Cigar Makers

IPCPR 2013 Advisor’s Field Report

Reading Time: 23 minutes

Las Vegas – the smoking hot city that’s forever alive with excitement… but when you throw premium cigars into the fray, the desert just got a whole lot hotter. It was the 81st gathering of the IPCPR Show (International Premium Cigars & Pipe Retailers) and anyone who was a name in the cigar industry was there to strut their stuff to the world’s buyers of smoky hand-rolled goodness.

The Cigar Advisor editorial and film crew was on a mission to bring you guys, the fans who love the leaf, an exclusive look at who was there and what’s new in the world of cigars, plus an up-close view at the many debut releases about to hit the shelves.

On the morning of Day 1, the show floor was bustling with excitement as the booths were rocking with retailers eager to sample this year’s hottest offerings. (Although there has been talk of change, the average cigar lovin’ Joe is not allowed into the event.) Every IPCPR show has its trends among the manufacturers, and the 2013 edition was no different. First off, several companies have sourced premium tobacco from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to be used as both filler and wrapper. Of course, back in the early days of cigar making, Pennsylvania was a huge source for tobacco in the United States, but now, a couple of centuries later, it is making its way back into the premium hand-rolled market.

A few years ago the 6 x 60 size started a new trend as smokers demanded bigger and better. This year, a plethora of companies now offer the big ring gauges, as what was labeled as a fad is now part of almost everyone’s offerings – some even going to larger sizes as if they were partnering with Louisville Slugger! It looks as if the trend is now here to stay.

Another takeaway from the show is that a large number of companies are using small batches of harvested leaf to produce extremely limited offerings of super premium sticks available in runs of only 200, 300, 500 boxes to 2000, 3000, 5000 cigars. Manufacturers told us that when they find a very limited supply of a certain leaf, they feel they owe the smokers something truly unique to enjoy, even though they can only produce it in small quantities.

Perhaps the real common thread from the cigar makers as a whole, is that even in the face of tax hikes and anti-smoking legislation, the industry is actually growing while producing the finest cigars that anyone has ever seen. The goal is to make better products and a stronger industry, where we cigar smokers can look forward to even greater experiences to come.



Problem: Why isn’t there a good looking, super-flavorful Montecristo that isn’t going to set you back a car payment or two?

Solution: Altadis has introduced Monte. The blending gurus used some Nicaragua leaf a little more liberally than you might expect for standard Montecristo fare, and doubled up on the binder. That’s right, 2 binders: rare Nicaraguan Corojo (delivering strength & aroma) and Dominican Olor (spice blast) paired together for a sweet punch of flavor throughout.

What’s in it:

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano

Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo AND Dominican Olor

Filler: Dominican, from Villa Gonzales and La Canela

Sizes available:

Monte: 6×60

Jacopo No.2: 6 1/8×54

Conde: 51/2×48

Medium-Full Body/Flavor; 16 cigars per box, available in August.

What Else you should know…

Juan Lopez is being rereleased as a Nicaraguan puro. This is going to be a powerful smoke.

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Binder: Nicaraguan Filler: Nicaraguan

Sizes: Seleccions No.1 (5×54), No. 2 (6×54) and No. 3 (6×60)

Montecristo “Connoisseur Edition” were, previously, exclusive regional releases in New York, Texas, Las Vegas & Chicago. A limited number (only 15,000) of 8-pack sampler “Collections” containing 2 of each regional blend will be available nationwide.

ROMEO by Romeo y Julieta, will have an aged 6 x 60 size out in September.

H. Upmann also adds a 6×60, called “1844 Reserve Special Edition.” Sold in boxes of 10, and limited to 4,000 boxes.

Gift Sets featuring H. Upmann, RyJ and Montecristo in Toro sizes and variety of lines will come packaged with wine accessories and shotglasses. One RyJ Reserve set even comes with…a tire gauge.


La Gloria Cubana…

Trunk Show

Two versions of the Trunk Show came out of last year’s IPCPR; this time around, they’ve upped it to 3 blends. Each 2013 Trunk Show blend is a limited release of 500 boxes, and only available to certain retailers. Word is that all three are pretty robust cigars, and come in 26-count, trunk-style boxes. And the cigar bands are fully smokeable. Here’s the lowdown…

Liga YG-23 – Master Blender Yuri Guillen worked with 2005-2008 vintage leaves, going for a powerful smoke and using a a Havano Connecticut wrapper.

Liga MG-08 – Michael Giannini, mad tobacco scientist and creator of the Trunk Show concept, used proprietary tobacco that was aged three to nine years. Intent on a flavor bomb, he used Havano Ecuadoran Ligero and leaves with a high content of natural oils.

