Editor’s Note: I could refer to a lot of points of the year as “the calm before the storm.” But, for the month of May that will be the motto. Slowly over the course of the next few weeks details will begin to emerge about the newest releases for the 2011 IPCPR show in Las Vegas, but other than that, the news will be predictibly light. There are quite a few releases that are scheduled for late May and June, and quite a few more releases that are delayed. This week brings a few surprises, but none of them have to do with new releases, rather other industry gossip. — el niño diablo.

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  • Tatuaje Gran Cojonú 2011 — Pete tells me these were released in March via J. García International, Jaime García’s international distribution arm. Picture above via flyingcigar.de. These are not supposed to go stateside, but seem to be available here. I’ll let you know when I hear something about the 2013 release.
  • Viaje Summerfest 2011 — It will be offered in a 7 x 50 brushed foot with a round head (Churchill) and a 5 1/4 x 52 Torpedo. There will be one-hundred boxes of each size, thirty cigars per box with a release date scheduled for late June.
  • Savinelli Dos CampeonesMore info is out on the Dos Campeones line which will consist of two different blends: the Sixto and the Coraje. This will be out in June.
  • Cuba Aliados 2012 — This is the Puros Indios box-pressed that is due out at the show. Here’s a lot more info, some of which is confusing.
  • Prometheus Added the Gigante Size to Sencillo — 6 x 60 made by Camacho, retailing for $8.95.
  • Room 101 LTD Namakubi — According to Matt Booth this should be out in late May or Early June.
  • Camacho is now shipping four-packs for Father’s Day.
  • Gordon Mott published an article from his sit down with Habanos S.A. Executives, in it is info about REs, LEs and more.
  • The famed Gloucester Street Cigar Co. in Boston, MA is currently closed. The fifteen year-old Boston establishment was responsible in part for the creation of the Monster Series and the Meat Locker series.
  • Altadis will be merging some business units with Commonwealth Brands, another company owned by Imperial Tobacco, this will have no effect on the premium cigar portion of the business as that is remaining independent.
  • The IPCPR published its thoughts on a tax raise in Louisiana.
El Perrito

We told you about this a few weeks, but General Cigar Co. sent over the official word on “El Perrito War of Flavors”


Richmond, VA–Team La Gloria® presents El Perrito War of Flavors, an innovative new cigar handcrafted entirely by hand and shaped without a cigar mold.

The cigar’s distinctive name is derived from a term coined at the El Credito® Cigar Factory in Santiago, DR. El Perrito (translation: little dog) was created by two cigar factory supervisors (Robert Batista and Juan Almonte) who brought their concept for a small, powerhouse cigar to El Credito’s Michael Giannini (director of marketing) and Yuri Guillen (director of manufacturing). The supervisors came to Michael and Yuri, raving about how they made the cigars and describing the taste experience as a battle of flavors in the mouth. Michael and Yuri sampled the prototypes and the rest, as they say, is history.

According to Michael Giannini, “El Perrito is a prime example of how Team La Gloria operates. We’ve empowered all of our employees, from rollers and bunchers to supervisors, to bring forth ideas for new products. When Yuri and I were approached with the concept of an entirely handmade cigar with incredible flavor, we almost instantly became excited. El Perrito continues our platform of innovation by allowing us to bring a unique and value-priced offering to market and we’re confident it will be a fast favorite among premium cigar consumers.”

Handcrafted with two filler leaves (Nicaraguan and Dominican), bound with Connecticut Broadleaf and wrapped with Ecuadoran Habano, El Perrito cigars are shaped entirely by hand, using the index finger to achieve a torpedo-like head.

Sized expressly to maximize the flavor of the blend, the 5 1/2” x 38 cigar is bundled and packed in a rustic wooden box which hints at the cigar’s humble beginnings. El Perrito War of Flavors is currently debuting at tobacco shops across the U.S. for a suggested retail price of just $2.50 per cigar, or for $125.00 for a 50-count, boxed bundle.

El Credito El Perrito War of Flavors continues the tradition of innovation that has garnered acclaim for Team La Gloria, the new product development team for La Gloria and El Credito cigars.

