Swisher International ventures into premium market

Swisher International ventures into premium cigar market

Swisher International is a cigar company better known for quantity than for quality. Swisher sells more than 1 billion cigars every year to customers in over 60 countries around the world. The company, founded in 1861 by David Swisher, is highly successful, and its Swisher Sweets cigar is the bestselling cigar in America. Nonetheless, its cigars have never approached the kind of quality you’d expect in a premium cigar. This is why premium cigar companies usually produce and sell far fewer cigars every year — it takes time and energy to produce that kind of quality consistently.

Swisher is now forming Royal Gold, a division which will be headed by cigar industry giant Alex Goldman. The cigars produced by Royal Gold will be very different from Swisher’s other fare. They will all be hand rolled, and will range widely in price, starting around $2.00 and going up to $10.00 for the high-end cigars.

“Royal Gold is a fresh start in the premium business for Swisher International,” explains Goldman in Cigar Aficionado. “Royal Gold will produce and market great handmade cigars at reasonable prices for the discriminating premium cigar connoisseur.”

Goldman comes from a family of tobacconists spanning back four generations. He is best known for running House of Oxford and Mom’s Cigars. In the interview, he describes the first cigar planned for release by Royal Gold as an inexpensive cigar called Gold Strike, which will cost about $2.00. The new cigar will be rolled in Nicaragua and will contain tobaccos grown in Tampa, Florida. Consumers can look to see it on sale as early as this April or May.

Over the summer months, we should start seeing some of the more expensive premium cigars from Royal Gold debuting at the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers show. The first three premium cigars will include tobacco from the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The least expensive will cost about $4.50 and the priciest will be around $8.50.

This is not Swisher’s first foray into premium cigars. Previously the company invested a lot of money into erecting factories in Honduras and the Dominican Republic to hand roll premium cigars. In 2002, the company shut down the premium division to focus on cheaper machine-rolled cigars. What will be different this time around? Swisher International isn’t investing money in new factories, but is instead partnering with existing factories to produce its new premium cigars.

Fans who enjoyed some of the old premium cigars made by Swisher International will be glad to know some of their old favorites are being resurrected. One familiar old cigar that will be making a comeback is the Casino Gold. How different this new cigar will be from the original hasn’t been discussed in detail.

Goldman is enthusiastic about being able to bring the associations he has cultivated over the years into play, stating that those will form the basis of the new operation. “Royal Gold cigars will be working with various factories and cigar personalities in Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic that I have had relationships with for years through my experience as a wholesaler, retailer, brand owner and distributor.”

Cigar Release: Placeres Reserva, Miró, Tabacalera Zapata

Placeres Reserva, Miró, Tabacalera Zapata

MIAMI FL – Well-established throughout Europe and the rest of the world with a sales volume in excess of 2 million cigars per year, Compañia Hondureña de Tabacos brings its premium cigars stateside with the opening of Kuuts Distribution Center, a brand new, state of the art distribution center in Southeast, Florida.

With over 15 years of experience and a new factory in Danli, Honduras capable of making over 6 million cigars per year, the company is set to distribute 3 premium brands in the United States. All 3 hand-made premium cigar brands; Placeres Reserva, Miró, and Tabacalera Zapata are set to debut in 2013 and feature 100% long filler tobacco and are offered in a range of vitolas.

Placeres Reserva is a box pressed product available in 5 vitolas featuring a Habano wrapper grown in Nicaragua. This medium to ¾ body cigar has a binder from Costa Rica and a filler blend from Honduras & Nicaragua.

Miró is available in 4 vitolas and features a Sumatra wrapper. This medium to ¾ body cigar has a filler blend from Nicaragua and Honduras.

Tabacalera Zapata gets its name from one of the company’s founders, Ramon Zapata Perez. This medium bodied masterpiece is finished with a Connecticut Oscuro wrapper and a Nicaraguan binder. The fillers consist of aged tobacco from Nicaragua, Honduras and Jaltepec.

According to John Gonzalez, Vice President of Kuuts, “We believe we have a great portfolio of products for our initial offering in the US market. There is something for everyone and a lot of room to grow as well. The company has made a tremendous commitment to the US market and we look forward to developing a long-standing relationship with today’s cigar connoisseur and the great retailers throughout the country”.

Cigar (un)release: La Flor Dominicana Mystery

mystery

Coral Gables, FL, Feb 11th, 2013- La Flor Dominicana is proud to unveil its new event program for 2013. Known unofficially as the "Mystery Event," it centers on an unreleased cigar called the "Mystery Cigar."

