July 16, 2017

Caldwell Cigars Lost & Found Backdoor Bambi (5 1/2 x 46)







Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Halfwheel.com website)
Lost&Found is best known for its artwork, but the project itself is of note. The project, started by Caldwell, Tony Bellatto and Jaclyn Sears, goes into factories and purchases cigars that were previously rolled. Many of these cigars are small quantities of limited editions and other releases that have continued to age in factories. 

There are roughly 200 boxes of 12 cigars. Backdoor Bambi was part of the project’s initial release, back when it was known as Impromptu. It uses corojo, habano and negrito tobaccos and was rolled in 2008. Pricing is $12 per cigar.

The cigar is a dark brown and has a slightly oily wrapper. It has an average feel in the hand for cigar of this size.





The test draw after cutting the cap was good. The initial flavors were a sweet cedar with strawberry notes, early black coffee, light cream notes, and black pepper which I rated at an 8 1/2. The finish is a peppery raw almond. 



A little past the midpoint (28 minutes) the strawberry notes attached to the cedar have faded. You still have the cedar with a touch of brown sugar and there remains a lot of earthy black coffee. Tying all this together is an almond butter flavor. It's a thick flavor but does not have any richness. The finish has changed to a sweet cream and there is a nice amount of lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium to full bodied. 




The cigar lasted 50 minutes. The cigar remained very peppery. It ended with cedar notes and some sweetness. The almond butter is still the flavor that ties everything together. The black coffee was still very good. I would say the black pepper is the star of this cigar. This cigar did not blow me away. It was decent but lacked significant flavors. I enjoyed the pepper notes.



Score: 89

July 15, 2017

Viaje Birthday Blend (6 x 52 Belicoso)







Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
The Viaje Birthday Blend is returning for 2017. This will mark the second year the Birthday Blend has been released.

This year’s Viaje Birthday Blend will feature a Criollo ’98 wrapper. This is a change from the 2016 release which featured a San Andres Maduro wrapper. The Birthday Blend once again returns in a 6 x 52 belicoso format. The 2017 will be packaged in 25-count boxes – with each bundle in the box individually gift wrapped.

The Birthday Blend draws its inspiration from Old Forester’s Birthday Bourbon, which is an annual release to commemorate Old Forester founder George Garvin Brown’s birthday. Since 2002, it has been an annual limited release by the bourbon company. Viaje Cigars’ founder Andree Farkas decided to come up with a similar concept to commemorate his own birthday and thus the Viaje Birthday Blend was born.


The cigar is dark and well made. It has an above average feel in the hand for a belicoso of this size.





The test draw after cutting the minimum from the belicoso cap was firm so I decided to use my PerfecDraw tool to improve the draw and not cut any more from the cap. Once I had it to my liking the initial flavors after light up were sweet cedar with some vegetable notes, chocolate, black coffee, and black pepper which I rated at an 8. 




About 1 1/2 inches in (21 minutes) the chocolate notes are coming out much more. There is still some of the underlying vegetable flavor. There are now brown sugar notes. The black coffee notes are still quite prominent. There is still a touch of sweet cedar. The pepper is also still very good. The cigar is starting to taste, or remind me of, a chocolate cake which seems appropriate for a birthday blend cigar. The finish is a sweet cream with some light chocolate notes and a touch of lingering black pepper. The cigar is on the upper end of medium bodied.




At the midpoint (42 minutes) there are a lot of dark chocolate and black coffee notes. There is a touch of sweetness from the brown sugar. The floating vegetable flavor is still there but in a lesser amount. While the black pepper remains very good it has increased on the finish, which is now a more pronounced chocolate and cream. The cigar is medium to full bodied and moving up. 




As the cigar ended (1 hour 22 minutes) there were no major changes from the midpoint onward. The dark chocolate and black coffee remained very heavy with a touch of brown sugar. The vegetable flavors faded away. The cigar reminds me of a chocolate cake in some aspects but if it had more sweetness and some added richness it would have been amazing. As it is, it's a good cigar that is quite dark noted. It ended at full bodied. These should be on shelves where Viaje Cigars are sold.


