Ballot Results, Fuente Updates and More

Viaje exclusive cigar for Atlantic

You may be aware that a number of ballot measures were up last week for raising cigar taxes in several states. In this week’s cigar news updates, I will let you know what happened. There is not a whole lot in the way of other news right now, but there are some Fuente updates and a new release from Atlantic Cigars.

New and Upcoming Releases:

  • If you have shopped for Arturo Fuente Don Carlos cigars recently, you may have noticed a change in their appearance. While the cigar itself is unchanged, the band is now different. The red background has been replaced by a black one for a new look.
  • Atlantic Cigar Co. is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a brand new Viaje release. This release is exclusive to the retailer and can only be purchased directly from Atlantic Cigars. Called the Viaje Atlantic 20th Anniversary WLP 20th Limited Edition Toro, it measures 6 x 52 and comes box-pressed. The blend is a Nicaraguan puro with Cuban-seed fillers an a criollo wrapper. It is being manufactured in Honduras, and costs $9 per cigar. Only 400 boxes are being produced, each containing 10 cigars.

Legal News:

  • The Dallas City Council just voted 8-6 to ban smoking in Dallas parks. While this is not great news, there are some exceptions to the ban. You can for example smoke at the State Fair of Texas in Fair Park. You also can still smoke at city-owned golf courses as well as the Elm Fork Shooting Range. So while we’d obviously prefer there were no ban, we can at least say that the city council has taken steps to ensure that cigar smoking is still permitted in outdoor venues where it is popular.
  • S.B. 2765 is a new bill which could limit the state taxes on New Jersey cigars. Right now the taxes on New Jersey cigars are set at 30% of the wholesale price. If passed, the bill would set a cap which would bring down costs for all cigars with a MSRP of $3.40 or more. For a cigar priced at $9, that could mean a $1 reduction in price. Let’s hope this passes.
  • Finally, the biggest news concerns last week’s polls. As you probably know, a few different measures pertaining to cigar taxes were on the ballots in North Dakota, Missouri, Colorado, and California. Voters in Missouri, North Dakota, and Colorado defeated the measures, so cigar taxes in those states will not be going up. In California however, Proposition 56 passed. Over sixty percent of voters backed the measure, which will drive up cigar taxes by an astonishing 153%. Right now cigar taxes in the state are 27.3%. Going forward the new tax should be around 69.2%. This change will go into effect on July 1st of 2017, so if you live in California, get your expensive purchases out of the way ASAP.

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

This week’s cigar deals (Nov 10 2016)

Oliva cigars on sale

Three cigar deals, carefully hand-picked for you.

  • Discounted Oliva Serie V and Serie O - Cigar & Pipes is running a special on Oliva cigars at this moment, they are discounted up to 30%. Use code INSPECT12 to get an additional 12% discount.
  • The Cigar - Moments of Pleasure - we reviewed this beautiful coffee table book earlier this year, and it was a good buy at $59. I have been informed that it is now available at only $20... Incredible value!
  • Alec Bradley cigars on sale - again, CigarPage has quite a nice deal with these AB samplers, including American Sun Grown and Black Market. As always, you need to act fast as it expires in 16 hours.

Spotted a nice cigar deal? Post it in the comments area below!

Amazon Contest Winner

Amazon

The winner of the $43 Amazon gift certificate is bill scharrenberg. Congrats! Please get in touch to claim your prize.

Long ashes everyone - and stay tuned for more contests in future!

PS If you would like to support CigarInspector.com, feel free to make your Amazon purchases through this link. Thank you!

Regulators Tighten Restrictions, New Releases from R. Patel

Davidoff Rooster

This week’s news on the regulatory front is mostly depressing, but thankfully we have some exciting new cigar releases to report to make up for it. Read on to find out what’s been going on in the cigar world.

New and Upcoming Releases:

  • Cuba’s 2016 Edicion Limitadas Trinidad Topes and Romeo y Julieta Capuletos are now being distributed to Casa del Habano stores around the globe. The third Edicion Limitada, the Montecristo Dantes, still has not made its way to stores, but one Casa del Habano owner in Germany has indicated that he should be able to start selling them to customers on the 1st of December.
  • To honor the Year of the Rooster, Davidoff of Geneva is introducing a limited-edition cigar to celebrate the Chinese New Year. These cigars are immediately eye-catching thanks to their unusual diadema figurado shape. The cigar measures 6 ¾ x 50, and will come in boxes of 10 at a cost of $40 per cigar. Along with this limited edition line of cigars, a line of Year of the Rooster accessories is also being produced. This includes a double-guillotine cutter which you can purchase in either steel or rose gold as well as a carrying case in red leather. 8,000 Year of the Rooster boxes are being produced.
  • Rocky Patel is now formally distributing the Dark Dominican. While the manufacturer has provided no information about the wrapper, binder or filler, retailers are stating that the cigar is a Dominican puro. Four sizes are available: Churchill, Robusto, Corona and Supremo.

Industry News:

  • Tabacalera USA has just acquired a Houston-based chain of retail stores called Serious Cigars. While Serious Cigars was originally founded as an online store in 1996, it now operates four of the largest cigar retail stores in the state of Texas. Through this acquisition, both Serious Cigars and Tabacalera should be able to grow and continue to expand their distribution.