Liga JD-05 – Jhonys Diaz, Master Blender, came away with a ginormous smoke that will only be available through internet and catalog. Jhonys began with tobaccos aged three to nine years, wrapping them in a Sumatra Ligero wrapper – all of them well-aged.

Giannini says that he, Jhonys and Yuri are constantly experimenting with blends: many of these tobaccos are extremely rare and limited in quantity, which pretty much limits them to making small batch blends like these, “to share with true cigar connoisseurs.”

Sizes available:

Liga YG-23: 6 7/8″ x 58

Liga MG-08: 7″ x 60

Liga JD-05: 7.25″ x 62

Limited release of 500 boxes per blend; 26 cigars per box, available in October.

What else you should know…

LGC is all-in on big-ring Nicaraguan flavor…they highlighted two collections, both extensions of the Serie R:

Serie R Esteli – large ring, full-flavored puros blended with ligeros and visos which were cultivated by an independent farmer who raised the tobacco on several small, unconnected plots on the Jalapa mountainside.

Wrapper: Nicaragua/Jalapa Sol

Binder: Nica

Filler: Nica

Sizes available:

No. 64: 6.25″ x 64

No. 60: 6″ x 60

No. 54: 6″ x 54

Full Body/Flavor. Available in brick-and-mortar only; 18 cigars per box, available in September.

Serie R Black – already available, Serie R Black is also a Nicaraguan puro, with Jalapa tobacco that was fermented for an entire year, and aged for two and a half more.

Wrapper: Nicaragua/Jalapa Ligero

Binder: Nica – Jalapa

Filler: Nica – Jalapa/Esteli

Sizes available:

No. 60: 6″ x 60

No. 58: 6.87″ x 58

No. 64: 6.25″ x 64

Full Body/Flavor. Available internet/catalog only; 18 cigars per box.



Macanudo Estate Reserve

This is not the usual Mac you see on the golf course – it’s Macanudo’s 45th Anniversary, and this is the limited edition cigar they’ve created to celebrate. Top-shelf presentation includes coffin packaging inside mahogany boxes and gold foil seal, protecting some great leaf they sourced from independent growers. Alan Willner, VP Marketing, said the intent is “to showcase the extraordinary range of flavors that can only be achieved by blending tobacco from the most limited of origins.” Also unlike your typical Macanudo cigar, binders and fillers have been sourced from throughout the DR and aged at least 8 to 10 years.

And when they’re out, they’re out: this Estate Reserve blend will be retired when all 3,000 boxes are gone, and a new Estate Reserve will debut annually in its place – and each yearly batch will feature unique tobaccos not used in any previous Macanudo or General Cigar brand blends.

What’s in it:

Wrapper: Connecticut Shade

Binder: Dominican

Filler: Dominican

Sizes available:

No. I: 7″ x 50

No II: 6″ x 52

No. III: 5″ x 50

Limited releases of 3,000 boxes per size, Mild-Medium Body/Flavor. Boxes of 10; available in October.


CAO Flathead

Rick Rodriguez has touched upon, we believe, everything we cigar-smoking brothers dig: smokes, muscle cars and pin-up girls. Hell, even the frontmarks are named for engine parts. CAO’s Ed McKenna noticed it too; noting the conversations they’ve had with people at CAO events, he says “it didn’t take us long to realize that the conversations were always about the same things: Cigars, Cars and Girls. Not necessarily in that order. So that’s what led us to come up with Flathead.”

Featuring a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, it’s a blend that’s heavy on Nicaraguan leaf. But what’s even more balls-out is the packaging – with a nod to the hot rod engine (think ’30s-era Fords a la ZZ Top), each lid is CNC-machined to look like the top of the engine intake manifold (or thereabouts). As a bonus, Rick has tossed in a collectible, pin-up girl flysheet in each box.

What’s in it:

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf

Binder: Habano Connecticut

Filler: Nicaraguan Ligero and Piloto Cubana Ligero

Sizes available:

V642 Piston: 6.5″ x 42

V554 Camshaft: 5.5″ x 54

V660 Carb: 6″ x 60

V770 Big Block: 7″ x 70

Medium-Full Body/Flavor. Box-pressed, in boxes of 24 & 30; available in September.


Partagas 150 Humidor

Partagas 150 are one of “those” cigars that get some people talking…complete with Cameroon wrapper leaves harvested from “the” 1977 crop. It’s a rare classic, created in 1995 to celebrate Partagas’ 150th Anniversary, and one that collectors regularly seek out and stash away. Considering they’re not exactly a dime a dozen, nor are they ever found in large quantities for purchase, the Partagas folk have instead decided to make you a once-in-a-lifetime offer: a handcrafted piano-finished, burled wood humidor, with an inlaid Partagas 150 crest and custom humidification device…which contains a total of 150 Partagas 150 cigars, in the AA, B and C frontmarks, each resting in red velvet lined drawers.


