The presence of Forged Cigar Company at the 2023 Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade Show marked the return of at least part of Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG) to the show. The last time STG had participated at a trade show, the focus was mostly on the General Cigar brands. Since then, STG has spun several brands off of General and added a few brands, including some by acquisition and resurrection. This would be Forged Cigar Company’s first trade show as a business unit. This year Forged would showcase nine of its brands at the Trade Show. There were brand managers and brand ambassadors present, so in a lot of ways covering this booth was like covering a trade show within a trade show. As a result, the Coalition Team covered each of these brands as if covering a separate booth. In the end, this article will be used to cover Forged Cigar Company as a whole and serve as a gateway to our brand coverage.
The big observation at the Forged booth was the number of products being positioned under $10.00. While there were a few ultra-premium products above $20.00, Forged really honed in around the $10.00 and under mark, and I believe each of the brands had at least one line priced in that range.
The booth seemed to have steady traffic from start to finish at this year’s Trade Show.
If you were wondering what Alec Bradley would look like post-acquisition by Scandinavian Tobacco Group, here is your first look. Alec Bradley had three releases, including the new Fine & Rare, a Magic Toast 5th Anniversary limited edition, plus the Post Embargo returns with a revamped blend and revamped look.
The Bolivar brand was showcased at PCA/IPCPR for the first time in eight years. This year there is a new blend called the Bolivar Gran Republica.
Forged has been keen on expanding this value-priced brand that was one piece of Foundry Cigars that STG kept. This year the larger-sized Bull Moose gets a Maduro blend.
Diesel has added a new regular production line known as the Diesel Vintage. In addition, the Diesel Sideshow sampler is also making a return for a limited run.
El Rey Del Mundo
When Forged Cigar Company was launched, El Rey Del Mundo, a brand that was distributed through Santa Clara Cigars, was moved into the Forged portfolio. El Rey Del Mundo is a growing brand under the Forged portfolio, and it fits well in with Forged’s focus on under-$10.00 cigars. While I can’t recall how much attention El Rey Del Mundo got from Santa Clara at previous Trade Shows, I can say this brand got some attention this year. This year the new El Rey Del Mundo Shade Grow was showcased.
La Gloria Cubana
La Gloria Cubana was one of the more active brands under Forged at this year’s Trade Show. This year saw the launch of the La Gloria Cubana Serie S Maduro, a new Corona Gorda size for the La Gloria Cubana Eighth Street (a more premium line coming from El Titan de Bronze), and a new sampler known as the Selección Supreme.
Los Statos Deluxe
Los Statos Deluxe was a dormant brand in the STG portfolio that was brought back to life with a new image last year. This year Los Statos Deluxe comes back with a Maduro offering.
This has also been a busy brand under Forged over the past year. At this year’s PCA Trade Show, the focus was on the Partagas Villa Verde, a San Andres-wrapped Partagas. Partagas de Bronce, another more premium cigar out of El Titan de Bronze, was also showcased.
This was the first official trade show for Room101 as a part of Forged. The featured release was Johnny Tobaconaut, which was one of the standout releases at the Forged booth. Room101 also continued its anniversary series with the Room101 14th Anniversary. There is also a new 70-ring gauge blend under The Big Payback line.
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop