Our cigar conversation series from the 2012 IPCPR concludes as I get a chance to talk with the one and only Jose Blanco of Joya de Nicaragua.

Our discussion begins with Jose giving us an update on how things have been going since he joined  Joya de Nicaragua last year.   Jose seems genuinely excited about being a part of Joya de Nicaragua and this was evident not just from this discussion, but throughout all of the time I spent with him.

Jose then discusses the Cuenca y Blanco blend.  Jose explained to me that he knew that they were not only proud of what they came up with, but they also knew they had a winner – and that’s why he and (Joya de Nicaragua president) Dr. Alejandro Martinez Cuenca put their names on it.   Jose mentions that this was a project that took about eight months and 60 blends to come up with.  He tells us how Cuenca y Blanco is a true multi-national blend, but gets into some of the specifics of what made the tobacco special.

The discussion moves into one on Cigar Rights.   Jose tells us the importance of Cigar Rights of America and how he strongly believes in the work they are doing.  He also makes some very interesting points on the rights of being an adult.

As we moved into a discussion of industry trends, Jose makes some interesting points here as well.  Jose discusses how the excitement he is seeing at events is helping to grow the cigar industry. At the same time, the continuing battles with the government over cigar rights have probably slowed down the rate of the the industry’s growth.

This was the last conversation recorded at the 2012 IPCPR and it was appropriate to wrap up  “Cigars is about emotions.  We are a very unique industry“.  I think that sums up the experience of IPCPR as good as any.