Weekly News (February 21, 2011)

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At the end of each Monday, I wonder what cigar news we could possibly have for next week, each week we seem to deliver. It’s Cuba’s most popular cigar week as the XIII Festival del Habano takes place, including the much-anticipated debuts of the Montecristo Gran Reserva and the Cohiba 1966; in addition, a few Viaje releases and some exclusive news on the next Tatuaje release.

Viaje WLP Candela.png

Late last month, Andre Farkas’ company released the White Label Project. Farkas stated his intentions as:

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WLP is the vehicle by which we will release experimental blends, shapes, mash ups, factory errors, etc. Its a peek behind the factory curtain.

Andre posted the picture above (and below) on Facebook. One-hundred bundles of the Candela Robustos (5 x 50) will ship next week, along with Viaje’s Exclusivo Shorts. These will go to all Viaje accounts, or at least that’s what Andre said, but we shall see. The Exclusivo Shorts were supposed to ship last month, but the $7 cigar based on the size of the famed Cuban Partagas Shorts will land in a few of the top Viaje accounts, or at least that’s my understanding.

Viaje Exclusivo Shorts.png

Earlier this week, el niño diablo was also in full effect, this time with details about Drew Estate’s Liga Privada brand. I’m not going to just hit the copy in paste button, so if you want details on a new T52, three Lanceros, the lack of No. 9 tobacco and my thoughts on the JD4, you are just going to have to click the link.

The XIII Festival del Habano kicks off today, amongst the expected releases:

  • Montecristo No. 2 Gran Reserva Cosecha 2005
  • Cohiba 1966 — A Double Robusto (Cañonazo Especial 6.54 x 52) that honors the 45th Anniversary of Cohiba
  • Hoyo de Monterrey Short Hoyo Pirámides (5.31 x 46)
  • Ramón Allones Allones Extra (5.63 x 44)
  • H. Upmann Half Corona
  • Partagas Serie E No.2
  • Partagas Serie D No.5

Also, my understanding is that a few of the factories, most notably Partagas will be shut down for a few months for maintenance/upgrades after the Festival, making this the last time to tour the factories before their repairs. In addition, Habanos reported a 2% increase in sales for the year 2010. Full details can be found here.

And a host of other news…

  • Ambos Mundos Shorts Coming In April — You heard it here first, Pete Johnson will release the smaller size sometime in the month of April. No word on price, production numbers or exact sizes.
  • Tatuaje’s Culebra Gets a Name — It will be called “The Old Man & C”, featuring both the OR El Triunfador blend and a Culebra blend. No timeline on release, sorry… On a side note, Pete also stated that the Series P Sumatra, which he recently announced was being relaunched, should be out “soon”, I interpret that as in the next two months… Props to Dan and Mario of Cigar Explorer for getting this, you can watch the video here.
  • 601 La Bomba Announced — I don’t know anything more than the cigar is going to be full and released on May 11, 2011. I’ve reached out to Eddie Ortega, who is heading to Nicaragua to go finalize the blend and also celebrated a birthday on Saturday. Happy Birthday Eddie!
  • Restructuring & New Website for Altadis — Altadis announced a restructuring of much of their cigar division, albeit this sounds more like a shuffling of titles amongst executives, which is sort of what happened at subsidiary Habanos S.A. In addition, Altadis launched a modern website and it doesn’t have Flash!
  • Oliva Connecticut Reserve No. 4 Announced — Ian Hummel slipped this one, no word on release date, but I’d have to imagine we should see the Connecticut Reserve Petit Corona with the Serie V No. 4, you can see a picture of that below as part of a special sampler offered at Studio Tobac’s Outlaw Event, which featured the debut of the Studio Tobac rolling table, pictures of that also below. (Dates of the Studio Tobac events are on the side..)
  • News from Savinelli — Savinelli has discontinued the R&R Series, I’ve heard that it might end up at one of the bigger mail-in’s as house blend, we shall see. In addition, the Special Selection line is now going to be rolled with 2006 tobacco, the Nicaragua Reserve will get 2007 tobacco and the Savinelli 20th Anniversary is close to being released, or so I understand. Most that info comes fro Savinelli’s new blog.
  • E.P. Carrillo’s New Capa — At the IPCPR show in July, Ernesto’s new company will introduce the Connecticut and Maduro versions of the popular E.P. Carrillo line. It will be interesting to see how they are tasting, prototypes are floating around, however they are a bit young. I suspect more prototypes will emerge as the event draws closer.
  • Casa Magna Releases “Colorado Extra Long Lancero” — MATASA released an 8 1/4 x 40, which according to the master Manuel Quesada, was formally known as a “Largo Delgado.” I’m not sure why we are calling this a Lancero, as it’s far from the El Laguito No. 1 and the Americanized modern Lancero, add that to the fact that there was already a Casa Magna Lancero, but… boxes of seven should retail for less than $100. There are some other updates from Q5, hopefully I can pry some more details out.
  • J. Fuego Announces Sangre de Toro — I have no clue release dates, except given that there’s bands and boxes, soon. Pictures below.
  • The My Father Belicoso Fino, a cigar made exclusively for Davidoff New York, is now on sale at the New York Davidoff locations.
  • Perdomo’s Champagne Noir is scheduled for April, no world on the blend.
  • Ernesto Padilla tweeted with new band ideas, pics below. Ernesto also indicated that we should see La Terraza in March, pushing the date back from the second week of February he told me when we did State of the Brand: Padilla.
  • Meeting are going on right now finalizing most of the product for the IPCPR trade show in July, I’d expect everything to be done in the next few weeks for the most part, just in case you were interested in that sort of thing.
  • Frank Herrera posted some info regarding Habana Gold and Habanos S.A. You can read everyone’s favorite cigar tramdeark site here.
  • A group including José Blanco, Abe Dababneh of Smoke Inn and a few others met with congressman this week regarding smoking legislation.
  • In addition, here’s an article on California’s tobacco excise tax.
  • Mike over at Chesapeake Cigar posted his thoughts on the two bills that could affect smoking rights in the state of Maryland.
  • Campbell County reversed its indoor smoking ban.
  • Oh and Jon Huber wore some hat and the world went nuts about his future… and you think we’re the TMZ of the cigar industry…

