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IPCPR 2017: Day One

Top 10 things we learned on Day 1 at IPCPR 2017

  1. Mayor Rudy Giuliani is a bad ass. His keynote speech was what the cigar industry needed to hear from a politician in light of the recent FDA regulations.  "President Trump realizes regulations are killing businesses," he said "Let businesses operate like businesses instead of government -regulated organizations."
  2. IPCPR knows how to party. Light up the Night with General Cigar was the best ever with food, drinks, cigars, drinks, T-shirt screening, cigars, drinks and cigars. And Mombacho parties-Enough said about that. 
  3. Ventura Cigars is bringing back old favorites from their supplier and production partners in the case study line. They cleverly named them Case Studies 1-5. Try them and see if you can find your old favorites. 
  4. Unfortunately this year we lost Avo Uvezian. David off has pledged to continue with the vision AVO began long ago. 
  5. With the changing laws concerning medical cigarettes, two companies I have come up with unique products to aid those smokers. PDR's Devil's Weed (in red and dark) provides rollers with a quality tobacco leaf to use as their wrapper. Total Flame has marketed a Russian tube product that you can easily load with your own blend to make a smooth smoke. 
  6. Stepping up the presentation standards, United-A luxury brand- has perfected beautiful humidified tubes sold with their cigars
  7. Davidoff once again presented their Gold Band awards to deserving partner retailers at a press event complete with fancy hors d'oeuvres,  Champagne and of course their new Churchhill, Comacho and Avo blends.
  8. For every serious businessman's office, the new Hiram and Solomon pyramid humidor, complete with 30 of their cigars, is a must have.
  9. In a perfect example of how the cigar industry has helped the economies of multiple small countries, Crossfire Cigars has several blends whose profits roll directly back into the Dominican Republic people through hospitals, schooling and jobs.
  10. Warfighter Cigars is made up of six soldiers who bonded together to create cigars for other soldiers, naming all the cigars after calibers of ammunition. 

Read more...

FRATELLO CIGARS ANNOUNCES NAVETTA DEBUT

fratello2aSpringfield, VA (June 16, 2017) – Omar de Frias is proud to announce Fratello Navetta debut at the IPCPR 2017. Translated shuttle in Italian, Fratello Navetta is a dream project de Frias envisioned while at NASA.

Blending Fratello Naveta was special as I wanted to translate the ultimate celebration our men and women of the space program felt after a successful mission”. “After being part of over 21 missions nothing beats the feeling of getting our astronauts home safe to their families” said de Frias.

Colleagues of mine would get together and smoke a very special cigar to commemorate the occasion. This very special blend carries the ultimate feeling of innovation, duty, honor and success” said de Frias.

Blended with an Ecuador oscuro wrapper the blend will be featured in 4 vitolas.

  • Robusto Discovery (5 x 50) 10.50

  • Toro Endeavor (6 ¼ x 54) 11.25

  • Gordo Enterprise (6 x 60) 12.00

  • The Boxer Atlantis (6 ¼ x 52) 12.50

Fratello Navetta will be manufactured at Joya de Nicaragua and will be available for shipment in September. Omar de Frias worked at NASA for 12 years prior to leaving to focus full time on Fratello.

Cigar Regulations and the Little Guy

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This is a guest article by Rob McKeon of CigarZen, manufacturer of the Blüme family of products. CW makes no product endoresements as a matter of policy.

 

It’s tough out here for us cigar smokers!

As we all know, tobacco has been highly regulated and the level of those regulations seems to keep climbing, almost by the day. For cigar lovers, it seems unfair that the products we use--to relax, to de-compress, to celebrate--are becoming more and more difficult to acquire.

While we can all appreciate the government’s desire to keep tobacco far away from kids, it’s hard to see the justification behind including cigars in its recent rigorous FDA rulings which were originally intended for smokeless tobacco only. The act of cigar smoking is almost artistic in its nature, viewed as a sign of sophistication, hard work and appreciation for the craftsmanship behind each stick. While it’s easy for a teenager to get their hands on a cheap pack of cigarettes, they’re likely not going to get too far in an artisanal cigar store.

Read more...

CRUX ANNOUNCES THIRD RELEASE OF LIMITADA PB5

Crux Limitada PB5 photoJune 26, 2017 (Miami, FL) —Crux Cigars has announced the 2017 Limitada PB5 third release. The company will increase the production for 2017 of this highly rated cigar from 750 to 1,000 10-count boxes made available for order with the beginning of the IPCPR Show in Las Vegas, July 10-14.

Each of the first two productions of the PB5 sold out quickly while earning high praise from many, including the 2016 NUMBER 2 CIGAR OF THE YEAR honor from Halfwheel. The Limitada PB5 features a 10 year aged Nicaraguan Engañoso wrapper leaf.

Crux Cigars had secured a limited supply of the Engañoso wrapper in 2012, two years before the company debuted at the 2014 IPCPR show. The tobacco had already been aging 7 years when acquired and was available in limited supply.

“We are humbled by the response we have received for the PB5, and will continue to develop unique limited release blends as part of our overall effort of building premium cigars,” said Crux Cigars owner Jeff Haugen.

Like the previous releases, the Limitada PB5 2017 is 5.75 x 54 with a Cuban box-pressed finish. Available in 10-count boxes that will carry the retail price of $119.90.

For questions or additional details, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Industry (raw)

I am cnp'ing this raw from my PM inbox. I'm not quite sure what to do with it yet, but it is relevant and could easily be cleaned up for publication.

 

I smoke cigars to Celebrate. A wedding, a birth, a promotion. A Life.

I lost my paternal Grandmother a year ago, and I celebrated.

