August 20, 2017

AJ Fernandez New World Puro Especial Short Churchill (6 x 48)






Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
At the 2017 IPCPR Trade Show AJ Fernandez Cigars introduced a third blend under its New World brand, the AJ Fernandez New World Puro Especial.

The  AJ Fernandez New World Puro Especial is a Nicaraguan puro that consists exclusively of tobaccos blended from several of AJ Fernandez’s farms across the Estelí region of Nicaragua.

The blend is a collaboration between Fernandez and his father, Ismael, that has been under development for several years. The blend includes a Nicaraguan Criollo ’98 wrapper from Fernandez’s San José farm. It also uses tobaccos from Fernandez’s La Soledad, La Providencia, and San Diego farms. The tobaccos in the blend have been aging for three to five years. New World Puro Especial is coming out of Fernandez’s Tabacalera Fernandez factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.

The New World Puro Especial will be available in three sizes: Robusto, Toro, and Short Churchill. It will be packaged in 20-count boxes. Pricing is $8.00 to $9.00, slightly higher than the pricing for the New World and New World Connecticut offerings.

The cigar had a limited stealth release last year under the name New World Habano Especial.


Blend Profile
The blend features tobaccos from Fernandez’s San José, San Diego, La Soledad, and La Providencia farms.

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo ’98
Binder: Nicaraguan (Estelí)
Filler: Nicaragua (Estelí)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Tabacalera Fernandez)


Vitolas Available
Robusto: 5 1/2 x 52 (SRP $8.50)
Short Churchill: 6 x 48 (SRP $8.00) REVIEWED TODAY
Toro: 6 1/2 x 52 (SRP $9.00)



The cigar is quite dark and well made. Here is a shot of the foot.





The cap has a fairly flat head so I decided to cut just below the flat area in order to take the minimum. The test draw was pretty good. The initial flavors at light up were dry cedar, boysenberry, and sweet chocolate. There was a nice amount of black pepper which I rated at an 8. There is a touch of buttery notes in the mix. There was a nice black coffee base. The cigar comes out of the gate at medium to full bodied.




1 1/2 inch in (21 minutes) you no longer have the boysenberry notes. You still have the cedar notes and now instead of straight buttery notes you have the flavor of a cashew butter. There were still chocolate and coffee notes also. The cashew butter is very distinct and you get it at the very beginning of the draw. It quickly fades to cedar, chocolate and finally the black coffee, but you cannot miss them. The finish has influence from the cashews and there were cream notes, along with nice lingering black pepper. The chocolate notes which began in the cigar as sweet chocolate are now more of a dark chocolate with little sweetness. The coffee notes are starting to become more prominent. 




A little past the midpoint (42 minutes) the dark chocolate and coffee notes are highly elevated. They far surpass everything else. The cigar is now full bodied. The cashew butter and cedar notes are still there with modest sweetness from light brown sugar. The cigar has turned into a very dark noted cigar.




The cigar ended at 1 hour 20 minutes. The heavy dark chocolate and coffee notes continued right to the end. You still had the cashew butter, cedar, and flashes of brown sugar sweetness. The cigar is very full bodied. You can feel it! The finish is still one of cashews and cream but you now have influence from the dark chocolate also. The lingering black pepper remained very good. This turned into a very dark noted cigar with modest sweetness. It was a little too dark for me since it lacked significant sweetness. But, if you like dark noted cigars with lots of black coffee notes you might want to check this out. After-all, it IS an AJ cigar and he makes great cigars, as we all know. This one, however, was just too dark with insufficient sweetness...for me. To give these cigars a try you can get them HERE.


Score: 91

August 19, 2017

La Gloria Cubana Coleccion Reserva Torpedo (6 x 54)






Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
At the 2017 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas, General Cigar Company showcased a new line under its La Gloria Cubana known as the La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva. It’s a significant release for La Gloria Cubana as it is a collaboration done with brand founder Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr. This is Perez-Carrillo’s first La Gloria Cubana release since he left General Cigar in 2009.

The cigar is produced at Ernesto Perez-Carrillo’s Tabacalera La Alianza factory working with Jhonys Diaz who oversees the General Cigar’s cigar making operations. The cigars will be sold through General Cigar. As a part of the launch of the cigar, Perez-Carrillo Jr. will visit select retailers to discuss the history of the La Gloria Cubana brand.

In a press release announcing the La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva, Perez-Carrillo commented, “La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva is based on a blend I created in the 1980s after I took over our Little Havana factory from my father. I am very proud of this cigar because it complements the other blends in the line and has a taste profile that will appeal to people who have smoked La Gloria since the brand first hit it big in the 90s. To me, Colección Reserva speaks to the legacy of La Gloria Cubana and proves that while so much has happened with the brand, nothing has changed.”

Jhonys Diaz, who oversees General Cigar’s cigar making operations worldwide noted, “My team and I have always admired Ernesto for his unique approach to cigar blending, and have remained friends since he left the company to establish EP Carrillo in 2009. We were thrilled at the opportunity to work with Ernesto again, and are very proud of Colección Reserva.”

The blend features an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper over a Nicaraguan viso binder, and Nicaraguan seco and ligero filler leaves that were selected by Perez-Carrillo. The cigars will be available in three sizes: Robusto, Toro, and Presidente. The cigars are packaged in 20-count boxes with a design inspired by Perez-Carrillo’s personal humidor. This will be a full-time regular production line.

