four lines of cigars that look like they should be from four different blenders. Melillo is most assuredly a master.
#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.
#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.
EXTRA for Cigar Weeky
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!