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.

Cigar Release: Alec Bradley Maxx Connecticut

Cigar Release: Alec Bradley Maxx Connecticut

Alec Bradley Cigars, makers of the 94-rated Tempus, Maxx, and Family Blend selections, has announced the debut of the Maxx Connecticut selection. Scheduled to arrive at tobacconists in August, the cigars are presented in four "Maxx" sizes: The Fixx, The Culture, The Freak, and The Curve. The line was also created in response to consumer demand for a Maxx cigar with a Connecticut wrapper leaf. The 5-nation longfiller and binder blend remain unchanged. Pricing will be $6.95 MSRP for every size. A new band and box artwork will be showcased later this month at the IPCPR show in New Orleans.

Cigar Release: Master by Carlos Toraño

Cigar Release: Master by Carlos Toraño

Update: here is our review of the Carlos Torano Master.

One of America’s most respected and venerable premium cigar manufacturers has teamed with America’s most recognized torcedor to create a special cigar, Master by Carlos Toraño. The collaboration joins Charlie Toraño, the fourth leader of the four-generation cigar company, with master roller Felipe Sosa, a true artisan who has worked with the Toraño family for over a decade. The fruit of their cooperation debuts this August, and the new cigar will be available only at brick-and-mortar tobacconists nationwide.

Toraño Cigars is known throughout the trade for hosting exciting and dynamic cigar rolling events. One reason for their success has been Sosa’s talent, skill and charm. As Toraño states, “Felipe has been a company ambassador for many years, and is certainly the most widely-recognized torcedor in America ... we also think he’s the best in America, and one of only a handful of the world’s finest rollers. He has traveled to literally hundreds of smokeshops, where he is a favorite among the guests. Felipe has become not only their personal cigar roller at these events, including those of the Roots Run Deep Tour, but also a teacher of the cigar-making craft to willing guests. His magnetic personality and signature hat, plus his command of the English language, draw crowds to his table. Over the years, countless people have asked Felipe why he has not created his own blend. Master by Carlos Toraño is the company’s response to those requests.”

When he talks about his cigars, Toraño says his family’s cigar blends have always expressed the personalities, tradition and history of the Toraño family. “I am a firm believer that each individual cigar maker brings his or her particular signature or passion to their blends,” says Toraño. “The idea for this new cigar was to take our style and personality, and combine them with Felipe’s.” The result is a unique offering by Toraño.

Master is offered in four shapes: 5 x 50, 6 1/4 x 52 Torpedo, 7 x 50, and 6 x 54. Toraño describes it as “having a bold, rich flavor ... it’s for the man with a seasoned palate, a cigar that fully satisfies after an opulent meal or an evening pairing with spirits. True aficionados will discern and appreciate the balanced flavor and body.” Details of the blend and suggested retail pricing will be announced at its release.

Toraño explains, “Master’s box art bears Felipe’s image for a reason. His initiative, talent and character have earned him this title of Master Roller. He and I will work together to personally oversee every aspect of blending and manufacturing this premier cigar. We feel confident the Toraño reputation for never compromising quality and performance is further enhanced by this new collaboration. Few people know of Felipe’s monumental courage and determination. Now 48, he had been a cigar roller in Cuba, acquiring extraordinary skills. Simply being Cuban doesn’t make a torcedor great ... Felipe’s work showed a talent and desire to excel that far surpassed those of his fellow workers. In 1994, at age 32, he left family and friends, and entrusted his life, and the lives of his wife and infant son, to a tiny raft, drifting away from Cuba for a better life in America. Now, the flawless construction, consistency and beauty of his cigars have gained admiration among smokers and retailers at Toraño events, at which he has rolled thousands of personalized cigars.”

Founded in Havana in 1916 by great-grandfather Santiago Toraño, the family likewise has triumphed over their own 1959 exile. That historic event was the namesake for their international award-winning Exodus 1959, and their top-rated Exodus Silver and Exodus 1959-50 Years lines. These and other Toraño cigars are among the industry’s most sought-after brands. Today, their achievement is exemplified by their premium cigars’ loyal following.

“Felipe has found a home with us,” continues Toraño. “His passion lies in tobacco and family, a commitment that resonates with our family, strengthening our close relationship. Over the years, Felipe has remained a bulwark at Toraño Cigars, never losing his enthusiasm for his craft and our company. He deserves to see this cigar acknowledge his Master status and immense character. Together, I think we’ve made an unbelievable cigar.”

Cigar Release: San Lotano by A.J. Fernandez

Cigar Release: San Lotano by A.J. Fernandez

Update: here is our review of the San Lotano Oval

Miami, FL, 31 July – Cigar Express is pleased to announce the exciting new cigar release San Lotano, a signature blend by A.J. Fernandez. With a rich history, San Lotano dates back to Cuba’s pre-Castro era where the brand was among the most popular with traditional Cuban cigar makers. Retired for decades, the line is being reintroduced by A.J. Fernandez whose grandfather first started the brand in San Luis, Cuba. San Lotano is made entirely by hand in the Fernandez factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, and is available in three enticing variations encompassing Habano, Connecticut and Maduro wrappers.

