halfwheel extends its congratulations to Alan Gold, who announced his retirement this week. Gold started with Colibri in 1991, then spent seven years with XIKAR beginning in 2009 before joining The Lotus Group/Vertigo in 2016, first as the midwest sales manager and then the national sales manager. Anyone who knows Alan knows of his engaging personality and his love for his customers and associates. He would always make sure I was aware of interesting things happening at the stores in his territory, making sure those who were innovating and doing fun things got some attention. I will miss seeing him at trade shows and when he’s in town, but I know he’ll keep me apprised of how his beloved Chicago Cubs are doing. — Patrick Lagreid

Gurkha Begins Shipping Tyson 2.0 Undisputed

Over the years, cigar companies have released many different cigar lines directly or indirectly associated with celebrities, from Jay-Z to Mike Ditka to Guy Fieri. Introduced at the 2024 PCA Convention & Trade Show earlier this year, the Tyson 2.0 is a collaboration between Gurkha, boxing legend Mike Tyson and LGNDS, a Miami-based hemp company with which Tyson has released a collection of hemp-based products. The fact that Gurkha has teamed up with Tyson is not exactly shocking, but the sub-$20 price points for the two vitolas—both of which are available in a maduro and habano blend—did surprise me a bit.

Habanos S.A. Reducing Supplies of Cuban Cigars to Switzerland

It is hard to describe just how big of a deal this situation is. Habanos S.A. has made the decision to shift supplies from distributors that it partially owns to distributors that are majority- or entirely owned by Habanos S.A. marks a fundamental change in the relationship between the two entities. At least one report has indicated that the supplies might be cut by as much as 40 percent, and while the distributors in Switzerland may be some of the first to experience this change—interestingly, the country was the third-largest market for Cuban cigars in 2023—they might not be the last.

 

Cohiba Riviera Lancero Arrives at Stores

This new release marks two major firsts for General Cigar Co., which sells the red dot Cohiba brand in the U.S. Not only is it the first non-Cuban Cohiba to be box-pressed, it is also the first non-Cuban Cohiba cigar to be released in a 7 x 38  lancero vitola. In addition, the blend is unique in that it does not include any Dominican tobacco and unlike some of General’s other Cohiba blends, the $14.99 price point is not a huge hit on the wallet.

 

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  • Iowa City, Iowa Pauses New Tobacco Retail Permits to Study Public Health Impacts — via TheGazette.com
  • Normal, Ill. Approves Ordinance Requiring Tobacco Stores to Get Licenses — via CentralIllinoisProud.com

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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.