The Cigar Industry Report is a one stop place to catch up on the activity here at Cigar Coop and Stogie Geeks. It is a combination of our news reports, cigar reviews, and assessment updates we do throughout the week. We will also recap what happened on our Stogie Geeks show. Finally, each week we will look back at Cigar Coop history. Look for this report every Saturday morning at 8am Eastern time.
“Epic Encounters” – 2013 Cigar of the Year Countdown
In a Cigar Coop December tradition, we began a daily countdown of the Top 30 Cigars for the Yea for 2013. We outlined our vision and criteria in this month’s Editor’s Corner. Here were this week’s selections #30 through #25:
#30: Alec Bradley Nica Puro
#29: Viaje Full Moon 2013
#28: AFR-75 by PDR Cigars
#27: La Palina Collection Mr. Sam
#26: Rocky Patel II.XXVI
#25: Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 Island Jim
Feature of the Week: Benji Menendez to Retire at End of 2013
The big story in the cigar industry this past week was the announcement that Benji Menendez is retiring from General Cigar at the end of the year. Menendez was most recently Senior Vice President of Premium Cigars. His career spanned nearly 62 years and seven decades. The story was originally broken from our friends at A Cigar Smoker’s Journal. As they commented “Benji is the longest tenured man currently in the premium cigar business, never taking a paycheck from any other industry.” General Cigar will release a commemorative cigar called the Benji Homage 62 that will pay tribute to his service to the cigar industry.
- Bodega Premium Blends: The company officially launched its Reunion line at an event this past December 4th at the Nat Sherman Townhouse in New York.
- Boutique Blends: The company has announced the Aging Room Quattro T59 is the winning blend .
- Drew Estate: Company Chairman Jonathan Drew said the MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured Release will be delayed and explained why. Meanwhile the company is planning a limited production lancero to its Herrera Esteli line.
- Gurkha Cigar Group: We updated our story on the upcoming Pedro Martin Limited Edition.
- La Aurora: The company is planning a 3 cigar sampler featuring each cigar in its Puro Vintage series. The company also announced the La Aurora 107 Fraternindad, a lonsdale version of the La Aurora 107 blend will be shipped to retailers in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.
- RoMa Craft Tobac: Co-owner Skip Martin reported on his Facebook page that the CRAFT 2013 – La Campana de Panama Soberana will arrive at authorized retailers a week before Christmas. Martin also said the Nica Sueno Holiday Sampler featuring the new Aquitaine Mode 5 will be heading to Tobacco Locker in Port Charlotte, Florida. Finally the Intemperance EC XVIII Brotherly Kindness and Intemperance BA XXI Breach of the Peace line extensions are targeted for a February, 2014 release.
- Room 101 Cigars: The company is releasing a the Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador H-Town as a retail-exclusive to Stogies World Class Cigars in Houston, Texas.
- Torano Family Cigars: We previewed the Torano Colosseum – a release to Meier and Dutch as well as Cigar International.
- Viaje: Andre Farkas announced the 2013 edition of the Holiday Blend will be skipped due to production issues, but a new release called the Viaje Holiday Blend Christmas Tree is coming.
- XIKAR: The company will be auctioning its Auctioning 1,000th Fossil Mammoth Ivory Xi3 Cutter to benefit Cigars for Warriors.
- California: The city of Berkeley passed an ordinance banning smoking in multi-unit housing units.
- FDA: Rep. John Shimkus (R) of Illinois has signed on as a co-sponsor to HR792. The count is now at a total of 130 co-sponsors (131 total sponsors). In a retro-active piece of news, Lindsay Graham (R) of South Carolina has signed on as a co-sponsor of S772. The count is now at a total of 12 cosponsor (13 sponsors).
- New York: Suffolk County (Long Island) legislator William Spencer plans to introduce legislation to raise the age to buy tobacco and electronic cigarettes to 21. Suffolk County’s minimum age to buy these products is currently 19. Finally, a new New York State tax rule has been developed in conjunction with the NYTA and CAA using an “industry standard adjustment ratio”. This is expected to simplify applying cigar taxes for both the retailer and state.
Stogie Geeks Episode 76
We also discussed our smokes of the week:
Alec Bradley Mundial Punta Lanza No. 5
Arturo Fuente Unnamed Reserve 2013 Robusto
Brun del Re Premium Churchill
Don Carlos Lancero
E-Stunner by E.P. Carrillo – Brahman (Production Release)
E.P. Carrillo Edicion Limitada 2013
Kristoff Galerones Ceniza de Plata Toro
La Aroma De Cuba Corona
La Aurora Cien Anos Lancero Redux
La Aurora Preferidos Diamond
La Aurora Puro Vintage 2005
Opus X 2005 (Tube)
Opus X Petite Lancero
Rocky Patel Platinum
Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Belle Encre Perfecto (Redux)
Tatuaje Avion 13 Reserva
Tatuaje Noella (2008)
Vegas Robaina Famosos
- December 7th 2010: We unveiled our #24 cigar for 2010 – the Macanudo Vintage 1997 Maduro.
- December 7th 2011: We assessed the Viaje Fifty Fifty Black
- December 7th 2011: We unveiled our #24 cigar for 2011 – the My Father El Hijo
- December 7th 2012: We assessed the La Flor Dominicana Oro Natural
- December 7th 2012: We previewed the Dale Earnhardt Jr. “88” by Ted’s Cigars
- December 7th 2012: We unveiled our #24 cigar for 2012 – the 2012 Oliva Serie V Melanio