JC Newman

July 09, 2024

JR Cigar Launching Newest Release, ‘Crafted By JR Series,’ in collaboration with Aganorsa Leaf

JR Cigar is pleased to announce the launch of Crafted By JR: Aganorsa Leaf, the latest addition to its Crafted By JR series. What started as the JR Cigar team’s idea to share their smoking expertise with customers has developed into an evolving collection of cigar collaborations with some of the biggest names in the industry. For the series’ sophomore release, JR Cigar has joined forces with Aganorsa Leaf, masters of both growing and blending tobacco, and has worked closely with them to craft this exclusive and flavorful blend.

“Our JR team is constantly striving to provide our customers with a unique, premium experience,” says Brad Winstead, CEO of JR Cigar. “With Crafted By JR, our goal is to collaborate with the best, most inventive minds in the industry, and create a stellar cigar exclusively for our customers Because of our size, history, and solid reputation in the industry, we have the resources and opportunities to work with standout manufacturers like Aganorsa Leaf to offer the best to our customers while also showcasing the innovation and talent of our team. We are proud of this collaboration with Aganorsa Leaf and expect this cigar to do very well.”

Crafted By JR: Aganorsa Leaf highlights the growing and blending prowess of Aganorsa Leaf, featuring a tantalizing blend of their Nicaraguan tobaccos and a dark, oily Mexican San Andres wrapper. Medium- to full-bodied in flavor and strength, the profile notes work together, offering hints of chocolate and espresso that combine effortlessly with dashes of tobacco sweetness and earthy spice, to create a complex, yet balanced and approachable cigar.

"JR Cigar has always been a valued partner of ours, and we were incredibly excited to partake in the Crafted By JR series" says Terence Reilly, Vice President of Sales for Aganorsa Leaf. "This was a unique project and our team enjoyed working with theirs, to craft this special cigar. Now we can’t wait for their customers to experience our blend."

The Crafted By JR Aganorsa Leaf cigars will be packaged in custom-designed boxes of 10 ($84.99), that feature elegant design work created to stand out in the humidor. Maintaining their exclusivity, the production of these 6x48 Toros will be restricted to just 7,500 cigars.

This limited-edition launch will be available beginning July 10, exclusively at www.jrcigars.com.

July 08, 2024

Bishops Blend 2024 to ship next week

Black Label Trading Company is pleased to announce the shipment of Bishops Blend to select retailers beginning next week. Bishops Blend is hand crafted in Esteli, Nicaragua at Fabrica Oveja Negra.

“We are very excited about this highly anticipated release. This is the eighth release of Bishops Blend and continues to be one of our most sought-after, limited annual releases. Bishops Blend boasts big bold flavors of anise, pepper, raisins, and a sweet earthiness on the finish. It is very complex and extremely refined. As with the past vintages, the broadleaf fillers shine at the forefront and are perfectly balanced by the Nicaraguan filler tobaccos,” said James Brown, creator of Black Label Trading Co. and partner at Fabrica Oveja Negra.

BISHOPS BLEND will be available at select retailers.

Blend and Origin:

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Maduro

Binder: Ecuador Habano

Filler: Nicaragua, Connecticut & PA Broadleaf

Available vitolas:

Corona Larga – 6.25 x 46 (20 count) MSRP $13.00

Robusto – 5 x 48 (20 count) MSRP $12.00

Lancero – 7 x 42 (12 count) MSRP $13.50

July 06, 2024

Barba Amarilla 2024 (5 5/8 x 48)

Video review HERE.

(Description provided by Smallbatchcigar.com)

We're very excited to introduce a bold new liga from Steve Saka, exclusive to Small Batch Cigar! What follows are some words from the man himself on how he crafted this beautiful cigar and how it would go on to earn its name:

"Barba Amarilla is the moniker for the venomous Fer-de-Lance. It is a very aggressive snake and the one often regarded as the most dangerous in Nicaragua.

It is an odd name for a cigar, but when I crafted the blend in early 2020 I found myself 'bit' by it. Not only was it potent, but it really held my attention – there is something about its spicy, sweet cedar core that is hard to describe, yet so alluring. My first thought was ‘oh this is going to be dangerous for my wallet…’, hence the name. It is a very complex liga that includes seven different sun grown tobaccos and an unusual recipe as it is solely a combination of Viso and Ligero long-leaf tripas.