I celebrated a life of nearly 75 years. A life of handing down love, lessons, admonishments and accolades.
She was a woman of action with a strong will and a huge heart.

I sat on the porch at the farm where we shared countless conversations - the place where she imparted her wisdom upon me.
I sat next to the black rocking chair with the word 'MA' emblazoned across the back in gold leaf. It was her throne during haying season, where she rested and surveyed the fields.
It occurred to me that I had never sat next to that chair without her sitting there next to me.
I smoked a 'Queen B' from Fuente. The name seemed fitting, and it was a solid smoke.

A few days ago, our community was rocked by the sudden passing of a childhood friend. He was my first 'best' friend.
 
 
Some of my earliest memories are of the two of us discovering the world together. We spent countless hours exploring the woods, riding our bikes, camping, and dirtbiking. We played the Hero and we played the Villain. Saturday mornings full of Thundercats and Voltron cartoons and epic GI Joe battles. We Talked. The conversations were of people yet unburdened by the weight of the world.
 
The divorce of my parents changed everything in my world, and my friendship suffered as well. I moved away, and we drifted apart. Only after his passing did I realize what that friendship really meant. He died at 34 years old in an ATV accident. His name was Jason.

Soon I will go and find him, at the spot on our dirt bike trail where we would shut the bikes down and talk. I will take a Hemmingway 'Short Story'. The name seems fitting, and it’s a solid smoke.

I will celebrate a life.

J Norton

Tommy Bahama® “Regatta Collection” of Accessories Debuts

tbahamalogoIsland Lifestyle Importers is proud to premier the new Tommy Bahama® “Regatta Collection” of accessories at the 2017 International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers (IPCPR) Convention in Las Vegas. 

The “Regatta Collection” is the newest theme of cigar accessories from Tommy Bahama®.  Drawing inspiration from the classic nautical colors of the sailing world, these accessories possess a sense of ageless style and design.  They are the perfect complement to a Tommy Bahama® lifestyle filled with adventure, accomplishment and fun.

The “Regatta Collection” consists of a tabletop quad-torch cigar lighter ($99.95), pocket dual-torch cigar lighter ($85.00), cigar cutter ($75.00) and leather cigar carry case ($68.00) in four colors - nautical blue, red, orange, and yellow.  The bodies of the lighters and cutters feature the exclusive Accu-Body-Cast-Design and are made to showcase the bright colors of the nautical racing world.  These colorful bodies feature Tommy Bahama® racing stripes along with an embossing that mimics the sailcloth material used in sails.

Completing the Collection is the two-tone telescopic leather case with contrast stitching and the Tommy Bahama® Marlin & Signature prominently stamped into the leather.  Perfect for the cigar enthusiast who loves adventure and travel as it will safely and easily accommodate two 60+ ring gauge cigars.  It is colorful, relaxed and always appropriate.

Island Lifestyle Importers is the exclusive designer and manufacturers of Tommy Bahama Luxury Cigar Accessories & Island Lifestyle Cigars.  They were the recipient the 2016 IPCPR “Best in Show – New Exhibitor” award at last year’s convention.  They can be visited at Booth 531 at this year’s IPCPR. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Ryan Frailing or Rick Louis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (941) 378-3200.

Drew Estate Announces Exclusive Florida Sun Grown "FSG" Brand

fsg1Drew Estate announced today that the company will begin shipping Florida Sun Grown “FSG” Cigars nationally to DDRP accounts.  This brand features tobacco grown in Clermont, Florida, by Jeff Borysiewicz, owner of Corona Cigar Company and the Florida Sun Grown Farm. The brand will be displayed in Drew Estate’s booth (Booth #2608) at the IPCPR Convention and Tradeshow, which will be held July 10 – 14, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The “FSG” by Drew Estate project began in 2011 and debuted in 2016 at the Florida Barn Smoker. The core FSG blend features Florida Sun Grown filler as an accent tobacco to select Nicaraguan fillers which adds an authentic Florida agricultural nuance to this unique and captivating blend. The binder is a Habano seed tobacco from Honduras and the cigar is finished off with a lush Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper.

In addition to four core sizes, Drew Estate is releasing a Limited Edition Trunk-Pressed Toro. This prized cigar features its own unique blend which utilizes a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, Mexican binder, and Florida Sun Grown filler tobacco, along with fillers from Nicaragua and Honduras.

The Florida Sun Grown “FSG” by Drew Estate is available for purchase in the following vitolas from Drew Diplomat Retailers:

  • Robusto (5 x 54), MSRP $230.00/20 CT Box
  • Toro (6 x 52), MSRP $260.00/20 CT Box
  • Belicoso (6 ½ x 54), MSRP $280.00/20 CT Box
  • Sixty (6 x 60), MSRP $300.00/20 CT Box
  • Limited Edition Box-Press Toro (6 x 54), MSRP $150.00/10 CT Box

fsg2From the Florida Sun Grown Farm in Clermont, Florida Jeff Borysiewicz said, “Drew Estate’s commitment to the American tobacco movement is unmatched. From the Connecticut River Valley, to barns in Kentucky, and to my farm in Clermont, Florida, nobody supports American leaf farmers like Drew Estate. Since 2010 I’ve pioneered the resurgence of Florida tobacco believing that consumers in the United States would be excited to bring American tobacco agriculture back to the forefront. When I purchased the land for our farm, I spent countless hours analyzing the temperature, sun-light, wind, humidity, and altitude that would bring my farm as close to the conditions of Pinar del Rio, Cuba as possible. These are very exciting times for this farm and for American tobacco.”

