Cigar Release: Tienda Exclusiva by Willy Herrera

Tienda Exclusiva by Willy Herrera

Drew Estate Tobacco Co. announced today the release of the first “Tienda Exclusiva by Willy Herrera”, a concept cigar by Willy Herrera. Made at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in extremely small batches, the Tienda Exclusiva line is specially crafted for one retailer per release, with only a few releases scheduled per year. The inaugural “Tienda Exclusiva by Willy Herrera” blend was produced for the owner of Barrister Cigars in Union, New Jersey, David Mallow, following the 2013 New Jersey Cigar Festival.

When asked about the blend, Willy Herrera responded from Estelí, Nicaragua: “This was one of the blends that I was working on through 2012 and 2013. David smoked it at the Festival and kept coming back for more. Eventually, he smoked every cigar I had brought, which I thought would be enough for the entire week! I knew he loved the blend and it felt right assigning it to him for my first Tienda Exclusiva.”

David Mallow, owner of Barrister Cigars, said that, "the ‘Tienda Exclusiva by Willy Herrera’ is a truly beautiful project that I am honored to be involved with. It’s no secret that Willy is one of the most talented tobacco blenders out there, and we can’t wait to have the cigar in our humidor.”

As stated previously, every “Tienda Exclusiva by Willy Herrera” blend is a limited quantity production cigar made at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate. Jonathan Drew noted, “I recommend you don’t sleep on this one. These are one and done. Willy has a lot on his plate right now as Master Blender of La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate. As I’ve said before, ‘Boutique is in the Heart’ and Willy has spent so much time creating and experimenting with blends. We have some real gems out of the blends he has worked on. Now, it’s time to get them into production.”

The “Tienda Exclusiva by Willy Herrera” for Barrister Cigars is packed in 10-count boxes and will sell for $12.00 MSRP per cigar, plus applicable state taxes. They will be offered for sale on September 2nd from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at a Barrister Cigars event in Union, New Jersey, with Willy Herrera and Jonathan Drew hosting the event.

Cigar Release: Dunhill 1907

Dunhill 1907

General Cigar announces the world premiere of 1907 by Dunhill®, a medium-bodied, four-cigar collection that will be available at fine cigar shops nationwide, and at premium tobacconists worldwide, beginning in May.

1907 by Dunhill marks the first full-time new Dunhill brand since its Signed Range was introduced in 2001, and commemorates the first box-pressed cigar in the entire Dunhill portfolio, with the range’s new Toro size.

Yves Politi, head of British American Tobacco Ltd.’s Dunhill cigar division said, “In the century since opening its flagship tobacco shop in London, Dunhill has remained synonymous with exquisite cigars in elegant packaging. 1907 celebrates the Dunhill brand’s time-honored tradition of tobacco mastery, while incorporating elements that speak to the modern cigar smoker’s passion points: a fuller taste profile, accessible pricing and classic sizing.”

Dunhill 1907

Handcrafted by artisans in Santiago, D.R., 1907 by Dunhill is made with a proprietary blend of Dominican ligeros and Brazilian Mata Fina, bound with Dominican Olor and wrapped in a hearty Honduran Olancho leaf. The new Dunhill expression delivers complex flavor with nuances of spice, and a rich, creamy finish.

1907 by Dunhill consists of these four sizes: Rothschild (4.5” x 48; SRP per cigar $8.25); Robusto (5” x 52; SRP per cigar $8.50); Churchill (7” x 49, SRP per cigar $9.25) and the box-pressed Toro (6” x 54, SRP per cigar $9.00). Each frontmark is packaged in an 18-count wooden box with a sliding lid.

FDA Increases Restrictions on Tobacco, May Exempt Cigars

FDA Logo

On Thursday, April 24th, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that they intend to heighten the restrictions on tobacco products in the US. The FDA has had oversight of the tobacco industry since 2009. Under the new rules, the FDA would become more involved in tobacco product manufacturing and distribution than ever before, and will impose harsher restrictions than in the past. The FDA has however stated that premium cigars may be exempted from some of these harsh measures.

Nothing has been decided for sure at this juncture, but the FDA has proposed an option which could “exclude from the scope of this proposed rule certain cigars that we refer to as ‘premium cigars.’” For the next 75 days, the public is invited to comment on the proposed exception. Now is the time to reach out to the government and let them know why premium cigars are special and deserve special status.

The majority of cigars which sold in the US are mass-market cigars, made by machine and not by hand. These cigars may range in size from cigarette-sized to full-sized, and are generally made of lower-quality tobacco. As they account for the majority of cigars in the USA at this point in time, it is easy to see why the FDA would want to regulate them. That being said, premium cigars are quite different, and are rolled by hand, and made out of higher-quality tobacco. Whereas mass-market cigars, like cigarettes, are made for mass-market consumption, premium cigars are designed for the aficionado.