To temper its peppery bite I decided to rest these longer in the cool rooms and I am so glad I did as it really allowed the flavor profile to blossom – think a stronger liga that has been allowed to age to creamy perfection. I strongly suggest you take a moment to inhale the scent of this cigar before you spark it as it has the most alluring of sweet tobacco scents, only to be surpassed by its aroma as you smoke it. Also, please don’t forget to retrohale this puro so you can enjoy a bit of its green peppercorn core.

The cigar is medium brown and well made. It has an average feel in the hand.


The test draw after cutting the cap was a little firm but workable. The initial flavors at light up were peach, lime, apple, cinnamon, and leather. There was black pepper rated at 7 1/2. Pretty good start.

At the first third (27 minutes) the ash was still intact. I had the same notes but in order of prominence they are lime, peach, apple, light cinnamon, and leather. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish is leather with very good lingering black pepper. The cigar is quite good. Dunbarton has done a good job for Small Batch. I rated the first third 95.

As I moved through the second third (57 minutes) the front end sweet notes are now one massive sweet flavor. The leather has increased. The cigar is medium to full bodied but it's almost full bodied. The finish is unchanged. I rated the second third 94.

The cigar lasted 1 hour 25 minutes. The leather continued to slowly move up while the sweet notes slightly decreased. The cigar is full bodied. The finish is unchanged. I rated the final third 93. This is a good cigar and well worth trying. You can get the 2023 version in 3 packs and the 2024 version in 3 packs or boxes of 10. No codes or discounts on these but still a must try. Use my code, tinytim, on other Smallbatchcigar.com cigars and save 10%.

Overall Score: 94

July 05, 2024

Knuckle Sandwich Chef Special 2024 (6 x 54 Toro Oval)

Video review HERE.

(Description taken from Halfwheel.com website)

The cigar is a 6 x 54 toro oval shape, the first time that size has been used for a Chef Special release. It is also a different blend than the previous Chef Special cigars: a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper and a Nicaraguan binder and filler. The cigars are produced at AJ Fernandez’s San Lotano Factory in Ocotal, Nicaragua.

The Knuckle Sandwich Chef Special 2024 has an MSRP of $16 per cigar and production is limited to 2,000 boxes of 10 cigars.

“Every year we offer a new Chef Special, this year we took a break from the box-pressed figurado and went with the oval soft press, which has become not only a favorite of mine, but with many Knuckle Sandwich smokers,” said Hector Alfonso, director of operations at Espinosa Premium Cigars, in a press release when the cigar was announced in mid-March. “This cigar will not disappoint!”

The Knuckle Sandwich brand is a collaborative project between Espinosa Premium Cigars and celebrity chef Guy Fieri.

The cigar is dark and well made. It is called an oval shape and has a nice feel in the hand.

The test draw after cutting the cap was good. The initial flavors at light up were apricot, pear, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark chocolate, and black coffee. There was black pepper rated at 8 1/2. A very good start.

At the first third (27 minutes) I had the same notes and they are mixing well. The black pepper is now around 8. The black coffee is coming through nicely with the dark chocolate slightly behind. The sweet notes are now a massive single flavor. The cigar is full bodied. The finish is pear with very good lingering black pepper. The cigar is quite good. Dark noted with nice sweetness. I rated the first third 95.

Moving through the second third (55 minutes) the notes were pear, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark chocolate, and black coffee. The black coffee has risen and it took the dark chocolate with it in the same proportion. The sweet notes dipped a bit. The cigar is full bodied. The finish is dark chocolate with light pear and black coffee with very good lingering black pepper. I rated the second third 94.

The cigar lasted 1 hour 22 minutes. The cigar bounced back. The notes are pear, brown sugar, cinnamon, toffee, dark chocolate, and black coffee. The cigar is full bodied. The finish is unchanged. The cigar is back to having good sweetness. I rated the final third 95. This cigar is equally as good as the Knuckle Sandwich 56 which I reviewed earlier this year but a little different in notes. The Chef Special 2024 is a very good cigar.

Overall Score:94.67

July 03, 2024


Plasencia Cigars, a world-leading premium tobacco grower, established in 1865, has announced the Plasencia Alma Del Campo new box-pressed vitola, Guajiro 5 ½ X 54, is on the way to stores across the nation. This box-pressed vitola will eventually replace the existing round Guajiro which will remain available for clients to purchase while supplies last. The highly popular Alma Del Campo line made its debut in 2017.