One thing is for sure: a lot of passion and work went into making this humidor, and reconditioning the cigars. We’re not exactly sure what “reconditioning” means, in this particular case – as shipping and repackaging a Cameroon-wrapped cigar is no small feat, as they tend to get banged up pretty easy. But what we do know is that the 150s have always been considered something special. Ten of these will be available for sale in December.

What else you should know:

Partagas Black Label Purito (4.19″ x 32), will be available in an 8-count tin in September.



Cohiba Edición Diamante

Let’s start this conversation just by saying that there was a Lamborghini parked in front of the Cohiba display. So the vibe we’re getting? Rich, slick and lush (let’s call it RSL). The Diamante has already been seen in humidors for a little while – so to up the RSL factor, they’ve created an insanely impressive gift set, packaging three of the Diamante “A” (a new size, in addition to the Gigante) in a unique wooden tube. It’s about the packaging this year, which reminded us a bit of Crown Royal whisky – and that’s never a bad thing. Ed, who you’ll meet here, is pretty passionate about the packaging – which gets the inner cigar nerd in all of us pretty stoked.

What’s in it:

Wrapper: 1980 Cameroon

Binder: Indonesian Jembe

Filler: Dominican Piloto Cubano

Sizes available:

Edición Diamante “A”: 8.25 x 49

Medium-Full Body/Flavor. 3-count box; available late August.

Edición Diamante Gigante: 6 x 60

Box of 10 in coffins; available in August.


Padilla Vintage Reserve

Why we love Ernesto: he sticks to what he knows and what he does best…then does it over and over again. When we talked with him at the show, it was with a certainty how excited he is about his access to and use of the tobaccos he’s gathered in this new smoke. Like an actor who’s choosy about the roles he plays, Ernesto is the same with the tobaccos he uses and the cigars he creates. Working with Oliva has opened up opportunities for him, which is golden for the rest of us. The big news from Padilla is the new Vintage Reserve, which was Ernesto’s chance to get into one of the more popular leaves right now – Pennsylvania Broadleaf, which he came across in the Oliva family stash of tobacco. And again hitting the notes about rare and small batch this year, the band of each cigar – as well as the boxes – are individually numbered.

What’s in it:

Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf

Binder: Nicaraguan Habano

Filler: Cuban seed Corojo (aged 3 years)

Sizes available:

Robusto: 5×54

Torpedo: 6 ½ x 52

Churchill: 7 x 50

Medium-Full Body/Flavor. Boxes of 10.

What Else You Should Know:

Miami 8&11 is back…thick with Nicaraguan Cuban-seed Crillo & Corojo longfillers, it’s got a vintage Corojo-seed wrapper. Miami Maduro features San Andres wrapper from Mexico; both are finished with Cuban-style triple caps.




One thing we know about Kurt Van Keppel is that he’s driven to bring cool/exciting/new products to the market – stuff he would love to own for himself. We peeked double and triple flame lighters, the ELX and Ellipse III respectively. The ELX you know (and Xikar’s most popular to date) has received the full redesign – larger body, more ergonomic feel, larger ignition surface area and some subtle design changes have bought this Xikar standard bearer a new lease. The Ellipse III is the next step up for those who like the Ellipse design…again, a few modest design changes; it’s also taller, more ergonomic and is textured for better grip. All in all, Kurt tells us this is an even better performer than before thanks to just a few tweaks.


The VX Metal V-cut is available in some new finishes, now incorporating a mesh pattern and a carbon fiber look to the line. Cast aluminum, and still can handle up to a 64 Ring Gauge to give your big smoke the cat’s eye treatment.

The 7mm punch has been redesigned with a more modern/minimalist look to it; the blade locks in 3 positions for varying depths of cut. Available in 3 finishes.

The Xi3is looking a little stealthier these days in the B2 edition, which features ion-plated finish accented with an “X” machined into the handle – all in its own display box. If you’re looking for something a bit more refined, the exotic wood cutter collection now includes Spalted Tamarind (native to southeast Asia, a blonde jungle wood with sharp black grain) and Macassar Ebony (hardwood native to Indonesia, with rich colors that range from light red sapwood to near-black heartwood). Besides the real wood feel, we like what Kurt said about the patina – oils in your skin will age these woods as they wear with use and give each a unique sheen.


Room 101…

Master Collection One

Straight outta Honduras, Matt Booth brings a premium premium.

Look – one thing no one can argue about is that Matt’s a creative guy, and he’s always looking for new ways to inspire cigar lovers with the stuff he creates, both to smoke and to wear. So not only will you likely be seeing new Room 101 cigars in your shop this Fall, but Room 101 jewelry – an exclusive and select line, anyway – will be appearing in cigar stores. And it’s pretty good looking stuff.