From his Wynwood Safehouse, President and Founder of Drew Estate, Jonathan Drew said, “My friendship with Jeff spans almost 20 years. When Jeff first approached me about his idea to bring Florida tobacco back to the premium cigar industry I promised him that Drew Estate would stand by his side, just as we have done with the farmers in Connecticut and Kentucky. Pioneering anything is never easy, but what Jeff and his entire company have done is a truly breakthrough innovation. Drew Estate is genuinely committed to American tobacco.”

The Florida Sun Grown line will begin shipping to Drew Diplomat Retailers at the end of July.

Fans of Florida Sun Grown by Drew Estate are encouraged to download Drew Diplomat the official mobile application of Drew Estate – The Rebirth of Cigars which is now available in the App Store for iPhone®, and iPod Touch® and on Google Play™ for Android™. For more information head to http://drewdiplomat.com
 
Florida Sun Grown Farm
Founded in 2012, Florida Sun Grown is the first farm in Florida to grow long filler cigar tobacco in many years; a tradition that ended in 1977 as many tobacco farms closed shop and relocated  to other regions.  Located in beautiful Clermont Florida, Florida Sun Grown is the latest enterprise of president and founder of Corona Cigar Company, Jeff Borysiewicz.  The farm is dedicated to growing premium tobacco that will be utilized in the production of fine cigars worldwide.  The first test crop was planted in March 2013 and yielded roughly 800 pounds of Criollo and Corojo tobacco.  FSG has since increased production and is well on its way to reestablishing a culture of premium tobacco farming in Florida.

CRUX CIGARS ANNOUNCES THE RETURN OF THE LIMITADA

Crux Limitada IPCPR 2017 box imageJune 28, 2017 (Miami, FL) — Due to the positive response by retailers and consumers alike, including being honored as the 2016 CIGAR OF THE YEAR by Aaron Loomis of Developing Plates, Crux Cigars has decided to bring back the Limitada IPCPR Show Exclusive cigar in 2017.
One year ago at the IPCPR Show, Crux Cigars announced the Limitada IPCPR 2016 as a new addition to their Limitada Series. The cigar featured the same Engañoso wrapper as its big brother the Limitada PB5, but was smaller at 5 x 52 and finished with a box-press and Marblehead cap.It was produced in honor of the IPCPR and to recognize the premium cigar industry as a whole.
The unique aspect of the 2016 release was it was not for sale. Instead, Crux Cigars gave away10-count boxes to retailers who made qualifying purchases during the IPCPR Show. This time the cigar will be available for purchase, but to IPCPR show attendees only.
“The response has been tremendous, so we have decided to bring it back,” shared Mark Daum, Crux Cigars VP of Brand Marketing, “but in our desire to keep this a limited release, the total production will be determined by the number of orders received at the IPCPR Show.”
Crux Cigars had secured a limited supply of the Engañoso wrapper in 2012, two years before the company debuted at the 2014 IPCPR show. The tobacco had already been aging 7 years when acquired and was available in limited supply. 
The Limitada IPCPR 2017 is 5 x 52 and finished with a box-press and Marblehead cap.Available in 10-count boxes that will carry a retail price of $109.90.
Final production to be determined.
For questions or additional details, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

Drew Estate debuts Pappy Van Winkle “TRADITION”

pappydeEDITOR'S NOTE: Pappy Van Winkle (being my favorite bourbon and rye whiskies) has an extremely limited distribution--mostly within a small radius from the distillery in Kentucky--has a tremendous following, made moreso by it's repeated appearance in the FX Network's hit series Justified. In most other places, the waiting list for a bottle is five to ten years deep and costs in the hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars. That makes this desirable cigar from Drew Estates even more desirable, and from the look of it, available in very limited quantities.

 

Drew Estate announces the formal release of Pappy Van Winkle “TRADITION”. This extremely limited supply brand will be displayed in Drew Estate’s booth (Booth #2608) at the IPCPR Convention and Tradeshow, held July 10-14, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Pappy Van Winkle Tradition will be exclusively available for sale through Drew Diplomat Retailers.

From Kentucky, Julian Van Winkle President of Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, “I was invited to Cigar Aficionado’s A Night to Remember by Jonathan Drew in 2016 and was presented with a non-banded, wooden box of cigars with white bands on it that just read “Exclusively for my Friend Julian by Willy Herrera Sincerely Jonathan Drew”.  I loved this blend because of its balance, shortly thereafter, my family and I visited La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Nicaragua and I smoked the same blend most of the trip. By the end, I knew this would be the Pappy Van Winkle Tradition.”

Drew Estate is honored to represent the Van Winkle Family with an ultra-premium cigar that reinforces the legacy for one of America’s true living icons, Julian Van Winkle. The Pappy Van Winkle Tradition features an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper, Indonesian Binder and aged fillers from Nicaragua and Dominican Republic. From his Wynwood Safehouse, Jonathan Drew President and Founder of Drew Estate notes, “The Pappy Van Winkle Tradition features an ultra-complex combination of extensively aged fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic that are blanketed with a flawless Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper. Availability is limited. I am humbled to extend the Drew and Van Winkle friendship, time tested honor, and craftsmanship to Drew Diplomat Humidors across the United States.”

