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IPCPR 2018: Top 3 Things – Brian Burt

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This post will be going up five days after IPCPR 2018 has wrapped up. Though there are a few people who I’ve seen still posting pictures from Las Vegas, the majority of us are home and back to the daily grind. Here at halfwheel we’re still wrapping up our coverage of all the booths, news and happenings, but as in previous years, we’re each taking a minute to write up three things about the show that interested, enthused or excited us.

Every year this post is a little hard for me to write, simply for the fact that the show is so huge. Each of us are so involved in the specific booths we have to visit that it’s a rarity to even step into a booth that isn’t ours, much less really experience the other three-quarters of the show.

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Out of the four of us though I’m in a unique position where I walk through the larger booths to get video of them, though this year I didn’t even get to cover half of the list due to a dead Osmo battery with no way to charge it. Regardless, it’s about 30-45 seconds literally walking through the booth and not stopping, so not much outside my list gets seen. Having said all that though, let’s get down to my list.

1. New Booths — There seemed to be many new booths this year and they were beautiful. Just off the top of my head the ones I walked past or covered that impressed me were Davidoff of Geneva USA, Warped, CLE, RoMa Craft Tobac and Emilio – just to name a few.

Most of the new booths seemed to open up their design a little, allowing for an easier flow of people – though CLE did notably close their design back up. General Cigar Co.’s booth was not only more closed up, but they had three tall walls surrounding their entire booth forcing you to enter from the front. In an interesting contrast, the Arturo Fuente/J.C. Newman booth is still an impressive sight even though it hasn’t changed significantly since I started covering the show in 2012.

2. Total Flame — While Total Flame might not be as big of a name as CAO and its Amazon Series, the company is also doing interesting things with unusual tobacco. In 2016 we saw the release of the M-72 which used Russian tobacco. This year we got to see the Persia – a cigar that uses tobacco grown in Iran.

I haven’t had the chance to try it yet, but I’m looking forward to it. It’s certainly not the case that I’m uninterested in the latest Nicaraguan puro or the latest blend of 10-year-aged tobaccos from three different countries, but just the fact this is tobacco we don’t see used every day—or in my case, ever—really intrigues me.

3. Hand Rolled — Much like the booths I didn’t get to visit, the cigars I didn’t get to try, or the people I didn’t get to talk to – the Hand Rolled movie premiere was something I didn’t get a chance to go to. Time is something we never seem to have enough of at the show, and Friday during the premiere we, unfortunately, were out of time.

I remember talking to one of the directors last year about the film and it certainly piqued my interest. Hearing people talk about it after the premier further cemented my desire to see the movie as the reception was quite positive. I’m not sure when it’s being released or on what platforms it will be available, but I’m certainly looking forward to sitting down with a good cigar and watching it.

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Brian Burt
About the author

I have been smoking cigars since 2005 and reviewing them as a hobby since 2010. Initially I started out small with a 50-count humidor and only smoking one or two cigars a month. Not knowing anybody else that smoked cigars, it was only an occasional hobby that I took part in. In March of 2010 I joined Nublive and Cigar Asylum, connecting me with many people who also shared an interest in cigars. Reading what they had to say about brands I had never heard of, I quickly immersed myself in the boutique brands of the industry and it was then that cigars transformed from a hobby into a passion. Besides my cigar hobby and job in the IT industry, my wife and I love traveling, trying new restaurants and relaxing at home with our two dogs.

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