Cigar Release: La Gloria Cubana Serie R Black

La Gloria Cubana Serie R Black

La Gloria Cubana® is making a bold departure from its Dominican roots with the launch of two new Nicaraguan collections, the first-ever La Glorias to have Nicaragua as the country of origin. Both expressions will mark the expansion of the top-selling Serie R line which started the large ring, full flavor craze back in 1999.

According to Michael Giannini, General Cigar’s director of innovation, “When Serie R debuted, we established a market for bold cigars, and inspired other manufacturers to follow suit. We’re shaking things up again, by further expanding the size and flavor spectrum of our cigars with two unique and different full-flavored Nicaraguan blends, each in ultra-large ring gauges. Both new collections are trend setters in the making.”

The first of the two new Nicaraguan collections is a puro called Serie R Black. The blend features viso leaves from Jalapa and Esteli, and a Jalapa viso binder. The use of Jalapa viso as a binder and in the blend speaks to the spectacular characteristics of this tobacco, which was cultivated by a small, independent grower named Pedro Joaquin Guardian. It was Pedro who took a bold step by raising the tobacco on several small, unconnected plots on the craggy Jalapa mountainside. The blend is punctuated with an audacious Jalapa ligero wrapper. Harvested from the 2009 crop, this flavorful tobacco was fermented for an entire year, and aged for two and a half years.

Serie R Black debuts with a trio of brawny frontmarks, each in 18-count boxes. This includes: No 58 (6.87” x 58, SRP $6.99); No 60 (6” x 60, SRP $7.24) and No 64 (6.25” x 64, SRP $7.49). This collection will only be available for purchase through Internet/catalog retailers.

Initial details about the second Serie R offering will be released in June, with a full reveal in July at the IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas. This new line will be a brick and mortar exclusive.

Giannini noted, “What’s also significant about both new blends is that they have the full flavor that’s characteristic of Nicaraguan tobacco, but they’re not about power. They are meant to deliver the smoking experience of a well-aged, refined and balanced Nicaraguan smoke, and we believe we’re delivering that in spades.”

Cigar Release: Espinosa Maduro

Espinosa Maduro

Espinosa Premium Cigars is proud to announce the release of the long anticipated Espinosa Maduro. Coming off last year’s successful debut of the medium bodied Espinosa Habano, the Espinosa Maduro will be wrapped in a beautiful, smoothly textured, dark chocolate Mexican Maduro wrapper. Within this triple capped cigar lies a premium blend of tobaccos that have been combined to form a rich cocoa, cedar, pepper and spice base. This medium-full bodied cigar is the perfect combination of Erik Espinosa's signature strength notes and the La Zona factory’s reputation for flavor.

The Espinosa Maduro is made in Espinosa's La Zona factory in Esteli, Nicaragua and will come in 4 different vitolas: Robusto Box-Pressed (5x52), Belicoso Box-Pressed (5-1/2x52), Corona Gorda (5-5/8 x46), and Toro Box-Pressed (6-x52). All four sizes will be offered in boxes of 20. The Espinosa Maduro is set to be released at the end of April 2013.

Espinosa Maduro

Cigar Release: MUWAT “Kentucky Fire Cured”

My Uzi Weighs a Ton - Kentucky Fire Cured

Drew Estate Inc. announced today the impending release of Kentucky Fire Cured Cigars, an extension to the MUWAT brand also to be produced at the Joya de Nicaragua factory. In development for over 2.5 years, this extension to the MUWAT line of premium cigars was inspired during a trip to the Dominican Republic where Jonathan Drew and Steve Saka were visiting the Universal Leaf tobacco pre-industry facility.

“I remember it as if it were yesterday” states JD. “Fritz Bossert (President of Universal Leaf), Steve Saka and I were smoking Liga Privada T52s in the fermentation area when I noticed a pilon of Kentucky Fired Cured tobacco. We took the wrapper off the T52 and placed a thick Kentucky Fire Cured leaf in its place. The taste and aroma were simply amazing, but there was just one huge problem – the cigar would not burn properly, and is one of the reasons of the lengthy process it took to get 'KFC' to market.”