The Pappy Van Winkle Tradition features the following expressions:

  • Coronita (4 x 46) MSRP $146.00/10ct Box
  • Robusto Grande (5.5 x 54) MSRP $216.00/10ct Box
  • Toro (6 x 50) MSRP $236.00/10ct Box
  • Belicoso Fino (5 x 50) MSRP $246.00/10ct Box
  • Churchill (7 x 48) MSRP $236.00 / 10ct Box Exclusively available at Drew Diplomat Spirits Retailers
  • Lonsdale (6.5 x 44) (Not for Sale) / 10ct Box Exclusively at Drew Diplomat Rewards Events in October, November and December 2017
  • Corona (5.5 x 44) MSRP (Not for Sale) / 10ct Box  Exclusively available from Jonathan Drew and Julian Van Winkle

The creation of the Pappy Van Winkle Tradition has a special significance to the Drew Estate Family, as the blend has a story behind it that reads like craft folklore, taking cigar aficionados back to the days before Willy Herrera became the Master Blender of Drew Estate. From Little Havana, Willy Herrera notes “I remember it like yesterday. In 2010 when JD and I talked about me joining Drew Estate, we flew down to La Gran Fabrica to test my blending style in two days of non-stop creating. I ultimately produced 3 blends, one of which eventually became the Herrera Estelí. When I heard the news that Julian Van Winkle had selected one of my three original blends from my first trip to Nicaragua, I was humbled to say the least.”

The Pappy Van Winkle Tradition will begin shipping in October in coordination with when Old Rip Van Winkle releases their annual batch of the highly sought after Bourbon and Rye.

About Van Winkle Bourbon: The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery has a four generation history. The Van Winkle family’s involvement in the bourbon industry began in the late 1800s with Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle, Sr. He was a traveling salesman for the W.L. Weller and Sons wholesale house in Louisville. Pappy and a friend, Alex Farnsley, eventually bought the wholesale house and also partnered with Mr. A. Ph. Stitzel on the purchase of Mr. Sitzel’s distillery. The three of them merged the two companies and became the Stitzel-Weller Distillery. 

In May of 1935 at the age of 61, Pappy opened the newly completed Stitzel-Weller Distillery in South Louisville. Its prominent brands were W.L. Weller, Old Fitzgerald, Rebel Yell, and Cabin Still. Pappy had a heavy influence on the operations there until his death at the age of 91. His son, Julian, Jr. took over operations until he was forced by stockholders to sell the distillery in 1972. The rights to all of their brands were sold to Norton Simon, Inc. Later, United Distillers, who eventually ended up with the Stitzel-Weller Distillery, sold off all of the original labels around 1999. 

After selling the distillery, Julian Jr. resurrected a pre-Prohibition label, the only one to which the Van Winkles kept the rights, called Old Rip Van Winkle. He used whiskey stocks from the old distillery to supply his brand. Julian Jr.’s son, Julian, III took over in 1981 when Julian, Jr. passed away. Julian III has continued with the Van Winkle tradition of producing high-quality wheated bourbon. His son, Preston, joined the company in 2001 and the Van Winkles look to continue that tradition for generations to come. 

In 2002 the Van Winkles entered into a joint venture with Buffalo Trace Distillery in Franklin County, Frankfort, Ky. All of the Van Winkle’s whiskey production now takes place at Buffalo Trace Distillery under the same strict guidelines the family has always followed. For more information on the Van Winkle family of bourbon please visit www.oldripvanwinkle.com.

Todos Las Dias Offered at 2017 IPCPR Tradeshow

todo las diasDunbarton, NH – Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust® will be showcasing its newest Todos Las Dias® brand and blend of fine handmade cigars at this year’s 85th Annual Convention of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 10th through July 14th, 2017.

“Todos Las Dias is my personal Spanglish translation meaning “All the Days.” The workers at Joya de Nicaraguan often cringe at my casual butchering of their mother tongue, but in my opinion cigars are far more than a grammar lesson to abide, they are the physical manifestation of a feeling and of an experience. TLD embodies the classic bold flavors that represent the heart of their soil’s peppery tobaccos and the labor of their always working hands. For me, this spicy Nicaraguan puro reflects no pretentious airs or any of that “notes of pencil lead with a hint of fennel” nonsense. It is an honest, hardworking cigar intended to be smoked by men who know what it means to be a cigar smoker and never give a damn about what others think,” states the creator, Steve Saka.

He continues to add, “It is a supple, sungrown Cuban Seed capa which encapsulates its intricate tripa recipe of rich Jalapa and Esteliano tobaccos. From the first puff, there is no doubt of the origin of this cigar or that it is intended solely for the seasoned cigar smoker. What I love about this liga is that it builds; so many stronger blends start off super peppery and robust only to mellow out as you smoke them. Whereas the Todos Las Dias does just the opposite; it begins smooth and then escalates in strength and body, it almost lulls you into false sense of security. It is a much heavier liga than you will have realized until you go to stand up afterwards.”

Todos Las Dias will be offered to Select Purveyors and like all DTT’s cigars, it will be limited in its production. Initially it will be available in four formats: Half Churchill – 4.75 x 48, Robusto – 5.00 x 52, Toro – 6.00 x 52 and the Double Wide Belicoso – 4.75 x 60. Packed in 10 count boxes, the MSRP ranges from $10.45 to $12.45 per cigar.

The anticipated ship date to those Select Purveyors who order at this year’s tradeshow is August 2017.

About Steve Saka

Regarded as a cigar expert throughout the industry, he is credited as being an experienced cigar blender and maker, a prolific author regarding cigars and black tobaccos, a forefather within the online media segment and a dynamic tobacco industry executive. In 2000, he worked directly for Lew Rothman, the former owner of JR Cigar, as an executive consultant for four years and he subsequently served as the President, then CEO of Drew Estate from 2005 through 2013. In 2015, he established the family held Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust to craft and distribute traditional handmade puros. For more information, please visit: www.dunbartoncigars.com.

