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.

Cigar Release: Nirvana Cameroon Selection

Nirvana Cameroon Selection

Royal Gold Cigars has partnered with renowned cigar manufacturer Drew Estate for their latest premium, hand-rolled cigar release, Nirvana Cameroon Selection. The new cigar features a luscious, light-brown, Rosado wrapper grown in the Eastern province of Cameroon, Africa.

The wrapper is grown by small farmers who, when it’s time to cure the tobacco, clear an area of land and construct a rustic curing barn. This completely natural process translates into a leaf almost devoid of disease and also produces some of the best tasting Cameroon leaf in the world. The origin of the Cameroon seed varietal is Sumatra Indonesia, which has been grown in Africa for over 60 years.

The balance of the blend consists of fillers from Nicaragua, specifically Jalapa and Estelí, along with a portion from the Jamastran region of Honduras. The binder is San Andreas tobacco from Mexico.

When reached for comment, Drew Estate co-founder Marvin Samel responded from their Miami office stating that, "the beauty behind the Nirvana blend is the combination of Cameroon wrapper and Nicaraguan filler leaves. Cameroon leaf is from Africa and is known for its sweetness and a natural sweet spice taste. Blending the strength, body, and richness of the Nicaraguan tobacco with the Cameroon allows a nuanced & layered depth to really come through. This is not an old fashioned mild Cammy. Quite the contrary."

Co-founder and company namesake Jonathan Drew stated, "Nirvana is extremely important to Drew Estate Tobacco Company for a variety of reasons. First, Nirvana will join our product lineup as one of only two brands that we produce for strategic partners. Second, our relationship with Alex Goldman is akin to that of a brother. When he hurts, we hurt. When he succeeds, our hearts are filled with pride. The brand Nirvana is a long-term relationship that begins with the Cammy Selection. Testing and experimenting with different blends, different algorithms of leaf and concept is the beauty of creation. We have a lifetime to learn together. Nirvana will be that common space and bond between DE and Royal Gold. We will deliver something beautiful that proves itself over time. We are in no rush."

Nirvana Cameroon Selection

The new Nirvana line is offered in five sizes, including a 6x46 Corona Gorda, 5x52 Robusto, 6x52 Toro, 6x54 Torpedo, and finally a 4x44 size called the “Silencio”. The line will be available exclusively through Royal Gold Cigars distribution network. The first shipment of NIRVANA will be shipped in unique, limited edition, wooden display boxes featuring beautiful silk screen graphics.

Royal Gold Cigars president Alex Goldman stated that, “When I started Royal Gold at the beginning of 2013, my vision was to work with the best blenders and factories in the world to create our brands. Of course, Drew Estate was right at the top of the list. The talent and creativity of the Drew Estate team, combined with all the resources that Royal Gold, its parent company, and my own history in the cigar business, allowed us to create a truly special blend. The limited nature of the Cameroon wrapper will not allow us to produce all the cigars that we feel the market will demand, but you can be sure that neither Drew Estate nor Royal Gold will trade quality for quantity – we will keep the production limited to ensure the best possible product is delivered to our consumers. Both the Royal Gold and Drew Estate names and logos appear on the packaging, and as such we will always stand behind the quality of this product. This is just the first brand of what I hope will be a long term collaboration between Royal Gold Cigars and Drew Estate”.

Jay-Z Launches Comador, a “Super Premium” Cigar

Jay Z Smoking a Cigar

Jay-Z is best known for his hip hop hits, but he’s also known for his love of cigars. Jay-Z has graced the cover of Cigar Aficionado, and has actually brought his own cigar roller along with him on his musical tour with Justin Timberlake so that he could enjoy a backstage “gentleman’s club” with friends and associates. While the big news in the music world this week focuses on Jay-Z’s nine Grammy award nominations, in the cigar world we’re excited about the singer’s announcement that he is launching his very own “super premium” cigar dubbed Comador in partnership with Cohiba/General Cigar (General Cigar owns the license to use the Cohiba brand outside of Cuba).