Speaking about the FDA’s proposal to exempt premium cigars from their restrictions, J. Glynn Loope, executive director of Cigar Rights of America, stated, “It appears that two years’ worth of education work has paid off to a degree because it does seem that (the FDA is) recognizing the difference between premium cigars and e-cigarettes and mass market products.” Cigar Rights of America is a lobbyist group which is comprised of cigar manufacturers as well as cigar enthusiasts and customers.

Eric Newman, president of Tampa’s J.C. Newman Cigar Co., recognized the huge role played by the Cigar Rights of America lobby when he stated, “Where I was pleasantly surprised was the reference to the FDA taking a special look at premium cigars. I think that’s a real credit to the people involved with the CRA.”

Loope emphasized that the 75-day period is a critical one, and that it is absolutely vital for cigar smokers, sellers, and manufacturers to take this opportunity to speak up and explain to the FDA why it is important to support cigar smokers’ rights. Anyone can speak up for the premium cigar world, so if you enjoy your premium cigars and wish to have unfettered access to them in the future, now is the time to implore the FDA to support the option for premium cigars.

La Sirena Cigars Acquires Old School Cigars

La Sirena acquires Old School

The newly independent La Sirena Cigars announced today the acquisition of New York based cigar brand, Old School Cigars. The acquisition was a strategic move for La Sirena to increase their portfolio and gain immediate market share. Old School Cigars is best known for its 3 Lines: Stixx, Jaxx and Jaxx LT.

“La Sirena’s acquisition of Old School Cigars represents a natural fit. Both companies are New York based premium cigar brands featuring unique blends and a high level of cigar expertise,” said Arielle Ditkowich, President and Founder of La Sirena Cigars. “It just made sense to me, as we [La Sirena] continue to grow quickly. I was looking to blend a mild cigar and, during my research, I came across the sweet Connecticut wrapper on the Jaxx LT.”

Beginning immediately, the distribution of Old School Cigars will be handled by the La Sirena Sales team. All orders may be placed through the La Sirena Cigars website, by telephone or email, or by contacting La Sirena regional sales managers. La Sirena Cigars will continue to produce the La Sirena Original and Merlion by La Sirena blends.

“La Sirena continues to gain momentum since our independence in January. Arielle realized we needed to produce a mild, yet full flavored cigar to even out our portfolio. We liked the Jaxx LT so much, we made an offer to buy the company,” said Max Mogil, Vice President of National Sales & Marketing. “This is just the first of many exciting announcements for La Sirena. In addition to the Stixx, Jaxx and Jaxx LT, we’re looking forward to the 2014 IPCPR where we will debut our third line under the La Sirena brand.”

Old School Jaxx and Stixx

Daniel Ditkowich and the Holman Family founded Old School Cigars 7 years ago producing a number of blends over the life span of the company. La Sirena will continue to produce the “Jaxx” made by Tavicusa S.A. in Nicaragua, the “Jaxx LT” made by Plasencia in Honduras and the “Stixx” made by the Quesada Family in the Dominican Republic.

The acquisition will be effective as of April 25th, 2014. As part of the transition, existing Old School stock will be sold with original Old School labels with future production to be labeled “Jaxx by La Sirena”, “Jaxx LT by La Sirena” and “Stixx by La Sirena”.

Cigar Release: Room 101 Daruma Gold

Room 101 Daruma Gold

From the recent press release (Room 101 Daruma Gold will be available starting April 30th):

Evolution is the process that separates those in motion from those who are standing still. As we at Room101 grow, we evolve in every way fathomable. Within this box you will find the evolution of the Daruma. The modifications you will experience in this particular blend are the by-product of our evolution and growth working within the premium tobacco craft.

This life has been nothing short of an adventure and we are proud to offer you tastes of this adventure encapsulated within these smoke-able vessels. With humility, we present to you an evolved taste of one of our finest cigars to date. We hope you dig it.

Cigar Stats: Room 101 Daruma Gold

WRAPPER: San Andres (Mexico)
BINDER: Mata Fina (Brazil)
FILLER: Corojo, Criollo & Pelo de Oro (Honduras & Dominican Republic)

Room 101 Daruma Gold Vitolas

Cigar Release: Avo “88″ 2014 Limited Edition

AVO 88 Limited Edition 2014

The AVO Limited Edition 2014 celebrates the extraordinary 88th birthday of cigar legend, Avo Uvezian. Avo’s deep fascination with numerology gains full exposure with the number 8. Not only does 88 represent the hallmark anniversary Avo Uvezian is celebrating but also the number of keys on a grand piano. Thus, the piano keyboard is the “key” inspiration for Avo’s 2014 Limited Edition - “AVO 88”.