Score: 91

July 09, 2017

Drew Estate Announces Exclusive Florida Sun Grown "FSG" Brand with partner Jeff Borysiewicz




Sunday, July 9, 2017 — Miami, FL- Drew Estate announced today that the company will begin shipping Florida Sun Grown “FSG” Cigars nationally to DDRP accounts.  This brand features tobacco grown in Clermont, Florida, by Jeff Borysiewicz, owner of Corona Cigar Company and the Florida Sun Grown Farm. The brand will be displayed in Drew Estate’s booth (Booth #2608) at the IPCPR Convention and Tradeshow, which will be held July 10 – 14, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.




The “FSG” by Drew Estate project began in 2011 and debuted in 2016 at the Florida Barn Smoker. The core FSG blend features Florida Sun Grown filler as an accent tobacco to select Nicaraguan fillers which adds an authentic Florida agricultural nuance to this unique and captivating blend. The binder is a Habano seed tobacco from Honduras and the cigar is finished off with a lush Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper.

In addition to four core sizes, Drew Estate is releasing a Limited Edition Trunk-Pressed Toro. This prized cigar features its own unique blend which utilizes a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, Mexican binder, and Florida Sun Grown filler tobacco, along with fillers from Nicaragua and Honduras.



The Florida Sun Grown “FSG” by Drew Estate is available for purchase in the following vitolas from Drew Diplomat Retailers:

Robusto (5 x 54), MSRP $230.00/20 CT Box
Toro (6 x 52), MSRP $260.00/20 CT Box
Belicoso (6 ½ x 54), MSRP $280.00/20 CT Box
Sixty (6 x 60), MSRP $300.00/20 CT Box
Limited Edition Box-Press Toro (6 x 54), MSRP $150.00/10 CT Box



From the Florida Sun Grown Farm in Clermont, Florida Jeff Borysiewicz said, “Drew Estate’s commitment to the American tobacco movement is unmatched. From the Connecticut River Valley, to barns in Kentucky, and to my farm in Clermont, Florida, nobody supports American leaf farmers like Drew Estate. Since 2010 I’ve pioneered the resurgence of Florida tobacco believing that consumers in the United States would be excited to bring American tobacco agriculture back to the forefront. When I purchased the land for our farm, I spent countless hours analyzing the temperature, sun-light, wind, humidity, and altitude that would bring my farm as close to the conditions of Pinar del Rio, Cuba as possible. These are very exciting times for this farm and for American tobacco.”

From his Wynwood Safehouse, President and Founder of Drew Estate, Jonathan Drew said, “My friendship with Jeff spans almost 20 years. When Jeff first approached me about his idea to bring Florida tobacco back to the premium cigar industry I promised him that Drew Estate would stand by his side, just as we have done with the farmers in Connecticut and Kentucky. Pioneering anything is never easy, but what Jeff and his entire company have done is a truly breakthrough innovation. Drew Estate is genuinely committed to American tobacco.”

The Florida Sun Grown line will begin shipping to Drew Diplomat Retailers at the end of July.

Fans of Florida Sun Grown by Drew Estate are encouraged to download Drew Diplomat the official mobile application of Drew Estate – The Rebirth of Cigars which is now available in the App Store for iPhone®, and iPod Touch® and on Google Play™ for Android™. For more information head to http://drewdiplomat.com





Florida Sun Grown Farm

Founded in 2012, Florida Sun Grown is the first farm in Florida to grow long filler cigar tobacco in many years; a tradition that ended in 1977 as many tobacco farms closed shop and relocated  to other regions.  Located in beautiful Clermont Florida, Florida Sun Grown is the latest enterprise of president and founder of Corona Cigar Company, Jeff Borysiewicz.  The farm is dedicated to growing premium tobacco that will be utilized in the production of fine cigars worldwide.  The first test crop was planted in March 2013 and yielded roughly 800 pounds of Criollo and Corojo tobacco.  FSG has since increased production and is well on its way to reestablishing a culture of premium tobacco farming in Florida.



