It hasn’t been the same sort of week as last week in regard to new releases, but there’s still quite a bit of cigar news. The sun is out and the cigar event schedule is getting full. After the jump news on tons of boutiques, My Father, Tatuaje, Illusione, Viaje, Hammer & Sickle, 601, Casa Magna, Quesda, Joya de Nicaragua & more.

The My Father Le Bijou 1922 Corona Gorda is shipping this week to Puff n Stuff in Decatur, GA. Three-hundred boxes of twenty-three all numbered and signed by Jaime García. More info here.

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The Viaje V.O.R. DT and V.P.R. DT were formally announced, or at least the details were formally given. It’s the second time Andre Farkas has placed aged tobaccos in his popular core line blends and put them in box-pressed form. The last time produced noted results with the Oro, we’ll have to wait a few weeks before we can figure out for sure on these. More info here.


  • Joya de Nicaragua My Uzi Weighs a Ton — After rounds and rounds of test blends, it seems Jonathan Drew is ready to show off his personal partnership with the Joya de Nicaragua factory. For those that don’t know, the monster 7 x 60 was blended by Jonathan Drew at the Joya de Nicaragua factory. The limited edition cigar will be available in bundles of 10 at Burning Leaf in Plainfield, IL. Jonathan Drew joins the crew on June 20, 2011.

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  • 601 La Bomba Coming — Eddie Ortega is shipping out pre-releases of the new 601 La Bomba. This reminds me of… wait for it… Viaje TNT. Release is scheduled for June 20, 2011.
  • Hammer & Sickle Ships Berlin Wall — The delayed cigar should be in retailers soon. I’ve heard good things.
  • Tatuaje SWAM — We mentioned the rebanded Westie that was being made for Shiroma’s Wine and More’ 5th anniversary. The good news, it’s just a Westie. The bad news, there’s only two-hundred of these being made. If any are left by May 18th, you can purchase them at the Anniversary Celebration, tickets are $40 per person, I’d expect wine will be flowing.
  • La Aurora Gran 107 Ships — Quietly. The cigar has floated around for a bit, and while I don’t like the size, it’s probably my third favorite in terms of flavor after the Corona and Lancero. More info here.
  • Casa Magna Domus Magnus Ships in May — More info coming.
  • The Zino Z-Class Launches at Zino Lounges — The red carpet is coming out again at the three Zino Lounges across the country. The cigars will be at all other Zino accounts next month. (More info here.)
  • Casa de Ortez — There’s some debate as to whether or not Cigar Dave made a reference to my “list” in one of his more recent shows. I tend to think he probably didn’t, or he really can’t count, whatever the case, he did announce that Altadis was releasing a new bundle cigar, Casa de Ortez. These get either Connecticut or Ecuadorian Cubano wrapper at the $2.50 price point.
  • Emilio AF1 & AF2 are two cigars I was unfamiliar with, Barry Stein of proclaimed these would be the next “major boutique brand.” The cigars are part of the ever-growing stables of A.J. Fernandez, but distributed by Emilio Cigars.
  • A few boxes of Quesada Españas have leaked into the U.S. market, if you see them buy them, they are by all accounts phenomenal.

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  • Tatuaje has a new seal (above).


  • Dion Giolito’s FUMARE is getting closer to moving into its new location, I guess Illusione has a new headquarters as well.
  • Tatuaje is also moving into a new headquarters. That is not a joke. What was a joke were Pete’s tweets earlier in the week, which included him announcing he was canceling Saints & Sinners, the Monster Series and was being bought out by Davidoff. Say it one more time, “it was a joke.”
  • Jon Huber of Crowned Heads mentioned our little blog, in his blog. (Here’s the important part, Huber slips up and says that you should see Crowned Heads cigars in 2011.)
  • A few boutiques (Casa Gomez, Dignity, Jameson Cigar Co., La Caridad del Cobre, La Tradicion Cubana and Urbano) have all joined Charmed Leaf, a boutique for boutiques. This idea sounds vaguely familiar, haha. It’s a great idea being run by a great mind and will give a lot of people a chance to try some great cigars.
  • Toraño Family Cigars has a new website, and three videos outlining the history of the company. The first video can be viewed here.
  • Perdomo has a new forum.