Drew Estate enters the 4 x 32 Segment

watertowerDrew Estate debuts new initiative to its complete brand portfolio with a series of 4x32 products in 10-count tins to be displayed in Drew Estate’s booth (Booth #2608) at the IPCPR Convention and Tradeshow, held July 10 – 14, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The 4x32 initiative debuts for the following brands:

  • ACID Krush Blue Connecticut (4x32) MSRP $110.00/50ct Sleeve
  • ACID Krush Red Cameroon (4x32) MSRP $110.00/50ct Sleeve
  • ACID Krush Gold Sumatra (4x32) MSRP $110.00/50ct Sleeve
  • ACID Krush Morado Maduro (4x32) MSRP $110.00/50ct Sleeve
  • ACID Krush Candela (4x32) MSRP $110.00/50ct Sleeve
  • Liga Privada No. 9 "Coronet" (4x32) MSRP $125.00/50ct Sleeve (DDRP Exclusive)
  • Liga Privada T52 "Coronet" (4x32) MSRP $125.00/50ct Sleeve (DDRP Exclusive)
  • Tabak Especial "Cafecita Dulce" (4x32) MSRP $110.00/50ct Sleeve
  • Tabak Especial "Cafecita Negra" (4x32) MSRP $110.00/50ct Sleeve
  • Undercrown Maduro "Coronet" (4x32) MSRP $110.00/50ct Sleeve
  • Undercrown Shade "Coronet" (4x32) MSRP $110.00/50ct Sleeve
  • Herrera Estelí "Club" (4x32) MSRP $110.00/50ct Sleeve
  • Herrera Estelí Norteño "Club" (4x32) MSRP $110.00/50ct Sleeve
  • Kentucky Fire Cured "Ponies" (4x32) MSRP $110.00/50ct Sleeve
  • Larutan "Dirties" (4x32) MSRP $110.00/50ct Sleeve

If you’ve lived in  New York City than you are familiar with the Water Towers gracing the top of nearly every building. They are a fixture to the skyline, but often overlooked by visitors but are an optical canvas for many urban artists making their mark on the world. Escaping to the rooftops for a quick smoke under a water tower is in our DNA, away from prying eyes and with a view that is worth a trillion bucks.

Drew Estate created a 6-foot tall Water Tower retail merchandising display with a limited initial production run of 250 units. The custom display has configurable wire racks designed to hold 27 sleeves of 4x32 tins. The Drew Estate Water Tower is modular and allows retailers flexibility in displaying options and placement. It also features storage underneath for additional inventory. In addition, Drew Estate created two options of custom countertop display, which holds nine sleeves of 4x32 tins.

From his Wynwood Safehouse, Jonathan Drew Founder and President of Drew Estate, “I remember looking out at the skyline of New York when we were based in DUMBO Brooklyn and seeing the Water Towers, something so constant in my daily life, yet so overlooked. I presented to the Drew Estate Marketing Team the concept of creating today's modern day wooden indian to disrupt the typical tin racks behind the counter and provide the brick & mortar retailer an additional point of visibility for a high velocity product.”

In addition to these merchandising solutions, Drew Estate is unveiling the Drew Estate 4x32 Rebate Program to Retailers across the United States. Qualifying retailers have the opportunity to receive an annual incentive rebate on all 4x32 direct purchases provided they meet facing and volume requirements. This rebate is in addition to the annual rebate that Drew Diplomat Retailers receive on 4 x 32 products.

Muestra de Saka Nacatamale Release

dunbartonlogoDunbarton, NH – Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust is currently taking pre-orders for the second liga in their very Limited Production Muestra de Saka series of cigars. The deadline for pre-orders is July 14th, 2017.

“Muestra is the humble, common word for “sample” in Spanish, however it takes on much more important, sometimes reverential, meaning when used in a handmade cigar factory. A muestra is the vision of the ligador and torcedor realized, it is the promise of a new experience and possibly the key to financial success for the fabrica. Muestras are hoarded and coveted by not only their makers, but by the cigar smokers who seek to catch a glimpse into the cigarmaker’s soul within their smoke” states Founder and Master Ligador, Steve Saka

To which he adds, “Muestra de Saka is just that. A line of unique blends and vitolas made in extremely limited quantities that reflect the blending machinations of myself. To smoke a Muestra de Saka is to embark upon a journey with me in which I greatly welcome your companionship.”

He continues to share, “The Nacatamale is the second frontmark in the line. What made this cigar a unique blending challenge was I went "viejo granja" style with it. For over a century most cigars’ entire filler recipes were comprised of just one farm's tobacco and any complexity was introduced by extremely careful leaf processing, selection and positioning within the bunch. Whereas these days as we have hundreds of ingredients to work and blend with to create interesting and satisfying ligas. So, the challenge was to see if I could make an “old farm" style liga that could hold its own with the modern blends created today. This cigar is considerably more robust than the Exclusivo and since this puro's tripa are all from just one small, independent farm in Jalapa, Nicaragua, I will not be disclosing the name of the vega. However, I will say it is simply sublime.”

All Muestra de Saka are packed in individual cedar coffins in a 7-ct box and will be $111.65 per box.

Muestra De Saka Nacatamale
6 x 48 Parejo
MSRP: $15.95 p/coffin
Capa: Ecuador Habano
Capote & Tripa: Nicaraguan Jalapa Valley - all the same farm
Limited Production: 2,250 boxes in 2017

The anticipated ship date to those Select Purveyors who pre-order is late October 2017.

About Steve Saka

Regarded as a cigar expert throughout the industry, he is credited as being an experienced cigar blender and maker, a prolific author regarding cigars and black tobaccos, a forefather within the online media segment and a dynamic tobacco industry executive. In 2000, he worked directly for Lew Rothman, the former owner of JR Cigar, as an executive consultant for four years and he subsequently served as the President, then CEO of Drew Estate from 2005 through 2013. In 2015, he established the family held Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust to craft and distribute traditional handmade puros. For more information, please visit: www.dunbartoncigars.com.

