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Cigar Makers Talk New Releases

This past Saturday I attended Cigar Expo, an event put on by Famous Smoke Shop, an Easton, Pennsylvania-based retailer with a thriving online and mail-order operation. Around 600 cigar enthusiasts attended to enjoy plentiful amounts of cigars, beer, food, and good company.

Participants had the chance to talk to some of the biggest names in the business, many of whom were on hand to personally distribute their smokes. And when they weren't talking to consumers, more than a few opened up to me with some nuggets about what we can expect in the coming months.

Jorge Padrуn, for example, gave me the inside scoop on the upcoming Family Reserve release. While the details are still being worked out, he expects the blend to be ready by September 8, the anniversary of the company's founding. The plan is to release one blend annually in one size every September thereafter.

Additionally, Josй and Jaime Garcia of Don Pepin Garcia cigars said they've been busy setting up their Nicaraguan factory, but they're also putting out an expansion to the My Father line. Jaime was excited about the new Tobacco Baez SF, which consists of 70% long-filler and 30% short-filler to provide consumers with a lower price point of $3 per cigar.

Charlie Toraсo told me that the contents of the 50th Anniversary will be revealed soon as the line rolls out. The Solomon size, which is featured in the Exodus sampler, won't be part of the regular line.

Eddie Ortega of EO Brands gave me some details about the company's upcoming new releases: the Cubao Maduro and the Murcielago. The Cubao Maduro will feature a similar blend to the original Cubao line, this time with an Ecuadorian broadleaf maduro wrapper. The Murcielago contains a blend of Nicaraguan and Mexican tobaccos.

George A. Rico, maker of G.A.R. cigars and also the popular Gran Habano line, is releasing the G.A.R. Vanguard, a Nicaraguan puro that uses plenty of ligero tobacco. Also on the agenda is a new limited size (6 x 66) of of his Gran Habano Corojo No. 5 blend called the "Czar," and a Gran Habano No. 5 Double Maduro featuring a San Andreas wrapper that is due out in November. Additionally, the Gran Habano 3 Siglos line is being rebranded as the Gran Habano 3SL in response to trademark issues due to Altadis' new Siglo cigar.

Alan Rubin (pictured above) of Alec Bradley Cigars talked about his many new releases, including the SCR, Family Blend, Vice Pressed, and Mudial. Rubin seemed most excited about the Family Blend, which was originally created as a personal blend for his father. He described the new line as a "Cuban-style" cigar that can be smoked anytime of the day, and will only be available at retailers who host Alec Bradley events.

While Rocky Patel wasn't in attendance, his representative did give me some juicy news about what the cigar superstar is working on. One blend, called "Patel Brothers," is being crafted with his brother Nimesh. Also on the horizon is a 12th Anniversary cigar.

Gene Arganese told me that Arganese would be releasing a CL/ML double wrap cigar, based on the CL3 and ML3 lines. He also said that he and others in the industry were concerned about the recent fire in the Picas factory in the Dominican Republic, which makes cigar boxes for a number of companies, including Arganese.

Nick Perdomo said Perdomo Cigars will be releasing a tubo version of its 10th Anniversary Champagne smoke and a Grand Cru Connecticut. He also had the quote of the day when he described the government as his "biggest competitor" during a discussion about the challenges that face the cigar industry.

Finally, I also heard that Oliva will be releasing Cain in August, a triple-fremented all-ligero cigar; Kristoff is coming out with a Sumatara-wrapped line; and Flor de Gonzalez is preparing to release the Obay Fuerte, which features an Ecuadorian habano wrapper and Nicaraguan filler and binder tobaccos.

And while other cigar makers were more tight-lipped about their up-and-coming projects, they hinted at big releases for the IPCPR Trade Show in New Orleans.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Source: Stogie Guys

Cigar Makers Talk New Releases