This is not the first time Perez-Carrillo has worked with General Cigar since departing. In 2014, Perez-Carrillo teamed up with Michael Giannini of General Cigar to create the limited Re+United cigar. That cigar was also made at Tabacalera La Alianza and distributed by General Cigar.

The timing of the release is also interesting in that 2018 marks 50 years since Perez-Carrillo Jr. opened the El Credito factory, the place where he first produced La Gloria Cubana.


Blend Profile
Wrapper: Sumatra
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Tabacalera La Alianza)


Vitolas Available
Robusto: 5 1/2 x 54 (SRP $7.59)
Torpedo: 6 x 54 (SRP $8.29) REVIEWED TODAY
Presidente: 7 1/2 x 54 (SRP $8.99)



The cigar is a medium brown and very dense feeling in the hand.




With all torpedoes I cut the minimum from the cap and hope for a good test draw. In this case it was a bit firm but I gently rolled and squeezed around the cap and band to loosen it up a bit. It worked and the draw was pretty good. The initial flavors at light up were very interesting for primarily a Nicaraguan cigar. They were sweet cedar, sweet blackberry, cream, and brown sugar. There was a white pepper which I rated at a 7. 




About 1 1/2 inch in (28 minutes) the blackberry notes are still prominent but now the cedar has changed to a sweet tangy orange citrus. The split of blackberry to citrus is about 60/40. There is also brown sugar and buttery cream. The finish is a buttery cream with a light influence of the blackberry. There is a touch of lingering pepper. Overall, the pepper seems to be morphing from white to black. The transition is not complete yet but it's definitely changing. The cigar is medium bodied at this point. 




Around the midpoint (48 minutes) the pepper is definitely a black pepper now. I'd call it a table grade of black pepper. You still have the blackberry and citrus notes but now the brown sugar is more of a caramel flavor. There is light butter on the caramel. The finish is about the same. The cigar is still medium bodied but seems to be inching up. 




The cigar had a good burn time; 1 hour 28 minutes. From the midpoint to the end not a lot changed but one thing that stood out was the lingering peppery really increased. Although there was the change over from brown sugar to caramel I still got both notes at points. The sweet blackberry notes were very nice and stayed true to the end. At times near the end the citrus notes tasted more like sweet cedar, as the cigar began. The cigar moved up to medium to full bodied. There were still light buttery notes in the mix. The finish was unchanged except for the lingering black pepper increasing. This was a good cigar but smoke it glacially slow to get the best flavor notes. Ernesto did a good job on this cigar. To give these cigars a try go HERE.


Score: 92

August 06, 2017

Viaje Zombie Super Shot 2017 (3 1/4 x 54)




Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
The Zombie Super Shot made its debut in 2013. The line combines elements from two different Viaje lines.  The blend itself is based off the Viaje Zombie blend, but the cigar is released in the 10 gauge size (3 1/4 x 54) of popular Viaje’s Super Shot line. Since 2013, the Zombie Super Shot has been an annual Spring release for Viaje.

As for details of what exactly the “Zombie blend” is, it has never quite been disclosed – although typically it has been a Nicaraguan puro. While specifics on the 2017 have also not been disclosed. As in the past, the Zombie Super Shot 2017 is available in 25 count boxes.

It was in early 2012, when Viaje launched its Super Shot series. The name for the Super Shot comes from brand founder Andre Farkas and his interest in clay shooting. Farkas was hoping to create a short smoke while taking a break in between shooting. The cigars are shaped and sized similar to a shotgun shell.


The cigar is the same size as a shotgun shell and looks the part! For a cigar of this size it has a good feel in the hand. It is pretty dense feeling and has a nice oily wrapper. Notice the closed foot.




After cutting the cap you really can't give a test draw since the foot is totally closed. After lighting the cigar the draw was very good. The initial flavors were sweet cedar, caramel, brown sugar, and cream. There was a tremendous amount of black pepper which I rated at 8 1/2 to 9. The cigar has a full bodied taste but I would call it actually medium to full bodied at this point. 



About one inch in (32 minutes) the cigar is burning nice and slow and I'm intentionally smoking it as slow as I can. The burn is perfect. I started getting chocolate notes around this point to go along with the sweet cedar, caramel, and brown sugar. There is also light coffee at the base. The black pepper continues to be very good; perhaps it's a tick lower at this point but still quite good. The finish is one of caramel with a nice amount of lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium to full bodied at this point. The caramel and chocolate notes really come through. 




With about one inch remaining (52 minutes) the coffee and chocolate notes are elevated. The sweet cedar is barely there but the brown sugar continues to give the cigar some sweetness. The pepper remains very good. Early on I mentioned cream notes but I no longer get those. The cigar is now full bodied. You can start to feel the ligero at this point. The finish is caramel with chocolate notes to go along with the nice lingering black pepper. 




The cigar lasted 1 hour 5 minutes, going as slow as I could. The coffee and chocolate notes continued to be the lead flavors. The caramel notes are still there also. The cedar is barely detectable but it's still around. The pepper remained good throughout. The cigar is very full bodied. The finish was unchanged. This was a good, powerful little cigar. It had nice flavors. These fly off shelves as soon as they hit so good luck finding them. But, if you have one let me know how your flavors match up with mine. Good, short, powerful cigar.


