If there was ever a fun week of news… this is going to be it. It’s an eclectic bit of information.

Pete Johnson confirmed what we reported last week: the Tatuaje Black Label Petite Lancero would be a retailer exclusive for Tobacco Grove, the same store that got the Viaje Samurai in late December. It took about fifteen minutes and all two-hundred boxes were gone. There is some hope though, Pete has said that he planned on making this a regular release for the Tatuaje line at the IPCPR show in August, but that’s a ways away. In addition, Pete is thinking about Petit Robusto, we shall see.

It was a big week of announcements for Oliva, you can read all of them on this post. For those that just want a summary:

  • The Cain Daytona will come out in March (Double Toro, Robusto, Torpedo, Corona & Petite Corona)
  • Oliva promoted Dave Wagner to VP of Sales
  • Oliva promoted John Gazerro (East), Ian Hummel (Midwest), Jack Sandlin (South), and Jeff Nolen (West to Regional Managers
  • Studio Tobac was formally announced. Board members include: Jose Oliva, Dave Wagner, Cory Bappert, Fai Kerio, John Gazerro, Ian Hummel, Brian Shapio, Bryan “The Show” Scholle & Sasja Van Horssen
  • Studio Tobac teamed up with HutcH (Rick Hutchings) to make 100 Limited Edition Studio Tobaco cutters based off the Xikar Xi
  • NUb Tubos were announced
  • The Cain F Lancero got a press release
  • The Studio Tobaco Limited Edition sampler was announced, it will include: Cain F Lancero, Cain FF Torpedo, Cain Daytona Short Robusto, NUb Habano Perfecto, NUb San Andreas Maduro, Prototype ST/DS-001 (Parejo). The cigars in the sampler will not be for sale.

Gurkha founder Kaizad Hansotia announced plans for the Gurkha Raja, a cigar available in solid silver boxes of fifty at $250,000… I can’t wait to go to IPCPR. Jason Wood of Miami Cigar & Co. sarcastically admitted that one of our reviews was included in his presentation to the MCC sales team, I take it that’s not the “big news” that was supposed to come in January. He did however tell me that the packaging for the León Jimines Don Fernando No. 4 is changing, you can read my review of the phenomenal cigar here. JM’s Dominicans is now offered in Corojo. Cuban Legends, made by Zander-Greg, is now offered 80 count boxes. Alec Bradley has announced the Tempus Maduro, quietly albeit. Mitchell Orchant’s C. Gars Ltd has announced that they are offering thirty-nine Che 2010 humidors for sale, with the woodwork done by Arlin Ness including both of the two vitolas of the cigars which are part of C. Giars Ltd’s “Orchant Selection.” In other UK news, Hunters & Frankau, the British importer of Habanos, has announced a new EMS Badge for 2011. In other European news, Spain enacted a smoking ban.

Skip Martin (@ChiefHava on Twitter) has teamed up with Mike Rosales of Adrian’s Cigars and has announced that his new line, CroMagnon, will surface this month. Four sizes: Knuckle Dragger (4 x 52), Anthropology (5.75 x 46), Mandible (5 x 60) and EMH (5 x 56) will be sold directly through Mike and Skip. The Nicaraguan cigars will be from $6-$8 and the Knuckle Dragger should be available sometime this month. Skip has said the second batch will be sold exclusively though Hava Cigar Shop.

Jon Huber, former Director of Lifestyle Marketing for CAO, gave his first official post-CAO interview.

Mike from Buckhead Cigar Club LCC Tweeted that his new online store will launch in February. Even prior to the store, it’s pretty safe to say Mike has sold more boxes through Twitter than any other retailer in the country.

Office of Foreign Assets Control, the people in charge of monitoring Cuban goods in the U.S., issued only one fine in 2010 for buying Cuban cigars online, a purchased that was made in 2005.

Toraño announced their partnership with the Mediterranean Mansion and PTs Coffee Roasting Co., press releases after I have some words on Rich Perelman.

Finally, Rich Perelman announced that CigarCyclopedia.com was at least taking a leave of absence, or likely a retirement. Perelman’s explanation is that the loss or “principal sponsors” made it not possible to continue at a break-even or better scenario. However, Perelman said the site would stay-up. Which makes no sense as the server costs would continue. While I’m sad to see it go, shame on you Rich Perelman… that’s a crock of shit.


(Miami, FL) January 5, 2010Toraño Family Cigars Co. had the honor of being the official cigar sponsor at the ribbon cutting event of the architecturally relevant Mediterranean Mansion in South Beach, Miami. This historical building is the sister venue of the famed Versace Mansion where world renowned designer Gianni Versace lived until his untimely death. This ribbon cutting event was a post Art Basel event which featured the art work of 20 accomplished artists in the South Florida area.

