Cigar Release: Nat Cicco Cuban Legends

Nat Cicco Cuban Legends

This August saw the introduction of the first value-priced premium cigar in the popular Nat Cicco line from Zander-Greg, Inc. Nat Cicco Cuban Legends are all-tobacco, all handmade cigars, in four large ring-gauge shapes.

“We’re excited about the initial response to Cuban Legends, by retailers and smokers, at this Summer’s annual tobacco trade show” states Zander-Greg’s president. “The Nat Cicco name first appeared in 1965, with the Churchill and Robusto Rejects value-priced medium-filler cigars. They were the industry’s original cigars on the ‘rejects’ or ‘factory seconds’ theme, often copied by other cigar manufacturers. Over the years, Rejects have proven popular, even more so in today’s difficult economy. We see Cuban Legends proving themselves to be a lot of cigar for the money, as well as a smooth, refined smoking experience.”

Nat Cicco Cuban Legends are made in Nicaragua, exclusively for Zander-Greg. The filler blend is Nicaraguan tobacco, and the cigars are available in natural and maduro wrappers. The available shapes are Churchill (7.5" x 52), Torpedo (6" x 54), Toro (6" x 56), and Robusto (5" x 54). Presented 40 cigars to a box, their suggested retail pricing ranges from $2.15 to $2.60 each. The cigars will begin appearing on retailers’ shelves nationwide, in mid-September.

Cigar Release: Liga Privada “Dirty Rat”

Liga Privada Dirty Rat

Update: here is our review of the Liga Privada "Dirty Rat"

Miami, FL – Drew Estate officially announced its intent to release into the market the much-heralded “Dirty Rat” during the IPCPR 2010 tradeshow as the first cigar within its new Liga Privada Ünico Serie. Ünico, which translates to “unique”, will be a new line of special cigars that fit in neither the existing No. 9 nor T52 lines.

According to Steve Saka, Drew Estate’s President, “At this point, we have made 200 or more Liga Privada blends. There are probably 9 or 10 of them so far that are exceptional, however their blends differ from both the No. 9 and the T52 branded cigars. They’re cigars that work as a particular size, such as a lancero or corona, with the blend being unique to that particular vitola. The ‘Dirty Rat’ is a great example of this, so we have decided to introduce this as the first cigar in the Ünico line.”

The “Dirty Rat” is a stout 5 inch by 44 ring gauge corona with a fan-twist finished head utilizing their Stalk Cut and Cured, Connecticut Sungrown Habana capa, which is the same wrapper featured on the Liga Privada T52.

That is where the similarity ends, as this is a spicier, even more peppery blend of primarily Nicaraguan tobaccos from almost exclusively the Esteli Valley. Packed in a 12-ct presentation box with a suggested retail price of $12 per cigar. “We realize this is expensive for a small format cigar, however due to the difficult nature and time consuming task of proportioning five different filler tobaccos and hand bunching such a complex recipe into a corona size the cigar’s price is a direct reflection of what they actually cost to handcraft,” adds Saka. “I personally love this cigar, to me it is a direct reflection, taste and body wise, of the greatest Cuban-made coronas I have ever enjoyed, however it is likely too strong for most consumers and it is definitely not for those who are concerned with stretching their buying dollar. This ‘Dirty Rat’ is intended for the connoisseur smoker whose first and foremost concern is enjoying an unparalleled smoking experience.”

The “Dirty Rat” will not be a limited release, as some have speculated. Drew Estate intends to produce them in small batches as long as there is a demand for them in the market. The first boxes are currently being packed and shipped from their Nicaraguan factory.

Cigar Release: Mooch


MIAMI – Berger & Argenti Premium Cigars announced that the unveiling of its new modestly priced MOOCH ® cigar brand was a smash success at the 78th annual IPCPR Convention and Trade Show held August 9-13 in New Orleans. MOOCH will be available at fine tobacconists throughout the U.S this month.

MOOCH® is a medium-bodied, rich and creamy smoking experience that, along with the Berger & Argenti CLASICO®, represents the best value in the premium long-filler cigar market. Produced with a flavorful Nicaraguan Cuban seed filler and binder crop and enveloped in a sun-grown Ecuador Connecticut Seed wrapper, MOOCH® is aimed to appeal to the ‘everyday’ cigar enthusiast with suggested retail price points ranging from $3.99 to $5.79 per cigar, offering superior value and indisputable affordability for a completely handcrafted, long filler cigar brand.

“This brand is meant to fit the budget of consumers who want to enjoy the admirable everyday pursuit of smoking premium cigars yet have to deal with harsh economic realities each time they make a purchase,” stated Albert Argenti, vice president and co-founder of Berger & Argenti, Inc. “Whether it’s the current economic climate in this country or residing in an area where the tax burden on cigars is ridiculously high, I believe MOOCH® will not only ease the burden on their wallet, but also be greatly appreciated for its exceptional flavor and craftsmanship.”

