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Nestor Miranda Special Selection Returning This Spring

Miami Cigar & Company will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2019. To commemorate the occasion, the company announced the original line named for its founder Nestor Miranda will be making a return this spring – the Nestor Miranda Special Selection.
According to Miami Cigar & Company, the Habano Rosado wrapper blend will be the one returning. Production will once again be handled out of the My Father Cigars factory Estelí, Nicaragua. While specific sizes haven’t been announced, the line will be offered in “traditional formats” priced in the $7.00 range.
“2019 is going to be an exciting year”, said Jason Wood, Miami Cigar & Company Vice-President in a press release. “We try as much as possible not just to hear customer feedback but to act on it, and one common request was to bring Special Selection back to retail. Customers will know it the moment they see it as well because of our choice to enact very minimal adjustments to packaging and presentation. We can’t wait to share the enthusiasm with cigar enthusiasts again around this line. For now, we’re only bringing back the Habano Rosado, with much more to come this year in celebration of our 30th anniversary at MCC.”
In 2014, when Miami Cigar & Company celebrated its 25th anniversary, the company released the Nestor Miranda Collection. At that time, the line replaced the Nestor Miranda Special Selection line.
“Special Selection is going to be a celebration of Nestor’s work ethic and grind”, added Nate McIntyre, Marketing Coordinator. “‘Here’s to the Hustle’ means something to us. We work every day to reflect that work ethic seen in Nestor even to this day, so we wanted to offer a cigar for the every-day, hardworking people out there who simply love cigars, with a price point allowing anyone to enjoy it.”

Padilla Finest Hour Launching This Month

Padilla Cigar Company has a new line that is inspired by celebrated cigar enthusiast Winston Churchill. This month, Padilla Finest Hour, a three-blend line, will begin to arrive at retailers nationwide.
Padilla Finest Hour draws its inspiration from Churchill’s legendary “This was their finest hour” speech that he delivered to the House of Commons on June 18, 1940 as Great Britain was in the midst of the Second World War.
There will be three blends. The Padilla Finest Hour Connecticut will feature an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper over a double Nicaraguan binder and fillers from Honduras. Finest Hour Sungrown is a 100% Nicaraguan puro highlighted by a Habano seed wrapper. Finally, Finest Hour Oscuro features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, double Nicaraguan binder and a combination of Nicaraguan and Honduran fillers. All three blends will be offered in three sizes: Robusto (5 x 52), Toro (6 x 52), and 6 x 60. Each size is presented in 20-count boxes. The company is not disclosing the factory name.
Padilla Cigar Company owner Ernesto Padilla has said a soft launch will be done for Cuban Crafters Cigars (Miami, Florida) Mt. Vernon Tobacco (Baltimore, Maryland); Lordsburg Cigar Lounge  (La Verne, Calfornia), Brown and Sons Premium Cigars (Olympia, Washington), and Lake Worth Cigars (Fort Worth, Texas). A national launch party is scheduled for Casa De Montecristo by Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar in Miami on January 24.

RoMa Craft Tobac Taking Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Line National

RoMa Craft’s Whiskey Rebellion marches on. Yesterday RoMa Craft Tobac co-owner Skip Martin confirmed on Prime Time Episode 82 that the company’s Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 line is heading national to select retailers.
The line pays homage to the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794. It was in 1791 when the first tax on any product was imposed by the United States federal government on whiskey. When farmers in Western Pennsylvania protested, it led to the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794.
The Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 made its debut earlier this month as an exclusive cigar for the Cigar Dojo community, distributed by Famous Smoke Shop. The cigar sold out in hours when pre-orders when made available to the Cigar Dojo community. That cigar was a one-time limited edition Robusto size.
A couple of months later, Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 became a full line exclusive to Famous Smoke Shop in Easton, Pennsylvania. It was released in five sizes, but the original Robusto that was released to Cigar Dojo was never released with the regular line.
Numerous retailers have confirmed to Cigar Coop that the Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion has been offered to them.
There are five sizes: Hamilton (4 x 46), Jefferson (4 1/2  x 52), McFarlane (5 x 50 Perfecto) Bradford (5 x 56), and Washington (5 1/2 x 54). All of the sizes will now be available in 24 count boxes with the exception of Hamilton which will be available in 30 count boxes. THe blend features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Indonesian binder, and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers.
Meanwhile, a second exclusive size in the form of a  6 1/4 x 44 Lonsdale is planned for the Cigar Dojo community in 2018.
For more details on Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794, see our coverage from 2016