A.J. Fernandez is no stranger in the cigar industry. As a third generation cigar maker, born in Cuba, Fernandez is well known for being one of the only cigar makers in the industry to still employ many of the oldest traditions and secrets that have earned him an unmatched reputation among cigar aficionados. When asked about the importance of the brand, A.J. says, “San Lotano has been a project many years in the making for me, and it is made to honor the tradition of cigar making that I learned from my father and my father’s father. The blends are extremely rich, flavorful and are the culmination of my family’s knowledge which has been accumulated over the last century.”

The Fernandez factory is one of the largest in Nicaragua, producing 9 million cigars a year. While this is the first nationally distributed release coming from Fernandez himself, he has made cigars for many notable brands in the industry over the past few years including: Padilla, Rocky Patel, Graycliff, Gurkha, Man O War, Diesel and many more.

Catching up on press releases

There have been some interesting happenings in the cigar industry lately. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to cover all the events but I tried to aggregate the most important ones in this post. Enjoy.

Who owns 'Cohiba'?

...in the US, of course. It seems like General Cigar will be able to rightfully use the brand name Cohiba in the United States, after a decade of legal action initiated by Cubatabaco.
Check out the press release here.

Changes at Toraño

Toraño will change its name to Toraño Family Cigars, take back distribution from CAO and introduce three new lines (the Master by Carlos Toraño, Single Region and a new value line known as the Brigade). You can expect reviews of the new lines on this blog as soon as they are released.
Full press-release is published here.

These were the most interesting news. Stay tuned for more!

In the blogosphere

Here are some happenings in the cigar blogosphere that you really shouldn't miss.

Contest time at Toasted Foot

ToastedFoot.com strikes again with an impressive contest with 4 boxes of cigars to be given away, sponsored by General Cigar. In order to enter, you must enter another contest organized by General Cigar themselves... so you get a chance to win both!
Check it out here

Coverage of Cigar Expo 2010

Mike at StogieReview.com just published a wrap up of the Cigar Expo 2010. Sounds like a fun show!

Have a nice week-end!

La Palina cigars press-release

La Palina cigars

Update: here is our review of the La Palina Alison

You might have noticed some ads for La Palina cigars and if you clicked on one of them you probably didn't find a lot of information on their official website, still in its pre-launch stage. Well here is the press-release which will give you more insight on this brand.

In June 2010, Bill Paley will re-launch La Palina, a storied cigar brand famously linked to the early and fortuitous beginnings of CBS Broadcasting founded by Bill’s father, William S. Paley. The brand debuts with the introduction of the “1896” cigar series, fittingly dedicated to Paley’s grandfather, Sam Paley, who founded the Congress Cigar Company in 1896. It was William S. Paley’s interest in promoting La Palina through the use of radio advertising that led him into the broadcasting business.

La Palina, which literally translates to “female Paley” was named for Sam’s wife Goldie Drell Paley, and was also the company’s most fashionable brand, popularized by the image of Goldie in Spanish costume on the cigar box’s interior and exterior.

“With the revival of La Palina, a family tradition continues,” said Paley, who sought to create a superb cigar to offer his guests at Lightbourne House, the family compound on Nassau in the Bahamas.

La Palina premium handmade cigars are a marriage of the finest tobacco leaves, aged, fermented, selected and blended by master artisans. The “1896” series is a blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobacco with an Ecuadorian wrapper and a Costa Rican binder. The “Sam” signature cigar is 4.75 inches long with a 52 gauge.

The Family Series will be introduced later this year and will consist of four different cigar formats and include:

  • The “Pasha” is a tribute to Bill’s father, William S. Paley. Though known as “The Chairman” at work, he was jokingly known as “Pasha” at home. The cigar measures 7.25 inches with a 50 ring gauge and an unfinished foot.
  • The “Babe” dedicated to Bill Paley’s mother Babe Paley, who was known as a fashion icon and socialite. Her style was so revered that she was included in the Best Dressed Hall of Fame. The cigar measures 5.25 inches with a 50 ring gauge.
  • The “Alison” is dedicated to Bill’s wife Alison VanMetre Paley whose support and encouragement made La Palina’s revival possible. The torpedo shaped cigar measures 6.5 inches with a 52 ring gauge.
  • The “Little Bill” is named for Bill Paley as it was the name used to distinguish him from his father. The cigar measures 4.5 inches with a 52 ring gauge.

The “1896” Sam will retail for $19 per piece and $190 for a box of 10. The cigars will be available at high end tobacco retailers around the country.

Photo credit: Max Hirshfeld

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