Legal News:

  • You may remember a recent report that the FDA had banned cigar donations to U.S. soldiers. This seems so absurd that many in the cigar community held out hope that the ban was some kind of a mistake. But the Wall Street Journal has reported that the ban was not made in error; it was a deliberate action by the FDA. That’s right—U.S. soldiers can get themselves killed or injured in action, but they cannot accept your gift of stogies.
  • In one few positive regulatory developments this past week, Lane County, Oregon (home to the city of Eugene), has become the latest to reject a smoking ban in parks. Two factors helped to decide the commission against the ban; the first is the fact that it would’ve resulted in smoking bans in 240 campgrounds, which would have made enforcement quite thorny. The second is the concern that the new decree might have been used as an excuse for law enforcement officers to harass the homeless.
  • Last week, the Council of the District of Columbia voted to make age 21 the new minimum for tobacco purchases in Washington D.C. Anyone who violates the new decree will be fined $25. On the upside, this fine was going to be $50, but thankfully there was an amendment which lowered it to a more reasonable amount. The new minimum purchase age will go into effect in 30 days after being signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser.

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

Amazon $43 Gift Card Giveaway

Amazon

As I stated in my best cigar books post, proceeds from sale of books would be given back to one lucky reader in the form of a gift certificate. Here is another one. It is a gift card for $43 that can be redeemed on Amazon.com (doesn't work on .co.uk or .fr).

Just leave a comment on this post to be entered in the draw. The winner will be announced in one week, next Thursday.

PS Want to support CigarInspector.com? Just do your Amazon purchases through this link.

Trinidad Vigia

Trinidad Vigia

Origin : CubaTrinidad
Format : Petit Robusto
Size : 4.3 (110 mm) x 54
Hand-Made
Price : ~$14 each
More info about purchasing Trinidad cigars...

First of all, some quick background info for those of you who are not familiar with the brand:
Trinidad is a Cuban cigar brand with an interesting history. Way back in its early days, Trinidad only manufactured exclusive cigars for visiting diplomats. It was only in 1998 that Trinidad cigars became available to the public. At that time, there was only one Trinidad cigar available, known as the “Fundadores.” The Fundadores was long and thin, quite the opposite of the short, fat Trinidad Vigia which I am reviewing today.

After its public debut in 1998, Trinidad expanded with more vitolas—for a while. In 2012, they cut back. In fact, the Vigia is the first new regular production from Trinidad since 2012’s withdrawal of the Robusto T and the Robusto Extra.

So that gives you some context on the Vigia. Let’s check it out.

Read the full review of Trinidad Vigia...

Screwpop Cigar Ashtray Giveaway Winners

Screwpop Cigar Ashtray

Last week we had a look at the cigar ashtray made by our friends at Screwpop, and had three samples to give away to our readers. You were over 180 people to participate and here are the three winners, chosen randomly:

  • Steve (almnbroxxx)
  • Craig (daron090)
  • Alex C

Thanks to Screwpop Tool for letting us run this contest and congrats to the winners! Please get in touch with us to claim your prize.

Rocky Patel Raises Prices & New Releases

Rocky Patel

In this week’s news, we have some exciting new releases from Drew Estate, Alec Bradley and La Flor Dominicana. Let’s check them out!

New and Upcoming Releases:

  • Drew Estate has announced the release of a new cigar exclusively for Stogies World Class Cigars of Houston, Texas, called the Herrera Estelí Edicion Limitada H-Town Lancero. This 7 x 38 cigar will come in packages of 10 and will feature Nicaraguan fillers in a Brazilian Mata Fina binder and a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.
  • Yet another new cigar has inconspicuously made its way to retail shelves. This time it is the Alec Bradley Medio Fuerte Liga de Reyes, which appeared sneakily on the shelves of Atlantic Cigar. The new smoke includes filler leaves from Nicaragua and Honduras inside a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan Habano wrapper. It is classified by the retailer as a “solid medium-bodied smoke,” and comes in seven sizes: 770, Churchill, Corona, Gordo, Robusto, Torpedo, and Toro.
  • Meanwhile, La Flor Dominicana is reviving the 2000 Series and adding two brand new sizes. All but one of the existing sizes was discontinued back in 2013. All the old sizes are being brought back, along with the new Lancero and Chisel sizes. The new version of the 2000 Series will include the same Cameroon wrapper, Dominican binder and Dominican filler.

Industry News:

  • As you are likely aware, many cigar companies have been raising their prices lately in response to the new regulations by the FDA. Rocky Patel is the latest to join the lot, having recently sent out a letter to retailers announcing a 5% increase on all products across the board—with the exception of the Rocky Patel Decade (which will increase in cost by 2.5%), and the Rocky Patel Vintage Juniors (which will go up in price by 5 cents for each cigar). The new costs will be implemented starting on November 15th. So now is the time to get in those Rocky Patel orders—before prices go up!

Legal News:

  • Two cities in California have just banned smoking in parks: Calistoga and Kerman. The Calistoga ban additionally prohibits smoking in lots which are adjacent to parks. The Kerman ban prohibits the sale or exchange of tobacco products in parks along with smoking.

Thank you for checking in with us for this week’s cigar updates!

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