Category Archives: Cigar News

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

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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

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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

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Black is the new Joya!

JOYA DE NICARAGUA EXPANDS ITS MEDIUM BODIED LINE-UP WITH JOYA BLACK

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 www.joyacigars.com.

Cordoba & Morales announce Finca Sante Fe

3Tired of waiting for Congress to lift the Cuban Embargo? Thanks to one boutique Florida cigar company’s propriety blend, palettes throughout the U.S. will get to legally experience what it’s like to enjoy a Cuban-esque cigar without fear of government reprisal.

On May 5, Orlando-based Córdoba & Morales Cigars launched the limited edition “Finca Santa Fe” cigar to take enthusiasts back to a time when enjoying a Cuban cigar meant simply visiting their favorite tobacconist and picking one up. The cigar, which took 5 years to develop, features a genuine Criollo ‘98 wrapper and propriety binder and long-filler tobaccos that were painstakingly cultivated from five different regions around. Additionally, these tobaccos were aged in oak rum barrels for 1 year.

Córdoba & Morales Co-Founder Azarias “Z” Mustafa Córdoba said he wanted to produce a timeless cigar that would appropriately honor his beloved abuela, who would have turned 110 this year. “Finca Santa Fe bears the name of the San Luis farm, nestled in Cuba’s famed Pinar del Río Province, where my grandmother Celestina Córdoba Morales was born,” he said. “Much like the distinct strength, flavor and aroma of the tobaccos from this famed Cuban region, the Finca Santa Fe will deliver an unforgettable cigar experience reminiscent of the golden age of Cuban cigars. We thought this was a fitting way to celebrate not only my abuela’s birthday, but our company’s 5-year anniversary.”

Each Finca Santa Fe was rolled by one Cuban artisan – a master roller with more than 25 years’ experience. Further adding to this 6 x 52 cigar’s prestige is the fact that only 200 five-count boxes and 800 10-count boxes of these masterpieces were created, Mustafa Córdoba said. The MSRP of each cigar is only $20 – a bargain given their scarcity.

To purchase these extremely limited cigars, speak to your local tobacconist or contact Córdoba & Morales directly at www.cnmcigars.com/contact.

About Córdoba & Morales Cigars Established in 2011, Córdoba & Morales is a family-owned boutique cigar company that produces 100% hand-rolled cigars in
Estelí, Nicaragua. The 2016 Finca Santa Fe joins the company’s line of already popular cigars, including the Clave Cubana, Front 9, the 19th Hole, Family Reserve and Puro Pinar. The company will be attending this year’s 84th Annual IPCPR Convention & International Trade Show at booth #3800 where it plans to introduce other new products for 2016. For more information, or to place product orders, please visit www.cnmcigars.com or call (321) 356-0394. Córdoba & Morales is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Nomad Cigar Co. Releases the Nomad SA-17

nomadNomad Cigar Company is pleased to announce the release of the Nomad SA-17 to retail stores on May 18, 2016.
The SA-17 was actually a “sister” blend to the Nomad C-276 back when Fred Rewey, the man behind Nomad Cigar Company, started experimenting with San Andres tobacco.
Nomad SA-17 marks the seventh full production cigar Nomad has done inEstelí at Tobacalera AJ Fernandez.
“I love working with tobacco at AJ Fernandez’s factory. Ask anyone around, he has amassed some of the best aged, most diverse, quality tobacco. For me, blending is a creative process. It is nice to have that home in Estelí to blend and experiment.” – said Rewey.
This is not the first time that San Andres has shown up in Fred’s work. Recently San Andres was used as a binder in the Nomad Connecticut Therapy blend and as a wrapper in the Stogies H-Town Lancero.
“I love San Andres wrapper. It may have taken me several years to wrap my arms around how it ages and plays with other tobaccos…but, for me it was worth the wait.” – Rewey added.
Details on the Nomad SA-17 include… 
Wrapper: San Andres
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Factory: Tobacalera AJ Fernandez
21 Count Box.
Available in sizes…
Robusto (5×50)
Coronita (5.5×46)
Toro (6×50)
Shorty (4×56)
MSRP $8.50 – 9.75.
For additional questions contact:
Fred “Godfadr” Rewey, Nomad Cigar Company
Twitter: @Godfadr
Phone: 855-MYNOMAD (or 855-696-6623)

Altadis U.S.A. Announces Montecristo Grupo de Maestros Private Batch II An Extremely Limited Edition

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After the major success of the Montecristo Grupo de Maestros Private Batch, Altadis U.S.A. is proud to announce the release of Montecristo Grupo de Maestros Private Batch II, a sequel to its limited-edition predecessor.