Davidoff of Geneva has officially announced their new flagship store

Davidoff of Geneva Opens new Madison Avenue Flagship

New York, NY, May 3, 2011 Oettinger Davidoff Group, the Switzerland-based premium tobacco company, has opened their newly relocated Davidoff flagship store at 515 Madison Avenue at the corner of 53rd Street, one block south of their previous location. The beautifully appointed shop features a 300 square foot smoking lounge for customers to enjoy their purchases, a walk-in humidor stocked with the most sought after cigars in the industry, including the complete range of Davidoff cigars, and a full selection of smokers accessories.

“The Davidoff Flagship stores are at the core of the Davidoff Brand discovery with meticulous focus on a first rate customer and retail experience”, says Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, new President and CEO of the Oettinger Davidoff Group. “Quality discerning cigar smokers can enjoy the smokers lounge, which is an integral part of the new Madison Avenue store. As the new CEO I am proud to preside over the opening of our new Flagship store in New York City 100 years after Davidoff opened the first store in Geneva. It is only fitting we inaugurate a new Flagship location in Manhattan, the most important Premium Cigar market in the world and a top priority for Davidoff’s future focus on the US market.” The store also plays host to the only S.T. Dupont Shop-in-Shop in the United States.

According to President of Davidoff Distribution Group, Dr. Peter Baenninger, “New York refines traditions and defines trends for the entire USA. That’s why the prime location of the new flagship store on Madison Avenue is of immense importance for the Oettinger Davidoff Group’s entire North American business!”

General Manager for Davidoff’s New York City operations, Michael Herklots adds, “This new store represents the clear commitment of the Oettinger Davidoff Group to our U.S. operations. We have maintained a Davidoff Flagship on Madison Avenue since 1987, and we will continue to do so for years to come.”

There will be a number of special events celebrating the opening of the new store throughout the summer, and a handmade cigar made in very limited quantities has been produced in the Davidoff Factory in Dominican Republic as a tribute to the new location.

This opening also helps commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Davidoff “retail experience”, with the first shop having opened in Geneva, Switzerland in 1911. Oettinger Davidoff Group purchased its second New York City store at The Shops at Columbus Circle in the Time Warner Center as well as De La Concha on Avenue of the Americas in 2006. Today, over 60 Davidoff Flagship Stores around the globe offer fine cigars and a unique shopping experience to their valuable customers.

“No matter the color of your collar, whether you’re from Main Street or Wall Street, the Davidoff experience is available to everyone,” adds Herklots. “We look forward to welcoming everyone to our new home on Madison Avenue.”

A bit late on this one, but the press release for the newest Perdomo

MIAMI, FL – Tabacalera Perdomo is proud to announce the release of the new and highly anticipated Perdomo Reserve Champagne Noir cigar line. The Perdomo Reserve Champagne Noir is blended with dark, oily triple-fermented Cuban-seed Maduro wrappers meticulously aged in bourbon barrels. Filled with hints of chocolate and dark roasted coffee, this medium to full-bodied blend offers a sweet aroma with a smooth satisfying finish. The initial size, an impressive 6 x 60 Super Toro, has been released and is currently available in stores nationwide.

“After carefully fermenting these thick Cuban-seed Maduro wrappers for well over 14 months in a natural pilon, we age them an additional 6 months in oak bourbon barrels. This process helps to ensure parallel colors, a clean even burn, and rich, complex flavors,” states Nick Perdomo, President of Tabacalera Perdomo.

The Perdomo Reserve Champagne Noir is comprised of all Nicaraguan grown tobaccos making it a “puro.” The Cuban-seed secos, visos, and ligeros are similar to those used in the popular Perdomo Reserve Champagne blend. The combination of the higher priming Cuban-seed Maduro wrappers and the smooth, flavorful Nicaraguan fillers, makes the Champagne Noir a vibrant and well-balanced smoking experience.

The Perdomo Reserve Champagne Noir is packaged in 25 count boxes which are individually hand-crafted in Tabacalera Perdomo’s state of the art box factory. Each Spanish cedar box is stained in black with the brand’s logo, size, and dimension prominently silkscreened in gold on the outside of the box.

