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Day two of IPCPR is over and we have been treated with a flood of information on new releases. Let’s get straight to the meat of this and have a look at what cigars to expect down the line for 2015.
Alec Bradley: Nica Puro Rosado and Tempus Nicaragua
Though relatively quiet at the trade show, Alec Bradley has unveiled a completely redesigned website that is highlighting their newest line of cigars the “Nica Puro Rosado” and “Tempus Nicaragua”.
“Nica Puro Rosado” is the next in line for Alec Bradley’s “Nica Puro” series. It diversifies itself from the predecessors with a golden Rosado Colorado wrapping, a blend of double binders and tobaccos from three different regions of Nicaragua; Jalapa, Estil, and Condego. The cigars will be offered in the same sizes as the previous line of “Nica Puros” and come in boxes of 20:
The cigar industry is a hectic place right now. With a near endless stream of quality products exploding into shops near you and the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show going into full swing down in New Orleans; it can be a bit much to keep up. Luckily, Cigar Inspector has you covered. Stay tuned here for announcements and updates concerning the goings on within the IPCPR.
Origin : Cuba Format : Gordito (Robusto Extra) Size : 141 x 20 mm (5 1/2 x 50) Box date : LAR – October’13 5000 boxes of 10 produced in 2013 exclusively for the Habanos distributor in the UK, Hunters & Frankau. Hand-Made Price : 200GBP/10 initial price suggested by distributor More info about purchasing La Flor de Cano cigars...
La Flor de Cano is a discreet Cuban brand with just a couple of regular production cigars and a minor market share. Since 2010, a few regional editions were released, including this La Flor de Cano Gran Cano for the United Kingdom.
The Red Screaming Sun line from boutique manufacturer Paul Stulac debuted at the 2012 IPCPR, and includes three sizes: Robusto (5”x54), Toro (6”x56), and Torpedo (6”x54). The packaging and labeling includes the motto “Regalo De Dios,” which translates to “Gift of God,” and the brand has promoted itself with the words, “No tales of tobacco fields. No 100-year traditions. No pretenses.” It’s a bold line to take in an industry where roots run deep—and a smart move from a newcomer that wants to promote its cigars by demonstrating their quality, not leaning on a nonexistent history. Let’s see what they have to offer.
“Everything’s bigger in Texas.” So goes the saying, and it’s certainly what inspired Alec Bradley to name this massive 7 x 70 monster of a cigar the “Texas Lancero.” Why create such a huge cigar to begin with? According to sales representative Phil Kanaby, it’s what buyers were demanding. Let’s see what it’s like to smoke such a massive cigar.
Many of you will remember the feature and giveaway we ran for cigar artist Darrel Morris late last year. It was a very popular feature that garnered a lot of wonderful comments and participation. For those of you who might have missed it, Darrel Morris is an amazing artist who works in scrimshaw, which is engraving into bone or ivory. His drawings are remarkable in their detail and realism. They capture not only form, but texture, and most importantly, his love for cigars.
Darrel is in something of a jam. Six years ago, he and his wife lost their jobs in the recession. While they’re working again and finally starting to make ends meet, they’ve been served up a foreclosure notice on their home—despite their payments being current. They can still save their home, but they need to raise a ton of money fast to make it happen.
You can help out!
Darrel is holding another giveaway. His goal is to make 100 artwork sales. Entering is easy—you just go to his website (here's the link to the available works) and order something. At the time of writing, Darrel was approaching 20 sales. Or you can just spread the word about this contest, it will also help.
When he hits 100 sales, Darrel will select 10 random contestants to receive cigar bombs! Each package will include at least five premium cigars. If he goes over 100 sales, he will increase the number of bombs proportionally. We at Cigar Inspector will also send a 5-pack to one of the contestants to support Darrel's project, so this makes 11 bombs in total.
Darrel is a great guy and an amazing artist, and I know a lot of you here love his work. So please consider purchasing some beautiful art for your home and help Darrel save his. No matter what happens, you’ll get some great art, AND you’ll have a chance to win free cigars!
This year we're as usual a bit late with the 'best of' Cuban list, sorry about that. On the bright side, this delay gave us a chance to smoke all of these cigars again in the beginning of 2015, which confirmed the ratings.
Like last year, the list is composed of cigars that we smoked in 2014 (with mostly recent box codes). Without further ado, here's the list.
1. Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure de Luxe
Surprisingly, the Hoyo de Monterrey brand secures the #1 spot again! This time it's a LCDH-exclusive release called "Epicure de Luxe". It's definitely the best Cuban cigar I smoked in 2014 and I finished my first box in January 2015. Planning to open my second box this fall!
2. H. Upmann Connossieur A
The H. Upmann Connossieur A is another quite exclusive release which is available at La Casa del Habanos but also in Habanos Specialists shops around the world. Flavor-wise, this cigar is as good as it gets, if you like the delicate and balanced Cuban profile, you'll be in for a treat. Overall there were a few construction issues (mainly burn) in these cigars though, otherwise they could have easily made it to the very top of this list!
3. Hoyo de Monterrey Petit Robusto
Unfortunately, overall in 2014 I had way less time to dedicate to smoking than I wished, due to work and health issues. In this context, small cigars like Hoyo de Monterrey Petit Robusto really shine and I'm fairly sure that this was my most smoked cigar in 2014. If properly aged, it packs everything Cuba has to offer in a rather small format.
4. Cohiba BHK 52
Reliable, consistent, posh: the Cohiba BHK 52 is just as good as last year, and is a perfect special occasion smoke all-around. This is my first choice for informal meetings with business partners.
5. Vegas Robaina Famosos
Not really a mainstream cigar, the Vegas Robaina Famosos box that I kept in my humidor since 2012 gave me some very pleasant moments on the rare occasions I could enjoy a cigar indoors in winter.
What were the best Cuban cigars that you smoked recently?
Gran Habano announces its newest release from their Gran Reserva line, the Gran Reserva #5 2011.
The Gran Habano Gran Reserva line offers a bold new experience in full-bodied premium cigars made with vintage tobaccos. Expect a remarkably smooth, earthy and spicy smoke accompanied by notes of sweet wood and espresso of this aged smoke. The Gran Habano Gran Reserva #5 2011 comes in boxes of 10 cigars with a brand new look to its packaging. It is the fourth installment to follow the #3 2008, #3 2009 and #5 2010 vintage blends.
Gran Habano Gran Reserva #5 2011 : Cigar Stats
Country of Origin: Honduras Factory: G.R. Tabacaleras Unidas, S.A. Distributor: Gran Habano Body: Full-bodied Wrapper: Nicaraguan Binder: Nicaraguan Filler: Nicaraguan Jalapa Size: Corona Gorda 75 5/8 x 46, Gran Robusto 6 x 54, Imperial 6 x 60, CZAR 6 x 66, Grandioso 7 x 70 Box Count: 10 MSRP: $7.50 - $10.00 Release Date: Available Now