New Illusione Sizes, Davidoff Exclusive & Legal News

Illusione Ultra

With summer drawing to a close, it is time for another round of cigar news. This week we have a lot of legal news to report. Some of it is good, some of it isn’t—as usual it is a mixed bag for the cigar industry. But first, let’s talk about new releases.

New and Upcoming Releases:

  • Fans of the Illusione Ultra line will be excited to learn that there are now two new formats available: a Churchill and a short robusto. The short robusto is known as the Op. No. 3, and measures 4 1/4 inches with a 50-ring gauge. You can purchase it for $8. The Churchill is the Op. No. 8, measuring 6 3/4 with a 48-ring gauge. The larger size will sell for $13. You can purchase the new sizes in boxes of 20, but there are also limited-edition 48-count boxes of the Op. No. 3, each adorned with special artwork.
  • Fans of Oettinger Davidoff AG and the Corona Cigar Company know these two cigar giants have enjoyed a longstanding business relationship. To celebrate that association, Davidoff is releasing a limited edition cigar to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Corona Cigar Company. The Davidoff Exclusive Corona Cigar Co. 20th is a 6 x 52 Belicoso featuring an Ecuador Connecticut Rojiza wrapper, a Mexico Negro San Andres Binder and a combination of Florida Sun Grown and Dominican Republic fillers.

Legal News:

  • You may know there is a ban on smoking in restaurants, casinos, bars, video lottery establishments, and package liquor stores in South Dakota. A business owner recently challenged this ruling and it went to the circuit court. Unfortunately, the ruling has now been reaffirmed and still stands, so this represents another loss for the cigar community.
  • The FDA has just issued its first set of warning letters to retailers who sell newly regulated tobacco products. The goal with these particular letters is to stop the sale of tobacco to minors. The FDA has been conducting inspections and issuing similar warnings (and penalties) since 2009, but the list of newly regulated products includes cigars. Fifty-five letters have been sent out so far to retailers across the country.
  • Did you know there is a ban prohibiting the donation of cigars to U.S. soldiers abroad? U.S. Representative Kathy Castor, D-Florida, is currently spearheading an effort to get the ban overturned by introducing H.R. 5955. Be sure to write in to your congressmen in support of the bill so our troops can get back to enjoying donated cigars on their tours of duty!
  • Finally, in a solid victory, the General Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee of New Jersey voted 9 to 1 to permit a municipality to authorize new cigar lounges. At the present time, cigar bars which opened prior to 2005 are exempt from the Smoke-Free Air Act. Patrons in these exempt bars can smoke, but patrons at newer lounges cannot. This bill will allow new cigar lounges the same rights as those which opened before 2005.
  • Here is one more exciting legal news item. After more than five decades, the U.S. Department of Transportation has finally approved flights to Havana! Eight airline companies will be participating. This is a great step forward in cementing commercial relations between the US and Cuba, and a great day for Cuban cigar fans in America.

Thank you for checking in for this week’s cigar news. Be sure to check back soon for another set of updates!

New releases from Altadis USA and J.C. Newman

Romeo y Julieta Reserve Rare 11 Years Old

Source: CigarAficionado.com

What’s been going on in the cigar industry? Here’s a quick overview of the top stories in the cigar world over the past couple weeks!

New Releases:

  • Altadis USA has just released a limited edition Romeo y Julieta aged for 11 years, predictably named the Romeo y Julieta Reserve Rare 11 Years Old. You can buy them in an 11-count box for a price of (you guessed it) … $11. Note that the “aged 11 years” here does not refer to the tobacco, but rather to the finished cigars, which have been on a shelf in a warehouse somewhere waiting that long to be sold and smoked.
  • J.C. Newman’s brand Perla del Mar was originally launched with a natural wrapper in 2012. Now a new line featuring maduro wrappers is being added. The Nicaraguan binder and filler will remain the same.

Cool Stuff:

Elie Bleu J-11 Lighters

  • If you enjoy collecting cigar accessories as much as you enjoy collecting cigars, you may own a few products designed by French manufacturer Elie Bleu. If so, you will be stoked to learn that the company is celebrating its 40th anniversary with the introduction of the J-11 collection. These lighters feature a slick design available with six different durable lacquer finishes.

Industry News:

  • There is a good chance you already know this, but earlier this month, Carlos Fuente Sr. passed away from cancer. He was 81 years old. He was of course a legend in the cigar world, and stayed actively involved in his business up until the day he died, serving as chairman of Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia. He will be sorely missed by all cigar fans.

Legal News:

  • For once, we have a victory to report on the legal front. As you know, US tobacco companies have been struggling under harsh new restrictions on product packaging—including on cigars. On Tuesday, August 16th, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta sided with Altria Group Inc., Lorillard Inc., Reynolds American Inc. and their subsidiaries, who argued that their First Amendment rights were being violated by the FDA’s new rules. Hopefully this lays the groundwork for a productive conversation benefiting the cigar industry in America.