ABOUT DREW ESTATE

Founded in 1996, Drew Estate is one of the largest and fastest growing cigar companies in the world. Under their mantra “The Rebirth of Cigars” Drew Estate has disrupted the premium cigar industry by creating a raw authenticity that has engaged cigar enthusiasts with iconic brands, unique tobaccos, and distinctive blending styles that attract new and old seasoned cigar enthusiasts. Their Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Nicaragua produces more premium cigars than any other single factory in the world, producing a variety of brands including ACID, Liga Privada, Herrera Estelí, Herrera Estelí Norteño, Isla del Sol, Kentucky Fired Cured, MUWAT, Natural by Drew Estate, Nica Rustica, Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Cigars, Tabak Especial, Undercrown, and Java by Drew Estate.

Las Calaveras Edicion Limitada 2017 LC46 (5 5/8 x 46)






Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Halfwheel.com website.)
Las Calaveras is an annual release, arguably Crowned Head’s most anticipated release, a My Father-made offering noted for its distinctive skull appearance.

This year’s Las Calaveras uses an Ecuadorian habano maduro wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan fillers.

It’s offered in four sizes, three of which are sold in boxes of 24, while one is offered solely in a four-pack sampler that contains one of each vitola.

Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2017 LC46 (5 5/8 x 46) — $9.75 (Boxes of 24, $234) — 1,700 Boxes of 24 Cigars + 3,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (43,800 Total Cigars) REVIEWED TODAY
Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2017 LC50 (5 x 50) — $10.75 (Boxes of 24, $258) — 1,700 Boxes of 24 Cigars + 3,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (43,800 Total Cigars)
Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2017 LC52 (6 x 52) — $11.75 (Boxes of 24, $282) — 1,700 Boxes of 24 Cigars + 3,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (43,800 Total Cigars)
Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2017 5 1/2 x 54 —$9.70* — 3,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (3,000 Total Cigars)
*The four-count sampler, which contains one of each of the cigars, is priced at $41.95.

“Since we first introduced Las Calaveras in 2014, the marca has risen dramatically in popularity and notoriety,” said Jon Huber, Crowned Heads co-founder, in a statement to halfwheel. “One of the things I’m personally most proud of, however, is that the underlying message of the brand, i.e., to celebrate (rather than mourn) the lives of those who’ve passed on in the previous year, has been heard and received literally around the world.”


The cigar is very dark and well made. It has an average feel in the hand for a cigar of this size.





The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors were black licorice, dry cedar, sweet cream, a touch of brown sugar, and a ton of black pepper which I rated at a 9. It is especially notice as being intense on the retro hale. There was also a deep espresso note. This is a very dark noted cigar and appropriately so.



About 1 1/2 inches in (22 minutes) the flavor notes have changed. The black licorice notes are gone and in their place are nice chocolate notes with sweetness. There are still some cedar notes, brown sugar and now, buttery notes. There continues to be plenty of espresso as the base. The black pepper has toned down to around an 8. The finish is chocolate with some lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium to full bodied. 




With about 2 inches remaining (48 minutes) the cigar is full bodied. You still have the chocolate, light cedar, brown sugar, light buttery notes, and espresso notes. The cigar continues to be very dark with a nice amount of sweetness. The finish is unchanged. 




The cigar lasted 1 hour 8 minutes. The flavors at the end were very much like the last segment; chocolate, espresso, flashes of dry cedar, brown sugar, and nice black pepper. The black pepper on the finish increased as the cigar went along. The finish was unchanged. This was a good, dark noted cigar with plenty of sweetness. It ended full bodied. These are quite sought after and are on shelves now. I doubt they will be around very long so look for them and pick some up before they are gone.


