Cigar Release: Toraño Salutem

Toraño Salutem

Toraño Family Cigar Company is excited to introduce three new releases at the 2012 IPCPR in Orlando. The three new cigars are in addition to, and come on the heels of, the recent successful launch of the Master Maduro.

The first new release is called Salutem. Salutem is packaged in a unique 12 count box. The cigar is dressed in a beautiful Habano Ecuador wrapper, complemented by a binder from Jalapa, Nicaragua and completed with filler tobacco from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Cameroon. While Toraño blends have featured tobacco from Cameroon in the past, this is the first time Cameroon has been a component of the filler, giving Salutem a distinctive, rich cocoa flavor.

Salutem, which is actually a Latin term used when extending a friendly greeting, is a medium bodied, complex blend exhibiting balanced notes of earth, cocoa and spicy pepper with interesting aged cedar and leather flavors present on the long finish. Salutem is inspired by the character and strong will of those who overcome great challenges and adversity. Salutem represents a celebration of life and raises a toast to all those who live life to the fullest.

The Toraño Family also proudly announces the launch of its new LFC line. The LFC is a 4.25 x 60 line extension to four of Toraño’s most popular blends. The family chose the Loyal, Master, Exodus 1959 - 50 Years, and Vault to be featured in this new line. The cigars will be housed in a custom designed Toraño Family display. One display will feature all four brands in the new 4.25 x 60 size.

By popular demand, the Toraño Family has created the 90+ Rated Collection pack which will feature Toraño blends that have garnered a coveted 90+ rating from worldwide cigar publications. This highly rated group of cigars comes in a beautiful cedar pack of 6 x 50 Toros.

“This IPCPR is the most ambitious to date regarding new releases for Toraño. We have been hard at work for many years to offer a diversity of flavors and packaging to our consumers and it’s exciting to get them to the market,” says Charlie Toraño, President of Toraño Family Cigar Company.

Cigar Release: AKA Solace

AKA Solace

AKA Cigars (American Kick Ass Cigars) is once again expanding its line of cigars. In addition to the popular Hybrid and Respect lines, now comes the AKA Solace. This line will be introduced at the upcoming International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association trade show in Orlando on August 2-6, 2012.

The Solace marks the first time AKA Cigars is using Connecticut Wrapper. According to AKA president Jay Lundy, “The Solace is a New Generation Connecticut Cigar that will start with a light white pepper and spice. The Solace develops into an elegant rich and creamy well balanced complex flavor profile of toasted marshmallow, coffee bean, and a pleasant dutch chocolate sweetness. This new masterpiece from AKA is sure to please all mild and medium body smokers, as well as the full body connoisseur.”

Using 4-year aged Ecuador/Connecticut wrapper over 4-year aged Honduran Criollo binder and 4 and 5- year aged Dominican and Honduran fillers, the Solace will come in 7 sizes with a suggested retail prices from $4.75 to $9.25.

The sizes are:

  • “Bliss” Petit Corona (4.5”x 42) with a MSRP of $4.75
  • “Destiny” Corona (6” x 44) and “Serenity” Rothchild (4.5” x 52) with an MSRP of $7.25
  • “Cloud Nine” Robusto (5.5” x 50) with an MSRP of $7.75
  • “7th Heaven” Churchill (7.25” x 50) with an MSRP of $8.25
  • “Peace” Super Toro (6.5” x 54) with an MSRP of $8.75
  • “Elation” Titan (6”x60) with an MSRP of $9.25

Cigar Release: Montecristo Epic Premium Selection’07

Montecristo Epic Premium Selection

Press Release: The task of creating Montecristo Epic was assigned to a special team of our most skilled and accomplished cigar makers – Grupo de Maestros – artisans with centuries of combined experience. It is a true handmade luxury, a masterpiece of complexity and full-bodied smoking pleasure made of the finest aged tobaccos – Vintage 2007.