Thanks for checking in with us! Be sure to check back next week for more exciting cigar news!

IPCPR 2016: Update 2

As you probably know, this years IPCPR Convention just wrapped up a few days ago, running from July 24th-July 28th at Sands Expo in Las Vegas. Hopefully you already read our first update where we shared news on new releases from Drew Estate, General Cigar, Nat Sherman, Joya De Nicaragua and others. Now I would like to share some additional updates!

Davidoff of Geneva USA: Yamasá

Davidoff of Geneva USA is always a big booth, and this year it seemed larger than ever. There were numerous Davidoff products on display as well as products from a number of other big cigar brands: Room101, AVO, Camacho and Ditka.

Davidoff-yamasa

The big deal however was definitely the Davidoff Yamasá, which is a brand new addition to the Davidoff catalog. This was its official unveiling and the first time that members of the public got a chance to smoke it.

The Yamasá includes a Dominican wrapper and binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan filler leaves. Flavors are bold and include notes of coffee, cedar, nuts and spices. It will be launching in August, and will be available in four sizes:
- Davidoff Yamasá Petit Churchill (4 x 48) $12.90 (Box of 14, $180.60)
- Davidoff Yamasá Robusto (5 x 50) $19.70 (Box of 12, $236.40)
- Davidoff Yamasá Pirámides (6 1/8 x 52) $23 (Box of 12, $276)
- Davidoff Yamasá Toro (6 x 52) $22.70 (Box of 12, $272.40)

The Yamasá is actually a somewhat fascinating story. It was pioneered by blender Henke Kelner, who has literally been working on it for 20 years. The name of the cigar pays tribute to the swampland of Yamasá. Unbelievably and against the odds (and the doubts of others), Kelner managed to convert the swamp into a tobacco-producing region. How and why? That part I am not sure about, but it is a spectacularly impressive feat resulting in a charismatic new cigar.

Oliva: Rebranding and Virtual Reality

The Oliva booth is another biggie. Overall it looked much like it did in previous years, but you could sense the change in ownership (J. Cortès now owns it). Perhaps this accounts for some of the re-branding of Oliva products, for example the Nub Café, which is now known as the Nub Nuance. Additionally, two new blends are available. The first is called the Nub Nuance Fall Harvest, which includes additional notes of pumpkin spice. The wrapper is Indonesian while the binder is Nicaraguan. The filler leaves are Nicaraguan and Dominican.

- Nub Nuance Fall Harvest 354 (3 3/4 x 54) $6.15 (Boxes of 20, $123)
- Nub Nuance Fall Harvest 460 (4 x 60) $7.18 (Boxes of 20, $143.50)
- Nub Nuance Fall Harvest 542 (5 x 42) $6.15 (Boxes of 20, $123)

The second new blend is the Winter Blend, which contains an added note of mint:

- Nub Nuance Winter Blend 354 (3 3/4 x 54) $6.15 (Boxes of 20, $123)
- Nub Nuance Winter Blend 460 (4 x 60) $7.18 (Boxes of 20, $143.50)
- Nub Nuance Winter Blend 542 (5 x 42) $6.15 (Boxes of 20, $123)

All of the new Nub Nuance cigars will be available in September.

New Nub Nuance blends were not the only means by which Oliva impressed booth visitors at IPCPR 2016. Oliva is a brand that is on top of the latest technology. If you happen to be a gamer, you probably are familiar with virtual reality headsets. VR headsets are cutting edge, but should soon be available for your PlayStation or Xbox console. As it turns out, their applications go far beyond gaming.

Oliva had the very cool idea of allowing trade show attendees to visit their company plantation and factories through a virtual reality tour. This is really quite an amazing concept and a mind-blowing and unique experience for everyone who dropped by the Oliva booth. As a bonus, Oliva demonstrated their generosity and appreciation to all of their dedicated buyers by giving away a complimentary cigar at the end of their virtual tour.

Quick Updates:

Avo's new blend this year is Classic Covers Volume 4. This cigar is based on the Avo Domaine, and includes Yamasá filler leaves, an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder, and an Ecuadorian Habano 2000 wrapper. The Avo Syncro Nicaragua is also getting an expansion with the new Fogata.

Boutique Blends has four new cigars on the way. Two are Oliveros and two are Aging Room.

Recluse Cigar Company has announced the fourth expansion of their Draconian Blend with the Recluse Draconian Habano. This cigar includes a Sumatra binder and Ecuadorian Habano wrapper around Dominican Ligero, Iconic Ligero, Braziago and Piloto Cubano fillers. It will be available in 14 formats.

Thanks for following along with this years IPCPR updates here on CigarInspector.com! Be sure to check back each week for ongoing industry news!

IPCPR 2016: Update 1

Sands Expo / Venetian

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.

