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.
Feature of the Week: American Boutique Cigar Manufacturers Association Announced
Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars announced the formation of this new association committed to boutique cigar manufacturers. The group says its mission is to demonstrate to elected representatives that member companies are American small business. 19 companies have been identified as being on-board. In light of pending FDA legislation that could have catastrophic consequences on boutique cigar makers, this is a step in the right direction.
News and Previews.
- Cigar Media Association: Announced that Cigar Dojo and Nice Tight Ash have become its ninth and tenth members respectively.
- Cigar Package Design: Was announced as a division of CIHYA, a company that has worked on packaging and branding for various cigar companies.
- E.P. Carrillo: The company posted a photo of a prototype called La Historia by E.P. Carrillo. They plan on an August release and it uses a San Andres wrapper.
- Espinosa Cigars: In an interview with Erik Espinosa on our Stogie Geeks show, Espinosa told us he is planning for the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show a re-launch of the Murcielago and has plans for what he termed a “Warhead 2”. Espinosa also mentioned another unnamed project that he says will feature cedar box packaging.
- Fratello Cigars: Announced its first line extension, the Fratello Box Press Toro.
- La Flor Dominicana: The company announced it will release another TAA exclusive cigar for 2014 – the La Flor Dominicana TAA Exclusive – The 707. This becomes the company’s first 70 ring gauge offering.
- Legacy Brands: Victor Vitale’s company announced the second cedro in its Tortuga 215 Reserva line – the Tortuga 215 Cedro Belicoso.
- Miami Cigar and Company: Announced a distribution agreement with Viva Republica to be the exclusive U.S. distributor. Viva Republica owner Jason Holly will be also collaborating with Miami Cigar on other projects.
- Moya Ruiz Cigars: The company is planing the limited edition La Jugada Nunchuck. As the name indicates this will be two cigars fused together to resemble a nunchuck.
- Nomad Cigar Company: While it is undetermined if this will be produced some capacity, company owner Fred Rewey brought lancero frontmarks of the Nomad and Nomad Connecticu Fuerte lines to the 2014 DC Tweetup.
- Ortega Premium Cigars: Eddie Ortega mentioned the Brotherhood project publicly for the first time in over two years. He said the cigar is being down as a project with Wings for Warriors, but no additional information was disclosed. Meanwhile Ortega showcased banding and cigars for the Ortega HeavyDuty.
- Oscar Valladres Tobacco and Company: Pittsburgh retailer Jim Robinson posted a picture of a project he is working on called “La Pluma” with Oscar Valladares. The cigar literally resembles a pen (thus the name, la pluma).
- Sotolongo Cigars: In an interview we did with brand owner Grace Sotolongo, she said the company is still undecided whether they will release a new blend or a line extension of Herchiera at the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show. She did indicate something would be released.
- Colorado: The Colorado House Finance committee voted 7-6 against raising the age to buy tobacco products to 21.
- FDA: Senator Brian Schatz [D-Hawaii] has become the 13th co-sponsor and 14th sponsor overall of S 772. Meanwhile one new co-sponsors signed on to HR 792: Devin Nunes [R-California, 22] has signed on. The count is now at total of 150 co-sponsors (151total sponsors).
- New Jersey: The State Assembly approved bill A1080 with a vote of 64-7 for a smoking ban on state beaches. The bill is now headed to the State Senate where it has not been scheduled as of yet.
- New York: Suffolk County has voted to raise the age to buy tobacco products to 21. It has already at age 19.
- Ohio: Governor John Kasich (R) is supporting House Bill 472 introduced by Representative Jeff McClain (R-87). The bill calls for an increase in the tax rate of premium cigars from 17 percent to 49 percent.
Stogie Geeks – Episode 89
We then followed up with our Smokes of the Week and a special segment on listener box worthy selections. This week’s smokes of the week were:
Aging Room WildPack T248 (WP-1)
Camacho Liberty 2011
Federal Cigar 93rd Anniversary Reserve No. 2 by Oliva
Joya De Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco (Mark Jr)
Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco (Will)
Kristoff 685 Woodlawn
Rocky Patel Platinum Robusto
RoMa Craft CroMagnon Anthropology
Viaje Late Harvest 550 Robusto 2012