As for Master Collection Two? That should come later this Fall.

What’s in it:

Wrapper: Mexican (San Andres) Rosado

Binder: Honduran Corojo Corte #5

Filler: Mexican (San Andres) Ligero/Habano (Honduras) Ligero/Corojo

Sizes available:

Papi Chulo: 4X42

Roxxo: 4X48

Mutante: 7X38

Sucio: 7X48

Monstro: 5×60

Total production approximately 100,000 cigars (20K in each of five vitolas). Boxes of 20 cigars in each size (except Papi Chulo, boxes of 50). Medium-Full Body/Flavor; available in October.

Boutique Blends…

Aging Room M21 Fortissimo

Rafael is a pretty humble guy…but his passion for making cigars? Off the charts. And he’s loving every minute of it – Boutique Blends is bringing out the next Small Batch, M21 Fortissimo. It comes in one – yes, one – size, a Preferido. “Fortissimo,” said Rafael, means strong and forceful; if that’s the analogy he wants to draw, then M21 is the 1812 Overture. Full body, and full of boom. Limited in its production to 3000 numbered boxes of 10 cigars, the M21 are 100% Habano that’s been aged since 2005.

What’s in it:

Wrapper: Dominican Habano

Binder: Dominican Habano

Filler: Dominican Haban

Sizes available:

Preferido: 5 ¾ x 47

Limited release of 3000 numbered boxes of 10; Full Body/Flavor. Available in Fall.

What Else You Should Know…

Boutique Blends is running a pick your own blend/choose your own adventure type thing, getting help from cigar enthusiasts to help determine the next Small Batch blend release. “It is the closest thing to being with me in the factory and helping develop the blend,” says Rafael. Again – limited production of 3000 boxes total, which contain 2 each of 5 previously unreleased Small Batch blends (for a total of 10 sticks) – in one size only, Vivace (a 6×50). Wrapper/binder/filler are all “various;” and all we know is that WP-I (blend T248) is Medium; WP-II (blend W277) is Medium to Full; WP-III (blend T306) is Medium; WP-IV (blend M338) is Medium to Full, and WP-V (blend S19) is a full-body powerhouse. Each stick has a rating sheet rolled right around it, so you can make notes as you go – then rate each blend on the Boutique Blends website, to help select the winner.

Swag S Maduro…Looks baller – but it isn’t for the traditionalist who digs his Don Diegos. Med-Full Body, it’s really about the packaging, which is slick as a tight rhyme, and the cigars are oversized – like everything about modern rap.

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Maduro Binder: Dominican Filler: Dominican

Aging Room is now being offered in a Maduro…Medium to Full body, aged over 5 years using their unique proprietary curing & aging process.

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Maduro Binder: Dominican Filler: Dominican Habano


Toraño Family of Cigars…

Vault D-042

If you want the scoop on what’s going to be hot, you talk to Charlie Toraño. One of the big takeaways from this year’s show, we told you, is the boom in the use of PA leaf; turns out that’s been in Toraño’s blend book since 1998. So here’s the deal on the new Vault…Blend D-042 has that PA leaf in it, as the Toraños really liked what it did next to the Nicaraguan fillers. The original blend in their testing had Ecuadorian Sumatra for the wrapper – but that was jettisoned in favor of Habano from Ecuador, which added some power. Let’s put it this way – Jack Toraño pulled us aside and said it’s one of the most powerful cigars they make: “it put me on my ass once or twice.”

What’s in it:

Wrapper – Habano Ecuador

Binder – Habano Nicaragua

Filler – Nicaragua (Jalapa, Esteli) and Pennsylvania

Sizes available:

Robusto: 5×52

Toro: 6×50

BFC: 6×60

Torpedo: 6 1/8 x 52

Their promo piece at the show also listed a 5 5/8×46 Corona Gorda, that wasn’t in the press release.

Full, full Body/Flavor. Boxes of 20 (BFC is box of 18); available in August.

What Else You Should Know…

Toraño Exodus 1959 Finite 2013 – it’s a limited batch, where they’re producing just 3000 boxes of this Nicaraguan puro. It’s also going to be the de facto flagship of the Exodus line. Finite – because the release is based on limited availability of the tobaccos used, capping production in the neighborhood of 75,000 cigars. It’s also a true puro, consisting of leaf from 4 regions in Nicaragua.

What’s in it:

Wrapper – Habano-seed Jalapa, a shade-grown viso

Binder – Nicaraguan Jalapa, a sun-grown seco among the first leaves picked.

Filler – Esteli, Condega, Ometepe Nicaraguan

Tastes – medium body, roasted nuts, raisin-sweetness, cedar on long finish.