MOOCH® is available in four uniquely christened sizes: ‘Minnie’ (4 ¾”x 42 Corona); ‘Schnorr’ (5” x 50 Robusto); ‘Loll (6” x 52 Belicoso); and ‘Windbag’ (7” x 49 Churchill). Thirty (30) MOOCH® cigars are delicately packaged in perforated Spanish cedar boxes. Tobacconists may also opt to dispense MOOCH® cigars in an eye-catching, space-saving display tray.

“I wanted this fantastic new brand to have thirty cigars in a box because of the ‘mooch factor’ when entertaining friends and colleagues”, continued Argenti. “Twenty cigars were never enough. But at these price points, I suppose cigar mooches can get their own now.”

Cigar Release: Entubar Quad Maduro

Entubar Quad Maduro

MIAMI – Berger & Argenti Premium Cigars announced the debut of ENTUBAR® QUAD MADURO at the 78th IPCPR Convention and Trade Show in New Orleans, LA was an overwhelming success and enthusiastically received by retailers and consumers alike.

ENTUBAR® QUAD MADURO is a full-bodied, super-premium extension of the sensational ENTUBAR® cigar brand which was unveiled to the public a year ago at IPCPR. Like ENTUBAR®, the QUAD MADURO pays tribute to the time-honored Cuban cigar making technique known as ‘entubar’ while also establishing a revolutionary new process of manufacturing premium cigars.

Each deeply aged Nicaraguan filler leaf that comprises the ENTUBAR® QUAD MADURO blend is carefully rolled creating delicate ‘scrolls’ of rich, flavorful tobacco. This age-old method ensures open chambers of air flow from the foot to the head of the cigar. The ligero tobacco, which lends the cigar its unique full body, are bunched independently and then placed into the center of the remaining ‘entubar’ rolled filler blend. This ‘channel’ of ligero tobacco ranges the full length of the cigar and extends ¼” beyond the finished trimmed foot, creating a startlingly unique ‘fuse like’ appearance that assures a superior draw, flawless conical burn with a long white ash, and a myriad of complex flavors channeled directly onto the palate. ENTUBAR® QUAD MADURO is ‘cuadrado’ pressed Habano and comprised of all Cuban-seed Nicaraguan (viso and ligero) and Dominican (seco) fillers, a savory Nicaraguan binder, and skillfully enveloped in a rich, dark Jalapa Valley-grown Maduro wrapper crop aged eight years in seasoned oak barrels.

Due to the meticulous small batch production of ENTUBAR® QUAD MADURO, only ‘friends’ and authorized ENTUBAR® merchants in the United States will have access to the brand. ENTUBAR® QUAD MADURO is delicately packaged in rustic Spanish cedar boxes of 20 cigars and available in four (4) distinct vitolas characterized by sumptuously large ring gauges: Corona Macho (4 5/8” x 48); Robusto (5 3/8” x 54); Double Corona (7 5/8” x 54); and Torpedo (6 7/8” x 56).

If you missed IPCPR…

IPCPR 2008

If, like me, you were unable to attend this year's show, you can count on bloggers to tell you what happened there. Some of our friends chose to post a long recap, others were giving live updates. Here are some links to keep you up to date!

Cigar Release: La Aurora Guillermo Leon

Cigar Release: La Aurora Guillermo Leon

Miami Cigar & Company, the exclusive U-S distributor for La Aurora, announces two new additions to the La Aurora lines. The first is the new Guillermo León line which brings a complex and medium-to-full bodied experience into the La Aurora marque.

La Aurora vice president Guillermo León says, “Obviously, this cigar is personal for me. It is part of my family’s legacy for the past 107 years. In this cigar, I wanted something with deep complexity yet also a stronger smoke than most of our offerings. I think this is something that will please today’s smokers.” Miami Cigar & Company president Nestor Miranda adds, “With the additions of the La Aurora Corojo and the Guillermo León to the La Aurora 107, which debuted earlier this year, we now have more lines directed specifically to the Brick and Mortar stores. Our goal is to remain committed to the retail operations that are our lifeblood.”

The Guillermo León sports a Habana wrapper grown in Ecuador, over a double binder of both Corojo for strength and Cameroon for sweetness. The fillers are from the Dominican Republic, Peru, Nicaragua and Brazil. The Guillermo León will be offered in 4 sizes: a Corona (5.5 x 42), a Gran Corona (6 x 47), a Belicoso (6.25 x 52) and a Gran Toro (6 x 58). The MSRP, excluding state taxes, ranges from $7.60 for the corona to $9.80 for the Gran Toro.

