The month of May was probably as dynamic a month as there has been in a while in the cigar industry. As always, I’ll highlight some noteworthy events that happened in the world of cigars. The main focus will be on the happenings I explored on the Cigar Coop website, but there was plenty of information that happened beyond what has been reported here.
Cigar Industry News
1.The return of Sam Leccia into the cigar industry got a lot of folks excited. Leccia announced the formation of his own cigar company, Sam Leccia Cigar Company as well as his first release – appropriately titled “Debut”.
2.Graycliff Cigars and Torano Family Cigars announced that Torano will now be the official distributor in the United States for Graycliff Cigars.
3.Jose Oliva, CEO of Oliva Cigars won a special election in South Florida to claim a seat in Florida’s House of Representatives.
4.Jeff Borysiewicz – the President of Corona Cigars and member of the IPCPR announced on Cigar Dave that a “contract should be signed this week” (week following the 5/14 Cigar Dave show) bringing the 2012 convention to Orlando, Florida. No official announcement has come from IPCPR as of yet, but if anyone should know – Borysiewicz would. Borysiewicz has been vocal via press and radio for over a year about his desire to bring the show back to Orlando.
These items weren’t on Cigar Coop this month, but were important news items as it pertains to the industry.
5.La Aurora Cigars has been sold to Guillermo Leon, who had already been running cigar operations for the company. The company had been in the Jimenes family for over a century.
6.The Garcia family is being sued by Eduardo Fernandez. The Garcias and Fernandez are partners in the El Rey de Los Habanos. In the lawsuit, Fernandez has accuses the Garcias of taking trademarks and assets from the factory into My Father Cigars. Don Pepin Garcia and his children Jaime and Janny are named in the lawsuit.
Tobacco Legislation (Pleasure Police)
1.On May 23rd, the New York City Outdoor Smoking Ban went into affect. Events were held in Central Park and Paley Park around this – one a “final smoke” in Central Park and the other a “legal smoke” in the privately owned Paley Park. Meanwhile, citizens in New York are engaging in peaceful disobedience for this ridiculous law
2.Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, a person who definitely fits the mold of a Pleasure Policeman enacted an executive order banning smoking in recreational areas. This should be watched carefully in case this expands into city Parks in the City of Brotherly Love as well..
New and Upcoming Releases
1.The plan was for EO Brands’ 601 La Bomba to be officially released on May 11th. The date has come and passed, but I’ve heard no official word if anything has shipped yet. (Feel free to correct me here). I had an opportunity to sample a pre-release this month.
2.After months of being quiet, CAO announced extensions to La Traviata and the intent for a new La Traviata.
4.Abe Flores brought the new PDR 1878 Reserva Dominicana Capa Habana to an event at Outland Cigars on May 20th. I sampled a pre-release of the latest addition to the PDR 1878 family due out at IPCPR in July.
5.Clint Aaron, President of 262 Cigars sent communications to select Cigar Review sites on plans for his cigar company for 2011 and into 2012. Cigar Coop was a lucky recipient of what he had to share.
Saints and Sinners
Pete Johnson has brought Saints and Sinners live. No changes from the original announcement last month that generated so much controversy.
Cigar Coop News
A tentative formula has been decided for my new numerical rating system. I will do be doing some behind the scenes (unpublished) “beta runs” in June and make a decision on when or if to go live in July.