Sizes available:

Robusto: 4 7/8 x 52

Toro: 6 ¼ x 52

BFC: 6×60

There’s a unique symbol and a date stamped on every box, which Toraño says he’s going to do again with future limited releases like these.

Also – look for the Reserva Selecta out of the glass tube…lower prices for everybody!



Perdomo Champagne Sun Grown

Anyone remember the Perdomo Reserve Sungrown? You bet your ass, you do. It came to be in ’98 and had a nice 10-year run. Lucky for all of us, the sun smiles once again upon the Perdomo tracts in Nicaragua as Nick brings us a Sun Grown wrapper for the Champagne. Huzzah! Seems that the binder and filler are the same as what we know and love; but with the addition of the new wrapper (from Jalapa), the flavor sizzles like a hot bronze chica in the sun. VP Arthur Kemper says to expect pricing and sizes in the realm of the regular Champagne line, with the exception of a few specialty sizes (Purito and Magnum Tubo).

What’s in it:

Wrapper – Jalapa Cuban-seed Sun Grown

Binder – Nicaraguan

Filler – Nicaraguan

Sizes available:

Figurado: 4 3/4 x 56

Robusto: 5 x 54

Corona Extra: 5 5/8 x 46

Epicure: 6 x 54

Super Toro: 6 x 60

Torpedo: 7 x 54

Churchill: 7 x 54

Medium Body. Boxes of 25; available in August.

What Else You Should Know…

Talk to Nick for longer than about 7.8 seconds, and you’ll understand how very proud he is to have his son, Nicholas, involved in the family business. Jr. also happens to be responsible for a new size on the Perdomo 20th Anniversary – inspired by a size he and his friends just happened to like a little better. Call it a “Corona Extra” or “Short Churchill,” whatever you prefer; it’s a 6 ½ x 48 that will be out in both natural and maduro.

Also…Perdomo Mini Cigarillos. Blended with 100% tobacco, it’s the same stuff you get in the big boy sizes (well-aged seco, viso and ligero) in short-smoke (3×22) form.

Wrapper: choice of Connecticut, Sun Grown, Maduro. Binder: Nicaraguan Filler: Nicaraguan.


Alec Bradley…


Mundial, according to Alan Rubin, means “worldly” or global.” So how do you highlight a cigar with a name like this, which took five years to create? Shoot it into space. Seriously. The day before the show, the Alec Bradley team hooked a box of Mundials to a weather balloon equipped with 3 cameras and a GPS and set it free from the top of the Palms. They traveled 18 miles into the stratosphere, and landed in the mountains about 2 hours north of Vegas. Production is very limited on the Mundial, again due to the sourcing of the tobacco – a common theme at this year’s show. According to Alan, you could have seen this sooner – if Prensado didn’t happen the way it did.

What’s in it:

Wrapper – Honduras (same as Prensado, by the way)

Binder – Honduran & Nicaraguan double binder

Filler – Honduras, Nicaragua – heavy on the Ligero

Sizes Available:

All are “Punta Lanza” – or “point of the lance.”

No. 4: 48×4.25

No. 5: 52×51/8

No. 6: 54×6

No. 7: 52×7

No. 8: 58×6 ½

Full body. Limited release of 3,000 boxes of 20; available in September.

What else you should know…

Raices Cubanas – which tend to be more medium body – is something similar to a “best of” and named for the factory that turns out Alec Bradley cigars. Look for these soon in Robusto, Toro, Churchill and Gordo sizes in boxes of 20.

Wrapper: Honduras Binder: Nicaragua Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua

Also – tubo packaging has been rolled out for 5 of Alec Bradley’s best, with Prensado, Black Market, Connecticut, Tempus and Nica Puro each packed in its own little capsule. Also available in boxes, the sampler package includes 1 of each plus an Alec Bradley triple flame lighter.



Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro

Judging by the general reception of Melanio last year, Oliva knew they were headed in the right direction – it was just waiting for the right tobacco to come along to be the wrapper for Melanio Maduro. That time has come – and the wrapper, a lush Mexican Maduro, came from the San Andres Valley. Echoing a common theme this year, Melanio Maduro will be a limited release – 100,00 cigars for 2013 – available in one size only, a torpedo. BUT – it may also be an annual release…more details when we get them.

What’s in it:

Wrapper: San Andres Maduro

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan Habano

Size Available:

Torpedo: 6.5×52

Full body. Limited release of 100,000 cigars in boxes of 10 – available in Fall.