“Like the original, we expect this limited edition to sell out quickly and be an aficionado’s favorite. This cigar will showcase the Maestros’ passion and craft, exploiting adult cigar consumers’ palates with rich aromas,” Altadis U.S.A. says.

For years, Grupo de Maestros has been making their own private blend of Montecristo cigars from a special combination of tobaccos. Now, these cigars will once again be available to the public, but only in extremely limited quantities.

Grupo de Maestros is an elite brotherhood of master blenders and cigar makers. The Maestros bring with them more than 250 years of combined experience and have united to create a rare experience for cigar enthusiasts worldwide.

The Montecristo Grupo de Maestros Private Batch II features a new size and blend. This medium-bodied cigar is deeply colored and comes with a rich Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, Dominican Olor binder and Nicaraguan filler leaves. Together these tobaccos yield a predominant aroma of wood with hints of leather, dry fruit and coffee.

Grupo de Maestros cigars are available in the 50 x 6” Toro size. Only 250 boxes will be made and shipped at the end of April.

Priced at $15 each, the Montecristo Grupo de Maestros cigars are displayed in 100-count boxes. These premium cigars will be tagged in specially numbered original cedar boxes and wrapped in burlap that showcases a mural of the Grupo de Maestros. Each box has its unique rustic character: the aromatic cedar shelves were aged and made into trunk boxes that preserve their natural wear.

For more information regarding the Montecristo Grupo de Maestros Private Batch II, please contact Yasemin Ozoncul at: yozoncul@altadisusa.com.

Macanudo Inspirado…The Evolution Continues

Macanudo’s acclaimed international blends will soon be available to cigar lovers in the U.S., with the release of two channel-exclusive collections.

Macanudo Inspirado debuted in Europe in 2014 and quickly became a global success, selling in more than 40 countries worldwide. Beginning this month, Macanudo Inspirado Orange and Macanudo Inspirado Black will be full-time additions to the Macanudo portfolio.

“The launch of Macanudo Inspirado marks another exciting milestone for this iconic brand,” said Alan Willner, vice president of marketing. By bringing this global brand extension stateside, we are continuing to evolve Macanudo by expanding the line with fuller-flavored offerings. We are confident that Macanudo Inspirado will be a welcome addition to the repertoires of tenured smokers who seek expertly blended, proprietary tobaccos from a variety of origins.”

Macanudo Inspirado Orange will be available only through brick and mortar cigar shops, and Macanudo Inspirado Black will be available through internet and catalog retailers exclusively. The collections are presented in 20 count boxes. Additional details appear below.

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Macanudo Inspirado OrangeBrick and Mortar Exclusive

  • Ship date:                            April 25th
  • Flavor Profile:                    Medium body
  • Blend Details:                    Wrapper—Honduras/Olancho San Agustin
  • Binder – Honduras
  • Filler – D.R., Honduras, Nicaragua
  • Factory:                                HATSA
  • Frontmarks/Pricing:        Toro (5.75” x 52); SRP per cigar is $6.59
  • Gigante (6” x 60); SRP per cigar is $7.19
  • Churchill (7” x 50); SRP per cigar is $6.99
  • Robusto (5” x 50); SRP per cigar is $6.19
  • Tasting Notes:                   Complex, medium bodied smoke with a lingering sweetness

Macanudo Inspirado BlackInternet/Catalog Exclusive

  • Ship date:                            April 11
  • Flavor Profile:                    Medium-to-full body
  • Blend Details:                    Wrapper – USA/Habano Connecticut
  • Binder – D.R. (La Vega Especiale/proprietary)
  • Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua and D.R.
  • Factory:                                General Cigar Dominicana
  • Frontmarks/Pricing:        Toro (5.75” x 52); SRP per cigar is $6.59
  • Gigante (6” x 60); SRP per cigar is $7.19
  • Churchill (7” x 50); SRP per cigar is $6.99
  • Robusto (5” x 50); SRP per cigar is $6.19
  •  Tasting Notes:                  Full-flavored and spicy, balanced by slightly sweet notes

Jonathan Drew Announces New Company “John Drew Brands”

Jonathan Drew Announces New Company “John Drew Brands,” along with 3 inaugural brand launches – John Drew Collection Rye, Brixton Mash Destroyer, and Dove Tale Rum

Jonathan Drew has announced his plans today to enter the spirits industry with his new venture, “John Drew Brands.” The movement will focus on spirits, craft beverages, and food.