General Cigar Appoints New Vice President of Marketing

 

josedecastroJuly 7, 2017, Richmond, VA -- General Cigar is pleased to announce that José de Castro will join the company as vice president of marketing, assuming his new role on August 1, 2017.

A marketing veteran with nearly 20 years of experience, José will play an integral role in strategic planning, business development and brand building. As such, he will oversee General Cigar’s consumer and trade marketing, social media, innovation and event platforms including the brand ambassador team. 

“José has proven leadership abilities and an enviable record of success in implementing consumer and trade marketing programs and business development initiatives. His experience and vision will help further define our brands, deepen engagement and maximize the talent of our marketing team. We look forward to the contributions he will make toward meeting the evolving demands of the premium cigar category,” said Régis Broersma, president of General Cigar.

“This is an exciting time in General Cigar’s history and a critical juncture for the handmade cigar industry,” said José. “I am excited for the opportunity to work with such passionate people in such a dynamic category, and look forward to increasing demand, delivering boldface innovation and driving significant growth for the company.”

José joins General Cigar from Bertoni Gelato Holdings in Miami, where he held the position of managing director. Bertoni Gelato is a manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of premium gelato. During his tenure at Bertoni, José dramatically increased the company’s revenue and expanded distribution.   

Prior to Bertoni, José held brand and marketing positions at Altria Group in Richmond, culminating in his role as head of sales, marketing and business development for the company’s non-cigarette portfolio. Earlier in his career, José held leadership positions with companies including Procter & Gamble and American Cyanamid in both the U.S. and South America.

As Vice President of Marketing, José joins the company’s management team and will report directly to President Régis Broersma. José and his family will relocate to Richmond, VA.

José holds an MBA from the University of Texas. In addition, he received a Master’s degree from Rutgers University and a Bachelor’s degree from Brown University.

TOMMY BAHAMA "BACK NINE" ACCESSORIES

Back Nine Golf Cutter Back 7 3Island Lifestyle Importers is proud to premier the new Tommy Bahama® “Back Nine Golf Series” of accessories at the 2017 International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers (IPCPR) Convention in Las Vegas.  The “Back Nine Golf Series” is the newest theme of cigar accessories from Tommy Bahama®.  Inspired by the great golf crests from around the world, this Tommy Bahama Golf Crest celebrates the passion, fun and frivolity around the game of golf.  These accessories are perfect for on the course and gathering afterward at the “19th Hole” for story-telling. 

The “Back Nine Golf Series” consists of a tabletop quad-torch cigar lighter ($99.95), pocket dual-torch cigar lighter ($85.00), cigar cutter ($75.00) and 610 All-Purpose Cigar Carry Case ($39.98).  The bodies of the lighters and cutters feature the exclusive Accu-Body-Cast-Design and are designed to highlight the fine artistic details of the Tommy Bahama Back Nine Golf Crest.  As an added feature, the background embossing mimics the dimples of a golf ball!

Completing the “Back Nine Golf Series” is the 610 All-Purpose Cigar Carry Case.  Perfect for the golf enthusiast who loves to enjoy his favorite cigars throughout the round.  It will safely and easily accommodate six 7x54 Churchills front to back or ten 5x50 Robustos side-to-side.  It is built for the challenges of a round of golf - crush proof, air/water-tight and floats!  The exterior of the case is rubberized for additional durability.  A handy lanyard is included for security.  The case includes a removable humidifier just in case you forget and leave it in your golf bag!

Island Lifestyle Importers is the exclusive designer and manufacturers of Tommy Bahama Luxury Cigar Accessories & Island Lifestyle Cigars.  They were the recipient the 2016 IPCPR “Best in Show – New Exhibitor” award at last year’s convention.  They can be visited at Booth 531 at this year’s IPCPR.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Ryan Frailing or Rick Louis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

(941) 378-3200.

DREW ESTATE DEBUTS UNDERCROWN

UNDERCROWN 1230x450 04Drew Estate announces today the newest extension to the prized Undercrown Brand, the Undercrown Sun Grown. The new Sun Grown is the third Undercrown expression, complimenting Undercrown Maduro and Undercrown Shade. The Undercrown Sun Grown will be displayed in Drew Estate’s booth (Booth #2608) at the IPCPR Convention and Tradeshow, held July 10 – 14, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The new Sun Grown features an Ecuadorian Sumatra seed, Sun Grown wrapper. The binder is a Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut/Cured Sun Grown Habano, complimenting a powerhouse blend of Nicaraguan premium fillers. One leaf of extensively aged Ligero from the Nueva Segovia region along the border of Honduras has been selected to enhance the strength of the blend.

The Undercrown Sun Grown will be available in the following Vitolas:

Corona (5 5/8 x 46) MSRP $205.00/25ct Box
Robusto (5 x 54) MSRP $212.00/25ct Box
Gran Toro (6 x 52) MSRP $225.50/25ct Box
Belicoso (6 x 52) MSRP $246.00/ 25ct Box
Gordito (6 x 60) MSRP $280.00/25ct Box
Corona Doble (7 x 54) MSRP $259.50/ 25ct Box
Flying Pig (3 15/16 x 60) MSRP $152.64/12ct Box
From his Wynwood Safehouse, Jonathan Drew President and Founder of Drew Estate, “Returning to Drew Estate as the Fourth President is immensely inspiring and satisfying. The collaborative consortium of creative talent at every level is our core competency. Challenging Willy Herrera and the Undercrown Blending Team to create the new expression after finally securing Sun Grown Tobacco is extremely exciting, as we have tried to secure this Sumatra Ecuador tobacco for over 15 years. The new Sun Grown continues the legacy of “Blended on the Factory Floor.”

