The Boutique Blends booth, which was home to four new releases this year, was one of the most consistently busy ones we saw as we walked the floor, and Rafael Nodal confirmed that it was a solid trade show for the company.

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La Bohéme is the most unique release of the bunch, a new almost standalone cigar that gets its name from both Giacomo Puccini’s famous 1895 opera, which also happens to be Nodal’s personal favorite. Full details are here; there are four sizes: 3 1/2 x 46 Mimi, the 5 1/8 x 52 Pittore, the 5 3/4 x 54 Poeta and 6 1/4 x 60 Musico with prices ranging from $5.90 to $13.14 per cigar, before taxes. The Mimi vitola will come in boxes of 48, while the other sizes will be packed in 24-count boxes. Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Dominican filler and binder, scheduled to ship in August.

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Aging Room gets a pair of additions, first up is Bin No. 1, which is said to draw tobacco from aged tobacco that dates back to 1999. It’s a Dominican puro that comes in three sizes, a 6 1/8 x 52 known as B Minor, 5 1/4 x 54 called C Major and a 6 1/4 x 63 dubbed G Major.

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Aging Room Small Batch M20 is a limited edition that puts together a San Andrés wrapper aged over eight years with a binder and filler of all Dominican Havano grown by Jochi Blanco of Tabacalera La Palma and aged over 14 years. Just 20,000 cigars will be split among 2,000 ten-count boxes, and the M20 will only be made in one size, the 5 3/4 x 47 FFortissimo, a preferido vitola which is being box pressed for this release. MSRP is $13.95 per cigar, and every sample was long gone before a photo could be taken.

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Finally, Swag Black promises a Nicaraguan-like level of strength from a Dominican puro that manages to preserve those leaves’ best characteristics. The Swag Black will be released in four sizes that are familiar to the Swag Black line, all packed in 20 count boxes. The 4 1/2 x 48 VIP has an MSRP of $6.95 per cigar, while the 5 x 54 Lavish is priced at $7.90. The 6 x 54 Infamous ($8.49) and 6 x 60 Ego ($8.98) round out the line. They should be in stores by mid-August.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.