D’Crossier Moves Three Lines to ABAM Factory

Pure Aroma Cigars, makers of the D’Crossier brand of cigars will bring production of three of its lines from Costa Rica to the Dominican Republic. Owner Isaias Santana Diaz has said production of the lines will now be handled by the ABAM factory in the Dominican Republic.
The three blends moving are the D’Crossier Imperium Class Vintage, the D’Crossier Pennsylvania Avenue, and the Flor de D’Crossier Enormous 360. These lines will now incorporate a 2008 vintage dark wrapper grown in the San Andres region of Mexico. The wrappers have been aged in rum barrels and have been part of a project in process for the past few years
It was in 2017 when Diaz started working with the ABAM factory for his blends. ABAM is the factory best known for making several of Villiger Cigars’ premium lines. The factory is run by José Matias Maragoto, who has been collaborating with Diaz on the project.

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Drew Estate Brings Back Herrera Esteli Norteño Edicion Limitada Churchill

Drew Estate has announced the return of the Herrera Esteli Norteño Edicion Limitada Churchill. It’s a cigar that was last released in a limited run back in 2015.
The Herrera Esteli Norteño Edicion Limitada Churchill is a 7x 48 box-pressed vitola that features what the company terms a “modified” blend of the original Herrera Esteli Norteño. This includes a San Andres wrapper, a Honduran binder, and a mix of Nicaraguan fillers. According to Drew Estate, the cigars were rolled in 2016 and have been aging in the molds for the past two years.
The cigars are packaged in 15-count boxes featuring the new box design introduced to Norteño this past summer. Pricing is set at $217.96 per box.

Espinosa Crema Rabito Announced

A new size is coming to the Espinosa Crema line. On Tuesday, Espinosa announced it is adding the Espinosa Crema Rabito offering.
The Rabito is a size that is a 6 x 46 Corona Gorda featuring a pig-tail. It’s a size that was made popular in the Espinosa Murcielago line. It is the fourth size to be offered in the Crema line.
The Espinosa Crema line was launched in 2016 with a milder profile in mind.  Made at the company’s La Zona factory, the Espinosa Crema uses a Connecticut Shade wrapper from Ecuador over Nicaraguan binder and fillers.  The Crema Rabito now joins the original three sizes: Robusto (5 1/2 x 52), Toro Grande (6 x 56), and Churchill (7 x 48).
The Espinosa Crema Rabito will be presented in ten-count boxes. Pricing is set at $84.00 MSRP per box ($8.40 MSRP per cigar).

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Jack Toraño Joins Espinosa Cigars as Director of Sales

Once again – Jack is back. Today Espinosa Cigars announced that industry veteran Jack Toraño will be its new Director of Sales effective January 2, 2019.
“I’ve known Jack for years, he will bring a different dynamic to the company and having him on board is a perfect fit for us. Jack will be a huge asset, traveling the country, promoting the brand, reaching new customers and growing existing accounts,” said company president Erik Espinosa in a press release.
“This is definitely the right move for us, we have been waiting to fill this role and I am very excited about what Jack brings to the table,” added company vice-president Erik Espinosa Jr.
Jack Toraño stated, “It’s no secret that I’ve been a big fan of Erik and Espinosa Cigars for a long time. We came close to collaborating on a cigar in 2014 and I’ve always remained very close to the Espinosa Team. Working for Espinosa Cigars is something I’ve thought about for years. The time has finally arrived and I’m so excited about this new chapter in my life and look forward to helping continue to grow this wonderful brand.”
“This is a great time for our company. I am very excited about this move because Jack brings us immediate customer credibility and another strong sales presence alongside Erik’s. His rapport with consumers, as well with sales staff will be very impactful. I am very excited about 2019, very excited”, says Hector Alfonso Sr.
In his new role, Toraño will be traveling throughout the country and overseeing Espinosa sales representatives and brokers; as well as coordinating cigar events and festivals nationwide.
Toraño joined his cousins Carlos and Charlie Toraño in the cigar business in 2011 as Marketing Manager at Toraño Family Cigars. Following the acquisition of the Torano brands by General Cigar in 2014, Torano joined Duran Cigars as a Marketing and Sales Manager. In June 2016, Toraño reunited with his family’s brand when he joined General Cigar in a consultative role as Brand Ambassador for Toraño before that turned into a permanent role six months later. Just before the close of 2018, Toraño parted ways with General Cigar.