Nicholas Melillo, Executive Vice President of International Operations, was tasked with working on a solution to the burn issue in conjunction with Fritz Bossert, experimenting with using the fire cured leaf in the wrapper leaf position as well as using limited amounts as part of the filler. Six months later Drew Estate was already producing blends and sharing samples with good friends throughout the cigar industry, while keeping the project completely quiet.

“In February 2011 we had the pleasure of smoking some of these early samples on the Corona Cigar Co.’s Cigar Safari tour," says Jeff Borysiewicz founder & owner of Corona Cigar Co. "My group really enjoyed the aroma and flavor profile and kept asking JD when this product would be ready to market. He kept me waiting until December 2012, when we smoked more KFC samples at my lake house during the Christmas holiday. They’ve really come a long way and we look forward to the release.”

Nicholas Melillo, Chief of the Broadleafs, explains: “First off, Kentucky Fire Cured is from a stalk-cut tobacco. The initial firing of KFC is done at low heat between 100 F to 115 F degrees and maintained until the color reaches solid brown. Once color is set temperatures increase to 120F-130F to completely cure down the midrib of the leaf and darken. Once the midrib is dried the temperature will be reduced and the smoke maximized with saw dust to finish the leaf. When KFC hits your olfactory nerve you know it!”

MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured will be available in three sizes: 6 x 52 “Just a Friend”, 5 x 56 “FatMolly” and a 4 x 46 “Chunky” in the familiar MUWAT craft paper bundle. Americana style graphics adorn these new packs.

Kentucky Fire Cured is not something new to the world of tobacco, as it has been grown for over 200 years. Easily compared to the smokey taste attributed to a peaty scotch, the KFC picks up nuances of the roasted hickory, oak or maple wood that makes you say 'Damn, that’s tasty,'” expels Jonathan Drew.

"In addition to the fire cured tobaccos of Kentucky and Dark Fire Cured of Virginia, we are finishing the two year project of our fire cured tobaccos from another country which DE will not disclose until a time closer to the actual release of the brand. I’ll just say this: they don’t speak English, Italian or Spanish in this region of the world.”

Operation Smokescreen – a movie about cigars?

Christian Eiroa in Operation Smokescreen

You might have noticed this press-release recently about the "Operation Smokescreen" project:

Central America's tobacco crops are dying by the thousands, spelling a potential and irreversible disaster for the premium cigar industry… and it's no accident. Someone sinister is behind it. Such is the plotline for the upcoming motion picture, Operation Smokescreen. Produced in collaboration with Bang! Pictures and ASFilms, this action-thriller stars eight titans of the premium cigar industry as themselves. Starring: Jonathan Drew, Rocky Patel, and Nick Perdomo. Also appearing: Matt Booth, Christian Eiroa, Ernesto Padilla, Charlie Toraño, and Kurt Van Keppel.

So many big cigar names acting in an independent motion picture? How unusual is that? You can check the trailer here and, for novice actors, Rocky and the team do really well! Not to mention Susana Aragon who makes the plot even more interesting.

Friend or Foe : Operation Smokescreen

Operation Smokescreen will have an internet sneak preview April 15th 2013, and premiere April 24th; additional distribution to be announced July 8th, 2013 by ASFilms.

Cigar Release: Black and White (by Sam Leccia)

Sam Leccia Black and White

Sam Leccia is back. After an absence of more than two years from the premium cigar industry, Leccia is excited to announce the launch of Leccia Tobacco. The Leccia Tobacco brand will encompass a variety of different products, beginning with the Spring release of its first cigar brand called “Black and White.”

Black and White will consist of two different cigar blends. The Black blend is being manufactured in the Dominican Republic and the White blend is being manufactured in Nicaragua. Both blends are very different, but each delivers a powerhouse of flavor.

The Black Dominican blend uses a Habano wrapper with a Nicaraguan Rosado binder. The filler is Nicaraguan and Dominican ligeros, Brazilian viso, and a very unique tobacco called "dark fire." Dark -Fire is wood fire cured, which gives the cigar a distinct smoked whisky aroma. The blend is medium to full bodied with a very smooth strength that builds throughout the cigar.

The White Nicaraguan blend uses an African Sun Grown wrapper with a binder from Ecuador. The filler is Nicaraguan Ligero with Seco leaves from Pennsylvania, Sam’s home state. It is a full body smoke that delivers tons of complex flavors. It has hints of a creamy coffee, and lightly sweet cashews, while delivering strength and spices.