The Mystery Cigar is a 6 ½ x 44 (Lonsdale) Maduro. This cigar will only be seen at select La Flor Dominicana Retailer Events throughout the country. The makeup of the cigar will remain a secret, although you can be certain there is a bit of Dominican Ligero from our farm in La Canela.

Consumers who come to the event can get a 5-pack of the Mystery Cigars when they buy a box of La Flor Dominicana cigars at the event. Retailers will also have a limited quantity of Mystery Cigars on hand during the LFD Events for purchase.

Another exciting part of our new promotion allows LFD box buyers to have an opportunity to win a trip to our LFD factory in Tamboril, Dominican Republic. Where they get to go behind the scenes and see how cigars are made.

Depending on the success of our new Mystery Cigar event it will also be coming again in 2014. Of course the natural question about this event is "will this year's Mystery cigar go into production?" And of course the answer is "that depends on feedback from the smokers." We love the new cigar a lot, but we would love to get consumer feedback as we test this new blend across the nation.

Cigar Release: Nestor Miranda 70th Birthday LE

Nestor Miranda 70th Birthday LE

For Nestor Miranda’s 70th birthday on Valentine’s Day 2/14/13 the most interesting man in the cigar business is set to release a commemorative cigar for this historic milestone in his life.

The Nestor Miranda 70th LE will be released as a lancero cigar from the two factories that Nestor has had a tremendous relationship with over the years. The boxes of 12 cigars will feature 6 from the My Father Factory in Nicaragua and 6 from La Aurora in the Dominican Republic.

The cigars from Esteli will feature a dark Habano wrapper over Nicaraguan fillers while its counterpart from Santiago will feature a Mexican San Andreas. Both cigars are Medium to Full and showcase the best from both regions.

The cigars will be packaged in a keepsake box that resembles a car Nestor has always admired. The body of the car will lift off the frame revealing three rows of 4 cigars in the chassis of the classic automobile. Only 1,000 individually numbered boxes will be made, with 700 being released initially. The remaining 300 will remain in the humidor at Miami Cigar & Company to be released at a later date.

According to Jason Wood, Vice President of Miami Cigar & Company, “We wanted to do something special for Nestor and create a keepsake at the same time. Nestor has always strived for the best, and we believe this cigar is up to the challenge.”

The Nestor Miranda 70th LE will make its debut over the course of two days at a series of events in
New Mexico at Monte’s of Albuquerque on February 9th and 10th, 2013. The national release of the cigar will be on his birthday, February 14th and will retail for $14.00 a stick before local taxes.

Michael Jordan’s Cigar Smoking Eden

Michael Jordans Cigar Smoking Eden

Michael Jordan not only loves cigars—he enjoys them so much that his new $12.4 million home in Jupiter, FL is going to feature a home theater especially designed to accommodate his smoking. The mansion consists of some 28,000 square feet of real estate built on three acres of land and has taken there years to construct. The property is positioned in the middle of a golf course community which is also home to Tiger Woods, called the Jack Nicklaus’ Bear Club.

The home theater will feature specially designed, cutting edge equipment which will not be damaged by the huge amounts of cigar smoke which will be wafting continuously through this room. So there you go—that’s what you can do with a lot of money and a love for cigars!

Aged Cuban cigars from LCDH Knokke

It's really hard to age Cuban cigars for several reasons, limited storage space and lack of willpower being the main ones. Some retailers understand this and offer a selection of already aged cigars to their customers. These "vintage" boxes sometimes have 10 or more years on them (this kind of ageing is rarely necessary in my opinion though, I usually get great results with 3-5 years). I just got word that our friends at LCDH Knokke opened their own Aged Corner where you can buy boxes of vintage and/or hard to find cigars knowing the box code in advance.

Here is what they say about it:

Connoisseurs have been aging their cigars for quite some time. Indeed, cigars do change with years just like wine does. Even though there are several approaches to the phenomenon, we think that in essence there are three stages.

In the collection there are some true gems : the much praised Partagas D5 EL 2008, the always elegant Romeo y Julieta Exhibicion No. 3, flavour bomb Bolivar Petit Belicoso EL 2009, style-icon H. Upmann Lonsdale and the surprising Vegueros Especiales No. 1 en No. 2.

The price list is below (click to enlarge):

LCDH Knokke aged cigars

Orders will be taken at this stage by email (frederic [at] lacasadelhabano-knokke [dot] be) and shipping is foreseen in the second week of December to make sure your order arrives before Christmas! First come first serve. Montecristo Sublimes & Diplomaticos No. 2 are sold out.