From Little Havana, Willy Herrera Master Blender of Drew Estate, “The people of Estelí, Nicaragua opened their hearts to me and my family ever since I joined Drew Estate. Creating cigars from the ground up with the Undercrown Blending Team challenges my comfort zone and pushes the company to more impactful blends.”

Released at the 2011 IPCPR Tradeshow, the Undercrown Maduro is a blend developed on the factory floor utilizing primings not used in the Liga Privada blends by the rollers of Liga Privada for their own smoking pleasure. Featuring a Mexican San Andres Negro Wrapper, a Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut & Cured Sun Grown Binder, as well as Brazilian Mata Fina and Nicaraguan Fillers.

Released at the 2015 IPCPR Tradeshow, the Undercrown Shade is a collaboration between Willy Herrera and the Undercrown Maduro Factory blending team to develop a Connecticut Shade blend to the standards of the team palate. The Undercrown Shade features an Ecuadorian Connecticut Wrapper, a Sumatran Binder, as well as Dominican Criollo 98, Nicaraguan Criollo, and Corojo Fillers.

Fans of Undercrown Cigars are encouraged to download Drew Diplomat the official mobile application of Drew Estate – The Rebirth of Cigars which is now available in the App Store for iPhone®, and iPod Touch® and on Google Play™ for Android™. For more information head to http://drewdiplomat.com

CRUX EPICURE HAS ARRIVED!

Crux Epicure boxCRUX CIGARS EPICURE IS CELEBRATED WITH THE RELEASE OF AN ADDITIONAL SIZE AT IPCPR 2017.

June 30, 2017 (Miami, FL) — While it’s release has admittedly been a long time coming, the much anticipated Crux Epicure is ready for launch – and with an additional size, a 5.375 x 46 Corona Gorda.

Originally announced at the 2016 IPCPR Show, few have had an opportunity to sample the Crux Epicure. It’s promise of a sophisticated creamy experience with notes of crème brulee has been tempting premium cigars smokers for the past year. So where have they been?

“We have always promised ourselves not to cut corners or compromise in our efforts to blend the best quality and consistent premium cigars,” said Crux Cigars VP Casey Haugen, “we understand people are anxious to smoke the Epicure, but there have been circumstances that have held up the release. However, we are happy to announce the Epicure is ready to launch and will include an additional size.”

Crux Cigars Retail Partners who have already ordered the Crux Epicure will get the first opportunity to purchase the new Corona Gorda that will debut at the IPCPR Show July 10-14.

The Crux Epicure is available in 10-count boxes in the following sizes and SRP:

5.375 x 46 Corona Gorda   $92.50

5 x 50 Robusto $100.00

6.25 x 52 Toro $107.50

5.75 x 54 Robusto Extra $115.00

For questions or additional details, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

UNITED CIGAR GROUP IS YOUR ‘HOMBRE’ AGAINST STATE TAXATION

UnitedCigars1Nashua, NH, July 3, 2017– “What this country needs is a really good five-cent cigar.” Thomas Marshall


The days of the five-cent cigar may be long gone, but the latest announcement from United Cigar Group regarding their
famed Dos Hombre brand keeps with the spirit of that iconic quote in today’s financial environment. The company is
bringing back what they call “a great five-dollar cigar” and is helping retailers with their state’s tobacco tax burden at the
same time. 


Dos Hombre Cabinet cigars come in boxes of 20, retailing between $5.00-$5.89. United Cigar Group is offering the Dos
Hombre Cabinet Dominican and Honduran lines the 2017 IPCPR Show in Las Vegas, NV. At the show, these brands will
have a very retailer-friendly offer attached. United Cigar Group will offer each retailer bonus goods in quantities that
correspond to their state’s tobacco tax percentage, essentially “giving back” the tax to the retailer. United Cigar Group
crafted this promotion with the goal of setting a precedent by once again finding a way to support brick & mortar retail
cigar shops. 


“We cannot stand idle as multiple states are being individually taxed heavier than others.” Stated
Oliver Nivaud, Director of Sales for United Cigars. “We want to ‘level the playing field’ for retailers to
compete against other states and online tobacco giants.” 


Dos Hombre Cabinet Dominican and Honduran are available in six vitolas each and the cigars offered in compensation of the state tobacco tax will be distributed with every order of ten box increments. For example, retailers in states that
have a 60% tobacco tax will receive 120 cigars with every 10 boxes that are ordered. 


United Cigar Group works with top cigar manufacturers throughout the world in order to create unique cigars, built
exclusively for the premium cigar retailer. The brands of United Cigar Group are all Exclusive Cigar Products that were
in demand but unavailable… so they were created.


If you would like more information about United Cigar Group, please contact Oliver Nivaud at 603-404-0016 or email at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or www.UnitedCigarGroup.com

FRATELLO CIGARS SPONSORS FDA COMPLIANCE SEMINAR AT IPCPR

IPCPR thanks Fratello Cigars for their generous sponsorship of the 2017 FDA Compliance Update Seminar at the 85th Annual Convention and International Trade Show in Las Vegas. The seminar takes place on Monday, July 10, 2017 from 5:00 to 6:00 PM in the Westgate Paradise Event Center.

The FDA Compliance Update Seminar will be moderated by current IPCPR president, Craig Cass of Tinder Box in Charlotte, North Carolina. Subject matter experts on Mr. Cass' panel include:

  • Thomas Briant, Executive Director - National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO),
  • David B. Clissold, Director - Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, PC, and,
  • Daniel Trope, Director of Federal Affairs - IPCPR.

