Editor’s Note: Yes, we are still here. There was some thought that we were going to have to move servers and guess what I spent my weekend doing… After countless hours of php, SQL and SSH, all of which are still foreign to me, it sounds like we aren’t going to have to move servers for the time being after all. I haven’t been doing much keeping up with the cigar world, but it only too a few hours to get caught up. Anyways, after the jump, the news. — el niño diablo.

  • Crowned Heads’ Four Kicks Produced by E.P. Carrillo — Out in November, Huber and co. let the word out that Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr. would be making the new Four Kicks for Crowned Heads. It’s the first time in Ernesto’s career he is making a cigar for someone else. Huber and Mike Conder went on Rush Limbaugh Cigar Dave and announced that Four Kicks was likely the only line they would have through the end of 2012. You can listen to the interview here, which includes Conder making the Limbaugh joke.
  • Jim Colucci Is Back — It’s unclear what, but the worst-kept secret in the industry right now is that the former long-time Altadis executive is assembling a team. Colucci made it clear when he retired that he was not going to be done with the cigar industry. However, he has a one-year non-compete (presumably from his February 2011 retirement) that prevents him from working on cigar production, which led to speculation even from himself that he would be working retail.

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  • Drew Estate BOTL 2011 — Picture via Jonathan Drew. This should launch via Tim Podwika’s new Podman Cigars later in the fall for the BOTL.org forum. It’s a Lancero, I think.

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  • Arturo Fuente Casa Cuba — Not sure if that’s the final band. That and more in the IPCPR recap.
  • Liga Privada Ratzilla, Still Not Ready — A recent rumor regarding what is expected to (eventually) be a Único Serie release indicated that January 2012 was the new release date. Drew Estate President Steve Saka indicated that January was unlikely. Recent Ratzillas have seen a production-like band.
  • AKACigars Extensions Ship — Still no word on the new fuller bodied cigar, but the Hybrid gets extensions in the form of: Rothschild (4 1/2 x 52), Churchill (7 1/4 x 50) & Monster (6 x 60).
  • C.Gars Ltd Auction Scheduled for December — Mitchell Orchant announced that the next C.Gars Ltd auction will be held in December, in addition still no signs of this year’s Cuban LEs.
  • Habanos’ New Legal Strategies — Frank Herrera explains it here. And then there was their battle with Abe Flores’ Pinar del Río.
  • Drew Estate Filed Opposition to Surfer on Acid — Once again, the one and only Cigar Law, with a rare prediction.

Richmond, VA— Macanudo®, America’s best-selling premium cigar brand, is teaming up with Playboy to give two lucky consumers a chance to win a cool million dollars in the third annual Macanudo® Millionaire contest.

Between now and September 30, consumers 21 year of age or older can enter to win an all-expense paid, three-day, two night trip to the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. While in Sin City, each winner and their guests will be treated to a VIP evening at the Playboy Club. There, a trio of Playboy Playmates will stand in for Lady Luck when each of the contestants and their guests play a high-stakes round of poker. If either the contest winners or their guests have a straight flush or higher, Macanudo will award the $1,000,000 prize.

Alison Waite, Playboy’s Miss May 2006, will serve as the Macanudo Millionaire contest spokesperson and will entice consumers to enter the contest. Alison brings a wealth of experience, and may very well be Lady Luck herself. Prior to her work with Macanudo, she was the official hostess for the Club World Poker Tour, and as a former case model on “Deal or No Deal,” she awarded an at-home-player $1,000,000. When Alison’s not doling out millions of dollars or hosting poker tournaments, she herself is quite lucky, as the reigning champion of her fantasy football league.

Consumers can enter the promotion by visiting www.macanudomillionaire.com or through participating online cigar retailers. No purchase necessary. For official rules, visit http://bit.ly/qXpynI.

Playboy Playmates Shannon James (Miss May 2007) and Jennifer Pershing (Miss March 2009) will join Alison in Las Vegas to host the Macanudo Millionaire winner and friends. The sexy trio of Playmates are all featured on the contest’s website where the girls encourage entrants to visit their favorite U.S. cigar shop to purchase a specially-marked four-pack containing Macanudo Café, Macanudo Maduro, Macanudo Cru Royale and Macanudo 1968 cigars. On the specially-marked-four-pack, consumers will find details about how they can enter the contest by submitting brief essays that describe their favorite Macanudo cigar smoking experience – whether it was their first time smoking a Macanudo cigar, sharing a smoke with a friend or celebrating one of life’s milestones – Macanudo wants to hear the story.

The website also includes behind-the-scenes videos and personal interviews with the Playmates, shot during the Macanudo and Playboy promotional photo shoot.

“With the excitement and buzz that was generated with the previous Macanudo Millionaire contests, we’re excited to reunite two iconic brands—Macanudo and Playboy—together for this year’s contest,” said Bill Chilian, director of marketing for General Cigar, parent company of Macanudo. “The Macanudo lifestyle represents everything that this contest’s grand prize promises—luxury, sophistication and decadence. Factor in the chance to win a cool million dollars and we’re confident that the Macanudo Millionaire contest is a once in a lifetime opportunity that’s not to be missed.”

Following the grand prize winner selection on October 31, the winners and their guests will be whisked away to Vegas from November 4 – November 6, 2011 for an extravagant stay at sexy Sin City hot spot, the Palms Casino Resort. Additional details about the Macanudo Millionaire weekend in Vegas will be posted on the official contest site.

Macanudo Millionaire contest updates will be posted to its dedicated Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.