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IPCPR 2017: Day One

Top 10 things we learned on Day 1 at IPCPR 2017

  1. Mayor Rudy Giuliani is a bad ass. His keynote speech was what the cigar industry needed to hear from a politician in light of the recent FDA regulations.  "President Trump realizes regulations are killing businesses," he said "Let businesses operate like businesses instead of government -regulated organizations."
  2. IPCPR knows how to party. Light up the Night with General Cigar was the best ever with food, drinks, cigars, drinks, T-shirt screening, cigars, drinks and cigars. And Mombacho parties-Enough said about that. 
  3. Ventura Cigars is bringing back old favorites from their supplier and production partners in the case study line. They cleverly named them Case Studies 1-5. Try them and see if you can find your old favorites. 
  4. Unfortunately this year we lost Avo Uvezian. David off has pledged to continue with the vision AVO began long ago. 
  5. With the changing laws concerning medical cigarettes, two companies I have come up with unique products to aid those smokers. PDR's Devil's Weed (in red and dark) provides rollers with a quality tobacco leaf to use as their wrapper. Total Flame has marketed a Russian tube product that you can easily load with your own blend to make a smooth smoke. 
  6. Stepping up the presentation standards, United-A luxury brand- has perfected beautiful humidified tubes sold with their cigars
  7. Davidoff once again presented their Gold Band awards to deserving partner retailers at a press event complete with fancy hors d'oeuvres,  Champagne and of course their new Churchhill, Comacho and Avo blends.
  8. For every serious businessman's office, the new Hiram and Solomon pyramid humidor, complete with 30 of their cigars, is a must have.
  9. In a perfect example of how the cigar industry has helped the economies of multiple small countries, Crossfire Cigars has several blends whose profits roll directly back into the Dominican Republic people through hospitals, schooling and jobs.
  10. Warfighter Cigars is made up of six soldiers who bonded together to create cigars for other soldiers, naming all the cigars after calibers of ammunition. 

Read more...

Xurvivor launches Americano Maduro

xurvivor1Xurvivor Cigars announced today the launch of the Xurvivor Americano Maduro 2018 cigar line. The new cigar collection is being displayed in their new, redesigned e-commerce store XurvivorCigars.com/shop.

The first cigar in the Xurvivor Americano collection was designed with cigar lovers in mind, with a maduro wrapper and a full-body, flavorful profile. The 2018’s 2,500 limited production was 100% handcrafted in Ybor City, Florida. For the month of May, the company is offering an introductory pricing for the limited edition cigar.

Ybor City, also known as the cigar capital of the world, is the only neighborhood on Florida’s west coast to be designated a National Historic Landmark District. The home of Xurvivor Cigars is a favorite destination for cigar aficionados all over the world, and has been the cradle of cigar manufacturing the United States for more than a century.

The new cigar collection was launched together with a new online store redesign. “Our new online store maintains the same look and feel as the old website, but includes many aesthetic and navigation enhancements. We want to provide a more engaging user experience and help our customers easily search for their next favorite cigar” said Joshua Candamo, Prxurvivor2esident of Xurvivor.

The redesign of the site includes a new shipping model for free delivery for all orders over $80 anywhere in the US, without the need for a coupon. “Our customers spoke and we listened.”

Xurvivor Cigars is known for offering very short runs of exciting, limited editions cigars. To commemorate the launch of their new cigar collection, the company is also offering their first collector’s edition limited print of 50 posters. The poster was designed by a local Tampa artist, and includes the AMERICANO band, as well as artwork from the CLASICO and EVO cigar bands.

For more information, visit the Americano collection website and take advantage of the introductory pricing offering discounts for the month of May.

About Xurvivor Cigars

Xurvivor Cigars is a brand of cigars owned by Xurvivor, a privately held company based out of Tampa, Florida. Xurvivor Cigars offer a variety of premium cigars hand rolled in Ybor City.