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  • Chattanooga Tweet-Up 2011 — I was in the back of the bus when this discussion was taking place between Jerry Cruz, of Stogie Review, and David Jones, of Tiki Bar Online, about a possible Chattanooga Tweet-Up. Jerry seemed on board with it as soon as he learned the local minor league baseball team’s mascot was a pair of binnoculars. Anyways, I doubt that I will be in attendance, but it sounds like lots of fun at BURNS Tobacconist on August 12th and 13th. More details here.
  • Cuban cigar roller Jose “Cueto” Castelar is attempting to break his own record for longest cigar, this time hoping to make 70 meter (230 feet) cigar.
  • The CDC thinks smoking will be outlawed by 2020.
  • Nevada defeated a bill that would raise taxes on cigars.
  • There’s a bill aimed at modifying the FDA’s Tobacco Control Act, removing cigars from their jurisdiction, info here.
  • As of May 1st, Marylanders will no longer be able to order tobacco over the phone or via the internet. I’m a bit confused as to what that’s supposed to achieve, but that’s nothing new.

Havanna Connections posted numerous photos of new images from the My Father Cigars factory. (In order: Tatuaje Black Label Petit Lancero regular production box, El Triunfador Old Man & the C box, My Father Lounge Exclusivo box)

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Forcade gets a new vice-president of Sales and Marketing..

PRESS RELEASE: Forcade Cigars names Claudio Sgroi Vice-President of Sales and Marketing


Sgroi brings 10 years of international tobacco industry experience to the cigar brands MIAMI, FL – (25 April 2011). Forcade Cigars announced today the appointment of Claudio Sgroi as its new Vice-President of Sales and Marketing. Sgroi will be responsible for developing, implementing and managing sales and marketing strategies necessary to reach the company’s goals for each of its three cigar lines: Forcade, Giralda Natural and Giralda Maduro. “Forcade Cigars is pleased to bring Claudio Sgroi on board. He is a key addition to our team; he brings deep knowledge, dedication and strong passion to our company.” said Chistrian Forcade, President of Forcade Cigars. “We could not have found a more qualified individual who knows this industry so well and who has such a solid tobacco background; his work will strengthen our company and definitely benefit our products and our clients.” Forcade said. Claudio Sgroi brings with him a diverse professional portfolio highlighting previous work experience in diverse territories such as France, Turkey, Italy, and the Caribbean. The 34-year old executive began his career in the tobacco industry in the Dominican Republic in 2001 under the direction of the internationally renowned tobacco expert Henki Kelner from the Oettinger-Davidoff Group. After gaining valuable knowledge about tobacco production and cigar manufacturing, he moved to Geneva, Switzerland where he was Cigar Stock Manager & Sales Assistant at the world famous store Davidoff & Cie. In 2006 Sgroi was promoted to “Davidoff Brand Manager” at the International Tobacco Agency (ITA) in Treviso, Italy, a title that he held until 2009 when he decided to move to the United States. In the States, Sgroi worked as an independent consultant with various local cigar brands, expanding sales efforts nationally and increasing brand exposure. Now joining Forcade Cigars, as Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, Sgroi will not only continue to market the company’s brands nationally, but he will also oversee the international sales and marketing operations, expanding the company’s business abroad. With Sgroi Forcade Cigars will undergo a complete renovation of its brand image without forgetting the tradition that has always made the cigars brands synonymous with high quality and exquisite taste, Claudio Sgroi has already met with Jaime García from My Father Cigars, makers of the lines Forcade, Giralda Natural and Giralda Maduro, to begin working on a new extension line that will be launched at the International Premium Cigars & Pipes Retailers (IPCPR) convention in Las Vegas, Nevada this July 2011.

I’m trying to continue to close out the week with a random picture. According to Jason Wood, the new Nestor Miranda Collection shirts are in stock. Don’t you love the new design?

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.