Mark Weissenberger Resigns from Rocky Patel Premium Cigars

Mark Weissenberger, Vice President of Marketing of Rocky Patel Premium Cigars, has announced he is resigning his position effective January 4th, 2018.
“Due to personal reasons, I have resigned as VP of Marketing from RPPC, effective January 4. This is an amicable parting, and I will continue to work independently for Rocky maintaining the company’s social media platforms for the immediate future as my family and I relocate to the northeast,” said Weissenberger in an email to Cigar Coop.
“I am forever appreciative of the professional experience and industry knowledge gained over 14 productive years helping RPPC flourish. Moving forward, I will be pursuing sales and marketing ventures within this amazing industry that we all love so much,” added Weissenberger.
Weissenberger was a long-time territory manager for Rocky Patel Premium Cigars, joining the company in 2005. In 2017, he was named Vice President of Marketing. Before joining Rocky Patel, he worked for Cigar Aficionado.

New Senate Bill for Premium Cigar Exemption Launched

With the 116th Congress now in session, the time has come to re-introduce proposed legislation. This past week, Senate Bill S.9 was re-introduced by Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. The purpose of the bill is to introduce legislation to exempt premium cigars from regulations being proposed by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In addition, the bill has already signed on an additional five co-sponsors.
In announcing the bill, Senator Rubio commented: “I will also continue the fight for small, traditional cigar manufacturers, a quintessential Florida industry, that are on the verge of being snuffed out by egregious federal overreach.”
Co-sponsors the bill included Senators Corey Gardner (R-CO), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Joni Ernst (R-IA).

Davidoff Winston Churchill Limited Edition 2019 Announced

Davidoff Cigars has announced a new installment under its Davidoff Winston Churchill brand. The Davidoff Winston Churchill 2019 is slated to be the second limited edition cigar under the Davidoff Winston Churchill line – and first since 2016. The cigars will be available at Davidoff Appointed Merchants and Flagship stores in January 2019.
The Davidoff Winston Churchill 2019 is a multi-national blend featuring a Dominican wrapper, Mexican San Andres binder, and a combination of Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. The cigars will be available in two formats – a Robusto and a Corona. The Corona size will be sold in five packs an exclusively at Duty-Free locations outside the U.S. According to Davidoff the Corona size will have the same strength and flavor but more intense aroma.
A total of 8,000 ten-count boxes of the Robusto format will be released worldwide. The boxes are inspired by leather travel cases and include a Boveda humidification device that will allow it to be reused as a humidor.
The leather travel boxes and the Coronas being sold at Duty-Free stores honor Sir Winston Churchill’s passion for traveling. In particular, the icon applied to the cigar boxes reflects some of the key places that marked Sir Winston Churchill’s paths: cities like London and Washington that built the Commander and the Statesman and places that inspired his art like Marrakesh. The icon is also applied to the Corona five pack.