Make plans now to attend this dynamic, informative seminar, and be sure to visit Fratello Cigars at booth #2350 to thank them for their sponsorship and to pick up a free gift.

SELECTED TOBACCO LAUNCHES NEW ATABEY AND BYRON SIZES

AtabeyBPNewCosta Rica, July 3, 2017– United Cigar Group made an announcement that they are extending two of their most popular
ultra-premium cigar blends. Receiving these extensions are the Atabey and Byron brands, both made in Costa Rica and
featuring upscale blends of high-end tobacco designed to appeal to smokers who enjoy and appreciate the finest
tobaccos. The brands represent the most exclusive offerings in the extensive United Cigar Group portfolio and this
announcement is expected to cause significant excitement among fans of both brands.

The Atabey line currently features four sizes, and that quantity will more than double with this introduction of five new
shapes. The new shapes are Duendes (Torpedo 6 x 54), Spiritus (7 1/2 x 40), Misticos (6 3/4 x 56), Dioses (8 x 50) & Benditos (7 ¼ x 58).
 
ByronBP2The new sizes will be on display at the 2017 IPCPR Show and will be ready to ship in 2018 after five years of carefully planned aging is complete.“This is a complicated time in the cigar industry to introduce a line extension but we are overly excited to showcase these Atabey vitolas that will be ready for the shelves soon,” said Oliver Nivaud, Director of Sales at United Cigars. “Retailers and cigar enthusiasts have been overly receptive and we are completely humbled by their support.”The extensions to the Byron brand are based around new packaging that places these exclusive cigars in packaging that lives up to their reputation. Nelson Alfonso of Selected Tobacco has artfully packed the Byron 19th Century Grand Poemas (6 x 56) and Byron 20th Century Habaneros (6 x 56) in beautiful 25 count Limited Edition Humidors. Each humidor is filled with cigars that have been aging since 2012, and only 200 humidors filled with each vitola will be produced this year. The cigars represent a unique smoking experience for true cigar enthusiasts and the humidors are expected to become sought-after collector’s items among the brand’s followers due to their limited production. Along with the Byron 21st Century Elegantes (6 1/8 x 55), the Byron Grand Poemas and Habaneros will be available at the 2017 IPCPR Show in Las Vegas, NV.

United Cigar Group works with top cigar manufacturers throughout the world in order to create unique cigars, built
exclusively for the premium cigar retailer. The brands of United Cigar Group are all Exclusive Cigar Products that were
in demand but unavailable… so they were created.

If you would like more information about United Cigar Group, please contact Oliver Nivaud at 603-404-0016 or email at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or go to www.UnitedCigarGroup.com

VILLGER CIGARS PRESENTS “LA FLOR DE YNCLAN”

LaFlorDeYnclan(Miami, Florida) June 16, 2017— Villiger Cigars proudly announces that the Villiger - La Flor De Ynclan will be presented at the 2017 IPCPR in Las Vegas this coming July 2017. The creation of every cigar carries a story, and this is no different. The La Flor De Ynclan is a special cigar, diligently crafted by Heinrich Villiger and master blender Jose Matias Maragoto of ABAM Cigar Factory in the Dominican Republic.

Heinrich Villiger, chairman of the board of Villiger Soehne AG, came across a young ambitious Cuban native 22 years ago in the Dominican Republic. That Cuban, Jose Matias Maragoto was an unknown cigar maker, who was beginning a new life in a new country. Fast forward two decades, the once untested Matias Maragoto is the overseer of all Villiger made product made in the DR. The Flor de Ynclan cigar, is the fruition of a bond between two different men from different backgrounds, over the love of tobacco.

Villiger Cigars produced a small batch of La Flor De Ynclan over a decade ago. Unsatisfied with the final result; the decision was made to cease production. The tobacco was set aside and aged, while Matias meticulously tweaked the amount of the Indonesian, Dominican, and Nicaraguan tobacco within its Ecuadorian wrapper. Present day, the La Flor De Ynclan is what both imagined it could be.

Heinrich Villiger stated: “The La Flor De Ynclan cigar has been an ongoing labor of love for us. We feel that there is a difference between a good and great cigar, Matias Maragoto and I hope you feel the same.”

The La Flor De Ynclan is a cigar that presents a distinct full-flavor experience, due to the extended aging of the tobacco. Choice Nicaraguan and Dominican filler tobacco, along with a true Indonesian binder, wrapped in a beautiful Ecuadorian wrapper make the La Flor De Ynclan a cigar that has been worth the wait.

The Villiger – La Flor De Ynclan is expressed in three sizes and comes in 25 count boxes.

Robusto 5X50         $11.00

Torpedo 5X52         $12.00

Churchill 7X48        $12.00

ABOUT VILLIGER SONS LIMITED AND VILLIGER NORTH AMERICA:
Villiger Sons Limited was established in 1888 by Jean Villiger in the small town of Pfeffikon, Switzerland, where Villiger remains headquartered to this day. The company manufactures and sells more than 1.5 billion cigars annually, world-wide. Today, under the leadership of Heinrich Villiger, the company prides itself in its commitment to quality, in all their products made in many countries around the globe.

Villiger North America was established to service the premium cigar enthusiast primarily in the United States. With production from some of the most respected manufacturers in Dominican Republic, Central America and elsewhere, it is the goal of the company, to introduce the finest smoking experience a premium handmade cigar has to offer. Today, and in the future, one can rest assured that when they choose a Villiger cigar, the quality of the leaf, the manufacturing, and even the packaging will be second to none.

Follow the NEW Villager Cigars North America on social @VilligerCigarsNorthAmerica #TheOriginalClassic

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