Time to highlight some noteworthy events that happened in the world of cigars for April 2011.   I’ll focus on noteworthy events and smokes that I explored on the Cigar Coop website and throw in a few other tidbits for kicks.

This month seemed a little quieter than the previous month.

Gary Arzt

The month got off to a sad start with the passing of Gary Arzt.  Gary had an association with Miami Cigars and was also a name in the electronic media circles of the cigar industry.  I did not know Gary, but know he was widely respected.  I posted some thoughts on his passing.

Tobacco Legislation

Another active month.   Here are the three big items.

1.HR 1639 – This might be the most important piece of tobacco legislation that manufacturers, retailers, and consumers all need to get behind.   It proposes proactive legislation to prevent the FDA from having jurisdiction over cigars.  Here are some more info.

2.The $1.00 Cigar Tax Cap did not make it into the New York State Fiscal budget.  This was a huge blow to New York State retailers who are hurting from the insane tobacco taxes.

3.California’s SB 575 continues to be a major piece of anti-tobacco legislation that everyone in America needs to take seriously.  I will be watching this closely in the upcoming weeks.

Cigar Herfs

Two major cigar herfs took place this month in New Jersey and Texas.   The first annual New Jersey Cigar Festival took place on April 3rd in Newark, New Jersey.  It was hosted by Barrister Cigars and featured a good mix of Indie/Boutique and large/mid-size cigar manufacturers.  It took place at Riverfront Stadium (a minor league baseball facility).   Any first year event is going to have some growing pains, but overall I think the foundation has been set for this event to become an annual staple for cigar enthusiasts.

The Texas Cigar Festival took place in Houston Texas on April 16th.  Hosted by Serious Cigars, this was the second annual event and it featured 30 manufacturers (less on the Indie size and more on the large/mid-size).  Hopefully one of these days I can make it down there.

Major Releases

The major releases that I focused on this month include:

Also noteworthy, La Aurora (Miami Cigars) held a virtual release party on April 29th for the Para Japon cigar.  A preview of the blend is here.

    Saints and Sinners Club

    I didn’t put a post on this, but felt it was still newsworthy.   Tatuaje Cigars sent an email posting details on the long awaited Saints and Sinners Club.   Cigar forums and twitter went a-buzz on this with a portion of negative criticism for what can be summed up as “lack of information” on this.  The criticism became widespread and prompted Pete Johnson himself to get defensive on the criticism.  Here are a couple of the items on twitter that were posted:

    “Why is everyone so pissy lately?We should take all this anger and apply it to fighting for our rights. We are losing battles everywhere.”

    “why is it my products start fights? Too many people misunderstood the club email completely. You get way more than mentioned.”

    I think Tatuaje makes some awesome cigars, but there are two key things that need to be said: 1) If the email was misunderstood, it would have been nice for some detailed clarification to be sent in a follow-up;  2) Finally, seems to me that if you are going to dish criticism, you got to be able to take it? Remember Candela?

    A final note on this.  As part of this response, Johnson joked put out a Twitter post announcing he sold to Davidoff.  I’m not a legal guy, but I don’t think any corporate lawyer will ever allow Twitter to be the official medium for a merger or acquisition.

    Cigar Coop News

    On a whim, I conducted my own personal mock draft for new cigar releases that are pending.   It was an attempt to have a little fun around NFL Draft time.  My goal is to move this web-site into a hardcore information source, but occasionally things do need to lighten up a little.   Thanks for all of the feedback and ideas and look to incorporate some changes as 2011 progresses.