The Alma Del Campo is a Nicaraguan puro that was an instant hit with consumers. The inspiration behind the blend draws deeply from the Plasencia family’s rich heritage. "Alma Del Campo" (Soul of the Field) signifies the essence and spirit of the fields where premium tobacco is cultivated. This blend is a tribute to the fertile fields, and the meticulous cultivation practices, which have been passed down through generations of the Plasencia family.

The new Guajiro box-pressed vitola was created to satisfy consumer demand for this format. The Plasencia family is constantly exploring with different vitolas and blends to further push the boundaries of cigar making.

Jim Young, CEO of Plasencia Cigars stated: “Experience the artistry of our Alma Del Campo Guajiro box-pressed cigar, where the meticulous pressing process enhances the harmony between the Nicaraguan grown filler, binder, and wrapper leaves, delivering a richer, more refined taste with every draw.”

Néstor Andres Plasencia, fifth generation of the Plasencia family added: “This new Guajiro vitola presents a complex smoking experience with perfect balance, delivering notes of coffee and nuts. A very creamy cigar with a touch of spice. The finish leaves a lasting impression on the palate.”

The Plasencia Alma Del Campo is a Nicaraguan puro that is available in 10 count boxes.

MSRP: $18.25 per cigar

Filler: Nicaragua / Binder: Nicaragua / Wrapper: Nicaragua

July 01, 2024

Don Doroteo Cigars awarded best Torchbearer in the Iconoclast section in Robb Report's 36th "Best of the Best" issue!

“I am honored to receive the Robb Report Iconoclast Award for 2024 for Don Doroteo cigars. This recognition as the best Torchbearer is a testament to our dedication to inspiration and achievement. Thank you, Richard Carleton Hacker, for acknowledging our efforts in such a renowned publication. We are excited to share this news with our supporters and continue striving for excellence. Thank you, Robb Report, for this incredible honor.”

-Juan Lugo-


Don Doroteo Cigars, established in 2021 by Juan Lugo serves an ode to his grandfather, tobacco farmer Doroteo Fermin Delgado and Dominican culture. Juan continues to grow tobacco in the same way Doroteo did. Faithful to his Dominican roots, Juan continues his grandfather’s legacy by infusing Dominican culture into every cigar rolled. Juan Lugo invites you to experience handmade premium cigars, the Dominican way, the Don Doroteo way.

June 30, 2024

Joya de Nicaragua Clásico Torpedo (6 x 52)

Video review HERE.

(Description provided by Joya de Nicaragua)

In 2023, Joya de Nicaragua announced the return of the Clásico Original to the US market, initially as an exclusive for Club de Amigos, a community of JDN's elite retailers. Since its launch, it's become a hot topic among cigar shops, praised as one of the most sought-after cigars due to its unbeatable price-to-quality relation.

The Joya de Nicaragua Clásico Original holds the distinction of being the oldest Nicaraguan cigar, born from the country's first cigar factory. During the Nixon era, it became the official cigar of the White House, serving as a premium alternative to the increasingly scarce Cuban cigars. It remains Joya de Nicaragua's global best-seller and a true classic, often cited as perfect for all cigar enthusiasts.

The Clásico Original features an Ecuadorian Connecticut shade wrapper that beautifully complements its rich Nicaraguan fillers and binders. The result is a mild, woody, and delicate smoke with creamy notes and subtle hints of pepper. Presented in a box of 25 cigars, the Clásico Original comes in four sizes:

Robusto (5" x 50) - MSRP $8.75

Toro (6" x 50) - MSRP $9.25 ​ ​ ​ ​

Churchill (6 7/8" x 48) - MSRP $9.50

Torpedo (6" x 52) - MSRP $9.75 REVIEWED TODAY

"Considering the legacy of the Clásico Original and its popularity in America since the 70s and 80s, we've decided to open up its sales to all US retailers," says Juan Martinez, Executive President. "This cigar has always belonged to the people. It's no longer just about our history; it's about the memories it has created for cigar lovers over the years."

The cigar is golden brown and has a light to average feel in the hand.

The test draw after cutting the cap was good after taking the bare minimum from the cap. The initial flavors at light up were lemon, citrus peel, brown sugar, light cinnamon, cream, and leather. There was black pepper rated at 7 1/2 to 8. Not a bad start but the cigar needs more sweetness.

