Editor’s Note: This is the one week of year when Cuba is allowed to dominate cigar news with no apologies. The XIV Festival del Habano took place last week and dominated the discourse of cigar news. There weren’t any major surprises, but there was quite a bit of news. March is quietly one of the busier months in terms of releases, and I see no reason why we aren’t going to experience this again this time around.

  • XIV Festival del Habano— Rather than trying to recap it in a single post, here’s a few:
    • Opening — Press release here.
    • Habanos S.A. Claims Rise in Cigar Sales — Story and a bit of analysis here.
    • Cohiba Pirámides Extra & Opening — Press release here.
    • Habanos Festival Humidors Auction — Details here.
    • 520th Aniversario Case — Press release here.
    • 2011 Habanos Awardshere.
    • James Suckling Shows “Cigars: the Heart & Soul of Cuba” — Press release here, thoughts on the film here.
    • 11th International Habanosomellier Resultshere.
    • Closing Dinner Summary — Press release here.
    • Adorini’s release on the El Laguito Humidorhere.
    • I highly recommend reading Mitchell Orchant’s recap here.
  • Viaje Platino Samurai Maduro Ships — Review here.
  • Tatuaje Little Monster Pricing & Sizes — Exclusive here.
  • Punch Rare Corojo Ships — Details from General Cigar Co. here.
  • SAG Imports Announces Extensions for Domus Magnus — Details about the new Casa Magna here.
  • CAO Shows Off OSA Sol Lot 46 & Lot T — Details about CAO’s April extensions here.
  • JFR 770 Maduro — Along with other news from Paul Palmer, here.
  • Oliveros Announces Aging Room Havao Connecticut & Small Batch Sumatra Quattro Prensado — Press release from the new Boutique Blends Cigars here.
  • E.P. Carrillo Ships NWC Short Run 2012 — We originally broke the news here, and first reviewed it here.Guillero León by La Aurora Extension 2012
  • New Guillermo León by La Aurora — This will go into production, although there are no other details being made available by Miami Cigar & Co.
    Nat Sherman Timeless Perfecto Prototype.jpg
  • Timeless Prototypes — The above was tweeted by Michael Herklots. Unlike the Guillermo León, this isn’t slated for release.
  • CFC 2012 — This also took place last week in the Dominican Republic.
  • 13th Floor Announces Closing — A bit late to covering this, but Bryan White made it official here.
  • Erik Stokkebye Leaves Villiger-Stokkebye — Details here.
  • Alec Bradley Opposes Empire — Details are here.
  • Cook County Cigar Taxes Increase — Not sure about the picture, but Cook County, which covers the Chicago area, saw its cigar tax increase go into effect. This area covers many of established shops, including site sponsor Casa de Montecristo.
  • Charleston, SC Defers Action on Cigar Bar Ordinance — Story here.
  • Cigars for HenryvilleRiverside Cigars of Jeffersonville, IN and J Shepherd Cigars of Louisville, KY announced their support for the Indiana town here.
  • SoFlo Tweet UpCharmed Leaf held the first SoFlo Tweetup. Tom Ufer covered the event here. Here’s a video of site sponsor/friend of halfwheel Jonathan Drew and halfwheel’s favorite legal blogger, Frank Herrera:
  • Accessory Reviews — In a bit of halfwheel news, we announced a new feature of the site, accessory reviews, the first of which you can read here.
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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 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.