January 2024

Tampa has two-century-old traditions: Since 1885, Tampa has been known as “Cigar City.” Since 1904, pirates have been invading Tampa and throwing a large festival called Gasparilla. Each year, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. brings both traditions together by releasing a limited edition José Gaspar cigar.  Handcrafted by J.C. Newman, a 128-year-old, four-generation family business, José Gaspar cigars pack a punch perfect for any pirate.

“José Gaspar was one of most feared pirates in the Americas,” said Drew Newman, fourth-generation owner. “Sailing from his base near Tampa Bay in the late 1700s, he terrorized the Gulf of Mexico and amassed a great fortune.  Gaspar celebrated victories with a bold and flavourful cigar.  This cigar honours his legacy and the tradition of Gasparilla.”

This year, J.C. Newman is releasing 10,000 José Gaspar cigars.  The 2024 release of José Gaspar is a 6.5’ x 52 cigar wrapped with a Havana wrapper. The 2024 José Gaspar cigars are sold in packs of 5 cigars with an MSRP of $40. José Gaspar cigars are only available at the following locations in the Cigar City of Tampa, Florida:

  • Cigar City Brewery Co.
  • Corona Cigar Company
  • Edwards Pipe and Tobacco
  • Grand Cathedral
  • Hotel Haya
  • J.C. Newman Cigar Museum and Factory Store
  • King Corona International Plaza
  • King Corona Cigars
  • Tobacco Depot
  • Vincent & Tampa Cigar Co.
  • Casa de Montecristo
  • Sterling Cigar Lounge
  • The Columbia
  • Visit Tampa Bay
  • Tampero Cigars Ybor City

    “When pirates invade Tampa and parade down Bayshore Boulevard on January 27, they will be enjoying José Gaspar cigars,” said Newman.  “Just like the pirates of Gasparilla, however, José Gaspar cigars will sail out of Tampa Bay at the end ofGasparilla season and will not be available again until next year.”

Shortly after J.C. Newman Cigar Co. relocated to Tampa in 1954, leading cigar makers invited the late Stanford J. Newman to become a pirate and join the Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, the organization that hosts the annual Gasparilla celebration.  This invitation was a symbol that J.C. Newman had been welcomed and accepted into the cigar community in Tampa, which was then widely recognized as the fine cigar capital of the world.

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