Score: 93

July 08, 2017

Drew Estate releases Pappy Van Winkle “TRADITION” exclusively for Drew Diplomat Retailers



Saturday, July 8, 2017 — Miami, FL - Drew Estate announces the formal release of Pappy Van Winkle “TRADITION”. This extremely limited supply brand will be displayed in Drew Estate’s booth (Booth #2608) at the IPCPR Convention and Tradeshow, held July 10-14, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Pappy Van Winkle Tradition will be exclusively available for sale through Drew Diplomat Retailers.

From Kentucky, Julian Van Winkle President of Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, “I was invited to Cigar Aficionado’s A Night to Remember by Jonathan Drew in 2016 and was presented with a non-banded, wooden box of cigars with white bands on it that just read “Exclusively for my Friend Julian by Willy Herrera Sincerely Jonathan Drew”.  I loved this blend because of its balance. Shortly thereafter, my family and I visited La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Nicaragua and I smoked the same blend most of the trip. By the end, I knew this would be the Pappy Van Winkle Tradition.”



Drew Estate is honored to represent the Van Winkle Family with an ultra-premium cigar that reinforces the legacy for one of America’s true living icons, Julian Van Winkle. The Pappy Van Winkle Tradition features an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper, Indonesian Binder and aged fillers from Nicaragua and Dominican Republic. From his Wynwood Safehouse, Jonathan Drew President and Founder of Drew Estate notes, “The Pappy Van Winkle Tradition features an ultra-complex combination of extensively aged fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic that are blanketed with a flawless Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper. Availability is limited. I am humbled to extend the Drew and Van Winkle friendship, time tested honor, and craftsmanship to Drew Diplomat Humidors across the United States.”

The Pappy Van Winkle Tradition features the following expressions:

Coronita (4 x 46) MSRP $146.00/10ct Box
Robusto Grande (5.5 x 54) MSRP $216.00/10ct Box
Toro (6 x 50) MSRP $236.00/10ct Box
Belicoso Fino (5 x 50) MSRP $246.00/10ct Box
Churchill (7 x 48) MSRP $236.00 / 10ct Box Exclusively available at Drew Diplomat Spirits Retailers
Lonsdale (6.5 x 44) (Not for Sale) / 10ct Box Exclusively at Drew Diplomat Rewards Events in October, November and December 2017
Corona (5.5 x 44) MSRP (Not for Sale) / 10ct Box  Exclusively available from Jonathan Drew and Julian Van Winkle


The creation of the Pappy Van Winkle Tradition has a special significance to the Drew Estate Family, as the blend has a story behind it that reads like craft folklore, taking cigar aficionados back to the days before Willy Herrera became the Master Blender of Drew Estate. From Little Havana, Willy Herrera notes “I remember it like yesterday. In 2010 when JD and I talked about me joining Drew Estate, we flew down to La Gran Fabrica to test my blending style in two days of non-stop creating. I ultimately produced 3 blends, one of which eventually became the Herrera Estelí. When I heard the news that Julian Van Winkle had selected one of my three original blends from my first trip to Nicaragua, I was humbled to say the least.”

The Pappy Van Winkle Tradition will begin shipping in October in coordination with when Old Rip Van Winkle releases their annual batch of the highly sought after Bourbon and Rye.



About Van Winkle Bourbon: The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery has a four generation history. The Van Winkle family’s involvement in the bourbon industry began in the late 1800s with Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle, Sr. He was a traveling salesman for the W.L. Weller and Sons wholesale house in Louisville. Pappy and a friend, Alex Farnsley, eventually bought the wholesale house and also partnered with Mr. A. Ph. Stitzel on the purchase of Mr. Sitzel’s distillery. The three of them merged the two companies and became the Stitzel-Weller Distillery.

In May of 1935 at the age of 61, Pappy opened the newly completed Stitzel-Weller Distillery in South Louisville. Its prominent brands were W.L. Weller, Old Fitzgerald, Rebel Yell, and Cabin Still. Pappy had a heavy influence on the operations there until his death at the age of 91. His son, Julian, Jr. took over operations until he was forced by stockholders to sell the distillery in 1972. The rights to all of their brands were sold to Norton Simon, Inc. Later, United Distillers, who eventually ended up with the Stitzel-Weller Distillery, sold off all of the original labels around 1999.

