New Viaje, La Flor Dominicana + Legislative Updates

Viaje Holiday Blend 2016

Welcome back to another installment in our regular news feature here at Cigar Inspector. Quite a lot has transpired, particularly on the legal front. We have a few new releases to share with you as well.

New and Upcoming Releases:

  • Viaje fans can look forward to some holiday cheer in the form of a special Holiday Blend release (as yet unnamed). This cigar will be packaged with an Edición Limitada band. Only 200 bundles (not boxes) will ever be produced, each with 20 cigars. So far there are no details on either the pricing or the blend. We do know that the cigar will measure 5 x 58, making it the second thickest Viaje Holiday Blend to date, following the 2013 Christmas Tree. The Holiday Blend Candy Cane will also come back this year with the Edición Limitada band. In 2015, the Candy Cane cost $12 per cigar and featured an Ecuadorian and Brazilian wrapper with Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco inside. There is no word yet on the pricing or blend this year.
  • La Flor Dominicana has just shipped out the TCFKA “M” Collector’s Edition to retailers. This year’s release is again a perfecto measuring 7 x 57. The wrapper is Ecuadorian Sumatra with oscuro accents. You can buy these cigars in boxes of five.
  • New releases have been announced for the upcoming Festival del Habanos. The first of these is the Sir Winston Churchill Gran Reserva Cosecha 2011, which will be the first Gran Reserva from H. Upmann. Another new introduction will be the Montecristo 1935, which will apparently include some sizes traditionally in the main line, but there are still no other details on this extension. Finally, Quai d'Orsay will introduce some new cigar sizes—no further information has been released concerning these either.

Industry News:

  • General Cigars has parted ways with its vice president of marketing, Alan Willner, who has been replaced (in the interim) by company president Régis Broersma. Broersma took over General Cigar operations almost exactly one year ago. The official statement provided no details to the reason for the change.

Legal News:

  • Starting with the good news first, Sioux Falls, South Dakota rejected a proposal to ban smoking in parks. It was a strong victory, with six of the city’s eight council members opposing the ban. A considerably reduced version was approved instead. Smoking is banned near playgrounds and youth recreation areas, but is still completely legal at the city’s two golf courses and other outdoor entertainment venues.
  • Meanwhile, Olympia, Washington has approved a ban on smoking in parks and recreation areas. This ban will go into effect on January 1, 2018, so Olympia residents can still smoke in these public venues for another year. The rumor about the ban is that it may not be used to target and fine smokers so much as to educate the public. Signage and polite reminders will generally be used to enforce the ban before fines are imposed.
  • Also in the pile of bad news, Columbus, Ohio has just approved an increase in the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21. This change will go into effect 10 months from now. This is bad news for retailers in particular, who will have to purchase a $150 license every year to fund compliance checks with the new law.
  • You may know that there is a joint lawsuit which has been filed against the FDA by the CAA, CRA, and IPCPR. This lawsuit includes nine different complaints. The court date has just been set for July 28th, 2017. The outcome of this case will be momentous for the cigar industry.
  • With the transfer of power in the White House and Fidel Castro’s death, the future of Cuba-USA relations is uncertain. American Airlines is scaling back its USA-Cuba flights. As of February 16th, there will only be one flight a day to Varadero, Holguin, and Santa Clara. Even with the changes, American Airlines will remain the top airline for flights between the two countries. There is no comment as to the reason for the change save for the airline to “remain competitive.”

Thanks for dropping by to check on the latest cigar news updates! Be sure to check back in with us soon!

Jas Sum Kral Red Knight Lancero

Jas Sum Kral Red Knight Lancero

Origin : Nicaragua
Jas Sum Kral CigarsFormat : Lancero
Size : 7 x 38
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano Light Claro
Filler : Undisclosed
Binder : Half Mexican San Andres/Half Jalapa Seco Leaf
Hand-Made (factory: New Order of the Ages (NOA))
Body : Medium to Medium-Full
Price : $9.50 each

From JSK’s website:

The idea came from one man, Riste Risteski, who was disappointed with most cigars currently available on the market. Smoking mainly Cuban cigars, he wanted to create a profile which maintained Cuban standards, while adding an interesting yet elegant twist. He wanted to add value to what is already a saturated boutique market. Being Macedonian and both large in stature AND personality, the name for this cigar came easily, JAS SUM KRAL, I AM KING in English.