Avo Uvezian’s pursuit to compose the perfect blend for his 88th birthday cigar began several years ago. The goal was to compose a cigar that encapsulated an exciting and perfect balance of flavors and strength that is the foundation of every great musical composition. When Avo explained the objective to Master Blenders, Henke Kelner and Eladio Diaz, they were determined to successfully achieve Avo’s challenge. The ideal tobaccos were selected, the beautiful Belicoso format was chosen, and years of passionately fine-tuning the blend followed. Finally, the dedication to perfection from this legendary trio of cigar composers resulted in a Dominican Puro cigar that will be celebrated by connoisseurs throughout the ages.

AVO 88 Limited Edition 2014

The AVO 88 blend is brought to life in an exquisite 6” x 52 Belicoso format, comprised of five different Dominican filler tobaccos and a limited Dominican binder leaf, concealed within a flawless Dominican Yamasa wrapper leaf. The marriage of these select tobaccos provides the remarkable experience that Avo once dreamed about. As each key on a grand piano delivers a perfect note when played, the AVO 88 cigar delivers flawless notes of flavor when enjoyed.

“The AVO 88 is the culmination of AVO Limited Editions, a true masterpiece that will be celebrated by AVO fans for years to come,” explains Scott Kolesaire, AVO Brand Manager. “For years Avo has been expressing his excitement towards the 88 cigar and is thrilled to finally share it with connoisseurs around the world.”

AVO 88 will be celebrated to its fullest potential. Consisting of a global release of 8,888 individually numbered, black piano lacquered boxes, of which 888 boxes will be personally autographed by Avo Uvezian. To further complement this marvellous product, 1,888 limited edition AVO 88 Ashtrays will be made available, as well as 488 miniature grand pianos for retail product display and merchandising.

Avo 88 2014 Limited Edition

The AVO 88 will be launched in the USA on March 20, 2014. In Europe, the launch can vary from country to country, beginning mid-May 2014. Avo Uvezian will introduce his new cigar in person during his annual AVO Anniversary Tour beginning March 20th. Avo will appear at two locations this year to celebrate his 88th birthday and his newest, most prized release, AVO 88.

Avo 88 Stats

Length: 6“
Diameter: 52 RG
Format: Belicoso
Wrapper: Yamasá (DR)
Binder: Olor/Criollo (DR)
Filler: Piloto Viso (DR), Pilito Ligero (DR), San Vicente Ligero (DR), Corojo/Olor (DR), Crillo (DR)
Price: $16.00 (Single cigar) | $256.00 (Lacquered box of 16 cigars)

Cigar Release: Room 101 Master Collection Two

Room 101 Master Collection Two

Not sure that the guys at Room 101 were smoking cigars when they came up with this teaser :)

This second installment of The Room101 Master Collection Series comes to you live and direct from the Ministry of Cheddar.

Paper Chase Incorporated is proud to offer you a product which is the direct result of five years of ball busting work, sacrifice and investment of the monetary, spiritual and psychological nature encapsulated in this piece of handcrafted art that you are about to ingest by fire.

While you enjoy this product in a calm moment, know that you are indulging in the most physical representation of the American Dream. A young team of creative and industrious minds have taken a stand to make something of themselves.

We live our lives the way most people dare not, to then live the rest of our lives the way most people cannot. Something to ponder while you burn through this fine premium cigar. Of course – if you think you have the stones, you could always join us for the ride.

Cigar Stats

Room 101 Master Collection Two

Wrapper: Criollo
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Nicaragua, Honduras

CVS Discontinuing All Tobacco Sales

CVS Discontinuing All Tobacco Sales

CVS has just announced that they will no longer be selling tobacco products in their stores. The news hit on Wednesday, when the company released a statement saying they would no longer be selling cigarettes, cigars, or other tobacco products. This is quite a startling decision in light of the fact that the pharmaceutical giant pulls in around $2 billion a year from tobacco related sales.

The majority of that money comes from cigarette sales, as opposed to cigar sales. CVS is really not a prime destination for cigar purchases for the simple reason that they do not have humidors on their premises. Some premium cigars which do not require humidors for storage could be sold in CVS stores however, as could machine-made brands. CVS sold a variety of cigar brands, including Dutch Masters, Macanudo, and Backwoods.

While CVS’s decision may inconvenience some cigar smokers, it will cause a much greater inconvenience for cigarette smokers. Premium cigar aficionados generally are better served shopping at local tobacconists with proper humidors to begin with. We can hope that this decision will actually be good for small businesses, since more casual cigar buyers who may no longer shop at CVS may turn to smaller companies for their needs. This may even lead them to discover the joys of premium hand-rolled cigars, which would be good not only for local stores, but for the premium cigar industry overall.

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