Cigar Release: Davidoff Year of the Snake

Davidoff Year of the Snake

2013 is represented in the Chinese calendar by the sign of the snake. To mark the occasion, Davidoff has created the new "Year of the Snake" edition of cigars with three fine limited edition accessories.

At the start of the Chinese Year of the Snake (February 10, 2013), Davidoff is launching the new 2013 "Year of the Snake” Edition cigars with exclusive limited-edition accessories. In the Chinese calendar, the sixth of the twelve Chinese signs of the zodiac is characterized as wise and graceful. The Snake is the quintessential symbol for intelligence and profundity. Particularly delicate and fine when depicted in a figure of eight, it has become one of the most popular decorations in all of Asia, not only for its unique symmetry but also because it carries the promise of infinity, material prosperity and luck. It is said that Snake-people like to possess the finer things in life.

Premium cigar brand Davidoff is also synonymous with luxury and the total "crop to shop" concept. "Year of the Snake" is, therefore, not only the unusual name given to the new limited edition, but also the connection of quintessential wisdom and stylish quality awareness with Davidoff.

Integrating these characteristics into an aroma represents a challenge for the Davidoff Master Blender: namely, to combine particularly old tobaccos to successfully create three layers of flavor - from floral nuances reminiscent of honey, to caramel, and finally to peppery notes of wood or nut, whilst also providing a captivating quality... highly aromatic, with light-medium strength and Cuban thickness, the cigar develops a charming creaminess due to the Ecuadorian binder. The impressive Churchill format makes for a long smoking experience punctuated with the delicacy and refinement of a cigar with charisma. The octagonal, redlacquered wooden box containing eight cigars will provide pleasure in the coming year.

The cultural background of this 2013 "Year of the Snake” Edition is every bit as fascinating as its aesthetic appearance: The "White Snake Story", the Chinese love story still extremely popular today, can trace its origins back to a legend from the Ming dynasty (1368 AD) and, amongst other things, has inspired Davidoff’s new cigar — a cigar that preserves its cultural heritage whilst using passion and attention to detail to unlock the spirit of a dynamic, global environment. Those who fall in love with this cigar have no sense of superficiality. The fine, profound 2013 "Year of the Snake” Edition is for aficionados who smoke intelligently.

The uniqueness of this luxurious edition with a double ring speaks for itself. It is limited to 4,500 pieces and is available at Appointed Merchants beginning in December 2012.

Davidoff 2013 "Year Of The Snake” Edition: technical specs

Format: Churchill
Length: 7”
Diameter: 48 RG
Wrapper: Ecuador 702
Binder: San Vicente Seco
Filler: Piloto Seco, San Vicente Ligero, Piloto Viso, Hybrid 192 Seco/Yamasá
Price: USD $29.90 per cigar / USD $239.20 per wooden box of 8

Cigar Release: Gurkha 125th Anniversary Edition

Gurkha 125th Anniversary

After much anticipation, the Gurkha 125th Anniversary Edition cigar is shipping to cigar stores nationwide! This special cigar is particularly significant as 2012 commemorates the 125th Anniversary of the Gurkha cigar, where it was this year back in 1887 at the height of the British rule that Nepalese soldiers first began to smoke and enjoy their own cigars from local tobacco, which they named: ‘Gurkhas’.

The 125th Anniversary is already an award winner, having received the company's highest ever rating of 96 points by Cigar Journal and is the recent recipient of the prestigious Golden Label Award for the printing, design, innovation and technical execution of the 125th Anniversary cigar band.

The unique blend features an oily Brazilian Cubra wrapper, accompanied by an Ecuadorian, Habano binder and a complex combination of Nicaraguan, Brazilian and Dominican fillers. This intriguing medium bodied cigar encompasses a very smooth and complex taste profile, with flavorful notes of rich tobacco and subtle hints of sweet spice, vanilla and chestnut. The Gurkha 125th Anniversary is available in 20 count boxes featuring four vitolas: 5 x 52 Robusto, 6 x 54 Rothchild, 61/2 x 54 Torpedo and a 6 x 60 XO with an MSRP ranging from $8.39-$10.99. Each box is hand-carved using the finest mango wood and finished with exquisite brass fittings, specially designed by Gurkha Chairman Mr K. Hansotia.

Page 5 of 21« First...34567...1020...Last »