For the seventh consecutive year, the Cigar Coop brand will be providing coverage of the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers (IPCPR) Association Trade Show and Convention. For the past four years we have brought to you our multi-part preview series on what to expect from the show.
Last year, we streamlined the series from seven parts to five. This year, we have streamlined it a little more and will have a four part series. As we stated last year, streamlined does not mean less coverage. We are still committed to delivering more coverage than ever – and this will be done through our on-going product reports.
It’s easily our most controversial article of the year. Once again, for the fourth consecutive year, we make prediction for the five hottest cigars will be at the IPCPR Trade Show. These cigars are ones that have the potential to generate high interest among retailers – and could even be ones that sell out quickly based on available supply. These do not equate to the five best cigars, nor do they equate the the cigars I personally want to smoke. This is strictly looked upon from a business point of view.
The cigars on this list are based on new blends being released and showcased for the 2016 trade show. A deadline of July 20th at 11:59 PM Eastern was put in place. This requires the manufacturer to have announced the product to the general public before-hand.
Here are this year’s selections in reverse order:
5. 1502 Blue Sapphire
Over the past four years, Enrique Sanchez Icaza has built a very loyal following with his 1502 brand and has backed them up with excellent product releases. The 1502 Blue Sapphire is the latest of his regular production cigars to make that list.
While one can certainly make the case on merit alone for this boutique cigar brand to make the list, there is another X factor. Sanchez is also one of the principals behind a lawsuit agains the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He has widely be heralded for this effort and in return he is going to get great support among the retail community. Look for this cigar to see lots of orders and lots of buzz.
4. Mi Querida by Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust
Last year Steve Saka went into his first IPCPR Trade Show at the helm of his own company Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust (DTT). Without handing out a sample, Saka and DTT racked up a ton of sales and pretty much sold out his allocated inventory for the show. This year, DTT has several new releases and this year the cigar to watch is going to be the new Mi Querida line.
Given Saka’s notoriety and the huge success of Sobremesa, one can argue that any of his new releases could make this list, but Mi Querida is going to be a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper offering. Liga Privada No. 9 is long associated as a favorite cigar of Saka’s and the curiosity factor of that alone as going to give this cigar the edge in his portfolio. Look for this one to be the one the retailers go for at this year’s trade show.
3. Drew Estate Kentucky Fire Cured Swamp Thang / Swamp Rat
Each year at the IPCPR Trade Show, Drew Estate not only releases a new release, but they usually try to push the envelope in terms of innovation and creativity. No doubt the announcement of the Drew Estate Kentucky Fire Cured Swamp Thang and Swamp Rat line will fit that bill. It brings together an odd combination of Candela and Fire Cured tobacco.
One can argue that both candela and fire-cured cigars each have a niche market. However, Drew Estate’s reputation for innovation is going to have plenty of interest, and this three vitola cigar line (Swamp Thang is a Robusto and Toro offering, Swamp Rat is a Corona offering). Look for this line to add to the excitement and energy that always surrounds the Drew Estate booth at IPCPR.
2. All Out Kings – Caldwell and Drew Estate
Back in February, it was announced that Drew Estate and Caldwell Cigar Company would be collaborating on a project called All Out Kings. It’s a blend worked on by Drew Estate Master Blender Willy Herrera and Caldwell Cigar Company founder Robert Caldwell. While we haven’t seen an “official” announcement on the details of the release, given the FDA’s regulations set to go into effect on August 8th, we are going to roll the dice and assume this cigar may make an appearance at the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show.
It’s Drew Estate’s first collaboration since it worked with Illusione Cigars on Nosotros. Given the two principals alone with the All Out Kings collaboration, we think that alone will be enough to generate buzz. This is a cigar where a sample won’t even be needed to sell out.
1. J.C. Newman Diamond Crown Black Diamond
It’s been talked about for a while, and was even floating around the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show, but it appears all systems go for this dark maduro entry into the the Diamond Crown portfolio by J.C. Newman Cigar Company.
There are several factors why this cigar is this author’s pick for being the hottest cigar. Diamond Crown is a strong brand that has not only a strong consumer following, but a very strong retailer network. This cigar will also have stunning packaging – making it attractive to bring in. One can argue, this is the biggest Diamond Crown release since Julius Caeser in 2011. Given how long this cigar has been anticipated, this will contribute to it being red hot. On top of that, the Newmans are one of the most respective families and have one of the most respected cigar companies in the industry.
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