La Aurora Corojo is another new line addition, specifically for Brick and Mortar stores. The new line will have the same basic flavor profile as our regular La Aurora, except with a touch more strength due to its Corojo wrapper. The rest of the blend is the same as the regular La Aurora with a Dominican binder and Piloto Cubano, Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. Initially there will be 5 sizes – Number 4 (5.25 x 43), Robusto (5 x 50), Belicoso (6.25 x 52), Gran Corona (6.5 x 50) and Double Corona (7.5 x 50). The suggested retail prices, exclusive of state taxes, will range from $5.60 for the Number 4 to $6.80 for the Belicoso or Double Corona.

Cigar Release: Nestor Miranda Art Deco

Nestor Miranda Art Deco

Another cigar release just before IPCPR. Sounds like an interesting smoke and based on the picture that was included with the press release I think that the box design will be amazing.

Update: here is our review of the Nestor Miranda Art Deco.

In now another collaborative effort from the award-winning team of Nestor Miranda & Don Pepin Garcia, creators of the renowned Nestor Miranda Collection cigars, Miami Cigar & Company will officially announce their newest release, Nestor Miranda Art Deco at the IPCPR 78th Annual Convention and International Trade Show in New Orleans (August 9 - 13, 2010).

The blend consists of 60% Nicaraguan Corojo 99 and 40% Dominican San Vicente, dual Dominican Criollo '98/Nicaraguan Habano '00 binder, and a dark, oily and aromatic Nicaraguan Corojo '06 wrapper leaf affixed with a triple cap. A metallic band gives the cigars a finishing touch with a striking contrast.

Don Jose 'Pepin' Garcia, renowned for his creativity with Nicaraguan tobacco, has also chosen a Dominican San Vicente leaf, which comprises more than a third of the blend's core leaves. Another Dominican-Nicaraguan combination is used for the binders. When capped with the Nicaraguan Corojo '06 wrapper, the cigar offers a dark, rich-tasting smoke that provides a unique balance of aroma, flavor and strength.

"We wanted to get Pepin out of his comfort zone, which is using Nicaraguan tobacco," said Nestor Miranda. "He accepted the challenge and came out with an amazing blend using 40% Dominican tobacco."

In lieu of the traditional wood boxes, Nestor Miranda Art Deco is presented in a handsome, metallic art-deco designed tins of 21 cigars, in three popular sizes:
Coffee Break / 4.5 x 50
Robusto Grande / 5.5 x 54
Gran Toro / 6 x 60

Cigar Release: Toraño Single Region Jalapa

Toraño Single Region Jalapa

Being a wine amateur, I love this concept. If you go to IPCPR, make sure you visit Toraño's booth.

Like winemakers’ terroir – with its critical contribution to the unique personality of a wine, the precise region and farm where tobacco is grown will ultimately determine the style and character of a premium cigar.

Toraño Family Cigar Company is introducing the first release in its Single Region Series at this August’s IPCPR 2010. The concept highlights the different characteristics of tobaccos grown on individual farms in various regions in the world’s best tobacco-producing countries. Each Serie will feature a blend that is created entirely from tobaccos grown on one carefully selected finca in one particular region. The blend’s flavor and aroma will reflect the influence of the region’s soil, weather and topography. The Toraños then apply their well-known blending artistry to create an in-depth smoking experience that reveals the character of this historic region’s tobacco.

Bruce M. Lewis, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, explains the birth of the concept: “I have always had an interest in the single region concept and how crucial it is to wine and coffee. In early 2008, I suggested to President Charlie Toraño that we experiment with blends of tobacco from only one farm. We soon realized blending such a cigar was not an easy task. Now, however, I know we have truly captured the characteristics and taste profile of tobacco grown in Jalapa."

The first release, Serie Jalapa, features a blend of tobacco from the El Estero Farm in Jalapa, Nicaragua. This small farm, located in the country’s northernmost growing province, is irrigated by a centuries-old, natural stream on the property. Its mineral-rich water, together with the sandy, red clay soil, enables this farm to grow some of the finest and most aromatic tobacco in the world. Lewis’ tasting notes indicate Serie Jalapa is, “Incredibly rich, complex, layered and with a great presence of sweetness. The blend exhibits good strength that balances well with the rounded, luscious flavor.”

Charlie Toraño adds, “I am inviting all IPCPR attendees to stop by our pavilion (booths 2501, 2503, 2505, 2600, 2602, 2604) to experience the Serie Jalapa, available exclusively to brick-and-mortar retailers.”

Single Region – Serie Jalapa’s three sizes are: 5" x 52 Robusto, 6" x 54 Toro Grande and 7" x 50 Churchill, with a suggested retail of $6.50-6.95. The cigars will appear on tobacco retailers’ shelves immediately after the August show, alongside the company’s equally revolutionary new blend, Master by Carlos Toraño.

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