Rocky Patel Cigars…

RP Royale

At the heart of it all, IPCPR is a trade show – people are there to write business and sell cigars, and many of the vendors there focus their resources on that. But Rocky is different…you want a vibe? Rocky delivers. It might as well have been one big cigar lounge in his booth, with deals being done on big leather couches over adult beverages rather than stuffy shirts at high-top tables. When we saw him, Rocky had the Royale in his hand. He’s been working on this blend for 6 years, most of the time being spent just trying to acquire the tobaccos he wanted to use. But he did it – using leaf from two different farms. He’s feeling that Royale could be his best – though if you’re a hardcore fan of some of his epic work (like the 15th or any of the Vintages), Rocky is ready to let your taste buds take a shot at it.

What’s in it:

Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra

Binder: Honduran/Nicaraguan

Filler: Honduran/Nicaraguan

Sizes Available:

Robusto: 5×52

Toro: 6 ½ x 54

Torpedo: 6 x 52

Colossal: 7×62

Med-Full body. Box-pressed cigars, except for Colossal, which is a parejo. Boxes of 20; available in August.

What Else you should know…

RP Platinum – it’s another Medium to full body smoke, also box pressed, and with a rich earth taste that just takes off from there. Due in October.

Sizes: Robusto (5 ½ x50), Toro (6 ½ x 52) and Torpedo (6 1/8 x 52).

Nimmy D – This one’s in yo’ face, son. Full body, but not quite as full as Thunder was. Nimish says to look for some tastes of licorice and black pepper, when it becomes available in October.

Sizes: Robusto (4 ½ x 56), Toro (6×52) and Sixty (6×60)

Bold by Nish Patel – Nish tears it up with a full body smoke from the Patel Family group, with a taste all about sweet spice and roasted coffee. Also due in October.

Sizes: Robusto (5 ½ x50), Toro (6 ½ x 52), Torpedo (6 1/8 x 52) and Sixty (6×60)


Drew Estate…

My Uzi Weighs a Ton Kentucky Fire Cured

Kentucky Fire Cured has been the talk of the cigar world for a couple of months now, thanks to a video press release Jonathan dropped on Facebook a little while back. And now, we got a chance to get up close and personal. Let’s be clear – fire-cured, as a concept, is not new; it’s been done for over 200 years. But when the folks at Drew Estate do it? Stand back. We tasted BBQ ribs and a sweetness. They say “think Islay Scotch Whiskey.” Wherever your taste buds take you, you’ll sense the woods (hickory, oak, maple) burned at the curing barns where the tobacco is hung to dry. KFC is really a testament to the way the company continues to think outside the box & deliver what us cigar fans are looking for. Or as Marvin Samel sums up for us, “Paradigm.”

What’s in it:

Just about everything your little heart desires: Kentucky & Virginia fire-cured tobacco, Brazilian Mata Fina, Nicaraguan, Mexican San Andres…it’s a hearty list.

Sizes Available:

“Just a Friend”: 6×52

“Fat Molly”: 5×56

“Chunky”: 4×46

Medium body. Boxes of 10; Available this month.

What else you should know…

Nica Rustica got a ton of play at the show. When we last talked to Steve Saka a few months ago, we had been chatting about a cigar in the works that was just more of a straight-up shot of tobacco – a rustic smoke, made from wild Nicaraguan tobaccos found nearby. The kind of stuff the “locals” would smoke – you know, how anywhere you go, the locals know the best of everything? Not aged, not refined – raw and wild. This seems to be it. Available soon in one size, a 6×52.

Wrapper: CT Broadleaf Binder: Mexican San Andres Negro Filler: Nicaragua “Grade A”

Medium-Full body. Boxes of 50 or bundles of 25.

Also – keep an eye out for the Kuba Grande (a 6×60), and a MUWAT 7×70…



Davidoff Nicaragua

Now here’s a company that doesn’t screw with success. They keep it understated, and they’re known for that. Nicaraguan puro changes things – new offering that is richer and more robust, something that has the entire company very excited. Stepping out for a big departure has the folks at Davidoff pretty excited – the Nicragua’s wrapper looks like silk (a Davidoff trademark). Henke Kelner and the team have definitely moved outside the comfort zone on taste – must have found Davidoff’s secret stash of Ligero and put crosshairs on both your bitter and sweet taste buds. Whole process took about 10 years of prep, curing and aging. But so you know it’s still Davidoff, they took a bit of the bite out of the Nica tobacco (they call it the “wilder tendencies”). You know it’s Nica, but without the slap upside the head. More refined is the name of the game here.

What’s in it:

Wrapper: Habano seed Rosado (aged 10 years)

Binder: Habano Jalapa

Filler: Esteli Viso, Condegas Ligero, Ometepe Viso and ¼ Esteli Ligero

Tastes – medium body, roasted nuts, raisin-sweetness, cedar on long finish.