Drew Estate Releases

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.

My Father Le Bijou 1922 Limited Edition 2016

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

Joya Black

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.

Quick Updates:

  • 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!

Cigar Release: Camacho Check Six

Camacho Check Six - Box

Camacho is proud to announce the latest addition to its Brotherhood Series, the new Camacho Check Six.

Built with the impenetrable character of the Original Corojo, Camacho Check Six pays tribute to the unbreakable bond between those who watch their brother’s six no matter what. In honor of those bold individuals who stand side by side to protect our freedom, Camacho deploys its latest addition to the Brotherhood Series with a cigar built from the legendary tobacco we fought to defend. 


Camacho Check Six - Single

Backed by integrity and bound by virtue, this is one cigar that yields to no other. Celebrating those who prove themselves through actions, not words. A rare breed of individuals who stop at nothing to lay everything on the line for what matters most. Always doing what’s right, never what’s easy. Confirming that there are no limits when it comes to solidarity.

“We are very excited about this second release under our Brotherhood Series. While the concept was inspired by a common bond shared amongst the military brotherhood, it is also aspirational for many. We all have those people in our lives that we know have our back. By extension, it is also understood that you have theirs as well. This is the cigar to share with those special individuals,” said Dylan Austin, Vice President of Marketing for Davidoff of Geneva USA.

At the core of the new Camacho Check Six is a tri-country blend of Original Corojo, San Vicente and Criollo tobaccos. These powerful filler tobaccos combine to add a depth of strength, complexity and flavor to the overall experience. The addition of a Criollo 98 binder from Nicaragua amps up the pepper notes, while the Habana 2000 wrapper from Ecuador adds roundness and excellent combustion to the blend.

Camacho Check Six : Stats

Wrapper: Habana 2000 (Ecuador)
Binder: Criollo 98 (Nicaragua)
Filler: Criollo 98 (Nicaragua) / Estelí (Nicaragua) / San Vicente (Dominican Republic) / Original Corojo (Honduras)
Intensity: 4 of 5 (Medium to Full)

The new Camacho Check Six is packed with twenty Toro (6 x 50) sized cigars and features a shareable challenge coin on the lid of each box. Shipping begins in the US shortly after the 2016 IPCPR trade show and will extend across global markets in the first quarter of 2017.

Suggested Retail (US): $12.50 per cigar / $250.00 per box

FDA Subjects Premium Cigars to Regulation

FDA Regulates Premium Cigars

You might already have heard the sad news. From Cigar Rights of America press-release, earlier today:

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's ("FDA") Center for Tobacco Products released their 499 page final rule that would deem additional tobacco products subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Under today's release, premium cigars have been deemed and will be subjected to the "option 1" regulatory framework, which in some respects treats premium cigars in harsher terms than that of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

What does it mean? The main takeaway is that all cigars released after Aug 6 2016 will have to be submitted for approval before they are allowed to the market. Costs and delays of this approval procedure remain unknown.

Charlie Minato from Halfwheel published a great article covering the consequences of this decision in more details. Let's not forget that this is not necessarily the end for the cigar industry, as we can still fight and adapt.

IPCPR 2015: Day Four Recap

Day four is here and guess what? We have more new releases! “But, Gil” you may think, “there’s so many new cigars out already, how could I possibly try all these?” Well, that’s something you’re going to have to deal with personally. Do you want my advice? Smoke on.

Acme Cigars: Premier Ecuador, Premier San Andreas, and Route 66

ACME Cigars

On the AKA Cigars side of things there were no fresh brands, however news on the development of AKA Cigars’ latest company have been announced at this year’s IPCPR. Acme Cigar Company is launching with three lines of cigars this year, which one would assume are markedly less explosive than their looney-toons counterpart. The cigars are being made within Nicaragua’s second oldest factory, Nicaraguan American Cigars SA (NACSA).

Click here to read the full article...

IPCPR 2015: Day Three Recap

Another day in for the 2015 International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show and another flood of Cigar releases. Between the past two days, there’s been enough new releases to keep most of us satisfied for the coming year, but now we’re over the halfway point and the announcements just keep coming. Dive on into this selection of new upcoming cigars at the IPCPR.

Coming to the U.S.: Casa Turrent

Back in 2013 A. Turrent released this line into Canada and Europe, however after leaving their previous distributors Atladis USA, they did not have the production capabilities for a domestic release in the U.S.

Casa Turrent

Earlier this year there were reports that the Casa Turrent was slated for a June release here, but at IPCPR that date has been amended to within the coming month. A bit of a rocky start to the first of their in house distribution, but if the quality is up to par with their illustrious family name then maybe we here in the states could find it in our hearts to forgive and forget. This will be the only current brand carrying the Turrent name. A. Turrent Puro Corojo and Triple Play were discontinued last year.

Click here to read the full article...

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