This isn’t a cigar you’ll be able to casually stroll into your local tobacconist and pick up for a few bucks. “Super premium” describes not only the “rare, proprietary” tobaccos the cigars will contain, but also their price tag. Seven Comador cigars will cost about $210, which comes out to about $30 per cigar. A full set of 14 will cost almost $1,000 if you order them in the limited edition box set. So while this will be a luxury cigar, it isn’t priced so far out of the market as to be unaffordable to the average person. Thirty bucks is luxurious, but hardly inaccessible for a unique smoking experience.

Discussing the partnership with Cohiba, Jay-Z said, “I worked with Cohiba because I knew they’d take my vision of a luxury cigar and bring it to life in the right way.” Jay-Z sat down with Cohiba brand leaders and talked about the cigars he enjoys and the notes that he likes best. From there, the team worked to combine different tobaccos until they had something that Jay-Z really loved and was happy to associate his name with. “He knows what he likes when he sees it,” explained General Cigar President Dan Carr.

What is the Comador like? The tobacco leaves have been hand-selected from Central America and the Caribbean. The Havana seed Connecticut-grown wrapper is said to be crafted from rare tobacco leaves “prized for (their) exquisite flavor and deep, lustrous appearance.” The Comador was designed to offer a smooth, mild smoking experience with a slow, even burn, perfect for veteran smokers and newbies alike. If the Comador is successful, it could be the beginning of a bright future for Jay-Z and General Cigar. “We’re viewing this as a long-term partnership,” said Dan Carr.

Cigar Release: Camacho Liberty 2013

Camacho Liberty 2013 Box

Introducing the latest installment of the Camacho Liberty Series, our new 2013 limited edition. This new multi-country blend is quite the departure from previous Liberty editions, which were previously constructed of mainly Honduran tobaccos. The 2013 blend utilizes wrapper tobacco from Ecuador, binder from Nicaragua and fillers from Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The 2013 Liberty is a medium-to-full intensity smoke with a deep level of flavor nuances and complexities.

Camacho Liberty 2013

The phrase “FREEDOM IS NOT FREE”, proudly imprinted on the outer and inner parts of the lid conveys our deep respect and admiration for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our enduring freedom. We salute those service members of our military for protecting the freedoms enjoyed by our citizens. Because of their sacrifice, we are able to live in this free nation and enjoy liberties many still dream of.

Camacho Liberty 2013 : Stats

WRAPPER: Habana 2000
BINDER: Nicaragua
FILLER: Honduras, Nicaragua & Dominican Republic
SIZE: 48/54/48 x 6

Total production for this year’s edition of the Liberty Series is 40,000 cigars or 2,000 boxes.

Cigar Release: Davidoff US 25th Anniversary

Davidoff 25th Anniversary

Davidoff stands for expertise and quality supported by deep heritage and craftsmanship to deliver unforgettable moments of pleasure. In 1988, Davidoff of Geneva was established to bring the world’s finest cigars to American soil. To honor this very important milestone, our Master Blenders drew on their stock of extra aged Dominican tobaccos to create a timeless cigar. Rolled in the luxurious Robusto Gordo format, featuring Davidoff's own Yamasá wrapper, the Davidoff of Geneva 25th provides a unique and complex taste experience, which can only come from extra-aged tobacco.

Davidoff of Geneva 25th Anniversary

WRAPPER: Yamasa
BINDER: Dominican
FILLER: Dominican
SIZE: 5” x 56

Cigar Release: Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco

Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco

1968 was the year when it all started: the first Premium Nicaraguan cigar was hand-rolled in Estelí under the Joya de Nicaragua seal. With it, the Nicaraguan cigar industry was born and a new era for Premium hand rolled cigars began.

JOYA DE NICARAGUA S.A is proud to honor this achievement with Cuatro Cinco, a Limited Edition cigar. Cuatro Cinco has been especially crafted to commemorate four and half decades of history of Joya de Nicaragua, its people and the city of Estelí, where it all started. Cuatro Cinco is an authentic Nicaraguan puro, hand-rolled in Estelí with tobaccos grown in the region and in Jalapa, with a special 5 year old ligero that the factory had been saving in its bodegas for this special occasion.

