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Zander-Greg’s New HHB Gold Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Nat Cicco Brand Cigars with Improvements and Reduced Price

HHB GoldThe first production run of Zander-Greg’s HHB Gold super premium cigars is now shipping, after undergoing improved packaging, an all-new ring, larger sizes and a 25% price reduction.

Zander-Greg introduced this latest addition to its existing HHB series with a new name … HHB Gold … changed from the original HHB Habano branding that reflected its wrapper tobacco.  The new name, plus an all-gold band, honor the 50th anniversary of the Nat Cicco (Seek-oh) line of cigars, which premiered in 1965.

HHB Gold’s blend is unchanged, with an Ecuadorian-grown Habano leaf, surrounding a Nicaraguan filler and binder.   The three cigar shapes, which it shared with the original HHB, are now larger at 7-3/4″ x 54, 5-1/4″ x 56 and 6-3/4″ x 58.

The presentation is 10 cigars per box, the same as the original HHB, and each cigar is now protected in a cellophane sheath.  The visual impression of the black piano-finish Spanish cedar box remains a strong visual incentive to experience HHB Gold’s satisfaction.

A final bonus is a reduction in HHB Gold’s suggested retail price to $7, down from the IPCPR 2014 tobacco trade show-announced $10.  As the company says, “This saving, plus the larger sizes, offer extra value to the smoker.  HHB Gold is a superpremium cigar at boutique pricing.”

Nat Cicco’s Churchill and Robusto Rejects pioneered the value-priced cigar concept a half-century ago.   Now, their Nat Cicco offerings include Cuban Style, Cuban Legends, and the new Aniversario 1965 and HHB superpremium series.  HHB Gold, proudly wearing their all-gold cigar bands, are now at better tobacconists nationwide.

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Headlines cigar, a Dominican puro, is re-launched for 2015

Headlines - photo by Tom Ufer

Headlines – photo by Tom Ufer

Headlines Cigar has been re-blended and re-branded for a new launch in 2015. Arby Sosa from Antillian Cigar Corporation, as the exclusive distributor for Headlines Cigar, collaborated with Dee from Fusion Cigar and the Master Blender, Don Amadiz, in creating these two amazing Dominican Puro blends.

Headlines Cigar is being made out of the Tabacalera Real factory in Tamboril, Dominican Republic. Headlines First Edition is made with a Pennsylvania seed wrapper grown in the Dominican Republic and a Dominican Olor binder. Dominican Criollo 98 and Dominican Piloto Cubano are used for the ligero and Dominican Criollo 98 and Dominican Olor are used for the seco. The strength of Headlines First Edition is full-bodied and will MSRP between $7.50-8.50.

The Headlines Second Edition is a maduro with a Dominican Habano Oscuro wrapper and a Dominican Piloto Cubano binder. Nicaraguan and Dominican Piloto Cubano are used for the ligero and Dominican Andullo and Dominican 20-20 make up the rest of the filler. The strength of the Headlines Second Edition is also full-bodied and will MSRP between $7.50-$8.50.
Arby Sosa of Antillian Cigar stated, “I’ve never been a part of creating an all-Domincan Puro, so this was an exciting project for me. It took over 6 months to perfect both blends, but we are all impressed with the final result. I believe in this cigar and hope all cigar fans will venture out and try this one, and I know they will be happy.”
About Antillian Cigar Corp:

Antillian Cigar Corporation is the manufacturer of the popular brands of Sosa Classic, 60 by Sosa, Sosa Underground and Macabi. The Sosa cigar tradition began with Don Juan Sosa, a small tobacco grower in the fertile Taguasco region of Cuba at the turn of the century. By the 1920’s, his farm had become one of the largest tobacco-producing haciendas in Cuba. Over the next 30 years, Don Juan’s son, Arturo, and grandson, Juan, manufactured cigars for sale in Cuba and abroad. In 1964, Arturo and Juan opened their first factory in Miami, FL.  The factory closed in 1980 and moved operations to the Dominican Republic. In 1996, Juan B. Sosa began with the Fuente family and manufactures various lines of cigars of out the Fuente factory.  Today, the legacy of quality, handmade cigars made in the Cuban tradition continues with master blender, Juan B. Sosa, alongside his wife, sons and nephews.