After selling the distillery, Julian Jr. resurrected a pre-Prohibition label, the only one to which the Van Winkles kept the rights, called Old Rip Van Winkle. He used whiskey stocks from the old distillery to supply his brand. Julian Jr.’s son, Julian, III took over in 1981 when Julian, Jr. passed away. Julian III has continued with the Van Winkle tradition of producing high-quality wheated bourbon. His son, Preston, joined the company in 2001 and the Van Winkles look to continue that tradition for generations to come.

In 2002 the Van Winkles entered into a joint venture with Buffalo Trace Distillery in Franklin County, Frankfort, Ky. All of the Van Winkle’s whiskey production now takes place at Buffalo Trace Distillery under the same strict guidelines the family has always followed. For more information on the Van Winkle family of bourbon please visit www.oldripvanwinkle.com.



ABOUT DREW ESTATE

Founded in 1996, Drew Estate is one of the largest and fastest growing cigar companies in the world. Under their mantra “The Rebirth of Cigars” Drew Estate has disrupted the premium cigar industry by creating a raw authenticity that has engaged cigar enthusiasts with iconic brands, unique tobaccos, and distinctive blending styles that attract new and old seasoned cigar enthusiasts. Their Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Nicaragua produces more premium cigars than any other single factory in the world, producing a variety of brands including ACID, Liga Privada, Herrera Estelí, Herrera Estelí Norteño, Isla del Sol, Kentucky Fired Cured, MUWAT, Natural by Drew Estate, Nica Rustica, Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Cigars, Tabak Especial, Undercrown, and Java by Drew Estate.

Monte by Montecristo AJ Fernandez Toro (6 x 55)






Video review HERE.


The release of Monte by Montecristo AJ Fernandez brings a
new dynamic element to the collaboration between AJ Fernandez and Altadis U.S.A.
“The Monte by Montecristo line was launched in 2013 to add new dimension to the
traditional Montecristo portfolio—a stronger cigar at an affordable price point,” Altadis
U.S.A. says. “ Today, we’re building on its success with consumers by partnering with AJ
Fernandez to deliver the new Monte by Montecristo AJ Fernandez, crafted to appeal to the
adult consumer demographic with a taste for stronger, bolder smoking experiences,” the
company said.

The new Monte by Montecristo AJ Fernandez is a robust, medium to full-bodied cigar.
Cloaked in a Dark Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and bound with a Corojo ‘98 binder, it
delivers a stout, chocolatey aroma. A Criollo ‘98 and Piloto Cubano Dominican filler yield a
nutty and caramel sweetness. For those who like bold flavor, this smoke will not disappoint.

AJ Fernandez has produced some of the most exciting blends of the past decade by
combining old world technique with his own unique style at his factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.
AJ Fernandez’ reputation for making strong, exquisitely crafted cigars is exceeded with the
new Monte by Montecristo AJ Fernandez.

Available in sizes:
Toro 55x 6”  MSRP $11.00 REVIEWED TODAY
Robusto 54x4 ¼  MSRP $10.80
Belicoso 54x6 1/8  MSRP $11.25
Corona 44x5  MSRP $10.50

Box count: 20
Horizontally pressed cigars



The cigar is well made and sports two bands; the main Montecristo band and a large Monte band. The cigar has a nice feel in the hand.





The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors were a sweet orange citrus that is almost overpowered by the massive brown sugar and cinnamon notes. There are also new leather notes. There was black pepper rated at an 8 1/2. You notice it quite a bit on the retro hale. There is a lot of lingering black pepper, even now at this early stage. The finish is a citrus/cream combination with nice lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium bodied at this point. 




About 2 inches in (35 minutes) I am at the lower Monte band. The flavors are much like they were at the outset. There is a nice sweetness in this cigar. The sweetness in this cigar is rather candy-like. The cigar is still medium bodied.