Score: 93




August 05, 2017

Serino Royale Maduro XX Sublime (6 1/2 x 54)









Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
The Serino Royale Maduro XX is one of four blends by Serino Cigar Company. Serino Cigar Company is run by industry veteran Tony Serino. For over two decades, Serino has worked in the industry importing and selling premium bundle cigars. With the Serino Royale line, Serino unveils his own super premium line. To produce this line, Serino has teamed up with Omar Gonzalez Aleman of La Corona Cigars S.A.. Gonzalez is the former head director of the La Corona Factory in Havana, maker of many well known Cuban brands such as Romeo y Julieta, Hoyo de Monterrey, Cuaba, Por Larranaga, Saint Luis Rey, San Cristobal de Habana and some Montecristos. To U.S. cigar enthusiast, most recently Gonzalez is best known for his involvement of brands HR, Soneros, and Cubanacan. 


Blend Profile
Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrappers are something that seem to be a staple out of Gonzalez’s La Corona factory. The Serino Royale Maduro XX is no exception.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro (Habano 2000 seed)
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Esteli, Nicaragua; Jalapa, Nicargua (Aged Five Years)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (La Corona SA)


Vitolas Available
The Serino Royale Maduro XX is available in four sizes. Each are packaged in 20 count boxes.

Sublime 6 1/4 x 54 REVIEWED TODAY
Toro: 6 x 52
Belicoso: 5 1/4 x 52
Robusto: 5 1/8 x 48



The cigar is dark and well made. It had no veins or bumps and the wrapper was slightly oily. It had a nice, dense feel in the hand.





The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors were boysenberry with a high pitched orange, almost tangerine citrus flavor, brown sugar, cream, coffee, and black pepper rated at 7 1/2. The cigar is medium bodied. 




1 1/2 inches in (28 minutes) you still have the citrus notes but they are secondary to the chocolate notes which have taken the place of the boysenberry notes, brown sugar, and black coffee. The cream notes are no longer there. The cigar is still medium bodied, which surprises me since the name is maduro XX. I expected the cigar to be very full and very dark. It is neither right now. The finish is one of chocolate and cream with a small amount of lingering black pepper. 




At the midpoint (53 minutes) I had a burn issue. I turned the cigar down at a 45 degree angle when not smoking it to try and even it out. The citrus notes are now tasting like a sweet cedar. There are heavy chocolate notes, brown sugar, and black coffee notes. The cigar is still medium bodied. The finish is unchanged. 




With 2 inches left (1 hour 14 minutes) the burn has improved. The cigar has the darkest notes so far at this point. The chocolate and coffee notes are really coming out. The sweetness is still modest. The pepper has maintained around a 7 to 7 1/2 rating. The finish has a little more chocolate at this point and a little more lingering black pepper. The cigar is still medium bodied. 




The cigar had a great burn time of 1 hour 38 minutes! Here in the final quarter the citrus notes came back. The cigar started with citrus notes, went to cedar at the midpoint, and here at the end went back to citrus. The chocolate, brown sugar, and coffee notes are still there. The burn evened out too. It took awhile but it evened out. This was an interesting cigar because I expected it to be one way from the name and it was quite different. Still, it was a pretty good cigar. Nothing overpowering or overblown but pretty good. While a lot of maduros tend to be full bodied this cigar was at best medium bodied. The flavors were nice and the change from citrus to cedar and back to citrus was rather unique. This cigar is good enough to be in my regular rotation and if you like maduros give this one a try.


Score: 91

July 30, 2017

Gispert Intenso Toro (6 x 50)






Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
Over the past few years, we have seen Altadis U.S.A. incorporate themes such as collaborations, making cigars in Nicaragua, and resurrecting dormant brands. Recently a new release has arrived at retailers from Altadis U.S.A. that incorporates all three of these elements – the Gispert Intenso.

For starters, the Gispert Intenso is a collaboration between A.J. Fernandez and Altadis’ Grupo de Maestros. The Grupo de Maestros team represents some of Altadis’ most skilled cigar makers and have been involved on many of Altadis’ high profile releases. The new Gispert Intenso is being  produced out of Tabacalera Fernandez. The Gispert Intenso is being distributed directly by Altadis U.S.A.

Gispert is a brand that has pre-revolution origins in Cuba. Today the Gispert on the market is a milder Connecticut Shade offering made in Honduras. Except for some packaging changes, the Gispert brand has been pretty quiet in Altadis U.S.A’s portfolio.

Meanwhile the new Gispert Intenso brings what the name says – a more intense and bolder cigar experience. Intenso uses a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and a combination of Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. It is available in three sizes – packaged in 20 count boxes. Pricing is in the $6.00 to $6.95 per cigar.


Blend Profile
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Nicaragua


Vitolas Available
Corona: 5 x 44
Toro: 6 x 50 REVIEWED TODAY
Belicoso: 6 1/8 x 52



The cigar is very dark and well made. It is box pressed and has a nice feel in the hand.





The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors were black licorice with cream which has some sweetness, espresso, and an absolute ton of black pepper which I rated at a 9+. When you retro hale it seems to be at a 10! This is a polar opposite from the normal Gispert cigar. It is full bodied right out of the gate. At this point, the name is derived from the intense black pepper.




3/4 inch in (7 minutes) the cigar has already changed. The flavors now are a buttery brown sugar and cedar, light cream notes, espresso, and the black pepper has toned down to an 8. Again, the cigar is full bodied. The finish is a thick cream with some brown sugar notes and nice lingering black pepper. 