He noticed many of those calling themselves boutique cigar makers, weren’t involved in the actual blending process. He decided the only way to properly create JAS SUM KRAL, was to set out to find the right factory. After speaking with several trusted individuals in the industry, he decided on New Order of the Ages, owned by master blender, Noel Rojas.

Upon arriving in Esteli, Noel suggested getting right to work. Having discussed with Noel prior to arriving Noel already had a profile in mind. Riste and Noel sampled leaf after leaf of the finest tobacco. Finally assembling what is sure to change the boutique cigar market. We are extremely proud and excited to release JAS SUM KRAL. We hope that you will join Riste on this journey.

Riste is a hard-working guy who is very present on social media. It’s been fun to watch his boutique brand take off, and great reviews have come flooding in over and over. Let’s take a look at the JSK Red Knight Lancero.

Read the full review of Jas Sum Kral Red Knight Lancero...

Guess the Best Cigar of the Year and Win a Box

Guess the Best Cigar of the Year

Mike's Cigars is currently running a contest with a chance to win a box of this year's best cigars, as chosen by Cigar Aficionado. In order to win, you simply need to... guess that best cigar.

You can enter the contest by clicking here. Contest ends on December 11th.

VIPCigars Contest Winners!

Partagas Contest

We are a little late in announcing winners for the Cuban cigars contest we ran in November. We had almost 1,000 participants, a record! This definitely has something to do with the exceptional prizes we had, thanks to Tobias from VIPCigars. Here are the lucky readers who won:

Congrats! Please contact us to claim your prizes. And, as usual, stay tuned for more contests! :)

Fidel Castro Dead at 90, New Oliva, Montecristo

Fidel Castro Dead at 90

An astounding number of famous people have died in 2016 … and now we can add none other than Cuba’s cigar-toting President, Fidel Castro, to the list. Fidel Castro’s health had been deteriorating for some time, and he passed away on Friday, November 25th.

Everyone will remember Fidel Castro for something different. To some he was a heroic revolutionary, to others a tyrannical despot. But for the cigar industry, he was a revolution. It was Fidel Castro who made Cuba’s cigar brands and factories state property, nationalizing the entire industry.

Cuban cigars are of course known the world over for their quality. If you live in the USA, you have struggled to get your hands on them for decades thanks to long-standing trade embargoes between the two countries. But ever since President Obama started normalizing affairs with Cuba, that has started to change. You can now travel to Cuba and bring home as many cigars as you want.

Looking to the future now, we have no idea what to expect for Cuban cigars, or for trade between the USA and Cuba. With Fidel Castro gone and Trump the president-elect in the USA, it is impossible to guess at what will happen next. I suggest snapping up as many cigars as you can now; who knows how long open trade will be in place. It is best to take advantage while we can.

In the meantime, at least the rest of this week’s news is decidedly positive. Not a lot is going on in the regulatory world, but we have a number of new and returning cigar releases to report.

New and Upcoming Releases:

  • The Oliva Serie V Maduro 2016 has made its way to retailers. It is basically identical to last year’s version. Measuring 6 x 60, it has a Mexican San Andrés wrapper and carries a price of around $10 per stick. The total number which will be produced is 60,000.
  • A new box-pressed Montecristo cigar is being manufactured by Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A. in Nicaragua. This blend features Nicaraguan and Honduran fillers inside a Mexican San Andrés binder and an Ecuadorian Sumatra oscuro wrapper. It comes in five sizes: Churchill (7 x 50), Figurado (4 x 52), Gordo (6 x 58), Robusto (5 x 52) and Toro (6 x 50), and will cost between $9.95-$12.50.
  • Several of Tatuaje’s cigars are making a comeback, among them the highly sought-after Pork Tenderloin. The other two cigars which will once again be made available include the Porkchop and Le Vignoble. All three are being re-released as part of Pete Johnson’s Oh F*ck I’m Lost tour. During the tour, Johnson will visit seven different cities and participate in events at nine different retailers. This is the perfect time to restock on some of your favorite Tatujae cigars which you have been missing!
  • If you have been searching for the CAO Amazon Basin in the USA, good news—the sold-out brand is making a comeback in a single size, a 6 x 52 Toro. The Amazon Basin sold out very quickly in 2014, so act fast to grab a box of these before they are gone.
  • A new Cuban exclusive has just been released, the Saint Luis Rey Marquez. This cigar was first offered to participants attending the Partagás Festival in Havana a couple weeks ago. The cigar measures 5 7/8 inches with a 54 ring gauge, and comes in boxes of 10. Only 7,500 boxes are being produced. You can purchase a box of Saint Luis Rey Marquez cigars for 116 CUCs.
  • Drew Estate is bringing back Pappy Van Winkle cigars this year with a couple new sizes. In 2015, the only sizes available were Toro and Robusto. In 2016, the brand will add Churchill and Pappy Drew Limitada sizes. The latter is a distinctive figurado based on the Liga Privada Feral Flying Pig. The new cigars are currently being shipped to retailers, but are already available to order online.

