Author Archives: cigarsmokingman

Black Label Trading Company ships Morphine

Morph 2016 PR

Black Label Trading Company is pleased to announce the shipment of MORPHINE: Hand crafted in Esteli at Fabrica Oveja Negra.

Morphine will be available in limited quantities at select retailers.
MORPHINE is produced by BLTC’s factory, Fabrica Oveja Negra in Esteli.

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaragua
Corona Gorda – 5.5 x 48 (20 count) MSRP $10.50
Lancero – 7.25 x 42 (12 count) MSRP $11.00
Torpedo Box Press – 5 x 54 (18 count) MSRP $10.50

BLTC cigars are distributed by Boutiques Unified. More information can be found at

Drew Estate announces Herrera Estelí Inktome for Small Batch Cigars


Drew Estate announced today that they would be releasing a new blend within their Herrera Estelí line. The new cigar will be available exclusively for Small Batch Cigar, also known as Maxamar Ultimate Cigars.

The new Herrera Estelí Inktome will be presented in a 6 x 46 box-pressed Corona Gorda vitola and will be packaged in 10-count boxes. The blend showcases extensively aged tobaccos from the Estelí and Jalapa growing regions of Nicaragua, with a spicy Honduran Binder and a higher priming Ecuadorian Habano Wrapper than the core Herrera Estelí line. The result is a darker, richer wrapper. The MSRP will be $12.00, and the cigars will be released at tonight’s event at Maxamar Ultimate Cigars with Willy Herrera present.

When asked about the new cigar, Drew Estate Master Blender Willy Herrera stated that, “I like to read cigar forums and blogs for inspiration on new sizes. Adjusting blends based on new sizes is something that I enjoy doing at the factory because it challenges my palette to keep the blends balanced and aligned within the portfolio. I was reading on Reddit that consumers wanted to see a Herrera Estelí in a Norteño format. Something that was simple, yet different.”

To learn more about the new Herrera Estelí products, download Drew Estate’s official mobile application Drew Diplomat on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Users will be able to log the new Herrera Estelí Cigar starting today.

Maya Selva Cigars reveals new cigar

flor de selva maduro

Maya Selva Cigars, U.S., is proud to announce that we will be adding a “prensado” vitola to our Flor de Selva Maduro collection.  Our new Grand Pressé will be a box-pressed 6″ x ø56 cigar, and will stay true to the collection’s maduro blend.  The cigar will be officially released at this year’s IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada, in late July, 2016.  Initially, it will only be available in the United States market.

The Grand Pressé features a naturally-fermented Honduran Habano wrapper, Brazilian Mata Fina binder, as well as Honduran fillers, providing a well-balanced, medium- to fuller-bodied cigar.  Flor de Selva Maduros have received various accolades in recent years, and have become fast favorites amongst maduro cigar connoisseurs.  The new Grand Pressé is presented at $11.75 MSRP and will come in elegant cedar ten-count boxes.

“After assessing our portfolio, and analyzing the field as to what niche we had yet to cover, we came to the determination that a “prensado” was the natural choice to round out our maduro collection, especially due to to the enormous success of our Toro Maduro, released at last year’s IPCPR trade show in New Orleans, LA.” –Gabriel Alvarez, U.S. Director of Sales

Black Label Trading Co. announces new National Sales Manager


Black Label Trading Company is pleased to announce the appointment of Derek Matthews as their National Sales Manager for both BLTC and Black Works Studio premium cigar brands.

Mr. Matthews, an avid cigar enthusiast and Certified Retail Tobacconist, brings years of cigar retail experience and expertise in sales and marketing, promotions, special events and management to Black Label Trading Co.  He will be responsible for sales team leadership, collaborating with management to develop growth strategies and implementing initiatives for brand awareness.

Stephanie Harris managing partner at Black Label Trading Co. said: “We have been growing organically since we started in 2013 and are ready to take things to the next level. When we opened our own factory in 2015 our primary focus shifted to product development and operations in Nicaragua.  Bringing Derek on board is going to help put the focus on maintaining our relationships with our cigar retailers and directing the growth for the future.”

Derek Matthews said: “I’ve witnessed the profound passion and tremendous talent behind BLTC over the years and am honored to have received this opportunity.  As the National Sales Manager for Black Label Trading Co. I will be supporting a brand I believe in while building a culture of positive growth in the boutique cigar category.”

Black Label Trading Company is redefining the standards for cigar making. With a less is more philosophy Black Label Trading Co. creates hand crafted premium cigars of the utmost quality in small batch, limited quantities.

Black Label Trading Co. & Black Works Studio premium cigars are distributed by Boutiques Unified.  More information can be found at

The latest J. Grotto Anniversary Boutique cigar: A box-pressed double robusto in maduro

J. Grotto Anniversary Double Robusto

Paul Joyal’s Ocean State Cigars debuts a Double Robusto addition to the J. Grotto Anniversary boutique premium cigar line.  The 5-1/2″ x 54 cigar is offered in box-pressed configuration, sought after for its comfort in the mouth and fingers.