At the first third (23 minutes) the cigar is burning very evenly. Not much has changed with the cigar but here is the breakdown; there's quite a bit of citrus peel and lemon, some brown sugar but not a significant amount, light cinnamon, subtle cream notes, and leather that is starting to get earthy. The finish has subtle cream and leather with very good lingering black pepper. The cigar is mild. With lemon, much like yesterday's dark chocolate notes, the cigar must have significant sweetness to counteract those notes. This cigar is below what I consider significant. I rated the first third 91.

As I moved through the second third (55 minutes) there was minimal sweetness and quite a bit of citrus peel with lemon and quite a bit of earthy leather. The finish is leather with very good lingering black pepper. The cigar is still quite mild. There is almost no sweetness in the cigar at this point. I rated the second third 88.

The cigar lasted 1 hour 20 minutes. Outside of the cigar having a little cream note creeping back in nothing much changed. The cigar is very mild with not much sweetness. There is still quite a bit of citrus peel and lemon with a lot of earthy leather. The black pepper is still pretty good and rated at 7 1/2 minimum. The finish is unchanged. This is a good beginner cigar. Or, if you typically like milder cigars this might be for you. The cigar isn't bad but it needs more sweetness. I held the score of 88 for the final third.

Overall Score: 89

June 29, 2024

Brickhouse Mighty Mighty Maduro (6.25 x 60)

Video review HERE.

(Description provided by JC Newman Cigar Co.)

The Brick House Mighty Mighty Maduro is a testament to our dedication to quality and craftsmanship. This cigar is crafted with a Brazilian Arapiraca Maduro wrapper, combined with a blend of Nicaraguan long-fillers, providing a well-balanced and flavorful smoke. The Mighty Mighty Maduro is known for its rich, earthy flavors with hints of cocoa and spice, making it an excellent choice for a wide range of cigar enthusiasts.

Size: 6.25 x 60

The cigar is quite dark and large. It has a nice feel in the hand.

The test draw after cutting the cap was good. The initial flavors at light up were citrus peel, brown sugar, dark chocolate, and black coffee. There was black pepper rated at 7 1/2. Nice start but wish it was sweeter.

At the first third (36 minutes) there are some apple notes that accompany the citrus peel, light brown sugar, dark chocolate, and black coffee. The cigar is medium bodied at this point but I expect it to move up. The finish is dark chocolate with good/average lingering black pepper. I still wish the cigar had more sweetness but as it is I rated the first third 92.

As I moved through the second third (1 hour 11 minutes) the dark chocolate is steadily moving up and taking the black coffee along with it. The sweet notes have dipped. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish is unchanged. The dark chocolate notes are nice but I need significant sweetness to go along with them and this cigar does not have it so I rated the second third 90.

The cigar lasted 1 hour 39 minutes. The dark chocolate continued to slowly increase and the sweet notes slowly decrease. The cigar is still medium to full bodied and the finish is unchanged. This could make a nice after dinner cigar. The dark chocolate and black coffee are plentiful. They got a little too much for me. I rated the final third 88. Not a bad cigar, just heavy on dark notes.

Overall Score: 90

June 28, 2024

J.C. Newman Releases The American Bison Walnut Cigar Case by Brizard

Today, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. is shipping The American Bison Walnut Cigar Case to retailers throughout the United States in time for Independence Day next week.  The cases were handmade by Brizard in California and contains three five-year-old The American cigars. This is the third year that J.C. Newman and Brizard have collaborated to create a limited-edition cigar case.  This year’s release is limited to 250 cases with a suggested retail price of $300.

 “This limited-edition cigar case is unique because both case and the cigars inside were made in the United States using all-American components,” said fourth-generation owner Drew Newman.  “The American cigar and The American Bison Walnut Cigar Case are the perfect way to celebrate Independence Day.”

 The cases were made from of the most iconic symbols of the United States, the American Bison, and classic American Walnut wood. The Bison leather used in this cigar case came from Ted Turner’s ranch in Montana. Inside are three very special The American cigars. These cigars are from the first release of The American in 2019. They were rolled in 2018 with wrapper from the 2016 crop of Florida Sun Grown tobacco. These cigars have been aging in the basement Cigar Vault of our 114-year-old El Reloj cigar factory for the past five years. 

Brizard describes the cases as follows:

This case is entirely made in the U.S. only using original American icon materials: Bison leather and Black Walnut wood from Illinois.  The last two limited editions were “all leather”. The 2024 edition introduces a new element: Black Walnut from Illinois combined with coffee color full grain “pull up” Bison leather.  