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Cigar News: Drew Estate Ships Three Offerings in Revamped Herrera Esteli Line

Drew Estate has announced that it is shipping three lines of its recently revamped Herrera Esteli line. This includes the all-new Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro and the repackaged  Herrera Estelí Norteno and Herrera Estelí Habano. These are lines that made their debut at the 2018 IPCPR Trade Show.
As the name indicates, the Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro added a Brazilian Mata Fina wrapped offering into the Herrera Esteli portfolio.
“With the Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro, I wanted to bring the Mata Fina to the forefront of this blend. This tobacco has such a unique texture and it showcases the lush floral and earthy notes I wanted to capture in this cigar. In addition, now that the Herrera Esteli line has been repackaged blending modern simplicity with classic Cuban style, it really shines on our retailers’ shelves and brings unity to the brand”, commented Drew Estate Master Blender Willy Herrera in a press release.
Meanwhile, Norteno and the original Herrera Esteli lines have been rebranded as Herrera Esteli Norteno and Herrera Esteli Habano, and have received packaging consistent with the Herrera Esteli brand.

Cigar News: Extremely Pistoff Kristoff Coming Soon

A massive new size is coming to Kristoff Cigars’ Pistoff Kristoff line. It’s an 8 1/2 x 60 Gordo and it’s been dubbed Extremely Pistoff Kristoff. The company says a limited production first shipment of Extremely Pistoff Kristoff will be heading out of the factory in a few weeks.
Pistoff Kristoff made its debut in 2016. It is positioned as Kristoff’s strongest cigar. The blend consists of a Natural San Andres wrapper, an Indonesian binder, and Nicaraguan fillers.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, a petit robusto size of the Pistoff Kristoff is planned in 2019 as the next installment of Two Guys Smoke Shop’s Firecracker series.

Cigar News: IPCPR Names Lisa Cox Senior Director of Trade Show & Events

The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) has named Lisa Cox, CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) its new Senior Director of Trade Show and Events. Cox assumes the position effective January 2nd, 2019.
“Lisa’s impressive background in trade show and event management, as well as her track record of crafting new strategies around attendee experiences and working to maximize the value to both exhibitor and attendee, is going to be a great asset to IPCPR as we look to reimagine our annual event,” said Scott Pearce, IPCPR executive director in a press release.
Cox most recently served as Vice President of the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU) where she oversaw 13 meetings and that organization’s annual trade show. The press release says during her tenure there, trade show revenue grew 50%.
“I’m looking forward to meeting IPCPR’s members and exhibitors and using my background to maximize value for our stakeholders,” said Cox.
Ken P. Neumann, added. “Not only does Lisa come to IPCPR with a great history of success in running large-scale trade shows and events, but she understands our industry culture,” Neumann said.
Cox replaces Dawn Conger, who in recent years oversaw the IPCPR Trade Show. Shortly after the 2018 IPCPR Trade Show, Conger departed IPCPR and took a similar position at TMG.

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Foundation Cigar Company’s Tabernacle Havana Seed CT No. 142 Heads to Retailers

The Tabernacle Havana Seed CT No. 142., a cigar by Nicholas Melillo and Foundation Cigar Company that was showcased at the 2018 IPCPR Trade Show, is now making its way to retailers.
There’s a new blend under The Tabernacle brand and its called Tabernacle Havana Seed CT No. 142. The name comes from the fact that the cigar uses a hybrid Habano seed grown in Melillo’s home state of Connecticut. According to Melillo, the resulting leaf from this hybrid seed required three years of fermentation at Tabacalera Fernandez (where production is handled), but the wait was worth it.
In addition to the Habano wrapper, the Tabernacle Havana Seed CT No. 142 features a San Andres binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and Honduras. It is available in four sizes: Corona (5 1/4 x 46), Robusto (5 x 50), Toro: (6 x 52 ), and Double Corona (7 x 54). The cigars are packaged in 24-count boxes.

