If you follow cigar news, you are doubtless aware that this week is one of the biggest of the year for the industry. The 84th Annual IPCPR Convention is taking place right now in Las Vegas, running from July 24th through July 28th. With the event in full swing, there is already a ton of news. Here is a rundown of some of what’s been happening at the show.
You may know that IPCPR opened up with a number of seminars, more than one of which involved the impending harsh regulations being imposed by the FDA. These seminars went well and provided an abundance of information and advice for large and small businesses. As you might expect, the entire convention has been abuzz about the changes. In fact, a number of brands were showcasing incomplete products or were unable to show off certain products because they are in such a hurry to complete them before the new rules come down.
Getting away from the legal aspects, let’s talk about some of the exciting new releases that have been announced at the event thus far.
Drew Estate: Undercrown Additions and More
Drew Estate made quite a few announcements at IPCPR this year. To start with, the Undercrown line will receive a number of extensions: Undercrown Shade Flying Pig, Undercrown Shade Churchill, Undercrown Shade Tubos, Undercrown Shade 10 Count Metal Tins, Undercrown Maduro Tubos, Undercrown Maduro Churchill, and Undercrown Maduro 10 Count Metal Tins. All of these were showcased at their booth.
What else does Drew Estate have cooking? Well, for one thing, the brand new Kentucky Fire Cured “Swamp Thang” as well as the Kentucky Fire Cured “Swamp Rat.” The Swamp Thang is a particularly interesting blend of smoky Kentucky Fire Cured tobaccos and a sweet candela wrapper. This is the first time in cigar history that these two flavors have been combined in the premium market.
Drew Estate is also extending the Herrera Estelí brand with the addition of the new Herrera Estelí Miami. The Herrera Estelí Miami features Dominican and Nicaraguan filler leaves in an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder with an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper. As the name “Miami” indicates, the cigar is being manufactured in Miami, Florida. 10-count boxes will retail for $130.
General Cigar: Cohiba Macassar and La Amistad
General Cigar introduced the brand new Cohiba Macassar at this year’s IPCPR. This new blend features Nicaraguan Jalapa fillers in a Connecticut Broadleaf binder and a Connecticut Havano leaf wrapper. All of the tobacco used has been aged for over four years and finished in Dominican rum barrels.
Three vitolas will be available for purchase starting in August this year in the US.
Meanwhile, General Cigar’s Hoyo brand has a new limited edition line coming out in September called La Amistad. La Amistad will feature a Nicaraguan filler with a blend of Estelí, Ometepe, Condega and Jalapa leaves. The binder will also be Nicaraguan and the wrapper will be from Ecuador.
Four vitolas will be released:
- Rothschild 4.5 x 50 (USD 6.49)
- Robusto 5 x 54 (USD 7.59)
- Toro 6 x 50 (USD 7.79)
- Gigante 6 x 60 (USD 7.99)
My Father: New Lines + Accessories
In the past, My Father and Tatuaje shared booth space. This year the booths were located close together, but each had its own separate area. Even though that meant a lot more room overall, it didn’t contribute much in the way of elbow room. Both booths were extremely crowded.
This year, My Father announced the new limited edition line My Father Le Bijou 1922 Limited Edition 2016 and expanded distribution for the limited release García y García. You may also be familiar with Flor de Las Antillas Maduro. While this cigar has been released twice through Federal Cigar, it will now be entering the regular production line. This will include the original two sizes plus three new sizes. All will be available in November with a price estimated between $7.40-$10.30:
- Flor de las Antillas Maduro Petit Robusto (4 1/2 x 50)
- Flor de las Antillas Maduro Toro (6 x 52)
- Flor de las Antillas Maduro Torpedo (6 1/8 x 52)
- Flor de las Antillas Maduro Toro Gorod (6 1/2 x 56)
- Flor de las Antillas Maduro Corona (5 5/8 x 46)
Additionally, My Father has announced a November launch for My Father The Judge, which includes Nicaraguan fillers and an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper:
- My Father The Judge (5 x 60) — $12.40 (Boxes of 23, $285.20)
- My Father The Judge (6 x 56) — $12.10 (Boxes of 23, $278.30)
Nat Sherman: Metropolitan Habano
Nat Sherman is another brand which is in a rush to get a new line released before the FDA deadline. As a result, there is only one new line coming out, the Nat Sherman Metropolitan Habano. It is a Nicaraguan puro available in five sizes. The product is already shipping, so it will be available very soon:
- Nat Sherman Metropolitan Habano Short Robusto (4 1/4 x 54) — $5.50 (Boxes of 18, $99)
- Nat Sherman Metropolitan Habano Robusto Fino (5 x 46) — $5 (Boxes of 18, $90)
- Nat Sherman Metropolitan Habano Robusto (5 1/2 x 56) — $6.25 (Boxes of 18, $112.50)
- Nat Sherman Metropolitan Habano Toro (6 x 52) — $6.75 (Boxes of 18, $121.50)
- Nat Sherman Metropolitan Habano Gordo (6 x 60) — $7.25 (Boxes of 18, $130.50)
Additionally, the Nat Sherman Timeless Dominican line is getting two new sizes:
- Nat Sherman Timeless Dominican Gordo (6 x 60) — $7.50 (Boxes of 20, $175)
- Nat Sherman Timeless Dominican Robusto (4 3/4 x 50) — $7.50 (Boxes of 20, $150)
These are also already shipping out to retailers.
Joya De Nicaragua Updates Branding
As you may know, Joya De Nicaragua updated the look for its cigars and packaging with Joya Red in 2014. This year, the company showed off more updated design work with the Joya Black. Joya De Nicaragua has also updated the look of the popular Joya de Nicaragua Cabinetta Serie. The updated line will be available in stores in August this year and will be sold exclusively through Drew Estate in the US.
- While Alec Bradley made a showing at this year’s convention, the company only had a chance to showcase existing products. The manufacturer is in a rush to release new cigars before the August 8th FDA deadline.
- Illusione debuted the Illusione Haut 10, a brand new robusto to celebrate the company’s 10th anniversary. The Illusione Haut 10 features a blend of Nicaraguan criollo ’98 and corojo ’99 leaves inside a Nicaraguan café claro AAA wrapper.
So that wraps up our first update on IPCPR 2016! Be sure to check back in soon for more news!