The Mediterranean Mansion is a magnificent work of architecture. Originally constructed in 1931 the mansion was later redesigned by the legendary J Wallace Tutt. Tutt who designed Casa Casuarina (formerly the Versace Mansion) sadly passed away shortly after putting his final touches of genius into the mansion. Tutt was quite proud of his last project which boasts three separate two story buildings that are designed with an ancient Italian-inspired aesthetic, complete with whitewashed stone and Mahogany wood-upholstered trim, offering a total of 8,800 square feet of luxurious living space.

South Beach became a bit more exotic as the Mediterranean Mansion opened its doors on Wed. the 8th of December with a spectacular cocktail event as over 300 guests enjoyed cocktails from Brown-Foreman, art, music and some of the finest cigars courtesy of Toraño Family Cigar Co. Toraño was represented at the event by president Charlie Torañoand vice president of marketing Bruce Lewis. This amazing event which was held under the Miami stars was a perfect setting as guests had the opportunity to sample a variety of Tornado’s best cigars including new releases Single Regionand Master by Carlos Toraño.

Charlie Toraño and Bruce Lewis were gracious hosts as they chatted with cigar aficionados and cigar novices alike about the passion that goes into creating hand crafted cigars. Event goers were only happy to light up as they sipped on cocktails while taking in the beauty of the magnificent art and architecture which encompassed the evening. Charlie Toraño was shocked and honored when asked by the Mansion’s owners Brian and Mary Tuffin to take part in the ribbon cutting ceremony along with local politicians and celebrities. With a cigar in hand and scissors in the other Charlie snipped the red ribbon with other notables which signified an important architectural accomplishment in the Magic City.

The Mediterranean Mansion was successfully designed to be an alternative space in the city of fun and sun. The Mansion offers the sights and sounds of a secluded Villa in an exotic country while being just a few foot steps away from the trendy and white sands of South Beach. Charlie Toraño said, “It’s quite inspiring to be part of an event which showcases the architectural genius of Wallace Tutt, I am humbled to be here at the opening of his final project.”

A leader in the cigar industry, Toraño Family Cigar Company is a four generation company currently based in Miami, FL. It enjoys a rich heritage and history in tobacco growing and manufacturing. For more information: www.torano.com. Please also follow Toraño on Facebook: Toraño A family Cigar Company or on Twitter: @TORANOFAMCIGARS.



(Miami, Florida) January 4, 2011 – The Toraño Family Cigar Company, makers of some of the finest cigars in the world, is excited to announce the launch of the Single Region Tour. The Tour will feature one of the Toraño Family’s newest blends, Single Region-Serie Jalapa and will also highlight a dynamic new partnership with PTs Coffee Roasting Co. an award-winning industry leader in specialty micro-lot coffee. The partnership and this unique new tour will kick off officially on January 19, 2011 at Havana Connection in Richmond, VA.

The Single Region-Serie Jalapa blend is made from tobacco grown exclusively from a small farm called “El Estero” in the northern-most region of Nicaragua called Jalapa. This farm has been irrigated by a natural stream which has run through the property for centuries. The water from this stream, together with rich soil (composed of sand and red clay) have enabled this farm to grow some of the finest and most aromatic tobacco in the world.

PTs Coffee Roasting Co., based in Topeka, KS roasts over 100 tons of premium specialty coffee annually and is among the leading roasters reviewed by industry resource Coffee Review, receiving the guide’s highest ever rating of 97 points. PT’s Coffee was also featured in Roast Magazine as “Roaster of the Year” in 2009. For more information on PT’s Coffee: www.ptscoffee.com.

Within any given region and farm, micro-climates create a unique character and special quality due to soil, shade, temperature and other natural occurring conditions. For years, specialty coffees have highlighted the distinctive flavors that come from these unique micro-lots. With Single Region Serie-Jalapa, cigar smokers can now experience the same high quality flavor by smoking a cigar where the blend originates from tobacco grown entirely from one region and one farm.

“The zeal of highlighting regional flavors made the collaboration between Torano and PT’s Coffee a natural one”, stated Charlie Toraño, president of Toraño Family Cigar Company. “The events will offer great tasting cigars paired with French-pressed micro-lot coffees that will complement and enhance the flavor of both products.” The story of how each product was made will serve as a captivating lesson to connoisseurs of cigars and coffee alike.

The Single Region Tour will visit cigar stores across the country. Supporters and aficionados can log onto the Toraño website or Face book page for a full list of dates and locations. These dates will also be sent out via Twitter.

A leader in the cigar industry, Toraño Family Cigar Company is a four generation company currently based in Miami, FL. It enjoys a rich heritage and history in tobacco growing and manufacturing. For more information: www.torano.com. Please also follow Toraño on Facebook: Toraño A family Cigar Companyor on Twitter: @TORANOFAMCIGARS.

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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.