The Anniversary line is hand-made with 100% long-filler tobacco. The Double Robusto shares the same blend and construction details as the four original Anniversary shapes.  Its double-capped wrapper is a naturally fermented maduro Connecticut-grown broadleaf, while the binder is a Dominican-grown Habano.  Joyal is guarded about the special blend the factory has provided, saying only that it is Dominican and “other Central American tobaccos.”  The Anniversary line is blended and manufactured by Phil Zanghi, whose Dominican operation shares factory space with the Reyes’ family of tobacco producers, who supply 70% of all the tobacco used by Dominican cigar makers.  One can expect the Anniversary to use some of these top-quality tobaccos.

Like all Anniversary shapes, the Double Robusto is a medium-bodied cigar, departing from all other J. Grotto cigars, which are medium-full to full-bodied.  Joyal, with decades of premium cigar experience, notes that, “Although many cigar lovers rave about full-bodied cigars, most buy medium-bodied brands.  Make no mistake, Anniversary’s rich flavor is the full equal of highly-touted full-bodied cigars … many of which actually lack flavor, despite their power.

“Anniversary has earned the term ‘succulent,’ with a classic Connecticut broadleaf sweetness, plus some subtleties like cocoa, coffee and nuts.  For smooth smoking, all tobaccos are aged at least 3 years; the finished cigars another 3-4 months.”

The high-quality Spanish cedar box holds 10 cigars and bears artwork that reflects the special nature of the Anniversary name.  The line’s 2014 debut marked a year of wedding anniversaries for Joyal’s family … his parents’ 65th and Joyal and his wife’s 30th.  Gold coins in the box art also bear the initials of several immediate family members.  Joyal describes what he thinks is Anniversary’s most appealing feature …  “superpremium quality and performance at a consumer-friendly price … $8.50.”  Like all J. Grotto cigars, the Anniversary Double Robusto is available only to brick-and-mortar tobacco shops … not Internet and mail-order discounters.

The new look of Flor de Selva


Maya Selva Cigars, U.S. is officially launching the newest branding evolution of our flagship brand, Flor de Selva, complete with an updated logo, cigar ring plus footer, and streamlined box beginning June 1st, 2016.

The evolution comes as a culmination to the global success of the brand, in an effort to modernize the marketing elements and bring a higher level of sophistication to its familiar look.  Twenty-one years of operation and expanding markets across the Americas, Asia, and continued success in Europe have warranted a greater reason to tie the brand to its origins, the culture and people of Honduras.

The brand still uses the Harvestress as iconic figurehead for its logo, however in a more prominent and elevated position.  For the ring, Flor de Selva cigars will now each have a personalized ring per vitola, and its footer will showcase an updated signature and a tactile rendition of the “petate,” which is a Mayan symbol representing the “foundation” or “base” of a structure.  The elegant, traditional cedar packaging boxes will be stamped with the new logo and will continue the tradition of earlier versions which include the name of each vitola and its box count.

The updated Flor de Selva collection can be viewed in its entirety at this year’s IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada, in late July, 2016.  Retailers will begin to see the new branding arrive with their orders in early June.

Por Larrañaga returning a heritage brand to the US market


One of the oldest Cuban heritage brands not seen in the United States for many years will soon be released in the U.S.

“Por Larrañaga, born in Cuba in 1834, is one of the oldest heritage brands in our portfolio,” says Altadis U.S.A., the premium cigar company. “Known for its smooth, rich and sweet tobacco leaves, it has a reputation for consistency and high quality. We treat all our brands with the utmost respect and class. The rebirth of Por Larrañaga is exciting for all of us here because we are about to share with aficionados a one-of-akind cigar that expresses both the heritage and the history of Por Larrañaga.”

This light and golden amber premium cigar features an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper with a Dominican Piloto 2012 binder and both Dominican Piloto 2012 and Olor Crop 2013 filler. Por Larrañaga, a medium-bodied cigar, delivers rich aromas making this a truly special cigar.

Por Larrañaga will be available to adult cigar lovers in three sizes and prices:

  • Robusto 52 x 5″: $8.00
  • Gran Corona 46 x 6″: $8.50
  • Toro 50 x 6″: $9.00

These cigars will ship at the end of May. “The elegant deep teal cigar box and Por Larrañaga’s distinctive crest help make this brand jump right out of the box,”Altadis U.S.A. says. “Magnificently done, this icon is here to stay.”

Joya de Nicaragua presents Joya Black


Black is the new Joya!


The Joya family is proud to present Joya Black, a follow up to the very well-received Joya Red launched in 2014. This new blend is a continuation of efforts from the factory to introduce contemporary, innovative products to the marketplace.

The JOYA line changed the way smokers enjoyed Nicaraguan cigars with the introduction of Joya Red, a medium bodied, full flavor smoke specially designed and blended for the modern smoker. The new Joya Black follows in these footsteps and takes the experience up a notch by incorporating a dark Mexican wrapper and Nicaraguan fillers. Modern in Spirit, fuller in Flavor and Stronger in Attitude, this cigar provides a complex smoke, perfect for those who want more.