Sizes available:

Short Corona: 3 ¾ x 46

Robusto: 5×50

Toro: 5 ½ x 54


10th Anniversary

A tip of the hat to Pete Johnson in honor of Tatuaje’s 10th Anniversary – and Pete says “back at ya’,” with a couple of limited releases based on the Tatuaje Brown Label, to celebrate. Gold foil and a 10th Anniversary band have been added to these new shapes and sizes, which include a perfecto called “Belle Encre” (meaning “beautiful ink”) and parejo named “Bon Chasseur” (“good hunter”). They’ll go into full-time production after the year is up as part of the Brown Label line, but will drop the commemorative extras.

What’s in it:

Wrapper: Habano Ecuador
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Sizes Available:

Belle Encre: 5 3/8 x 48 (perfecto)

Bon Chasseur: 5 3/8 x 52 (parejo)

Full body. Boxes of 20; available as you read this.

What else you need to know:

The Black Label is getting packaged into melamine jars, which Pete was able to show us a little bit about…well, a prototype, anyway. He’s been tweaking the design on the jar, which will have an engraved finish. Pete’s happy about the direction it’s going, as he’s a bigger fan of the melamine than ceramic – which just says “break me.” If you dig collectibles, this may be for you: he’s looking to put out about 10,000 of them, with 19 Corona Gorda (5 5/8 x 46) cigars insider.

The next Monster…Jason Voorhees, of Friday the 13th fame. This one’s called “JV13.” As you’ve come to expect, a very limited number of boxes and presentations being manufactured and being distributed to a very limited number of locations. Word is that the JV13 has a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper – and check out the lighter (made by S.T. DuPont) that goes with it…



Padron had no new products at this year’s IPCPR, but instead were rolling out some new packaging for the 4 packs of the Serie 1926. It’s the same selection as the pack that was previously offered as a wood box gift set (containing Nos. 1, 2, 6 and 9), but now are easier to take with you. The packaging is simple, just an understated card-stock box. But they’re Padrons – you don’t need a fancy leather and bubinga-wood finger case to haul ’em around, as it’s not the case that makes the statement – it’s all about the cigars inside.

It’s a big deal when Padron does something new – so understandably, Jorge wasn’t spilling much and kept it understated. But we will remind you that the Padron’s 50th Anniversary is next year. Do what you will with that info.

Arturo Fuente…

King T Rosado

These are the guys that made Dominican strong. They also make some of the most coveted cigars in the business (we’re talking about you, Opus X). But new for the show is the King T – which is not new, but the presentation is. King T is in a new crimson tube, as opposed to the original run which are clad in black and white. Boxes of 24, a different presentation. Richer and spicier are what people have been looking for, so the Fuente family delivers the King T with that incredible Rosado wrapper.

What’s in it:

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sungrown Rosado

Bionder: Dominican

Filler: Dominican

Size available:

One size only, 6½ x51

What else you should know:

Opus X Angel’s Share was on full display – but we’re pretty sure you’ve heard all about that already. All Dominican, as always – with portion of the proceeds from sales going to the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation.


Fabricas Unidas…

CLE Cigars & Friends

When getting back into the cigar business a year ago, Christian Eiroa decided to go at it with a whole new approach. He created Fabricas Unidad, an overarching company that has allowed him to get a bit eclectic with what’s being offered, while still being able to bring out cigars steeped in traditional craftsmanship and raw materials – for which the Eiroa name is known. Christian expressed very deeply and very sincerely that surrounding himself with a phenomenal team of smart & dedicated people is the key to his new company’s quick success. He’s just opened

the Aladino Cigar Factory in Danli, in the same location his Grandfather operated a movie theater. When it opened, Christian said “I am making the introduction of this new factory with two new blends that are representative of my passion for bold and full bodied cigars. These two new Honduran puros deliver strength and flavor like nothing I have ever done before; I believe in them enough to name them after my family and me: The EIROA and the CLE Plus.” So let’s start there:

CLE Plus
Christian’s newest addition to the CLE Brand – and in typical Eiroa style, a Corojo flavor bomb. He has “increased the blend,” whatever that means…but if he’s talking about body, boy did he ever. Production will run about 1,000 cigars per day in the following sizes: 48 x 4, 50 x 5, 54 x 6 and 60 x 6. FULL body. Boxes of 10.