Headquartered in Miami Gardens, Florida, with manufacturing and agricultural facilities in Esteli, Nicaragua, Tabacalera Perdomo is a closely held, family run company, whose highly acclaimed cigar brands include Edicion de Silvio,Perdomo Patriarch, Perdomo Reserve 10 Year Anniversary, Perdomo Habano, Perdomo Grand Cru, Perdomo2 (Squared), Perdomo Lot 23, Nick’s Sticks, Cuban Bullet, and Perdomo Fresco.

Below is info on a new humidor being sold at Nat Sherman, if anyone buys an extra one, I’ll give you my address.

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Nat Sherman exclusive Globe-Trotter humidor honors 80th anniversary The Story.

To honor the 80th Anniversary of New York’s finest Tobacco shop, Nat Sherman, Globe-Trotter has designed an exclusive humidor – a first in Globe-Trotter’s 114 year old history. A total of 25 humidors will be hitting Nat Sherman’s flag-ship store this week for a limited time only. Each case will have a commemorative plaque that states the number – i.e. 1 of 25, 2 of 25 etc. Taking it’s cue from Globe-Trotter’s iconic centenary collection, the Nat Sherman Humidor features Colonial Brown Vulcan fibre, accented with a dark brown leather handle and signature corners riveted with gold. The Nat

Sherman tone-on tone logo is discreetly placed on the humidor, reinforcing the brand’s history, dating back to 1930. The inside of the handsome case is lined with paper backed Oatmeal and Spanish cedar wood, as functional as it is aesthetically pleasing, both help to maintain the cigars delicate humidity levels and support the natural ageing process. The Background. Are you familiar with luxury suitcase company Globe-Trotter? Globe-Trotter was established in 1897 and remains a uniquely hand made product. Skilfully crafted from Vulcan Fibre, paper-backed cloth lining and leather trimming at the Globe-Trotter factory in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. Vulcan Fibre is an exclusive patented material invented in Britain during the 1850s. As light as aluminium and as strong as leather, Globe-Trotter is the only manufacturer of cases made from Vulcan Fibre. Are you familiar with Nat Sherman? As the nation dug its way out of the great depression in 1930, Nat Sherman was busy opening New York’s’ finest tobacco shop. Today, the company has grown from those humble beginnings into one of the most recognized and respected names in the worldwide tobacco industry.

The Timing. The ‘Globe-Trotter for Nat Sherman’ humidor is launching THIS WEEK, sold exclusively at the Nat Sherman store at 12 E 42nd Street.

Site sponsor Gurkha had a rather interesting press release regarding SEAL Team 6

SEAL Team 6 Celebrates With Gurkha Cigar

MIAMI, May 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Heading the week after a successful mission by the Special Operations Team known as the Navy SEALs, the team celebrates with a handmade luxury cigar. The military is known quite well through the premium cigar market as many cigar manufacturers support our troops overseas with product, sponsorship and encouragement. If you open any Cigar Magazine, you will note photos of our troops celebrating with a premium cigar, hoping to relax with a taste of comfort in a sometimes very uncomfortable place.

Gurkha Cigars, having a longstanding relationship with the Special Operations segments of our military released a SpecOps limited edition cigar last year, inspired by the Navy SEALs. The box of 20 sticks includes a knife and a challenge coin designed specifically for the military. Instead of a traditional cigar box, the package used is a pelican case, similar to those designed by the military to transport sensitive equipment and weapons. In this case, the fragile contents are a collection of the Gurkha Assassin, a trademarked rarity used by Gurkha Cigars for several years now. Only recently in Pakistan has the light come to shine on what the military ordinarily does quietly.

So what does SpecOps Team 6 celebrate with? A Gurkha Grand Reserve sent specially by Kaizad Hansotia, owner of Gurkha Cigars to his friends in the Navy. Gurkha has been known more recently as the world’s most expensive cigar, releasing theBlack Dragon in 2007. Gurkha has the premium cigar market redefined from their $20,000 boxes of ‘HMRs’ to their special collector’s edition that demands over $150,000 for a box of cigars.

Now seen as a status symbol of luxury and the Rolls Royce of cigars, Gurkha continues to be the choice when a celebration in necessary. “Our focus has always been on exclusive, limited availability tobaccos, serving up the most unique and flavorful blends,” said Hansotia, affectionately known in the industry as ‘Kaizer.’

