For the second consecutive year, General Cigar Company led the way in terms of new releases.. Like last year, the company pretty much kept everything under wraps until the show. The push seemed to be around five lines: Cohiba, Dunhill, CAO, La Gloria Cubana, and Michael Giannini’s Foundry Tobacco Company. Across all of the releases, packaging played a key role with the product rollouts.
One question that was definitely answered is that General Cigar Company has no intentions of slowing down – even after eliminating a large amount of facings earlier this year.
As far as a theme goes for General Cigar Company, it seemed to go back to the fact that General has a vast supply and access to many tobaccos. Many these tobaccos are ones not used by anyone. Several of these became small batch releases in the brands.
Here is a high level overview of the releases and we will follow-up in more detail taking a closer look at these:
This year, the company showcased two new lines. First up is the limited edition Cohiba Luxory Selection (LS). This features a Cameroon wrapper with each cigar packaged in an individual see through coffin. A date for release has not been announced yet.
Cohiba is also launching a Nicaraguan puro made in Nicaragua appropriately called Cohiba Nicaragua. This is expected to ship in mid October.
Cohiba Comador, which had a full launch this year was showcased at IPCPR:
This was a big year. CAO has gone back and revisited its World Edition series by bringing in the CAO Colombia. This branding has been used on a cigar for Serious Cigar in Houston, Texas, but the new CAO Colombia differs greatly from the Serious Cigar version. The CAO Colombia is expected to ship in mid August.
CAO is also releasing a limited edition cigar called the CAO Amazon Basin that features a tobacco grown in the interior of the Amazon called “Braganca”. This tobacco is only harvested every three years where they are rolled into tubes called “carrots” where the tobacco is fermented. The cigar also features 5 filler leaves in the blend, an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, and a Nicaraguan binder. The CAO Amazon Basin’s packaging has a very rustic look to it. This cigar is expected to ship in mid August.
Dunhill was featured prominently at this year’s trade show. Dunhill is a brand that is actually distributed by General Cigar. Front and center was a revamping of the Dunhill Signed Range line in six sizes.
The brand also showcased the newly released 1907 by Dunhill.
The Dunhill Aged Reserva Especiale Vintage Selection will be a sampler consisting of the Dunhill Aged Reserva Especiale 2003, 2006, and 2009 editions. There will be three cigars of each edition for a total of nine cigars in the sampler. This is expected to ship in late August.
Dunhill is keeping true to its roots in the pipe industry. The brand announced and showcased the return of the Vintage Blend series consisting of the Elizabethan Mixture, the Dunbar Mixture, and the Aperitif. These are targeted to ship in late August.
La Gloria Cubana
The Trunk Show returns for 2014 with the three blends from 2013 – Liga YG-23, Liga MG-08, and Liga JD-05. All three will feature the Trunk Show line’s trademark smokeable bands. The difference is all three blends will now be Similar to the 2013 series, YG-23 and MG-08 will be brick and mortar exclusive while JD-05 will be internet and catalog exclusive. Timeframe for availability is October.
La Gloria Cubana is adding what they call the “final installment” to their Rival Twins – La Gloria Cubana Rival Twins Chapter 3 and La Gloria Cubana Rival Twins Chapter 4. This is a limited edition series that follows up the Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 installments. La Gloria Cubana Chapter 3 is a blend made at General’s Dominican factory while Chapter 4 is made at their Honduran factory. The two blends are in individual boxes that can be joined together via a magnet. This is targeted for an early August release.
The big news is the Partagas 150 is returning with the Don Ramon format. This is the 7 x 52 size of the blend. The cigar will contain wrapper from the 1977 crop that made this mark famous. The cigars will be packaged in ten count book-shaped boxes with each cigar in a wooden coffin. Pricing will be $3,000. This plans to ship in October.
Partagas is also releasing a five pack sampler called the Partagas 1845 Collection consisting of five cigars from the Partagas 1845 Heritage blend. The sizes include Corona Extra, Robusto, Gigante, Toro Grande, and Double Corona. This plans to ship in October.
The Macanudo Estate Reserve is back for 2014, but this time with a new blend that features Jamaican tobacco in the filler. Like the 2013 version, the cigars will be packaged in individual coffin boxes. This is due to hit stores in September.
Foundry Tobacco Company
Once again, lots of new releases here. For 2014, there are three new lines introduced, but some line extensions to Compounds, Elements, and Musings for a total of 16 facings.
Foundry Worm Hole
This year it is the Foundry Worm Hole that takes center stage. This is meant to represent the past, present, and future. Worm Hole contains three blends and six cigars each representing the past, present and future. The past is represented by the 1964 Blend consisting of two cigars called “Expect” and “The Unexpected. The present is represented by the 2014 Blend consisting of two cigars “Worm” and “Hole”. Finally the future is represented by the 2064 Blend consisting of HELL-I-EN and HAL-ION.
Foundry Rare Air
This one is said to be the first release from the Mao Project that is conceived from original seeds from the 1960s that have been regenerated eight times. Eventually the seeds were grown and harvested in small batches, thus creating this limited supply of rare tobaccos used for these blends. There are four blends in this line: ET-P1, ET-P2, ET-S3, and AP-AD.
Foundry Chillin’ Moose
This is intended to be a value-priced offering consisting of three distinct sizes.
Compounds Elements, and Musings
This series returns with three new releases: Dubnium, Lithium, and Cobalt – each with the line’s unique packaging.