Wrapper/Binder/Filler: Honduras

This one is all about family for Christian – taking us back to Generoso Eiroa, who worked for the Cuban Land and Leaf Tobacco Company as a boat captain. EIROA is Christian’s homage to his heritage of “growing up tobacco.” EIROA cigars come bound by a leather ribbon – again, a nod to Generoso and “the old way.” They’ll be making 2,000 cigars per day in four sizes: 4×48 Prensado, 5×50, 6×54 and 6×60. Full, full body, boxes of 10. Wrapper/Binder/Filler: Honduras

Asylum Straight Jacket
If it hasn’t become insanely obvious to you yet, Christian likes to brew them strong; Asylum co-founder Tom Lazuka promises that Straight Jacket is their strongest yet. The only catch is that this Nicaraguan puro will be a more limited run than the other Asylums. Sizes include: 5×50, 6×54, 6×60 and a 7×70. Kaboom. Wrapper/Binder/Filler: Nicaragua

Edgar Hoill Cigars’ OSOK (One Shot One Kill)
While you might remember One Shot One Kill under a different company’s banner, Hoill has relaunched his lifestyle brand name with the Fabricas Unidad group. And with the new digs, new factory and new everything else, the OSOK is an all-new Nicaraguan puro in 3 Perfecto sizes and a 6×60 with a shaggy foot. Medium body, boxes of 10.


Foundry Tobacco Company…

Tesla v. Edison

The quantity of new blends and products coming from Foundry are about as numerous as the patents held by the two inventors combined. Michael Giannini, who heads up Foundry (in addition to his other marques like La Gloria Cubana), has taken the steampunk concept that inspired last year’s Foundry – the one with the little gear around the band – and taken it full-on mad scientist. This year we found Giannini drawing from the intellectual slugfest between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla (the fathers of DC & AC electricity, respectively), and replacing the gear with a metal ring that looks like an electrical fuse.

There are two offerings in the “War of Currents”: a small batch blend called “Inventions,” and a regular-production series called “Laboratories.” “Inventions” consists of 4 blends, where each is named for one of the inventors’ breakthroughs: Edison’s electric chair and phonograph, and Tesla’s death ray and wireless remote control. “Laboratories” pays homage to each man’s base of operations, Shoreham and Menlo Park.

The Blends vary.

Sizes Available:
W.Orange (Edison’s “Laboratory”): 5 1/2 x 50

Shoreham (Tesla’s “Laboratory”): 5 1/2 x 54

Auburn (Edison’s Electric Chair): 6 x 50 (small batch)

Menlo (Edison’s Phonograph): 5 x 60 (small batch)
Belgrade (Tesla’s Death Ray): 5 3/4 x 60 x 56 x 43 (small batch)
Madison (Tesla’s Remote Control): 6 x 57 (small batch)
“Inventions” are very limited quantities, boxes of 10; “Laboratories” are boxes of 24. Available this Fall.

What else you should know…

Foundry Tobacco is introducing another 18 blends under the name “Compounds, Elements, and Musings,” named for elements in the periodic table. Again, a very limited availability small batch due to the amount of tobacco the Foundry team had to work with. The nice thing is that Michael put a listing of the blend on the outside of each box – so you have at least some idea of what’s inside. And if you’re a packaging nerd, you’ll want to collect these for sure.



It’s a whole new look for Camacho this year – and the big push here is a limited edition called Blackout. Here’s something to think about – to make sure cigars don’t “walk away” during the show, manufacturers will glue them into the boxes; the Blackout cigars on display were locked in a tank full of live scorpions. We figure that means they’re pretty important/. There are tobaccos from 4 different years in and on it: wrapper grown in 2006, binder from ’09 and fillers from ’03, ’08 and ’09.

Very oily thanks to extra sun-ripening of the plants, the tobacco was press-fermented to intensify the fermentation. The rolled cigars themselves were aged an additional two years. Lets the mind wander, doesn’t it?

What’s in it:

Wrapper: Honduras
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran, Brazilian
Sizes Available:

Robusto: 5×50

Toro: 6×50

Churchill: 7×48

Figurado: 6 1/8 x 54/42

Gordo: 6×60

Limited production release of 100,000 cigars, 1,000 boxes of 20 per size. Available in October.

What else you should know…

The Camacho Liberty 2013 will e showing up in the Fall, packaged in boxes of 20 as 6 x 48/54/48 Perfectos in individual coffins. Another very limited release – expect only 2,000 boxes to hit the market.

Wrapper: Habana 2000 Binder: Nicaraguan Filler: Honduran, Dominican & Nicaraguan.

Camacho Criollo, Connecticut and Corojo have all had a reboot, with the blends being listed as “new” alongside the new packaging. Corojo Maduro, Triple Maduro and Diploma got the new band and box – but no mention of anything happening regarding their blends.


Wrapper: Criollo ’98 Binder: Authentic Criollo Filler: Honduras/Dominican


Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Binder: Corojo Filler: Honduras/Dominican


Wrapper/Binder/Filler: Corojo


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John Pullo

John Pullo

Editor in Chief

This is not his picture, nor does he even have a beard. A solid 'B' student and occasional low-fi musician, John is a medley of cynicism and sarcasm crammed into a wrinkled Oxford shirt who makes it nearly intolerable to watch reality television with him in the same room. Interestingly, his Social Security number is all ones.

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