Outlaw Studio Tobac Sampler.png

Studio Tobac Rolling Bench.png

Padilla Bands.png

J. Fuego Sangre de Toro.png

J. Fuego Sangre de Toro.png

Here’s the official press release for the Master by Carlos Toraño BFC:

(Miami, FL) February 17-The Toraño Family Cigar Company is proud to announce the release of their latest line extension, the Master BFC. So named due to its generous 6 x 60 size, this is the first time that such a vitola has been offered within the Toraño portfolio. This popular size captures all the flavor of the Master blend and delivers it in generous volumes of cool smoke.

Master by Carlos Toraño was released August 2010 with great anticipation. With a very distinctive Nicaraguan blend, it features a rich and flavorful core of spice rounded by sweetness and notes of cedar and earth.

“Due to the richness and intensity of the Master blend, we quickly realized that it had the potential to work well in a large ring gauge cigar,” said Bruce Lewis, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Toraño Family Cigar Company.

This collaborative blend was created by company president Charlie Toraño and Toraño’s Master Roller Felipe Sosa. It will be promoted through a series of unique events conducted at cigar stores around the country where Sosa will be rolling the Master blend for consumers to experience.

With an MSRP of $6.95, the Master BFC is one of the most competitively priced cigars in its category. For those who prefer more traditional sizes, Master is also available in a 5 x 50 Robusto, 7 x 50 Churchill and 6 ¼ x 52 Torpedo. For those still unclear what “BFC” stands for, the Toraño’s have left that up to the creative minds of cigar smokers…

Nat Sherman Esquire Home.png

Nat Sherman Esquire Home.png

And while I don’t see any pictures of Brooklyn Decker, here’s a recap and photos of Esquire’s Home Collection at Nat Sherman:

Last night Esquire magazine and Nat Sherman debuted the anticipated Esquire Home @ Nat Sherman showcase with an exclusive launch party at the Nat Sherman flagship store. The Esquire Home @ Nat Sherman showcase brought together two some times very separate worlds, by fusing the needs of the modern man with the classic Americana aesthetic. On the other hand, Jack Daniels and smokey lapsang souchong tea infused mini burgers and cigar-shapped churros roamed the room while guests enjoyed Gentlemen Jack specialty cocktails and the limited edition Nat Sherman cigars created specifically by the Sherman family for the occasion. The cigar featured a corojo wrap, Mexican binder and Honduran blend.

“Over the years the nature of cigar smoking has changed, and become more of a lifestyle experience. After all, cigars are a social lubricant and in being so they engender a sense of camaraderie that should be enjoyed in the appropriate setting”, said Nat Sherman CEO Joel Sherman. “At one time a humidor was the only piece of furniture required for one to be considered a connoisseur, but today it encompasses the entire furniture collection. This is why we could not think of a better partner than Esquire and their home collection for this project.”

The distressed leathers, which go through a 7-stage treatment and rich, dark woods of the Esquire Home Collection compliment the architecture of the store inspired by Mr. Higgins’s library room from “My Fair Lady”. Nat Sherman’s iconic flagship store featured items across key home areas including furniture, upholstery, lighting, and other decorating accessories.

(Pictures via Studio Tobac, iHummel Twitter, Andre Farkas’ Facebook, Ernesto Padilla’s Twitter, J. Fuego Facebook)

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Charlie Minato
About the author

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.

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