The origin of our Bison leather is from Montana’s largest private herds in the U.S. Bison pull-up leather is made with hot oil emulsions and natural waxes which are infused into the hide during the tanning process. Each cycle can take up to 6 weeks to complete and produces a rugged yet beautifully smooth leather that can withstand most conditions.

The waxes and oils are combined with the leather fibers to create a strong bond that makes pull-up leather extremely durable. It won’t tear, flake or warp and will age beautifully over time. Actually, the more stress it’s subjected to the more attractive it will look. When Bison pull-up leather is pulled, folded or stretched you will see lighter-hued lines, shading and color variations. This is one of the most desirable characteristics of bison pull-up leather.

The cover of the case, made of American Black Walnut is custom adjusted to each case to achieve a “near perfect” seal to protect and preserve your cigars. The cover features The American code of arms logo  engraved into the walnut. After hand assembly, each walnut cover is hand polished with multiple ultra fine grits before being buffed at high speed with a mixture of oils to obtain a natural aspect with medium sheen which accentuates over time and enhances the beauty of all the nuance of different wood grains The cases have adjustable solid Spanish Cedar dividers for extra protection and structural rigidity. As all Brizard & Co cigar cases, they have a frontal opening allowing for easy identification of cigars referred to as The “show-band” case.

The inside part of the top cover has inlaid on the edge of the cedar a 3/4 inch wide full color cigar box strip decorated with The American and J.C. Newman legendary logos. This new collection is limited to 250 cases and feature a serial number engraved on brushed brass plate inlaid into the leather. The cases all come first in a matching brown suede type duffle bag with adjustable cream cords which goes in a rigid gift box (chocolate brown on the outside and cream inside).

June 26, 2024


Miami Cigar & Co. announces that the limited-edition Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2024 is now shipping. Miami Cigar & Co. previously released prior editions of the brand in 2011 and 2012. It was felt that it was the right moment to revive the Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve, in time for the company’s 35-year anniversary.

Miami Cigar & Co. kicked off their 35-year anniversary by bringing back Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve. This 2024 version is a brand-new blend and complete with updated packaging. Nestor Miranda worked closely with the My Father Cigar Factory in Nicaragua, to create a blend that was worthy of such a milestone.

Nestor Miranda, Founder and President of Miami Cigar & Co. stated: “The Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2024 was a special one for us. 35-year anniversary is a big one! My wife and co-founder of Miami Cigar, Mariana Miranda, and I are still in awe by how far we have come. I really wanted to create a blend that was worthy of such an anniversary. I thank the team at the My Father Cigar Factory, for being patient with me throughout this process, as I wanted this blend to reach the highest possible standard.”

The Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve is a Nicaraguan puro, which is an elegant medium-bodied, full-flavored blend. The cigar boats flavors of spice, earthiness, and cedar, with a hint of sweetness.

Only 1500 10 count boxes of the Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2024 were created.

Vitola: 61/8 X 52

MSRP: $18


Macanudo will release Inspirado Brazilian Shade for the first time since its launch in 2021. The limited-edition collection features a rare Brazilian wrapper and a proprietary Cuban-seed filler and combines masterful blending with expert agronomy for a one-of-a-kind smoking experience.

Steve Abbot, director of marketing for Macanudo said, “To create Macanudo Inspirado Brazilian Shade, we made a significant investment in agronomy that spans Central and South America. This blend speaks to our commitment to bringing unique smoking experiences to premium cigar smokers. We’re pleased to be able to offer this one-of-a-kind blend once again.”

Grown in the lush tropical Bahia region of Brazil according to the exact specifications of Macanudo’s agronomists, the proprietary Connecticut Shade wrapper is golden with a silky sheen. It crowns a Mexican San Andrean binder and a blend that features “Dominican Cubita,” a unique and proprietary sungrown tobacco cultivated on a one-acre plot in the bucolic region of Mao, Dominican Republic. This special tobacco lends a unique aroma and spicy notes to the smoking experience. When surrounded by Brazilian tobacco, Dominican Piloto Cubano and Nicaraguan Jalapa, the tobaccos come together to deliver a layered, medium-bodied smoke that hints of toasted nuts, cocoa and sweet earth.

Handmade by artisans at the General Cigar Dominicana factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic, Macanudo Inspirado Brazilian Shade will ship to retailers in late June and will be available in two sizes. The cigars will be presented in ten-count boxes designed to pay homage to the Brazilian flag.

Toro (6.5” x 52); SRP per cigar $10.99

Churchill (7” x 48); SRP per cigar $11.99