“For the last couple of years I’ve been dreaming of the day when I could get back to the industry that I love,” says Sam Leccia. “I couldn’t be more pumped up about introducing my new blends to cigar smokers.”

Black and White will each have 4 sizes: 4 x 46; 5 x 52; 6 x 50 and 6 x 60. The MSRP for the cigars will be in the $7.00 - $9.00 range. All Leccia Tobacco brands will be distributed by the Toraño Family Cigar Co. which is based out of Miami, Florida.

General Wins 16 y.o. Lawsuit Over Cohiba Trademark

General Cigar Wins 16 Year Old Lawsuit Over Cohiba Trademark

A federal panel has just announced General Cigar Co. Inc. to be the winner of a 16 year old lawsuit between the company and Cubatabaco. The lawsuit revolved around the use of the name “Cohiba” in the United States, with Cubatabaco protesting that the trademark belongs to them and that General Cigar has no right to use it.

Since however Cubatabaco does not operate in the United States and General Cigar Co. Inc. does, the court has ruled that General Cigar is entirely within its rights to use the trademark “Cohiba” when selling cigars in the U.S. Cohiba was first registered as a trademark by General Cigar clear back in 1981. With the decision by the federal judge protecting General Cigar’s use of the Cohiba trademark in this country, parallel use of the name will continue in the U.S. and in Cuba.

Cigar Release: Avo The Dominant 13th (2013 LE)

Avo the Dominant 13th

The successful AVO brand is launching a musical cigar composition: "The Dominant 13th" is the name of the new Limited Edition 2013, which was created by the passionate jazz musician and cigar connoisseur, Avo Uvezian. It has complex and promising characteristics, just like its namesake - The Dominant 13th chord. The innovative, succinct tobacco creation, in the popular and impressive Toro format, gleams in a deep brown wrapper from Ecuador.

Specs

Wrapper : Habano 2000 Ecuador
Binder : Yamasa (DR)
Filler : Piloto Viso (DR), San Vincente Ligero (DR), Habano Viso (DR), Corojo/Olor Ligero (DR), Peru Viso
Quantity : 13 CT
Size : 6 X 52

Cigar Release: Black Patch Kenbano

Black Patch Kenbano

The Black Patch Cigar Company, located in Pikeville, Kentucky, recently released a cigar with a proprietary Habano seed grown in the fertile soils of Western Kentucky. This new cigar, appropriately called, Black Patch Kenbano, was first released in September-October of 2012 and is currently shipping nationwide. Only two sizes of this special edition cigar will be released: a 5 x 50 Robusto and a 6 x 54 Gran Toro.

Kenbano is the name of the proprietary tobacco that is grown in the Black Patch region of Logan County, KY. It should come as no surprise that great cigar tobacco can come from this soil; the first strains of tobacco indigenous to North America were a broadleaf variety and Western Kentucky has been growing broadleaf and other tobaccos for over 150 years. But growing Cuban seed (i.e., Habano) tobacco is something quite new.

“The emotions of finally seeing something like the Kenbano become tangible was almost anti-climatic,” said Eric McAnallen, owner of the Black Patch Cigar Company. “In 1998, when I first dreamed of growing great cigar tobacco in my part of the world, I expected it to happen overnight… Was I ever wrong! The passage of time tends to erode any unrealistic expectations.”

After curing, McAnallen’s Black Patch raised tobacco is shipped to the Dominican Republic, where it is fermented, aged, and eventually blended and rolled into cigars at the farms and factories of Jorge F. Carbonell. “I was given such great advice and guidance from the 100 year established Carbonell Tobacos family who instilled in me from the beginning that it would take passion, persistence, and time before my dream would come to fruition.”

“My goal was to create an aroma and taste that is infinite and unique,” said McAnallen. “I believe the Kenbano will elicit memories of yesteryear and entice the senses of all seasoned cigar smokers.”

Cigar Details

Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Dominican Havana Vuelta Abajo
Binder: Dominican Criollo 98
Filler: USA/Kentucky Kenbano 2007, Dominican Piloto Cubano Ligero, Dominican Criollo 98 Bonao

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