 

Cigar Regulations and the Little Guy

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This is a guest article by Rob McKeon of CigarZen, manufacturer of the Blüme family of products. CW makes no product endoresements as a matter of policy.

 

It’s tough out here for us cigar smokers!

As we all know, tobacco has been highly regulated and the level of those regulations seems to keep climbing, almost by the day. For cigar lovers, it seems unfair that the products we use--to relax, to de-compress, to celebrate--are becoming more and more difficult to acquire.

While we can all appreciate the government’s desire to keep tobacco far away from kids, it’s hard to see the justification behind including cigars in its recent rigorous FDA rulings which were originally intended for smokeless tobacco only. The act of cigar smoking is almost artistic in its nature, viewed as a sign of sophistication, hard work and appreciation for the craftsmanship behind each stick. While it’s easy for a teenager to get their hands on a cheap pack of cigarettes, they’re likely not going to get too far in an artisanal cigar store.

Read more...

VILLIGER CIGARS OPENS NEW FACTORY IN BRAZIL “VILLIGER DO BRASIL”

NAG 8314(Miami, Florida) May 9, 2018—Villiger Cigars continues global growth, with the opening of its new factory in Brazil, Villiger Do Brasil (which translates from Portuguese to “Villiger of Brazil”). Heinrich Villiger was present at the opening of the new factory, marking the next evolution of a long relationship between Villiger Cigars and Brazilian tobacco, dating back to Villiger Cigars’ beginnings in 1888.

Villiger Cigars’ has been importing Brazilian tobacco since 1888, which later led to establishing in 1979 a Brazilian Villiger subsidiary, and factory named Charutos Tobajara Limitada. The name Tobajara is derived from a still existing tobacco growing Indian tribe in the Amazonas area.

The opening of the larger and more modern Villiger do Brasil factory has replaced the previous factory, but maintains its location in the same area near the second largest city in the State of Bahia, Feira de Santana. The Brazilian Villiger subsidiary has also changed to Villiger do Brasil Limitada.

NAG 8157Villiger Chairman of the Board, Heinrich Villiger is very passionate about Brazilian tobacco and made a point to partake in the opening celebrations of the new factory. Currently the Villiger do Brasil factory produces only Brazilian puros, to include the Villiger San’Doro Maduro, Villiger Tobajara along with European exclusive brands Villiger Celebration, and the Corrida.

Heinrich Villiger said:” Brazilian tobacco holds a special place in my heart. My grandparents saw the value in Brazilian tobacco when they began Villiger Cigars as very small operation in 1888, and we have continued the tradition of using this very special tobacco in many of our brands. We feel that the hard working and passionate team at Villiger do Brasil will help us increase the awareness of Brazilian tobacco worldwide.”

NAG 0038ABOUT VILLIGER SONS LIMITED AND VILLIGER NORTH AMERICA:
Villiger Sons Limited was established in 1888 by Jean Villiger in the small town of Pfeffikon, Switzerland, where Villiger remains headquartered to this day. The company manufactures and sells more than 1.5 billion cigars annually, world-wide. Today, under the leadership of Heinrich Villiger, the company prides itself in its commitment to quality, in all their products made in many countries around the globe.

Follow the NEW Villager Cigars North America on social @VilligerCigarsNorthAmerica #TheOriginalClassic

Industry (raw)

I am cnp'ing this raw from my PM inbox. I'm not quite sure what to do with it yet, but it is relevant and could easily be cleaned up for publication.

 

I smoke cigars to Celebrate. A wedding, a birth, a promotion. A Life.

I lost my paternal Grandmother a year ago, and I celebrated.

I celebrated a life of nearly 75 years. A life of handing down love, lessons, admonishments and accolades.
She was a woman of action with a strong will and a huge heart.