Thanks for checking in with us for this week’s cigar news updates! Be sure to check back again soon!

2016 Black Friday / Cyber Monday Deals

Black Friday cigar deals

Black Friday and Cyber Monday cigar deals, carefully hand-picked for you. This post will be constantly updated, bookmark for future reference!

  • JR Cigars - a few available cigar deals, including 40% off Oliva & Nub boxes. New deals should progressively appear. Check them out here.
  • Famous Smoke offers a $40 discount on all orders over $150. Roughly amounts to a 25% discount. Click here and use code 40BFAFF.
  • Cigar Terminal - the already popular All-Stars Cuban Samplers are again discounted for Black Friday. A selection of 10, 20 or 30 Cuban sticks, starting at $69. Good value!
  • Summit Cigars - 50% off a selection of interesting cigars with code BLKFRI50.
  • CigarsFor.Me - free shipping on Black Friday with code "BLACKFRIDAY" (no minimum order, all deals on this page), and same conditions for Cyber Monday (the code is "CYBERMONDAY", all deals can be found here).
  • Neptune Cigars - a very good 20% off your basket BF Special. Once clicked on the promotional page on their site, it is applied to your cart.
  • Rodrigo Cigars - this shop is an excellent source for boutique cigars. For Black Friday, Rodrigo offers a discount on all "Rodrigo Collection" cigars. Use code RODRIGO15 for purchases under $59 (15% discount), code RODRIGO20 for purchases under $99 (20% discount) and code RODRIGO30 for purchases over $99 (30% discount).

  • Cigar Page is changing its deals every 5 minutes... can you keep up?
  • Cigar Federation - $2.50 off all singles with code BFSS. You can check their selection of singles here.

Spotted a nice cigar deal? Let us know in the comments area and we'll add it to the list.

Cubans CONTEST : Win Boxes of Partagas and H.Upmann !

Partagas Contest

We've been talking a lot about Cuban cigars lately. With the ban on Cuban cigars being lifted in the US, many aficionados might change their consumption habits.

Today we've got a special contest for you. Tobias from VIPCigars, a Cuban cigars retailer based in Switzerland, is offering the following prizes:

H. Upmann Half Corona

Sounds good? Please use the widget below to enter the contest. You'll need to answer a couple of quick questions and you're in :) And if you share the contest with your friends, you'll get extra entries!

VIP Cigars Cuban Cigars Giveaway

PS Contest open worldwide, you have to be of legal age to smoke in your country. The winners will be chosen randomly and announced in two weeks, on the 1st of December.

Crowned Heads Le Careme

Crowned Heads Le Careme

Origin : Dominican Republic
Crowned Heads CigarsFormat : Canonazo
Size : 5 7/8 x 52
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf Grade A Dark
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Ecuadorian Sumatra
Hand-Made (factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.)
Price : $8.95 each
More info about purchasing Crowned Heads Le Careme...

Crowned Heads Le Careme is a new release for 2016. They went with a culinary theme for this cigar, as the name pays tribute to Marie-Antoine Careme. He was a famous French chef who is well known for pioneering culinary arts like mother sauces and popularizing the soufflé in the 1800s.

Jon Huber blended the cigar, and the owner of the factory where this cigar is made, Ernesto Perez-Carillo, Jr., said, “This cigar tastes like chocolate soufflé blended this cigar.”

Personally, the blend profile is basically my dream combination. If I were to blend my own cigar, this would be one of my first ideas. So, that sounds AMAZING and let’s see what we get from Le Careme.

Read the full review of Crowned Heads Le Careme...

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