Fuente Fuente OpusX Serie Heaven and Earth to Feature Purple Rain, BBMF, and Taurus the Bull

Numerous retailers are reporting they are slated to receive a set of rare vintage Fuente Fuente OpusX known as “Heaven and Earth”. The series consists of three separate releases, each packaged in Prometheus humidors, with a portion of the sales being donated to the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation.
First up is the Fuente Fuente OpusX Serie Heaven and Earth Forbidden X Purple Rain. It’s a long thin torpedo that’s a Dominican puro. The cigar sells for $45.00 SRP. It’s presented in a ten-count box that doubles as a humidor. A total of 300 boxes have been produced.
Next up is the return of the BBMF size with the Fuente Fuente OpusX Serie Heaven and Earth BBMF. It’s a giant Diadema featuring the ForbiddenX 2013 vintage banding on it. This Dominican puro is packaged in ten-count boxes that also double as humidors. Pricing is set at $75.00 per cigar. There is also a total production of 300 boxes allocated.
Finally the Taurus the Bull size returns with the Fuente Fuente OpusX Serie Heaven and Earth Taurus the Bull. This is a Gordo that also features the ForbiddenX 2013 vintage banding on it. Like the other Heaven and Earth releases, this Dominican puro is packaged in ten-count boxes that double as humidors. Pricing is set at $60.00 per cigar with a total allocation of 300 boxes.

The Oscar Habano Winter Edition Hits Stores

Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Company has shipped a fourth size of its popular “The Oscar” Habano line. This one is a 5 1/4 x 44 Corona size known as the The Oscar Winter Edition.
According to to the company, this will be a seasonal release available during the winter months only. The corona size is designed to be a shorter smoke for those who smoke outdoors during the colder winter months in the U.S.
Like the previous installments, The Oscar Habano Winter Edition is packaged in 11-count boxes shaped like cigar molds. Each cigar is placed inside a sleeve made from a candela wrapper.
The blend features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Honduran binder, and a combination of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaco in the filler.

José R Oliva Named Florida Speaker of the House

As expected, Oliva Cigar Company José R. Oliva has been named the Speaker of the House for the State of Florida for 2019-2020. He succeeds current Florida Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran (R-Land O’Lakes, Florida).
Hailing from Miami Lakes, Florida, Oliva was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives back in 2011 in a special election. Oliva’s designation as Speaker is not a surprise as for several years he has been in the line of succession (something that is also designated in advance) for the job. In 2017, he was officially named Florida Speaker of the House Designee meaning he would succeed Corcoran if his party (Republican) held a majority in the State. Cororcan is stepping down due to term limits.
Last year, the Oliva family sold Oliva Cigar Company to J. Cortès, a company based in Belgium. Following the sale, Oliva has remained as the Oliva brand’s CEO, but has continued to focus on his burgeoning political career.
Meanwhile, another industry member also has joined a state legislative house. Almost ignored by the industry has been IPCPR member and retailer Todd Johnson’s election to the North Carolina State Senate.

Crowned Heads Headley Grange Black Lab LE 2018 Announced

Crowned Heads has announced a new limited edition extension under its Headley Grange brand known as the Headley Grange Black Lab Limited Edition 2018.
Made at Ernesto Perez-Carrillo’s Tabacalera La Alianza, the Black Lab utilizes the original Crowned Heads Headley Grange blend. It then incorporates a Connecticut Habano Maduro wrapper. The cigar is then box pressed and utilizes a closed foot. Black Lab is the first Crowned Heads cigar to feature the closed foot. The cigar is available in one size – a 6 x 52 box pressed Toro.
Connecticut Habano Maduro is a wrapper that Crowned Heads has used before – namely on its Four Kicks Maduro. The remainder of the Black Lab blend utilizes Nicaraguan tobaccos for the binder and filler.
The cigars are available in 12-count boxes.  A total of 1,500 boxes (18,000 cigars) have been produced.

Two Releases for Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2018

As has become the norm, Oliva has done its annual release of the Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial with little fanfare. This year will see two releases, one familiar one from recent years, and one returning for the first time in five years.
For the fifth consecutive year, the 6 x 60 Double Toro size is being released as a part of the Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial. The Double Toro size was first introduced in 2014 and has been a staple of the line since then.  Also returning to the Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial for 2018 is the 5 x 54 Double Robusto. The Double Robusto made its only appearance in the series in 2013.
As has been the case since 2010, the Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2018 consists of a San Andres Maduro over Nicaraguan binder and filler. Both the Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2018 Double Toro and Double Robusto are presented in ten-count boxes.