Every step of the process, from hand selecting the ultra-premium tobaccos to each cigar’s flawless construction is performed with meticulous attention to detail and obsessive devotion. Each cigar is hand inspected and every box includes a certificate of authenticity signed by the artisans at every step. That’s what makes the cigar Montecristo. That’s what it makes it Epic.

Essentials

Wrapper: Select Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Special Selecttion of Vintage Nicaraguan & Dominican Tobaccos
Production Team: Grupo de Maestros
Vintage: 2007
Sizes: Churchill (56X7’’), Toro(52X6’’), Robusto (52X5’’)
Packing: 10 cigars/box
RSP: $15, $14, $13/stick
Launch Date: June 2012

Cigar Release: La Aurora Cien Años

La Aurora

Established in 1903, La Aurora is the oldest cigar factory in the Dominican Republic. In 2003, the company celebrated Cien Anos, 100 years in the business. To mark this milestone of great cigars, the Cien Anos was released, a cigar that is still talked about today. The cigar was the #1 rated cigar from the Dominican Republic according to Cigar Aficionado in 2004 and is set to be released again in time for IPCPR.

The cigars feature a silky looking Dominican Corojo wrapper that has been aged 4 years and will be available in:

  • Robusto ($12.00 MSRP; 25 count)
  • Churchill ($14.00 MSRP; 25 count)
  • Belicoso ($16.80 MSRP; 25 count)

These vitolas will be limited in production to 20,000 cigars per size.

In addition to the highly rated original blend, an ultra-limited edition version in a Connecticut Broadleaf will be available. The cigar will be released as part of a package to a select number of retailers and limited to 7,000 cigars.

According to Guillermo Leon, owner of La Aurora cigars, “In my travels the one question that has been constant is the request for Cien Anos. But this time, we wanted to share not only our history, but also a piece of our future and what has yet to come.”

“We are happy to have a cigar back for a limited time; whose original release is still talked about today” added Jason Wood VP of Miami Cigar & Company which handles distribution for La Aurora in the United States. “The addition of the Connecticut Broadleaf will only add to the legend of the Cien Anos”.

Cigar Release: JM Tobacco Classic Petits

JM Tobacco Classic Petits

JM Tobacco, Inc., is displaying its new small cigar product category at the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers trade show in Orlando, Florida, August 2-6. The 4" x 32 Classic Petits, according to company president Anto Mahroukian, “Satisfy the rapidly expanding market for shorter-duration smokes.”

“Smokers are moving toward smaller cigars like Classic Petits, because they provide a rich, flavorful fifteen-minute smoke break, for cigar lovers who don’t have the time or budget for a full-sized premium cigar. But, unlike cigarillos, their larger ring gauge delivers a more abundant amount of smoke, which allows the smoker to enjoy more of a ‘large cigar’ experience.”

Classic Petits are available in both natural and maduro wrappers. Their manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing will be announced at IPCPR, and Mahroukian states it will be very competitive with existing brands of European “connoisseur-level” small cigars. The hand-made cigar combines a multi-nation blend of top-quality tobaccos, aged a full 2 years. They are made in the same Dominican factory as value-priced JM’s Dominican line and Carnero premium cigars, also appearing at the show. JM’s Dominican line is a Cuban sandwich, while the Carnero is an all-long-filler cigar.

Cigar Release: La Sirena Merlion

La Sirena Merlion

In what one can term Beauty & The Beast; La Sirena and La Aurora have teamed up to create a new cigar, Merlion. The name Merlion comes from a mythical creature that is half lion and half mermaid, the perfect fit for La Sirena and La Aurora.

The Merlion will be rolled at La Aurora Cigar Factory utilizing 6 different types of tobacco. The wrapper is a silky looking Ecuadorian Corojo, while the binder is Sumatra from Brazil. The filler, has 4 different types of tobacco including; Brazillian Bahia, Dominican Corojo, Dominican Criollo '98, and Nicaraguan ligero to add that strength that you expect from a La Sirena cigar.