At the midpoint (39 minutes) you get flashes of raw almonds. You also still have the cedar, brown sugar, espresso, and massive amounts of black pepper. The finish is pretty much unchanged. The cigar continues to be very full bodied. I would say this cigar is way too powerful for a beginner and probably too intense (play on words) for the intermediate cigar smoker. Experienced smokers would probably enjoy this type of cigar. Even then, I would suggest having something on your stomach before smoking this type of cigar. The cigar has an adequate amount of sweetness to counteract the heavy espresso and black pepper notes. The raw almonds act as a bridge between the cedar and brown sugar and the espresso and black pepper. 





With 2 inches remaining (58 minutes) the espresso and black pepper have overtaken the sweet cedar and brown sugar as the lead flavors. The cigar continues to be very full bodied. You can feel the ligero surging through your veins. The finish is still a sweet cream with some brown sugar and now there are coffee notes also to go along with the nice amount of lingering black pepper. The black pepper on the front end has rebounded back to around an 8 1/2.




As the cigar ended (1 hour 14 minutes) the espresso and black pepper continued to be the lead flavors with the sweet cedar, brown sugar, and raw almonds trailing slightly behind. The almond notes still act as a bridge between the two groups. I don't believe I can overstate how full bodied this cigar is. Smoke it slowly to (1) get the best flavors and (2) not pass out! The finish is unchanged. This has been a good cigar. AJ pulled out the big guns to help with this one. It is a powerhouse! While this is not an every day cigar (in my opinion) it has a place in the rotation. There are times you want a flavorful, powerful cigar and this fits the bill. And, if you love black pepper you will love this cigar. It's loaded. Purchase this cigar HERE.



Score: 92


July 29, 2017

Hoyo La Amistad Silver Robusto (5 x 50)






Video review HERE.


(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
At the 2017 IPCPR Trade Show, General Cigar introduced a second collaboration with acclaimed cigar maker AJ Fernandez under its Hoyo brand. This cigar is dubbed the Hoyo La Amistad Silver.

Hoyo is an offshoot of the Hoyo de Monterrey brand. Back in 2015, Hoyo de Monterrey celebrated its 150th anniversary. A limited commemorative cigar called Hoyo de Monterrey Edición de Cumpleanos 150 was introduced that featured a more contemporary look for the Hoyo de Monterrey brand. That look carried over into 2016 when the company launched the Hoyo line, which was based on the Cumpleanos 150 concept. At the time, General Cigar was positioning the Hoyo for small batch cigars, collaborations and other exciting special projects.” The first of those collaborations made its debut last year with the first Hoyo La Amistad. It was a cigar that garnered both critical acclaim and commercial success for General Cigar.

The new Hoyo La Amistad Silver is an all-Habano seed blend consisting of an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, a Nicaraguan Habano binder, and proprietary Cuban-seed (Habano) Nicaraguan tobaccos cultivated by Fernandez on his farms in Estelí and Condega. The cigar is available in three sizes: Churchill, Robusto, and “Pancho” (5 1/2 x 52). Each of the three sizes is available in 20-count boxes.

“It is an honor to blend for Hoyo because it reminds me how far I’ve come and gives me a chance to reflect on my roots. Growing up in Cuba near to the Hoyo de Monterrey tobacco farms left a big impression on me. Those fields will always remind me of home. So when I came to develop the second blend in the Hoyo La Amistad series, I wanted to honor the Cuban tradition of Hoyo by making a cigar with all Cuban-seed tobaccos. In this project, I used tobaccos that I grew on my farms in Nicaragua, so this is very special to me personally,” commented AJ Fernandez in a press release.

The packaging features the new contemporary Hoyo banding with Fernandez’s name on the secondary band – and it’s a secondary band reminiscent of one seen on many of AJ Fernandez’s own brands. The Hoyo La Amistad Silver differs from its predecessor the Hoyo La Amistad in that it has silver accents on the banding and packaging.


Blend Profile
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan (Estelí, Condega)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Tabacalera Fernandez)


Vitolas Available
Robusto: 5 x 50 REVIEWED TODAY
Pancho: 5 1/2 x 52
Churchill: 6 7/8 x 48


The cigar is well made and has a slight oily wrapper. It is very similar looking to the original. Here is a side by side comparison of last year's original band and the silver.

2016 Hoyo La Amistad

2017 Hoyo La Amistad Silver



The cigar has a nice feel in the hand. 





The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors were a combination of orange citrus and strawberry, buttery brown sugar and cinnamon, leather, and black coffee. There was black pepper rated at an 8+. 



1 1/2 inches in (20 minutes) the strawberry notes are gone. The citrus notes are still there but they are overwhelmed by the brown sugar and cinnamon. The leather notes are elevated. Black coffee holds the base. There are some rooty-type flavors in the mix now. The black pepper is still good but I lost the buttery notes. The cigar is medium bodied leaning toward medium to full. The finish is cream with a touch of leather and brown sugar, along with some lingering black pepper. 






With only an inch remaining (51 minutes) the flavors have changed quite a bit. There are now cedar notes in the place of orange citrus. The sweetness comes from brown sugar and cinnamon. The leather notes are very elevated. They are the lead flavor along with the black coffee. The pepper is still good and the finish is unchanged. The cigar is medium to full bodied and leaning toward full bodied. 