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José R Oliva Named Florida Speaker of the House

As expected, Oliva Cigar Company José R. Oliva has been named the Speaker of the House for the State of Florida for 2019-2020. He succeeds current Florida Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran (R-Land O’Lakes, Florida).
Hailing from Miami Lakes, Florida, Oliva was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives back in 2011 in a special election. Oliva’s designation as Speaker is not a surprise as for several years he has been in the line of succession (something that is also designated in advance) for the job. In 2017, he was officially named Florida Speaker of the House Designee meaning he would succeed Corcoran if his party (Republican) held a majority in the State. Cororcan is stepping down due to term limits.
Last year, the Oliva family sold Oliva Cigar Company to J. Cortès, a company based in Belgium. Following the sale, Oliva has remained as the Oliva brand’s CEO, but has continued to focus on his burgeoning political career.
Meanwhile, another industry member also has joined a state legislative house. Almost ignored by the industry has been IPCPR member and retailer Todd Johnson’s election to the North Carolina State Senate.

Crowned Heads Headley Grange Black Lab LE 2018 Announced

Crowned Heads has announced a new limited edition extension under its Headley Grange brand known as the Headley Grange Black Lab Limited Edition 2018.
Made at Ernesto Perez-Carrillo’s Tabacalera La Alianza, the Black Lab utilizes the original Crowned Heads Headley Grange blend. It then incorporates a Connecticut Habano Maduro wrapper. The cigar is then box pressed and utilizes a closed foot. Black Lab is the first Crowned Heads cigar to feature the closed foot. The cigar is available in one size – a 6 x 52 box pressed Toro.
Connecticut Habano Maduro is a wrapper that Crowned Heads has used before – namely on its Four Kicks Maduro. The remainder of the Black Lab blend utilizes Nicaraguan tobaccos for the binder and filler.
The cigars are available in 12-count boxes.  A total of 1,500 boxes (18,000 cigars) have been produced.

Two Releases for Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2018

As has become the norm, Oliva has done its annual release of the Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial with little fanfare. This year will see two releases, one familiar one from recent years, and one returning for the first time in five years.
For the fifth consecutive year, the 6 x 60 Double Toro size is being released as a part of the Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial. The Double Toro size was first introduced in 2014 and has been a staple of the line since then.  Also returning to the Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial for 2018 is the 5 x 54 Double Robusto. The Double Robusto made its only appearance in the series in 2013.
As has been the case since 2010, the Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2018 consists of a San Andres Maduro over Nicaraguan binder and filler. Both the Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2018 Double Toro and Double Robusto are presented in ten-count boxes.

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FDA Calls for Ban on Flavored Cigars

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced a series of reforms designed to take steps to curb underage smoking. As a part of the program, the agency is calling for a sweeping ban on flavored tobacco, flavored e-cigarettes, and the use of menthol in tobacco products.  This ban includes flavored cigars. The announcement was made via a press release today.
The move on flavored cigars is not a surprise. Last month when the FDA published its Unified Agenda, it listed that it was considering a ban on flavored cigars. The FDA now plans on prioritizing this proposed rule.
While liquids used in ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery System) were a target, this time banning flavors in premium cigars was explicitly called out.  In a statement released by FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb: “Finally, to ensure that we’re taking a comprehensive approach, we must evaluate our regulatory approach to flavored cigars. Flavors are added to cigars and other tobacco products for various reasons, such as reducing the harshness, bitterness and astringency of tobacco products during inhalation and to soothe irritation during use. Research shows that, compared to adults (25 or older) who smoke cigars, a higher proportion of youth who smoke cigars use flavored cigars.” The FDA contends eliminating flavors from cigars would prevent initiation by younger people.
Gottlieb made several points in regards to flavored cigars:

  • He believes flavored cigars should no longer be subject to the extended compliance date for premarket authorization — regardless of the location in which the products are sold.
  • In addition, Gottlieb is calling for those flavored cigars that are grandfathered to be removed. Accordingly, the FDA intends to propose a product standard that would ban flavors in all cigars.
  • In July, the comment period for ANPRM on flavors in tobacco products closed. The FDA has expedited review and analysis of these comments, and intends to proceed with developing a proposed regulation. As included in the most recent Unified Agenda, the FDA intends to prioritize the issuance of this proposed rule.