As if time wasn’t enough, the filler tobaccos have been specially aged in oak barrels for more than a year to give
them distinctive and sophisticated notes, and the silky smooth wrapper and binder are Nicaraguan grown in the Jalapa valley.

"We are very excited about Cuatro Cinco, for this is one of the few Limited Editions we have produced. With this cigar we are capturing the true Nicaraguan Spirit, rich in the tradition that embodies our cigars and that defines us as the archetypal Nicaraguan cigar maker, because before Joya, there was no Nicaraguan cigar. While this cigar promotes our heritage, it is also a celebration of the future and the many years we still have ahead of us. It's been 45 years already, and we are just getting started!" stated Dr. Alejandro Martínez Cuenca, Chairman of JOYA DE NICARAGUA S.A.

Leonel Raudez, General Manager and Head of Production of Joya remarks: "this is also a tribute to the people of Joya, the ones that went and the ones that are still with us, even after 45 years. We Estelianos are proud of contributing to make Nicaraguan tobacco among the best in the world, and to celebrate that, we have made one of the most exceptional cigars we have rolled, using our finest local tobaccos and rolled by a selected few of our talented tabaqueros. The profile of this cigar is nothing like what we’ve produced, although the richness and complexity of the Nicaraguan grown tobaccos still predominates".

Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco

Cuatro Cinco will be available in a single vitola : a 6 x 54 semi box pressed in 10 count boxes.

As a Limited Edition, only 4,500 boxes of Cuatro Cinco are being produced, each one numbered to guarantee exclusivity. The initial batch will start shipping in the first week of November 2013 to special Joya customers in the United States and around the world.

Cigar Release: JM Dominican Classic Maduro

JM Dominican Classic

JM Tobacco, Inc., one of the first cigar makers to introduce and build its broad product line of value-priced premium cigars, is now producing the new JM Dominican Classic Maduro long-filler, handmade boutique cigar. It joins the JM Dominican Classic Connecticut, which the company introduced at this year’s national tobacco trade show in Las Vegas.

Quoting company president Anto Mahroukian, “JM Tobacco came out of IPCPR 2013 with sufficient momentum, based on orders and interest, to go full-speed ahead with new products. JM Classic Maduro is the first in this new direction for JM ... boutique cigars. And, watch what’s coming right over the horizon.”

JM Classic Maduro is actually a double maduro, with both wrapper and binder being made of top-quality Connecticut Broadleaf tobacco. Mahroukian says the company was fortunate to obtain this select Connecticut maduro leaf, as the entire harvest has sold out. He describes the result of these two powerful tobaccos being combined in a cigar, stating, “We were surprised, during our blend testing and development, to find the two tobaccos married so seamlessly. This is usually not the case with two maduros in one cigar ... they often compete with each other. Though full-bodied, JM Classic Maduro displays amazing sweetness, but without overpowering the palate. We call it ‘sweet boldness.’”

Four JM Classic Maduro shapes are now available from JM Tobacco: 6" x 44 Lonsdale, 5-1/2" x 50 Robusto Grande, 6-3/4" x 50 Churchill, and 6" x 52 Pyramide. A box of 20 cigars retails for $120, and its black color theme and design is compatible with the existing, well-recognized JM cigar presentations.

Cigar Release: Gurkha The Rogue

Gurkha The Rogue

Using a carefully selected blend of tobaccos, Rogue is a bold, box-pressed cigar with a pronounced complexity and richness on the finish, beautifully constructed with an un-finished foot. The blend features a golden Ecuadorian, Habano wrapper, combining a rare Ecuadorian binder with a specially chosen blend of 3-year aged ligero’s from Nicaragua, Honduras and Dominican Republic. This full-flavored cigar has complex tasting notes of spice; rich tobacco and roasted chestnuts that make this blend the optimum cigar for indulgence.

Rogue is available in 20-count wooden boxes and the following vitolas: 51/2 x 46 Rascal, 5 x 52 Tyrant, 6 x 54 Ruthless, 6 x 60 Bamboozle and 6 x 66 Armageddon. MSRP: $5.99-$11.99

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