As the cigar ended (1 hour 3 minutes) the leather and coffee notes continued to surge. The cedar, brown sugar, and cinnamon are still there but very much secondary. The cigar is a low level full bodied. This is a different cigar from the original. While similar in some ways this cigar has many more dark notes. After having both cigars I prefer the original but this is a good cigar that I would smoke again. This version is a couple points behind the original which means it's still a very good cigar. You can purchase these cigars HERE.



Score: 92

July 24, 2017

New releases from General Cigar

In this post I will be highlighting the new releases from General Cigar. Looks like some good things are about to be released!






CAO UNLEASHES AMAZON ANACONDA

It started with CAO Amazon Basin, continued with Fuma Em Corda and now, the CAO Amazon trilogy reaches a crescendo with Amazon Anaconda, a new limited edition cigar made with the rarest tobaccos known to man.

Ernest Gocaj, the Indiana Jones of the cigar world, took his final trip to the wilds of Brazil in 2013. This time, the natives presented him with a hearty wrapper leaf they call Bahiano Habano which is used for the first and only time in CAO Amazon Anaconda.

Grown in the fertile Bahia region of eastern Brazil, the Bahiano Habano wrapper yielded a leaf that was dense, compact, and extremely flavorful. Ernest spent several years working with the local farmers, teaching them special agricultural practices to improve tobacco yield and leaf quality. In the end, Ernest purchased only the ligero leaves from the highest stalk position on the plant to ensure that the true rich and robust flavors of the Bahiano tobacco came through on Amazon Anaconda.

Blender/ambassador Rick Rodriguez said, “This was the first time that the blending team and I worked with the Bahiano wrapper, and we devoted a couple of months just to leaf selection. Only the very best leaves were chosen and that shows right away, not only in the look, but also in the flavor of the cigar. It’s got a very unique, earthy taste, with notes of leather and espresso. There’s no doubt in my mind that the fans of CAO are going to wild for this blend.”


Bringing the CAO Brazilia trilogy to a stunning conclusion, the Brazilian Bahiano Habano ligero wrapper is supported by a blend made primarily of Bragança and Fuma Em Corda, the primitive, Brazilian tobaccos that also appeared in the trilogy’s previous releases. A Nicaraguan binder ensures an even burn, while Colombian and Dominican leaves enhance the blend, maximizing the exotic flavor of the Brazilian filler leaves.

CAO Amazon Anaconda is a once-in sale only at cigar shops, and when the cigars hit retail next month, they will sell out in an instant. Anaconda is handcrafted in Honduras, packed in rustic wooden boxes and are only available in a 6 x 52 Toro. The cigars will sell for $10.49 per cigar, and a 20-count boxes will cost you $209.80. That is, if you can find them.







Diesel Grind

Have you heard about Diesel Grind? If not, you will. This cool, value-priced line has cult classic written all over it.

Here’s Diesel Grind in a nutshell:

Handmade by AJ Fernandez in his Nicaraguan factory

Made with aged tobaccos

Is a powerful yet smooth smoke

The blend has notes of earth, cedar, espresso and spice

It’s got a very cool band and comes in a 20-count rustic wooden box

It’s brick and mortar only

Did we mention it’s value priced and made by AJ Fernandez?


Wrapper: Habano

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Available in three sizes:

Robusto -- 4.88 x 50; SRP per cigar is $5.99

Toro – 6 x 50; SRP per cigar is $6.49

Torpedo – 6.12 x 52; SRP per cigar is $6.99

Ships in mid-August

Again, only available at cigar shops.

There you have it.






Presenting La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva

In April 1968, the El Credito Cigar Factory opened in Little Havana and for decades, they turned out handmade, Cuban-style smokes for the locals. All that changed 25 years ago when high ratings transformed the factory’s La Gloria Cubana line into one of the most-wanted cigar brands available in the U.S.

Known as “the original boutique brand,” La Gloria Cubana returns to its roots with “Colección Reserva,” a special new line developed collaboratively with former brand owner and master blender Ernesto Perez-Carrillo. Colección Reserva celebrates the last 25 years of the brand’s unwavering success.

Ernesto Perez-Carrillo said, “La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva is based on a blend I created in the 1980s, after I took over our Little Havana factory from my father. I am very proud of this cigar because it complements the other blends in the line and has a taste profile that will appeal to people who have smoked La Gloria since the brand first hit it big in the 90s. To me, Colleción Reserva speaks to the legacy of La Gloria Cubana and proves that while so much has happened with the brand, nothing has changed.”

Jhonys Diaz, who oversees General Cigar’s cigar making operations worldwide noted, “My team and I have always admired Ernesto for his unique approach to cigar blending, and have remained friends since he left the company to establish EPC Carrillo in 2009. We were thrilled at the opportunity to work with Ernesto again, and are very proud of Colleción Reserva.”

A full-time addition to the La Gloria Cubana portfolio, La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva reflects Ernesto’s blending expertise and features the world’s best proprietary tobaccos. The blend begins in Ecuador, under intense cloud cover and in the shadow of the Andes. There, in the Los Rios province of the Quevedo region, bracketed by two volcanoes, the alluvial soils and microclimate yield a Sumatra wrapper with abundant natural oils and exceptional flavors of earth and spice.