Both Joya Red and Joya Black were engineered by the youngest executive team in the industry, along with the most senior Master Blenders of Nicaragua. Together they created JOYA, a line-up of cigars that represents the more approachable and adventurous side of Nicaragua’s very first, and most authentic, cigar factory.

“Since its inception, the JOYA brand has pushed the limits of our factory and showcased a new side of our people and our products. Varying from fun, and easy smokes like Joya Red, to sophisticated and more complex smoking experiences such as the new Joya Black, and together with new upcoming variants, JOYA’s portfolio will continue to generate excitement among modern smokers and make their smoking journey much more rewarding.“ Juan Ignacio Martínez, President of Joya de Nicaragua, said.

“This is Joya de Nicaragua’s rst cigar to feature a Mexican San Andres Negro wrapper. We have had these wrappers available for some time and we wanted to create a blend with rich Nicaraguan tobacco, yet without the overpowering strength. The result is a balanced, rich and pleasant smoking experience – the type of experience the new JOYA brand is known for as demonstrated by the release of Joya Red” said, Mario Perez, Factory Manager.

Joya Black will be available in 20 count boxes and will be priced similarly to Joya Red, ranging from $5.50 to $8.00 per cigar. It will be available in the following sizes:

  • Robusto (5 ¼ x 50)
  • Toro (6 x 52)
  • Doble Robusto (5 x 56)
  • Nocturno (6 ¼ x 46)

Joya Black will be available to all retailers and will be presented during the upcoming IPCPR 84th Annual Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas in July 2016. Drew Estate will distribute the brand in the U.S. as JDN’s exclusive distributor. Joya Black will also be available worldwide through our International Marketing Division and JDN’s partners.

About Joya de Nicaragua

JOYA DE NICARAGUA S.A., is a family owned, Nicaragua-based cigar factory that handcras traditional cigars for the premium luxury cigar market. Founded in 1968, it is Nicaragua’s oldest cigar factory in operation and home to the legendary JOYA DE NICARAGUA® brand of cigars. JDN is regarded by many as the patriarch craer of robust, unique puro blends of locally grown black tobaccos, and its cigars are sold in more than 43 countries around the world. For more information, please visit

Connecticut Barn Smoker tickets are on sale now!

CT Barn Smoker

Join Drew Estate for the second annual Connecticut River Valley Barn Smoker. The event will run from 10am – 5pm on Saturday, August 6th on a Connecticut Broadleaf Tobacco Farm in South Windsor, CT.

Ticket price includes the following, showcasing Drew Estate cigars with Connecticut tobaccos, and some additional event cigars:

  • (1) Liga Privada “A”
  • (1) Liga Privada Ratzilla
  • (1) Liga Privada Velvet Rat
  • (1) Liga Privada No. 9
  • (1) Liga Privada T52
  • (1) Nica Rustica
  • (1) Undercrown
  • (1) ACID Toast
  • (1) Herrera Esteli TAA Edicion Limitada
  • (1) Florida Sun Grown
  • (1) Kentucky Yard Bird


Ticket price also includes a BBQ and admission to the all-day event.

A portion of ticket sales will be donated to Cigars For Warriors.

For more information, visit

90 Foster St, South Windsor, CT 06074 – View Map

New premiere cigar event comes to Tampa

ash bash

On August 20th 2016, a brand new cigar event will take place here in Tampa at Channelside! Ash Bash 2016 will take place in the parking lot east of Channelside Bay Plaza and will feature the following:

  • An 8,000 sq. foot air conditioned VIP facility
  • A live music concert stage
  • Vendor sampling stations
  • Food and drink locations
  • Open courtyard with seating and interactive activities

There are two levels of tickets; General Admission and VIP.

General Admission includes entry into the event, 6+ premium cigars, an official Ash Bash cigar carrying tote, 2 free craft beers or elixirs and free participation in the high end prize giveaway. Valet parking will be available for an additional fee. There is also a Social (companion) ticket available for those who do not want the GA ticket swag and cigars.

VIP level tickets are comprised of everything included in the General Admission Ticket, complimentary valet parking, special VIP check-in area, 16+ premium cigars, an 8,000 sq/ft VIP Lounge with air conditioning, complimentary “clean shaves” from the VIP Lounge barbers, complimentary shoe shining, full open bar and complimentary food. So, everyone purchasing VIP level tickets should show up with some unwanted facial hair and leave your flip flops at home!

A list of vendors and performers will be on the website as the information becomes available.

Ash Bash 2016 is shaping up to be an event unlike any that have been held before and I’m looking forward to enjoying a great evening of cigars and entertainment!

Follow Ash Bash 2016 on twitter @AshBashTampa and visit their Facebook  page, Ash Bash 2016 now for a chance to win 4 GA tickets! See their page for full details on the contest.

For full event details and to purchase tickets, here is the website: AshBash2016