“When you are smoking a Gurkha you know three things: it’s expensive, it’s good, and a celebration is in order,” said Hansotia. The Gurkha brand has a long history in exclusive trade and in support of the military. Originating in India as British settlers opened trade routes; the name continues the tradition of rarities from distant lands in support of ancient warriors and today is no different. Focusing specifically on the limited and exclusive lots of cigar tobacco has caused Gurkha’s reputation to rise from a long history of premium cigars.

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Nat Sherman had a little derby party, hats included.

NAT SHERMAN Cigars host the hottest Kentucky Derby Celebration

For the third year in a row the 137th Kentucky Derby was celebrated in style at Eleven Madison Park in New York last Saturday afternoon, May 7th. The restaurant partnered with Esquire and Nat Sherman Cigars to host an afternoon of stylish celebration: the elegant interior of Eleven Madison Park and its outdoors patio were transformed into the perfect Derby venue, with decadent Southern flavors from Chef Daniel Humm’s Kentucky-themed cuisine, the inebriating aromas of the Nat Sherman Cigar Lounge, two Kentucky Blue Grass Music bands and specialty bourbon cocktails by Maker’s Mark. The venue even hosted a pop up hat shop for all the ladies (and very stylish, seersucker-clad guys) Derby fashion needs.

Over 400 guests danced the afternoon away, holding on to their hats and Nat Sherman cigars until the race went live at 6.34 pm. Even after horse #16 Animal Kingdom won, the party raced on.

CigarCyclopedia.com is back. Corona Cigar Co. and JR have bought back the archives and are now writing, Rich Perelman is noticeably absent. Here’s a message Corona sent to the CigarCylopedia subscribers.

Dear Friends: Since the closure of CigarCyclopedia.com, we have been deluged with messages asking for our return, or at least to continue to post the site as it was. I am delighted to note that thanks to our friends at Corona Cigar Company, that our site will return to the Web, with the same information as shown on January 31, 2011, when we closed.

For those who received our three-times-per-week e-mail notices, we are pleased to note that we have transferred our subscriber list to two of our most ardent supporters, who are also two of the top cigar companies in the country, Corona Cigar and J-R Cigar.

Both provide a wide variety of cigars at excellent prices. J-R needs no introduction, as it is the largest cigar-sales company in the world and offers a seemingly endless array of its own blends and special packaging of national brands at discount prices.

Corona is rapidly expanding, and is the site of the first-ever Avo Lounge in its Orlando store. It has all of the boutique and limited-edition cigars you’re looking for and has created an excellent catalog of special models from hot makers like C.A.O., Rocky Patel and Tatuaje.

Im especially proud to partner with Corona founder Jeff Borysiewicz because he has also been a tireless champion of the rights of cigar smokers, in Florida and across the country. He was one of the key players in the creation of Cigar Rights of America, the only grass-roots organization supporting cigar smokers in the country.

I urge you to support both of these fine companies, whose only focus is to provide you with the best cigars on the market at modest prices and with excellent customer service. If you wish to opt-out from their mailings, however, you can do so easily by clicking on the link at the bottom of any of their messages.

Thanks to all our readers for their support, and I hope to see you in a smoke-filled room at some point in the future.

Rich Perelman Founder CigarCyclopedia.com

Finally… The online cigar community had a little scare this week as another incident of (alleged) counterfeit cigars hit a lot of the online circles. There is still a lot to be determined about the incident, but it’s a good time to remind everyone, particularly those that are looking to buy Habanos, the importance of sources. No one needs any reminders of the issues with the Cuban supply chain, the arrest of Manuel García only shows that there are problems top down. A good source is not one with the cheapest prices, but one that is reliable, consistent and legitimate. The problems are not just limited to one source or method, but it runs the gamut of the procurement of Cuban cigars. There are legitimate Habanos dealers caught selling fake; grey market dealers selling real cigars; U.S. retailers offering Saturday Specials with real cigars, some with fake cigars; shops in Cuba selling counterfeit Cubans and so on… All that matters at the end of the day is what you taste, which is really the only way to answer, is it real?

And… here’s a pic of Jaime Garica, president of My Father Cigars Inc., inspecting Manny Iriarte’s Habano Miami plant, in his driveway…

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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.