Beneath the wrapper lies a blend of Nicaraguan seco and ligero leaves selected by Ernesto and cultivated just once a year. Colleción Reserva is bound by a Nicaraguan viso leaf and delivers a rich and refined flavor, with notes of leather, cedar and spice.


The three-cigar collection is handcrafted at Tabacalera La Alianza in Santiago, DR and will debut in July across all retail channels. La Colección Reserva will be marketed and sold through General Cigar Company.

Presented in a box inspired by Ernesto’s personal humidor, the collection will launch with the following vitolas, each packaged in boxes containing 20 cigars:

Robusto (5.5”x 54); SRP per cigar is $7.59

Torpedo (6”x 54); SRP per cigar is $8.29

Presidente (7.5”x 54); SRP per cigar is $8.99

In support of La Colección Reserva, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo will make special appearances at fine cigar shops across the U.S. to share the history of La Gloria Cubana.








Introducing Hoyo La Amistad Silver

Following the success of Hoyo de Monterrey’s “La Amistad” collaboration which debuted at IPCPR last year, Master Blender A.J. Fernandez has developed an exciting new line made entirely with Habano seed tobaccos. Called “Hoyo La Amistad Silver,” A.J.’s latest creation complements the original La Amistad blend and embodies the true craftsmanship of Hoyo de Monterrey cigars.

A.J. Fernandez said, “It is an honor to blend for Hoyo because it reminds me how far I’ve come and gives me a chance to reflect on my roots. Growing up in Cuba near to the Hoyo de Monterrey tobacco farms left a big impression on me. Those fields will always remind me of home. So when I came to develop the second blend in the Hoyo La Amistad series, I wanted to honor the Cuban tradition of Hoyo by making a cigar with all Cuban-seed tobaccos. In this project, I used tobaccos that I grew on my farms in Nicaragua, so this is very special to me personally.”

Hoyo La Amistad Silver takes the Hoyo/AJ collection to the next level, with a robust, meaty smoke loaded with indulgent notes of earth and black pepper. To achieve the cigar’s full-bodied complexity, proprietary Cuban-seed Nicaraguan tobaccos cultivated by AJ on his farms in Esteli and Condega are bound with a Nicaraguan Habano leaf. The blend is enveloped in an exquisite, hand-selected Ecuadoran Habano wrapper aged to deliver a uniquely robust and hearty flavor. This is artisanal cigar making at its best.


Hoyo La Amistad Silver is handcrafted at the AJ Fernandez cigar factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. The cigars are presented in 20-count boxes featuring the modern branding that debuted with the original La Amistad release. Silver will be available in three sizes beginning in mid-August. They are:


Churchill – 6.87 x 48; SRP per cigar is $7.99

Pancho – 5.5 x 52; SRP per cigar is $7.49

Robusto – 5 x 50; SRP per cigar is $6.99









MACANUDO INSPIRADO WHITE AND BLACK

IPCPR 2017 is set to kick off with a premiere party that defies convention. The who’s who of the premium cigar category will witness the Vegas strip pale in comparison, as Macanudo lights up the night with one of most exciting new cigar launches in recent history.

Presenting Macanudo Inspirado White and Macanudo Inspirado Black, two new collections from the top-rated, internationally-acclaimed brand.

“The evolution of Macanudo continues with the launch of Macanudo Inspirado White and Black,” said General Cigar President Régis Broersma. “Cigar lovers who now see Macanudo in a new light should be prepared to be wowed yet again.”

The new collections continue on the course charted by the original Macanudo Inspirado blends, introduced to the U.S. market last year. Created for discerning smokers in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Macanudo Inspirado marked an evolution of the brand, and ushered in an entirely new dimension of taste for Macanudo. Today, the evolution continues with two new lines that expand Inspirado’s range and deliver unique smoking experiences made for worldly palates.



Macanudo Inspirado White



At first glance, Macanudo Inspirado White is a thing of beauty. Grown beneath a veil of clouds, the lustrous Ecuadoran Connecticut wrapper is a proprietary leaf developed by General Cigar’s agronomists to deliver an aesthetic quality like no other. Aged for six years and refined to a creamy shade of gold, the wrapper sets the stage for a study in contrast.

Beauty soon turns to complexity, as an Indonesian binder brings forth an aromatic richness, while Nicaraguan Condega and Mexican San Andres leaves, each aged for four years, deliver sweet strength. A Nicaraguan leaf cultivated in the Jalapa Valley and aged for two years deepens the experience, producing a cigar brimming with notes of earth and spice. This is Macanudo Inspirado White.

Jhonys Diaz who spearheaded blend development for Macanudo Inspirado White said, “We spent several years developing this blend, using tobaccos we refined and aged to perfection. Think of the most creamy, alluring cigar you’ve ever had, amplify the complexity and you have Macanudo Inspirado White.”


Handcrafted at General Cigar Dominicana, Macanudo Inspirado White will be available in striking, 20-count boxes and will debut at retail in mid-July. The collection will debut with three vitolas.

Robusto (5” x 50); SRP per cigar is $6.49

Toro (6.5” x 50); SRP per cigar is $6.99

Churchill (7” x 48); SRP per cigar is $7.29





Macanudo Inspirado Black




A balance of power, achieved by art and science. This is Macanudo Inspirado Black.

In a proprietary and experimental process, the Connecticut Broadleaf plants were left to ripen on the stalk. The result is a rich and radiant maduro wrapper with a new dimension of sweetness. As masterful blending calls for balance and complexity, the Ecuadoran Sumatra binder enhances the strength and flavor of the Broadleaf wrapper. And that is just the beginning.

