IPCPR 2015 Dispatches and Notes:
Social media led me to a manufacturer I hadn’t learned of, before. I saw tweets and such about Arandoza and a booth number. So, they’re at the show, wait, I’ve seen them in passing their area. I begin to interact with them and ask if I can stop by tomorrow? Of course, yes, they mostly say yes, I doubt any would reject. When I get there, they’re right across from D’Crossier and Espinosa and I learn from Robert Arango that his cigars are made at La Zona, Eric Espinosa’s factory in Nicaragua.
This news tells me that even though I have not heard of this brand, remember I haven’t been to the IPCPR show in five years, Arango and his brand have to have quality. I know Espinosa’s cigars, they’re rock-solid. These will be worth the time I spend here. In speaking to Arango, I learn that they’ve been in business just five years, but they have four blends. Actually one of those is making its debut at this very show. Three brands have been around some time.All these connections have my mind's wheels turning when Arango tells me that he's driven by a passion to do things well and make really good cigars. He's intense in a good way, his booth is quiet for a while so we sit and talk. He's just as interested and focused on all aspects of this endeavor, not just his own actual cigars. We discuss, at length, the cultural and socio-political milieu of smoking and enjoying it while having to be on constant watch as so many in our day and time want to get rid of smokers. The idea of bans, and the seemingly hypocritical divide between cigarette smokers and cigar smokes, cigarette-friendly establishments being hostile to cigars, animates him and drives him, urging him to succeed all the more.
Robert Arango tells me that each of the three blends, already available, began with 15 ligas or blends for testing. Each blend ended up being totally different as they would eliminate the test batches and get each down to three blends before deciding on the one to produce and sell. The three already established blends are:
Arandoza Blue Label which comes with a Habano wrapper and is to be medium-bodied.
Arandoza White Label, with a Dark Habano wrapper, and medium-full bodied.
Arandoza Red Label, with a San Andres Wrapper, and full bodied. On August third, I reviewed an Arandoza Red Label on the Reviews Forum of the Cigar WeeklyCommunity Forums and Discussion Groups. Please click through to read that review and comment upon it .
This year’s new cigar is called DEFCON. “Wrapped with a dark Connecticut broadleaf wrapper, Defcon will feature bold Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos.This full-bodied, full-flavored cigar will be the first time Arandoza Cigars has introduced a broadleaf cigar into their arsenal.”
The Arandoza Defcon comes in three vitolas.
· Toro (6 x 50)
· Super Toro (6½ x 54)
· Super Robusto (5½ x 60)
Smoking the Defcon was an experience. Robert Arango told me EXACTLY how it would smoke and he was quite accurate. It knocks one for a real loop at the outset, a real dangerous feeling. Then it smoothed out without losing any sort of strength. As described, it has a full body, rich and earthy. I can think of a couple Cigar Weekly members who this cigar will suit quite well.