It’s been a while since a booth as large as the Drew Estate booth was placed at the entrance of the IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, but this year, Drew Estate and its multi-story booth were front and center, directly in front of the entrance. Of course, it’s not simply Drew Estate within the booth. Joya de Nicaragua, Agio and Tsuge—three brands Drew Estate distributes in the U.S.—also had major presences. In addition, there’s a media station complete with a full video production set-up and the bridge, with private meeting areas. You could probably spend a full day in the Drew Estate booth looking at all of the details that went into the redesign that debuted last year. There’s little details easy to miss—like speakers built into the walls. One interesting note, due to the positioning of the booth, the lowered ceilings of the convention center and the two-story nature, the main Drew Estate sign was actually positioned behind the booth this year, something I imagine won’t be an issue next year.
This is definitely one of the breakout cigars of the show. Numerous retailers seemed highly impressed with the blend and the price, which begins at $7.50. Drew Estate took a lot of orders and will begin shipping some of the six planned sizes in October according to a representative. The other sizes will follow at a later date.
Willy Herrera echoed a sentiment I hadn’t heard in a while: he wanted to blend a Connecticut cigar for himself, someone who doesn’t typically smoke Connecticuts. It most certainly isn’t an Undercrown with a Connecticut wrapper—the filler blend is completely different—and it’s also not Herrera Estelí light.
More details here.
Herrera Estelí Tubo
It’s a new size—6 x 52—in a red tube. Pricing is set at $11.50 and these will begin shipping to Drew Diplomat Retailers in October. More details here.
Herrera Estelí Norteño Edicion Limitada
This is in similar vein to the Herrera Estelí Lancero, a limited edition size of one of Willy Herrera’s eponymous lines. The 7 x 48 size is limited to 2,000 boxes of 15 and will begin shipping in September to Drew Estate Drew Diplomat Retailers. Details here.
Herrera Estelí Norteño New Packaging
This wasn’t part of my booth tour, but some sizes are getting new display packaging and a limited run of humidors. Details here.
Liga Privada Ratzilla Box
This will now be sold in a box instead of the soft paper bundles. It will go out in limited fashion to Drew Diplomat Retailers only.
Nica Rustica Extensions
The Belly (7 1/2 x 54, $7.95) and Short Robusto (4 1/2 x 50, $5.95) first debuted at last year’s show, but they never actually shipped. After a slight modification, Drew Estate is ready to begin shipping the two new Nica Rusticas in the coming week—including a launch event at Cox’s Smoker’s Outlet on July 30.
Drew Estate is hoping retailers opt for the new Nica Rustica display box it has created, which allows for 25 of each size to be displayed, but for those that really want it, all three sizes are offered in their own separate display boxes for retailers who don’t mind the larger footprint.
Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial
The Cuatro Cinco is back and here to stay.
Joya de Nicaragua has brought back the Cuatro Cinco in four sizes, although it’s a modified version as the original limited release cigar. The new version features a different binder, different sizes—Doble Robusto (5 x 56), Petit Corona (4 1/2 x 46), Toro (6 1/4 x 50) and Torpedo (6 x 52)—and slightly different packaging. It also carries the Reserva Especial name instead of Edición Limitada. If you need help quickly telling which is which, just look at the top of the band.
These have already shipped to Drew Diplomat Retailers. More details here.
Balmoral Añejo XO
The latest release from Royal Agio Cigars is Balmoral Añejo XO. It’s a follow-up to the Balmoral Añejo 18 from last year with the new cigar using a Brazilian sun grown wrapper, Dominican olor binder and fillers from Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. Close observers will note that those are the exact same tobacco origins listed for the Añejo 18.
In many ways like the Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial, this is a wider production follow-up to a popular limited edition. More details here.
This year’s retailer gift from Subculture Studios was a mounted spray paint can on a custom wooden plaque—something extremely fitting.