Best known for “Market Disruption” before the word was an art form, JD pioneered new market segments in the premium cigar industry with brands such as “ACID Cigars” and “Kentucky Fire Cured Cigars.” Over 19 years, the Drew Estate founder created one of the world’s largest premium cigar companies – Drew Estate.  In November 2014, DE was sold to Swisher International (Swisher Sweets) for an undisclosed amount.

“My life’s journey has been hard, and sometimes painful,” said the 45-year-old Drew. “Permanently moving to war-torn Nicaragua in 1998 without speaking a word of Spanish was emblematic of the risks I embraced to have access to the raw materials we required for our cigars.  While I’m proud of the successful brands & culture we’ve birthed at DE, my greatest pride and joy was living inside the factory for 14 years, only steps away from the daily production, packaging, and leaf processing.  On a daily basis, I was working on the factory floor before breakfast. The dedication and hard work from the DE team in the USA allowed me to remain laser focused on brand ideation from an organic perspective on the factory floor, not from a whack corporate office.”

President of Drew Estate, Michael Cellucci, commented from Estelí, Nicaragua, “JD might just be the Bo Jackson of the cigar and spirits industries. His passion and commitment for Drew Estate Cigar Company remains 100% intact with no plan to disengage. I have full confidence in his team’s ability to develop a legacy in the spirits world as well. JD is a visionary with an attitude to match, but he doesn’t forget his roots or his people.  This is going to be a lot of fun and Jonathan is amped up, so expect a wild ride.”

To continue to follow the developing story of John Drew Brands, visit the new websites for the brands at http://mashdestroyer.com, http://dovetalerum.com, and http://johndrewrye.com. Also, follow John Drew Brands on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at @johndrewbrands.

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About John Drew Brands:

Founded in 2015, John Drew Brands is an NDP Beverage Startup, with a reckless spirit to destroy… Initially focused on developing rums and whiskey brands, as well as “Second Birth Craft Spirits,” John Drew Brands represents quality, transparency and vision-forward philosophy. Brand portfolio includes Brixton Mash Destroyer, Dove Tale Rum, and John Drew Rye.

AJ Fernandez Cigars promotes Enrique “Ricky” Somoza to U.S. Director of Operations

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A.J. Fernandez Cigars, recognized for creating some of the most acclaimed cigars in the industry, announces that Enrique “Ricky” Somoza will now oversee operations in the U.S. Ricky has relocated to Miami from Estelí, Nicaragua, where he was production manager at the Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua Factory , since 2013. 

Ricky Somoza, born and raised in Miami, attended Florida International University with a focus in Political Science, and eventually turned his sights on his family’s passion, tobacco. After meeting A.J. Fernandez on a trip to Nicaragua, they became fast friends, and Ricky soon was behind the scenes working side by side with A.J. as his production manager. 

A.J. Fernandez said, “Ricky Somoza is not only an integral part of the company but is part of the Fernandez family. Ricky has the passion, dedication, and expertise to carry on my vision for the future of the company. He will work alongside my sister Yarai Fernandez and other key family members to further solidify and strengthen our distribution in the U.S.” 

Ricky Somoza stated: “I am excited and look forward to the challenge of representing the brand in the U.S. It has been an honor to work alongside A.J. whom I consider a true master blender, my mentor, and best friend. Our goal for this New Year is to improve consumer satisfaction, while continuing to produce and distribute the finest premium cigars. I look forward to working with AJ on new, innovative projects which will excite cigar aficionados in the U.S. and international markets.” 

A.J. Fernandez Cigars began the New Year strongly with a 92 rating for the Enclave Churchill by Cigar Aficionado. New World and New World Connecticut were also included as Best Buy of 2015 by Cigar Aficionado

About A.J. Fernandez Cigars:

A.J. Fernandez Cigars is based on the rich tradition of the Fernandez cigar legacy. A.J. Fernandez now produces unparalleled, hand-rolled cigars in Estelí, Nicaragua which have garnered numerous top ratings and acclaim from cigar publications and consumers alike.  Today A.J. Fernandez continues the family tradition as he oversees production and manages day to day operations in his factory in Estelí. 

For more information please visit our new website: www.AJFernandezCigars.com               

Follow A.J Fernandez Cigars on Social Media here: Facebook: AJ Fernandez Cigars, Instagram: AJFCigars, Twitter: AJFCigars