The Nicaraguan-forward blend features proprietary seeds grown in Esteli, uniquely fermented to produce the utmost in strength and flavor. All told, this is a cigar that demands attention, with bold, peppery notes intertwined with a subtle under tone of sweet earth.

Jhonys Diaz noted, “Macanudo Inspirado Black represents sophistication, and is truly for the initiated smoker. It’s about tobaccos that deliver incredible full-bodied flavor and complexity, in a cigar that’s balanced and pleasurable to smoke.”

Also handcrafted at General Cigar Dominicana, Macanudo Inspirado Black will be available in striking, 20-count boxes and will begin shipping to retailers in mid-July. The collection will debut with these three vitolas:

Robusto (4 7/8” x 48); SRP per cigar is $6.99

Toro (5.87” x 54); SRP per cigar is $7.49

Churchill (7” x 48); SRP per cigar is $7.99

Beginning in August, Macanudo Inspirado events will be held at top cigar shops across the country.







PRESENTING THE NEW PARTAGAS 1845

In the five years since its launch, Partagas 1845 remains one of the most successful brands in the handmade cigar category. Today, the collection’s three distinct blends have been completely updated with deeper, richer taste profiles, and modernized with a new look and feel. Each of the three Partagas 1845 lines continues to pay homage to the heritage of Partagas by featuring the hallmarks of the brand – the finest, hand selected tobaccos, meticulous construction and an exquisite array of flavors.

Andres Maturen, brand manager for Partagas said, “Within the Partagas portfolio, the 1845 franchise stands apart for its ability to bridge the brand’s rich heritage and symbolism with contemporary influences. We’ve continued along this path by reimagining Partagas 1845 with a modern lens. The new Partagas 1845 blends give a nod to the brand’s storied history while delivering added complexity and more competitive pricing to resonate with discerning smokers of today.”

The newly-revamped lines will be offered at lower price points than the original Partagas 1845 lines, and will ship in mid-August.




Partagas 1845 Clásico

A medium-bodied collection available in four vitolas, Partagas 1845 Clásico is a creamy smoke with hints of toast and nuts. This four-country blend begins with a lustrous Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper, draped over a Connecticut Broadleaf binder. The blend features hand-selected leaves from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. With the new Partagas 1845 Clásico, cigar lovers can now expect to enjoy a more profound smoking experience.

Gigante – 6 x 60; SRP per cigar is $7.49

Churchill – 7 x 49; SRP per cigar is $7.19

Toro – 6 x 52; SRP per cigar is $6.89

Robusto – 5 x 50; SRP per cigar is $6.29







Partagas 1845 Extra Fuerte

The newly-blended Partagas 1845 Extra Fuerte strikes an intricate balance between intensity and complexity. This is a full-bodied cigar that features a blend of aged ligeros from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, with a Connecticut Habano binder and aromatic Olancho San Agustin wrapper. A smoke for the initiated, Partagas 1845 Extra Fuerte is available in four sizes and packs a punch with a dynamic array of roasted coffee overtones.

Gigante – 6 x 60; SRP per cigar is $7.69

Churchill – 7 x 49; SRP per cigar is $7.39

Toro – 6.5 x 45; SRP per cigar is $6.99

Robusto – 5.5 x 50; SRP per cigar is $6.49








Partagas 1845 Extra Oscuro

At first glance, the dark, oily wrapper of Partagas 1845 Extra Oscuro predicts a cigar of pure power. That is only the beginning. Complexity reigns as this bold blend of Honduran, Nicaraguan and Dominican opens to rich, sweet spice, balancing the aged Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and binder with hints of espresso and caramel. Savory notes intensify as the smoke progresses, to deliver a cigar of great character.

Churchill – 7.25 x 54; SRP per cigar is $7.39

Toro – 6.12 x 50; SRP per cigar is $6.99

Robusto – 5.25 x 50; SRP per cigar is $6.49

Rothschild – 5.63 x 46; SRP per cigar is $6.29










New Items and Special Offers


Macanudo Inspirado Orange Tube
Macanudo has won global accolades with its expertly-blended Inspirado collection made with proprietary tobaccos from a broad range of origins. A complex, medium bodied smoke with notes of spice, this international, best-selling blend is now available in an eye-catching tube. With Cigar Aficionado’s impressive 93 rating as an endorsement for the blend, Macanudo Inspirado Orange tubo (5.5 x 50) is sure to be a top-selling addition to the Inspirado Orange lineup. SRP per cigar is $7.49.




The Ultimate Accessory Collection by Cohiba
From one of the world’s most respected cigar brands comes a rarefied opportunity to purchase the ultimate in custom-designed cigar accoutrements. Plated with premium stainless steel and palladium, this extraordinary set features the only two items a discerning cigar smoker will ever need. A stunning, triple torch flame lighter with ebony lacquer accents brings beauty and power to provide efficient lighting in all conditions, while a razor-sharp, single action, double blade delivers a precise cut every single time. This special accessory duo is presented in a gorgeous display box and will only be available until the 300 sets are sold. Shipping in late August, the suggested retail price for The Ultimate Accessory Collection is $720.