About Headlines Cigars:

Headlines Cigars is owned by Dee Aguasvivas and Ulises Delgado of Fusion Cigar.  The cigar is a 100% Dominican cigar.


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Alexander III Premium Cigar to release new Corojo blend

Jordan_AlexanderJordan Alexander III Premium Cigar Company’s newest release, the Jordan Alexander III Corjo will begin shipping to retailers on February 2, 2015. Originally announced as a mid-Fall 2014 release, the release will instead now mark the first release of 2015 for JA3 Cigars.

The new blend is manufactured by the Quesada Cigar Factory and will largely replace JA3’s current corojo blend (See August Press Release for details on rebranding/release). The Jordan Alexander III Corojo is constructed with a Dominican Corojo wrapper, Dominican binder, with Dominican and Nicaraguan filler. This release is available in four vitolas; robusto (5 ½ x 54), toro (6 x 52), double toro (6×60), and belicoso (6 x 52). The three parejo vitolas feature a pigtail cap and closed foot.

The corojo is sold in boxes of 20, with 4 sticks wide by 5 high. The MSRP for the robusto is $7.95, toro is $8.50, belicoso is $9.25, and double toro is $9.75. Pre-orders are still being accepted. Retailers interested in carrying the Jordan Alexander III Corojo are asked to contact or call 1-855-216-3349. Shipment priorities are given to current retailers and are first come, first serve. All current pre-orders will ship on the official release date. Prerelease samples are immediately available for interested reviewers and retailers. Those interested are asked to contact

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JM Tobacco’s  State-of-the-Art  “Sealed-In” Humidity Packs” Offer Extra-Long, Unattended Storage

JM Sealed-In-Humidity Packs“Imagine,” states Anto Mahroukian, JM Tobacco’s president, “finding a sealed package of cigars in the bottom of your golf bag, forgotten from last year.  Dried out and unsmokeable?  If they’re our new JM Sealed-In Humidity Packs, you’ll find they’re as fresh as the day you purchased them.

“Sealed-In Humidity Packs feature a unique breakthrough in cigar preservation … food-grade plastic packaging that is impervious to changes in ambient conditions that can cause loss of flavor and aroma through desiccation or mold-producing high humidity.  This innovation involves evacuating each sampler pack, then sealing it.  Additional humidification materials in the packs are unnecessary, because the cigars remain factory fresh for up to a year.”

The sealed packs are opened by tearing off the end, leaving a handy Zip-Loc™ closure.  The packaging material is FDA-approved for storage of bulk foods … grains, etc. … which assures a smooth, flavorful smoke.

The cigars themselves are from the popular JM’s Dominican and Nicaraguan lines.  The Dominican comes in Sumatran Natural or Broadleaf Connecticut Maduro; the Nicaraguan has a Sumatran Natural or San Andreas (Mexican) Maduro.  Each package holds three Churchills, all sharing the same blend.   Manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing is less than $10.  JM Sealed-In Humidity Packs are appearing at tobacco retailers at press time.

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For Drier, Cooler Pipe Smoking, Arango Cigar Co. Now Offers Erik Nording’s New Eriksen Keystone Filter Pipe

Eriksen Keystone Filter PipeArango Cigar Co. showed Erik Nording’s new Eriksen Keystone Filter Pipe at this year’s IPCPR tobacco trade show, to a strong positive response.  Entry-level pipe smokers are attracted to the $30 per pipe suggested retail pricing.  More seasoned smokers also favor Nording’s unique pipe smoking concept.

Danish master pipe carver Nording has designed the starter pipe to provide drier, cooler smoking.  The Eriksen Filter Pipe combines a removable briar bowl, which holds the highly absorbent, volcanic clay granules (keystones) in a chamber beneath the bowl.  The chamber’s base is configured as a spiral channel, which directs the smoke through the granules and into the stem.  The keystones are available separately, so they can also be used effectively in any pipe, simply by sprinkling them into the bottom of the bowl before adding tobacco.

A small tin of keystones accompanies each Eriksen Filter Pipe, and additional granules are available in 100-gram bags, at $12 MSRP.  When using the keystones in the Eriksen Filter Pipe or others, the last bit of tobacco can still be enjoyed, because they keep the tobacco dry until it is all smoked, making this a very economical pipe.