At the midpoint (48 minutes) the leather notes are coming out much more. There are also black coffee notes now. The leather and black coffee notes are the lead flavors with the sweeter notes secondary. The cigar is medium to full bodied now. The finish has changed to a cream with leather and coffee notes. 




With about 2 inches remaining (1 hour 13 minutes) the cigar is starting to revert back to the sweeter notes as the main flavor. The leather and coffee notes are still quite noticeable and are about equal to the sweeter notes. But, now there are light whipping cream notes on the front end. The citrus notes are sort of a combination of citrus and cedar. The cigar is still medium to full bodied. 






The cigar lasted 1 hour 33 minutes. A nice burn time. The flavors are about the same as the last segment. The cigar ended at about 80% of the sweetness as it began with. The heavy leather and black coffee remained. The cigar ended at medium to full bodied. This cigar had some changes. This is another good contribution from AJ. These should either be on shelves now or very soon. A very good cigar and a decent price point for Montecristo.


Score: 92

July 07, 2017

General Cigar Appoints New Vice President of Marketing


July 7, 2017, Richmond, VA -- General Cigar is pleased to announce that José de Castro will join the company as vice president of marketing, assuming his new role on August 1, 2017.

A marketing veteran with nearly 20 years of experience, José will play an integral role in strategic planning, business development and brand building. As such, he will oversee General Cigar’s consumer and trade marketing, social media, innovation and event platforms including the brand ambassador team.

“José has proven leadership abilities and an enviable record of success in implementing consumer and trade marketing programs and business development initiatives. His experience and vision will help further define our brands, deepen engagement and maximize the talent of our marketing team. We look forward to the contributions he will make toward meeting the evolving demands of the premium cigar category,” said Régis Broersma, president of General Cigar.

“This is an exciting time in General Cigar’s history and a critical juncture for the handmade cigar industry,” said José. “I am excited for the opportunity to work with such passionate people in such a dynamic category, and look forward to increasing demand, delivering boldface innovation and driving significant growth for the company.”

José joins General Cigar from Bertoni Gelato Holdings in Miami, where he held the position of managing director. Bertoni Gelato is a manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of premium gelato. During his tenure at Bertoni, José dramatically increased the company’s revenue and expanded distribution.

Prior to Bertoni, José held brand and marketing positions at Altria Group in Richmond, culminating in his role as head of sales, marketing and business development for the company’s non-cigarette portfolio. Earlier in his career, José held leadership positions with companies including Procter & Gamble and American Cyanamid in both the U.S. and South America.

As Vice President of Marketing, José joins the company’s management team and will report directly to President Régis Broersma. José and his family will relocate to Richmond, VA.

José holds an MBA from the University of Texas. In addition, he received a Master’s degree from Rutgers University and a Bachelor’s degree from Brown University.

Drew Estate debuts the Undercrown Sun Grown at IPCPR



Thursday, July 6, 2017 — Miami, FL - Drew Estate announces today the newest extension to the prized Undercrown Brand, the Undercrown Sun Grown. The new Sun Grown is the third Undercrown expression, complimenting Undercrown Maduro and Undercrown Shade.  The Undercrown Sun Grown will be displayed in Drew Estate’s booth (Booth #2608) at the IPCPR Convention and Tradeshow, held July 10 – 14, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The new Sun Grown features an Ecuadorian Sumatra seed, Sun Grown wrapper. The binder is a Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut/Cured Sun Grown Habano, complimenting a powerhouse blend of Nicaraguan premium fillers. One leaf of extensively aged Ligero from the Nueva Segovia region along the border of Honduras has been selected to enhance the strength of the blend.