CAO World Sampler
Take a trip around the world with the CAO World Sampler which features the unique flavors of four countries in one special collection. Indulge in spicy Brazilian tobacco, rare Italian leaf, smooth Connecticut Maduro and exotic Colombian tobacco with this globe-trotting sampler. It contains one each of these CAO favorites: CAO Brazilia Gol!, Italia Ciao, America Potomac and Colombia Vallenato. This four-cigar collection is available for a per-pack SRP of $20.99, an offer that’s even more enticing than previous releases.




CAO Gold Sampler
Cigar lovers drawn to the mellow flavor of CAO Gold and the slightly spicy nuances of CAO Gold Maduro can now enjoy the indulgences of both blends, thanks to the CAO Gold Sampler. This outstanding combo pack highlights two great tastes from one of CAO’s most popular lines, and is available for an SRP of $18.99, for the four-count pack. Ships in late August.




Flavours by CAO Sampler
Complete with six Petit Corona cigars from our most popular flavor-infused offerings, “flavours by CAO” is a delight for the senses. A treasure trove of taste nuances awaits the premium cigar smoker who seeks to indulge in the finest mild tobaccos subtly accented by our unique, natural flavorings. For those who wish to indulge in CAO’s collection of flavours, this special sampler offers a guided tour at an unbeatable price of $25.14 for six cigars. Available beginning in October.



CAO Champions Sampler
The CAO Champions Sampler II includes OSA Sol and LX2, in addition to the best blends from the original Champions Sampler collection. Cigar lovers who seek the full spectrum of top-rated offerings from CAO need look no further than this attractive black leather travel humidor. This incredible offer contains 10 cigars, and will be available in October for an SRP of $78.20.





Holiday Gift Chest
You can’t have a holiday without a GCC holiday gift chest! This year we go back to where we started with all the essentials from our Dominican and Honduran factories. This chest is filled with special sampler packs ideal for any cigar lover or gift giver looking for great variety at an unbeatable price. Kick the holidays into high gear with the Macanudo Hyde Park Collection, Cohiba Collection, La Gloria Cubana Collection, Serie R Belicoso Collection, Honduran Selection, Punch Rothschild Collection, Premier Selection, or the Future 54s Collection. All are priced between $16 – $54 SRPs per box. These cigar collections pair well with all kinds of holiday cheer, roast beast, egg nog, long drawn out family gatherings, stockings hung without care, and even overly critical in-laws. The Holiday Gift Chest ships in October.





Macanudo Collection with Lighter

As America’s top-selling premium cigar brand, Macanudo Café, Cru Royale and Maduro are universally appealing to those devoted to handcrafted cigars. With a windowed view of the impeccably constructed cigars contained inside, this special offer is made even more enticing with a branded quad-flame lighter. The Macanudo Collection with Lighter ships to retailers in September for an SRP of $48.99.



Partagas Collection with Lighter

What’s better than smoking a full-bodied Partagas Black Label cigar? How about having the bold flavor of Partagas 1845 and the enticing flavor of Partagas Yellow Box on hand for future smoking occasions? This special window box contains a total of six cigars, with the added bonus of a branded quad-flame lighter. The Partagas Collection with Lighter ships in September and will sell at retail for the suggested price of $48.99. Quantities are limited.



General Cigar Extends Portfolio to Include Humidor Accessories

General Cigar announces that the company will extend its portfolio of top-selling cigars to include a complete selection of humidor accessories, shipping to retailers in October, via the Humi-Care range of products.

Regis Broersma, president of General Cigar said, “We are always looking for ways to better serve the trade. By offering a full line of humidor accessories, we’re able to provide retailers with the convenience of one-stop shopping. With products priced considerably less than comparable items available on the market, some of which being exclusive and patented, the benefits of Humi-Care are many.”

The range of Humi-Care products to be sold by General Cigar includes the following items.

Cigar Juice – A propylene glycol solution ideal for maintaining optimal humidity levels in jars and pillows, Cigar Juice is available in an 8 oz or 16 oz bottle, for a per-bottle SRP of $6.99 and $8.99, respectively.

4 oz Crystal Jar – The best-selling item in the Humi-Care line, the Crystal Jar is priced less than competitive products and delivers the goods with unmatched humidity.

Black Ice Pie Jar – Another top-seller in the Humi-Care line, this patented product can be split into four pieces to take up minimal space in the humidor, while delivering radiant humidity. The Black Ice Pie Jar is available in a four oz. (SRP is $12.50) and 8 oz. size (SRP is $14.99).

HX10 Crystal Rectangle Humidifier – An unbeatable value with an SRP that’s less than competitive humidifiers, the Humi-Care HX10 Crystal Rectangle Humidifier is a great, cost-effective solution for any humidor.

Portable Humidification Pillows – For fresh from the factory flavor anytime, anywhere, look no further than the Humi-Pack humidification pillow. The Humi-Pack pillows offer unbeatable moisture levels in a portable price-friendly package.

Seasoning Wipes – A unique, turnkey solution for seasoning your humidor, the Humi-Pack seasoning wipes are easy to use and individually packaged for easy sale.

Black Ice Round Digital Hygrometer – At an SRP of $19.99, Humi-Care’s digital hygrometer delivers top-notch readings at a significantly less expensive cost than similar items on the market.

Humi-Care Rectangle Digital Hygrometer – With a large display, the Humi-Care rectangular hygrometer is ideal for easy-to-read, accurate humidity levels, and uses traditional AAA batteries vs. watch batteries for easy long-term maintenance.