The Merlion which comes 20 in a box is available in 3 sizes, Robusto (5 x 50 / $9.00); Toro (5.5 x 54 / $10.00) and Gran Toro (6 x 58 / $10.50). All prices are before local taxes.

According to Brand Manager, Arielle Ditkowich "We are very excited to be working with Guillermo and La Aurora, they have blended us a beautiful medium bodied cigar that is extremely complex and offers a nice contrast to our existing line."

The Merlion by La Sirena is expected to start shipping late June 2012.

More sales, more taxes?

More sales, more taxes

Normally we’d be happy to report news of increased cigar sales, but in this case it’s not really a good thing, IMO. The Government Accountability Office recently released data which demonstrates that cigarette smokers are switching to pipe tobacco and cigars in order to dodge the sales tax on cigarettes, which is substantially higher. The federal government estimates that it has lost between $615 million and $1.1 billion in uncollected sales tax revenue from April 2009 to September 2011. In January of 2009, pipe tobacco sales were just 240,000 pounds. In September 2011, that number rose to 3 million pounds—a tremendous leap. Cigar sales more than doubled in the same timeframe, rising from 411 million pounds to 1 billion pounds.

We’re already starting to see the consequences, and they’re not good. Congress has raised taxes on small cigars to the same rate as cigarettes. As a result, the manufacturers of small cigars have already had to raise the weight of their cigars in order to enter the lower large cigar tax bracket. Naturally the Government Accountability Office has already taken notice of this fact, which means it’s only a matter of time before they end up cracking down on those, too.

Many cigar smokers (if not all) don’t even smoke cigarettes, and it is unfair that cigar aficionados should have to pay a higher tax on their cigars simply because cigarette smokers are dodging taxes, but that could well be what’s in store for the future. That could harm premium cigar manufacturers and tobacconists too, which won’t do any good for small business in this country.

Cigar Release: Toraño Master Maduro

Torano Master Maduro

The Toraño Family Cigar Company is proud to announce the release of a new chapter in the Master story: The Master Maduro. The Master line of cigars has been a smashing success with the launch of the original Master two years ago. The Master BFC 6X60 quickly followed, and as demand for this popular line has increased, the Toraño family now brings you the Master Maduro.

As with the original Master, the Master Maduro was a collaborative effort between Toraño’s master roller Felipe Sosa and President of the Toraño family business Charlie Toraño. Sosa, who is a true artisan, is passionate about the Master line which carries his image on the boxes. Sosa approached Charlie about experimenting with a Habano Maduro wrapper that would create a new cigar worthy of the Master name. After tinkering with the blend using the Habano Maduro wrapper (a dark rich wrapper grown in Nicaragua), Charlie and Sosa found this cigar to be medium in strength and full of flavor. In true Maduro style, this flavourful blend is a complex balance of sweet spicy notes with a rich, chewy finish.

The Master Maduro’s final blend was a cigar that needed to pass the strict test of Charlie Toraño, as it had to match the quality of the original Master. The Master was released with much anticipation after the Toraño family took back its distribution in 2010. The new cigar blew the doors open as the Master garnered high ratings from Cigar Aficionado (91), and went on to make waves in Europe as it received a 98/5 star rating and rated third best cigar of the year by Cigar Journal Magazine.

“The Master brand has been one of our most successful brand launches. The positive feedback, both in the U.S. and abroad, inspired us to expand the brand.” Charlie Toraño went on to say, ”The Master Maduro is that rare combination of just enough power with an abundance of rich flavor.”

With an MSRP of $6.00 to $8.00, the Master Maduro is a competitively priced cigar in its category. The Master Maduro will be offered in a Robusto 5 x 50 and Toro Gordo 5 ½ x 54. For those who prefer the big and bold the Master Maduro is also available in a BFC 6 x 60.

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