Gottlieb also stated that he has the full support of his boss, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar.
Flavored tobacco was the focus of one of three ANPRMs that included reducing nicotine levels, and how or if premium cigars should be regulated. In particular premium cigars were mentioned as a part of the ANPRM on flavored tobacco.
The FDA also said it would crack down on marketing ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery System) products and liquids marketed to minors. They specifically mention using children’s cartoon or animated characters or names of products favored by kids like brands of candy and soda. There is reason to believe this will extend to all tobacco products. Ironically one cigar company rebranded one of its products today using marketing similar to a popular soda.
The FDA has not mentioned a timetable for enforcement of the planned regulation, but it is expected to set off a long industry battle challenging this decision.
Gottlieb’s full statement can be read here.

Quesada Cigars Completes Revamping Fonseca Brand

At the 2018 IPCPR Trade Show, Quesada Cigars showcased a revamped look for its original Fonseca Classic brand. Today the company has announced it has revamped the other four lines under the brand. The new look will be presented at a launch event scheduled to be held in New York City at the Nat Sherman Townhouse on Wednesday, November 28th.
The changes will affect the Fonseca Vintage, Fonseca Cubano Exclusivo, Fonseca Cubano Limitado, and Fonseca Nicaragua. Each of these lines will now feature the red, white, and wood designed style box introduced when Fonseca Classic was revamped this past summer. In addition, all of the Fonseca cigars will now have the red and white Fonseca logo band. In addition, a secondary band will be added to each line (with the exception of the Fonseca Classic which will remain with a single band).
While the blends remain the same, one big change is coming to the Fonseca Cubano Limitado line. Previously this was a box-pressed offering under the Fonseca brand. It is now be shifted to a parejo offering and like the other lines continue to use the same tobaccos.
“With Fonseca we have managed to offer cigar enthusiasts all types of smokes in one brand. From a medium but flavorful smoke such as the Fonseca Classic to a more intense and full-bodied smoke in the Fonseca Nicaragua. Now was the time to redesign the brand, and we have managed to do so with something that cannot be missed, a solid red lid with the iconic Fonseca Logo on it,” said Manuel “Manolo” Quesada, President of Quesada Cigars in a press release.
“We are very proud of what we have achieved with this brand over the years, and now we are prouder to reintroduce it to the market with a fresher look. From a brand image perspective, it was very important to identify Fonseca with this new and unified packaging,” added Fruela Roces, CEO of Quesada Cigars.
“For over 44 years we at Quesada Cigars have carried this amazing brand in our portfolio, and now we are proudly bringing to customers a more attractive and modern look. An eye-catching packaging that for sure will call the attention in every humidor or lounge that it sits in and; of course, a great cigar that will satisfy all smoker’s palates,” commented Senior Brand Director and Manolo’s daughter, Raquel Quesada.
The company says pricing will remain the same through the end of the year. The new presentation will be available to retailers immediately following the November 28 launch.

Gran Habano Brings Back Los Tres Reyes Magos

Gran Habano has announced the return of its limited edition culebra set, Los Tres Magos. It’s a a culebra package that includes three of Gran Habano’s most popular blends.
The name Los Tres Reyes Magos stands for “The Three Wise Men”. Each culebra contains three 7 x 32 panatela cigars tied together and will include one cigar from the Gran Habano #1 (Connecticut Shade blend) blend, one cigar from the Gran Habano #3 (Nicaraguan Habano wrapped blend), and one cigar from the Gran Habano #5 (Nicaraguan Corojo wrapped blend).
Each culebra is packaged in an individual coffin. Boxes will be available containing ten coffins. Each box has a suggested retail price of $140.00