The Eriksen Filter Pipe is available in a choice of four bowls:  black, black grain, natural or natural rusticated.  The pipe’s base, shank and mouthpiece are made of durable molded plastic.

According to Arango’s president, Michael Gold, “Eriksen pipes are affordable, but this doesn’t translate into lower quality.  Internationally-renowned master carver Erik Nording’s design delivers top smoking satisfaction.  Considering its price, it defines the term ‘value.’”   The Eriksen Keystone Filter Pipe is now available at tobacconists nationwide.

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7-20-4 Cigars Completes Initial Shipment of “Factory 57” Boutique Cigars, Featuring High-Primed Nicaraguan Wrapper

7_20_4  “Following its introduction at last July’s IPCPR trade show, we realized retailers’ orders had exceeded our initial production run,” states Kurt A. Kendall, 7-20-4 Cigars’ Founder and President.  “Since we didn’t have enough extra-select, high-primed Jalapa (Nicaragua) wrapper leaf, we opted to fill as many pre-holiday orders by retailers as possible, and wait for the balance of this extraordinary leaf, before completing the shipments.  The tobacco has now arrived, and we have shipped the balance of the Factory 57 cigars in all sizes … Corona, Robusto, Churchill and 6″ x 60 Gordo.”

Factory 57’s five-nation blend consists of the high-primed Nicaraguan wrapper, a Costa Rican binder, and a filler of Nicaraguan, Honduran, San Andreas (Mexican) and Colombian tobaccos.  They are all aged a full three years.  Kendall describes the cigar as “medium-to-full bodied, with a flavor profile that is bold but very smooth, with a distinct creaminess.”

Factory 57 is entubado bunched for a plug-free, even-burning cigar.  The wrapper tobacco is triple-fermented, which prevents bitterness in the latter part of the smoke.  About then, the smoker also notices the head remains firm, with no unraveling in his mouth, due to the double cap on the head.  The cellophane-tubed cigars are presented in high-quality Spanish cedar boxes.  Manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing runs from $7.75 to $9.50.

The “Factory 57” name was the US government’s 1874 designation of the original factory as a manufacturer of premium cigars, for purposes of federal taxation.  Following this licensing, the company went on to become the world’s largest manufacturer of premium cigars, continuing until the Cuban Embargo led to 7-20-4’s demise in 1964.  The old factory still stands silently, only a few blocks from Kendall’s Manchester, New Hampshire location.

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The Distilling Experience at Florida Cane Distillery

This past weekend, my Wife and I participated in The Florida Cane Distillery’s “Distilling Experience”. It’s a new program for 2015, developed by the Florida Cane Distillery to showcase their new moonshine and gin products along with their original vodka distillations.

My collection of Florida Cane products

My collection of Florida Cane products

This free experience can be booked online at their website. You can also book vodka only tastings if that is your preference.

The tasting room is open to the public on Friday and Saturdays. The room holds up to 22 people, with seating available at a beautiful wood topped bar and several tables.

Last year, we had participated in a couple of vodka tastings and the launch of their Sunshine Moonshine. This past weekend, we attended specifically for the availability of Florida Cane’s new Tamiami Florida Gin.

Like their other products, Tamiami Florida Gin uses a base of sugar cane along with local ingredients sourced from nearby farms. Unlike a typical London Dry gin, this spirit has notes of tangerine and cucumber along with the expected juniper berry which gin is known for.

The Distilling Experience lasts about 30 to 40 minutes and is comprised of two cocktails and some single spirit tastings.

Our first cocktail was a riff on the Vesper, made famous by the James Bond novels. The ingredients were Tamiami Florida gin, Cane Vodka’s premium vodka and Lillet Blanc, a French aperitif wine. The cocktail has good balance and really showed off their gin well.

The second cocktail was a variation on the Moscow Mule. This cocktail was comprised of Cane Vodka’s Key West Lemon Lime vodka and ginger beer. The cocktail was smooth and had a great aroma. The lemon-lime flavor cut some of the ginger beer’s bitterness and made for a great tasting cocktail.

Next up was a sampling of one of Florida Cane’s Sunshine Moonshine products. This evening, we enjoyed the “Sunrise” blend which is made from the spices of a fresh baked apple pie, vanilla and a hot pepper kick on the finish.  At 109 proof, Sunshine Moonshine packs a punch with some great flavors. There are three other moonshine blends and all of them are based in cane and corn with other natural ingredients. Late last year Florida Cane also came out with a Limited Edition small batch Sunshine Moonshine called “Timeless”. This spirit is based in corn and grain, yielding a more typical moonshine flavor.