The Undercrown Sun Grown will be available in the following Vitolas:

Corona (5 5/8 x 46) MSRP  $205.00/25ct Box
Robusto (5 x 54) MSRP $212.00/25ct Box
Gran Toro (6 x 52) MSRP $225.50/25ct Box
Belicoso (6 x 52) MSRP  $246.00/ 25ct Box
Gordito (6 x 60) MSRP $280.00/25ct Box
Corona Doble (7 x 54) MSRP $259.50/ 25ct Box
Flying Pig (3 15/16 x 60) MSRP $152.64/12ct Box



From his Wynwood Safehouse, Jonathan Drew President and Founder of Drew Estate, “Returning to Drew Estate as the Fourth President is immensely inspiring and satisfying. The collaborative consortium of creative talent at every level is our core competency. Challenging Willy Herrera and the Undercrown Blending Team to create the new expression after finally securing Sun Grown Tobacco is extremely exciting, as we have tried to secure this Sumatra Ecuador tobacco for over 15 years. The new Sun Grown continues the legacy of “Blended on the Factory Floor.”

From Little Havana, Willy Herrera Master Blender of Drew Estate, “The people of Estelí, Nicaragua opened their hearts to me and my family ever since I joined Drew Estate. Creating cigars from the ground up with the Undercrown Blending Team challenges my comfort zone and pushes the company to more impactful blends.”

Released at the 2011 IPCPR Tradeshow, the Undercrown Maduro is a blend developed on the factory floor utilizing primings not used in the Liga Privada blends by the rollers of Liga Privada for their own smoking pleasure. Featuring a Mexican San Andres Negro Wrapper, a Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut & Cured Sun Grown Binder, as well as Brazilian Mata Fina and Nicaraguan Fillers.


Released at the 2015 IPCPR Tradeshow, the Undercrown Shade is a collaboration between Willy Herrera and the Undercrown Maduro Factory blending team to develop a Connecticut Shade blend to the standards of the team palate. The Undercrown Shade features an Ecuadorian Connecticut Wrapper, a Sumatran Binder, as well as Dominican Criollo 98, Nicaraguan Criollo, and Corojo Fillers.

Fans of Undercrown Cigars are encouraged to download Drew Diplomat the official mobile application of Drew Estate – The Rebirth of Cigars which is now available in the App Store for iPhone®, and iPod Touch® and on Google Play™ for Android™. For more information head to http://drewdiplomat.com


ABOUT DREW ESTATE

Founded in 1996, Drew Estate is one of the largest and fastest growing cigar companies in the world. Under their mantra “The Rebirth of Cigars” Drew Estate has disrupted the premium cigar industry by creating a raw authenticity that has engaged cigar enthusiasts with iconic brands, unique tobaccos, and distinctive blending styles that attract new and old seasoned cigar enthusiasts. Their Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Nicaragua produces more premium cigars than any other single factory in the world, producing a variety of brands including ACID, Herrera Estelí, Herrera Estelí Norteño, Isla del Sol, Kentucky Fired Cured, Liga Privada, MUWAT, Natural by Drew Estate, Nica Rustica, Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Cigars, Tabak Especial, Undercrown, and Java by Drew Estate.

July 05, 2017

Ezra Zion Acquires Cigar Federation Store, CF Tobacos, & Community


Ezra Zion Cigar Company has acquired Cigar Federation Tobacos, Cigar Federation Store, and re-acquired the Cigar Federation community.

“This is a major step for us as a company, one that brings us full circle back to our CigFed roots. As the original founders of Cigar Federation, it’s a really cool homecoming.” stated Ezra Zion co-owner Kyle Hoover.

This acquisition will compliment Ezra Zion Cigar Company’s other recent addition, a regional North Texas distribution company, TX Distribution. 

“Our vision is to build upon the great work done in the Cigar Federation Store and Cigar Federation Tobacos. These outlets fit perfectly with the core competencies of our company.” noted Ezra Zion co-owner Chris Kelly. “TX Distribution and our multiple warehousing capability will allow us to give the customer an even better experience when they purchase their cigars from a Cigar Federation website.”

During the integration phase of the two companies, Logan Lawler will remain as CEO.

