Cigar News

IPCPR 2008 Las Vegas follow-up: Thank You All

Victoria McKee, publicist for General Cigar Corp. Unlike past shows, we only had a  few minutes together this year, but I’ve got all the info and samples of the new cigars, so keep those press releases rolling in.

Ernesto Perez Carrillo of EPC cigars (a/k/a El Credito and La Gloria Cubana cigars). I’m looking forward to smoking that new Reserve Figurado you gave me.

Daniel Núñez, president of General Cigar Corp. Always a warm smile and a hearty handshake. Thanks also to Keith Sparacio and Seanna Tobin.

Alan Rubin and his very attentive staff at Alec Bradley Cigars. Best espresso in the hall, too. Keep up the great work with your new Alec Bradley Tempus cigars.

José Blanco and Rene Castaneda of Tabacalera La Aurora. Thanks for the new Leon Jimenes 300 samples, which I’ll be getting to soon. Thanks also to Rene for the Nestor Miranda Special Edition Lancero, which I’ll be adding to my follow-up piece on Lancero cigars. Thanks also to Nestor Miranda for the new Tatiana cigars Mocha.

Marvin Samel and Jonathan Drew of Drew Estate Cigars. Thanks Marvin for the Tabak Especiale cigars. I’m sorry I didn’t get to say more than a quick “hello” and “how ‘ya doin'” to Jonathan. From the crowd he draws, you’d think Miley Cyrus was in the booth. Ah, the price one pays for fame.

Micky Pegg and Jon Huber at CAO Cigars. I didn’t see Jon until late in the day on Tuesday, who told me they were already out of the new CAO LX2 cigars, so thanks Mick for the sample you gave me on Monday. Sorry I didn’t make it to the Lynard Skynard party, which I heard was one of the best events of the show.

Rocky Patel. Thanks to “the busiest man in the cigar business” for a great dinner Monday night and for doing the video with me, especially on one of your busiest days. Thanks also for the new Rocky Patel Renaissance sample cigar.

Thanks to Kinky Friedman for being himself. Today I just finished the last of the Kinky Friedman cigars he sent me in a sampler a while back, a Kinky Friedman “Governor” cigar. They were all so good, it’s hard to remember which one I liked best. Keep up the good work Kinky, and I owe you a review.

Mike Chiusano, Joe Chiusano and J.T. Guagliardo of Cusano cigars. Probably the best breakfast I had all week, too. As I’ve already reported, it was impressive to see what a tight ship you guys run. The new factory is doing some great work, and I look forward to working more with all of you in the months ahead.

Janelle Rosenfeld and Mike Ruggere of Altadis U.S.A. for the José Siejes cigars collection. They look gorgeous, and I’ll get to them soon enough.

Gene Arganese of Arganese Cigars. Thanks for letting me shoot some video and the Arganese CL3 cigars and ML3 cigars. Look for those reviews in the near future. Please also pass my regards on to Joe (“The Sopranos”) Gannascoli and let me know when his “Cugine” cigars are ready for market.

Patrick Vivalo, Eddie Ortega and Erik Espinosa of United Tobacco for the new Cibao cigars and Mi Barrio cigars, and the informative video Patrick did with me on them.

Jeff Lee and Tom Smith Jr. of Davidoff of Geneva. Thanks Jeff for the Davidoff Maduro Robusto. Thanks also for the wonderful dinner on Tuesday night at the Bellagio. It was a great experience meeting Winston S. Churchill, and the Winston Churchill No.10 cigar I smoked afterwards was sublime. I also had the chance to finally meet Michael Herklots, General Manager of the Davidoff cigars stores at Columbus Circle and Madison Avenue in NYC. Really nice guy, too.

Thanks also to Avo Uvezian for the cigars and spending some quality relaxation time with me in the Davidoff cigars booth. I’m looking forward to hearing that Tango album when you’re ready to release it, too.

José and Gilberto Oliva. Thanks for one of the best dinners of the show and for introducing me to Sam Leccia, creator of the Nub cigars. Thanks also to José for taking time out for a short video.

George Rico of Gran Habano cigars. Those lanceros of yours were mighty awesome, and I have a good feeling the new G.A.R. cigars are going to make quite a splash. Keep up the great work.

Michael Chunko of Csonka Worldwide. Thanks for the video and your insight on how cigar retailers can boost sales by merchandising smarter and personalization of cigar accessories and other products.

Thanks to Didier Houvenaghel, co-creator of Nicarao cigars, for personalizing a signed a copy of his book, The Cigar: From Soil to Soul. I’m really looking forward to reading it.

Kurt Van Keppel and Belinda Doyle of Xikar, Inc. Thanks Kurt for the interesting video on humidor care, as for introducing me to Jon Bixler, who enlightened me in the art of humidor craftsmanship.

Jesus Fuego, one of the great cigar blending masters. The Reserva No.1 Corojo really hit the spot, and I’m looking forward to trying your 777 blend, too.

Thanks also to Brad Weinfeld of SAG Imports and especially to Manuel Quesada of Fonseca cigars for the interview and samples of the new Cubano Viso Fuerte and Casa Magna cigars.

Frank Santos of Reyes Family Cigars. Thanks for your kind words and for the samples of the new Reyes Family Vintage cigars, which I’ll be getting to shortly.

I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to say hello to Jorge Padron at Padron cigars, or Litto Gomez of La Flor Dominicana cigars, and many of the other fine cigar manufacturers I speak to during the year, but time just ran out.

Finally, thanks to you, the readers, who took time out each day to read my reports. I hope you’ll continue to visit and pass the site link on to your friends. £

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Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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