The final tasting was a shot of the popular Florida Cane Orlando Orange vodka. What makes this vodka unique is the use of orange rinds for flavoring instead of orange pulp like many other distillers use. If you shake a bottle of Orlando Orange, you will notice the orange oils cling to the glass bottle. Those oils also create a foamy head that really opens up the orange aroma.

My Wife enjoys the Orlando Orange straight with just a bit of ice. She says it is just like a Screwdriver cocktail without the orange juice. I must admit I have never been much of a vodka fan but, these sugar cane based vodkas have made me change my tune. The Orlando Orange and Weeki Wachee Watermelon are our personal favorites.

At the end of the tasting, you are allowed to purchase two bottles of spirits per person. I completed my evening’s mission by picking up a bottle of the Tamiami Florida Gin to add to my home bar. I’m looking forward to putting this spirit through its paces with some of my favorite gin based cocktails.

At the end of the evening, I was talking with Pat, one of Florida Cane’s co-founders and the host of this particular tasting. He mentioned that later this month they will officially debut Tamiami Florida Gin, possibly at Ciro’s, a popular “speakeasy” Tampa bar. He also mentioned the possibility of an “Old Tom” gin distillation that I think sounds like a great idea.

I have always enjoyed these tastings and this fourth time out was no exception. If you live in the area or are here on vacation and you’re looking for a unique spirit tasting experience, you owe it to yourself to book a seat at the tasting room.

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La Flor Dominicana announces the 707 Ligero

La flor Dominicana 707 Ligero

La Flor Dominicana 707 Ligero

La Flor Dominicana is proud to announce the release of the 707 Ligero. The 707 Ligero is a full-bodied blend of Dominican filler and binder wrapped in an aged Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. Measuring in at 7 x 70 the 707 Ligero will be largest ring gauge regular production cigar we have ever produced. The 707 Ligero will be presented in (10) count boxes and will have an MSRP of $10.50 per cigar and $105.00 per box.  The 707 Ligero will begin shipping to Premium Cigar Retailers nationwide the week of December 15, 2014.

La Flor Dominicana is a vertically integrated premium cigar company, where we proudly control the production process from the seed to the final grading, inspecting, packaging and distribution. Our tobaccos are grown at our farm in La Canela, Dominican Republic. Our factory is located in Tamboril.

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Espinosa Premium Cigars to release the Backroom Series

The Alibi Cigar Box

The Alibi Cigar Box

Erik Espinosa of Espinosa Premium Cigars proudly announces the release of The Backroom Series, an Espinosa Lounge Exclusive.  The Backroom Series will feature cigars exclusive and limited only to Espinosa Lounges.

Its first release, “The Alibi”, is a secretly blended, 6 x 48, Small Churchill, wrapped in a dark Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper.  The Alibi is made at Erik Espinosa’s own La Zona Cigar factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.

Said, Erik, “My guys have been pushing me to get some limited and exclusive stuff out there.  I have been waiting for the right time and never at the expense of our core lines, which remain our company’s priority.”  Added Erik, “At the end of the day, we are cigar makers, it’s what we love to do.  This gives us a chance to be creative and an opportunity to further showcase our factory, La Zona.”

Only 200 of these 10 count boxes will be made and distributed among the three Espinosa Lounges across the United States.  “The Alibi” will ship to the Espinosa Lounges by the middle of December 2014, with an inaugural launch event on December 20, 2014 at Smoke Inn VI in Margate, FL.

The first Espinosa branded lounge was the 601 Cigar Lounge at Casa Belicoso in Walnut Creek, California, which was launched on September 23, 2011. Since then there have been two more lounges opened, one at Cordova Cigars in Pensacola, Florida on November 14, 2013 and another at Smoke Inn VI in Margate, Florida on August 16, 2014.

Those interested in purchasing “The Alibi” can contact any of the Espinosa Lounges listed below:

  • Casa Belicoso, Walnut Creek, CA, (925) 979-9330
  • Cordova Cigars, Pensacola, FL, (850) 473-0080
  • Smoke Inn VI, Margate, FL, (954) 970-0001





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