Moderators for the Cigar Federation community will continue to have complete and absolute autonomy to post any cigar rating or review as they see fit. 

“Cigar Federation is a unique community. It’s paramount to us to safeguard the freedom of expression that exists on the site.”, stated Hoover. “We want to do our part and help build the cigar industry as a whole. With the FDA situation the way that it is, we need to band together now more than ever.”

Hoover continued, “We will be announcing the final piece of this puzzle in a few weeks; that is the opening of an Ezra Zion brick and mortar retail location in the DFW area. We will be providing a formal press release with all of the details at that time. Suffice it to say, it will be a cigar destination location like no other that we know about in our industry!”

“We need more avenues to deliver the cigars we’re producing. Both from EZHQ and from the factories we partner with in Florida and Nicaragua. The cigars we have resting and waiting will be our best cigars to date. Believe me, you ain’t seen nothing yet!” added Kelly.

Inquiries can be made at EzraZionStore.com.

July 03, 2017

Joya de Nicaragua Introduces Antaño Gran Reserva



Monday, July 3, 2017 — Managua, Nicaragua: The Antaño Gran Reserva asks you to do one thing only: to keep daring. It carries the same character as the Antaño 1970 but instead uses select extra aged, tobaccos only.

Over 15 years ago the Antaño cigar defined the standard of full bodied cigars. The Antaño 1970 is an iconic cigar in the Joya de Nicaragua portfolio. Not only because of its unprecedented strength, and rich Nicaraguan character, but also as our best seller cigar in the US.

The process of creating the Antaño took over 50 samples in a period of 6 months to complete. The Antaño is exclusively crafted by hand and entirely of Nicaraguan harvested tobaccos. This cigar is an ultra robust, spicy smoke which showcases the authentic Nicaraguan “Puro”.

5 years later we came up with a bolder variation of the Antaño Dark Corojo. This cigar takes the boldness of the Nicaraguan tobacco even further, because of its Doble Ligero fillers.

Thus, and to solidify the Antaño family, and as before announced during our latest Facebook Live, we have come up with another iteration: The Antaño Gran Reserva.

“The main alteration  that comes with the Antaño Gran Reserva is that we have added fillers that have been aged for up to five years. As a result, we have obtained a more refined and mature version of the Antaño 1970.” said Juan Ignacio Martínez, Executive President of Joya de Nicaragua at a meeting room at the factory that many Antaño enthusiasts have visited.


Our Factory Manager further commented “We are excited to introduce this cigar at IPCPR 2017, with the Antaño Gran Reserva we are further solidifying our portfolio by adding to our line of Nicaraguan original cigars.”

The refined and matured Antaño Gran Reserva can be found in three different presentations:

Belicoso 6x54

Robusto Grande 51/2 x52 Box Pressed

Gran Cónsul 4 ¾ x 60

The Antaño Gran Reserva will begin shipping in August.

About JOYA DE NICARAGUA: Joya de Nicaragua is a family owned tobacco grower and cigar factory. Established in 1968, it is the first and most authentic premium handmade cigar manufacturer from Nicaragua.


Many regard JDN as the patriarch creator of robust, unique puro blends of locally grown black tobaccos, and its cigars are sold in more than 50 countries around the world. For more information, please visit www.joyacigars.com.



ABOUT DREW ESTATE

Founded in 1996, Drew Estate is one of the largest and fastest growing cigar companies in the world. Under their mantra “The Rebirth of Cigars” Drew Estate has disrupted the premium cigar industry by creating a raw authenticity that has engaged cigar enthusiasts with iconic brands, unique tobaccos, and distinctive blending styles that attract new and old seasoned cigar enthusiasts. Their Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Nicaragua produces more premium cigars than any other single factory in the world, producing a variety of brands including ACID, Herrera Estelí, Herrera Estelí Norteño, Isla del Sol, Kentucky Fired Cured, Liga Privada, MUWAT, Natural by Drew Estate, Nica Rustica, Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Cigars, Tabak Especial, Undercrown, and Java by Drew Estate.