I sat on the porch at the farm where we shared countless conversations - the place where she imparted her wisdom upon me.
I sat next to the black rocking chair with the word 'MA' emblazoned across the back in gold leaf. It was her throne during haying season, where she rested and surveyed the fields.
It occurred to me that I had never sat next to that chair without her sitting there next to me.
I smoked a 'Queen B' from Fuente. The name seemed fitting, and it was a solid smoke.

A few days ago, our community was rocked by the sudden passing of a childhood friend. He was my first 'best' friend.
 
 
Some of my earliest memories are of the two of us discovering the world together. We spent countless hours exploring the woods, riding our bikes, camping, and dirtbiking. We played the Hero and we played the Villain. Saturday mornings full of Thundercats and Voltron cartoons and epic GI Joe battles. We Talked. The conversations were of people yet unburdened by the weight of the world.
 
The divorce of my parents changed everything in my world, and my friendship suffered as well. I moved away, and we drifted apart. Only after his passing did I realize what that friendship really meant. He died at 34 years old in an ATV accident. His name was Jason.

Soon I will go and find him, at the spot on our dirt bike trail where we would shut the bikes down and talk. I will take a Hemmingway 'Short Story'. The name seems fitting, and it’s a solid smoke.

I will celebrate a life.

J Norton

VILLIGER CIGARS OPENS NEW FACTORY IN BRAZIL “VILLIGER DO BRASIL”

NAG 8314(Miami, Florida) May 9, 2018—Villiger Cigars continues global growth, with the opening of its new factory in Brazil, Villiger Do Brasil (which translates from Portuguese to “Villiger of Brazil”). Heinrich Villiger was present at the opening of the new factory, marking the next evolution of a long relationship between Villiger Cigars and Brazilian tobacco, dating back to Villiger Cigars’ beginnings in 1888.

Villiger Cigars’ has been importing Brazilian tobacco since 1888, which later led to establishing in 1979 a Brazilian Villiger subsidiary, and factory named Charutos Tobajara Limitada. The name Tobajara is derived from a still existing tobacco growing Indian tribe in the Amazonas area.

The opening of the larger and more modern Villiger do Brasil factory has replaced the previous factory, but maintains its location in the same area near the second largest city in the State of Bahia, Feira de Santana. The Brazilian Villiger subsidiary has also changed to Villiger do Brasil Limitada.

NAG 8157Villiger Chairman of the Board, Heinrich Villiger is very passionate about Brazilian tobacco and made a point to partake in the opening celebrations of the new factory. Currently the Villiger do Brasil factory produces only Brazilian puros, to include the Villiger San’Doro Maduro, Villiger Tobajara along with European exclusive brands Villiger Celebration, and the Corrida.

Heinrich Villiger said:” Brazilian tobacco holds a special place in my heart. My grandparents saw the value in Brazilian tobacco when they began Villiger Cigars as very small operation in 1888, and we have continued the tradition of using this very special tobacco in many of our brands. We feel that the hard working and passionate team at Villiger do Brasil will help us increase the awareness of Brazilian tobacco worldwide.”

NAG 0038ABOUT VILLIGER SONS LIMITED AND VILLIGER NORTH AMERICA:
Villiger Sons Limited was established in 1888 by Jean Villiger in the small town of Pfeffikon, Switzerland, where Villiger remains headquartered to this day. The company manufactures and sells more than 1.5 billion cigars annually, world-wide. Today, under the leadership of Heinrich Villiger, the company prides itself in its commitment to quality, in all their products made in many countries around the globe.

Follow the NEW Villager Cigars North America on social @VilligerCigarsNorthAmerica #TheOriginalClassic

FDA Labeling Requirements Set For 8/01/18

ipcprlogoAugust 10th marks a major milestone in the implementation of FDA’s Deeming Rule.  On this date, the warning label requirements for cigar and pipe tobacco packaging and advertising go into effect. Below are a few things retailers should know ahead of time. IPCPR plans to release additional briefs on aspects of the warning label requirements over the coming days. These briefs will cover issues including the point-of-sale signage requirements for retailers of individual, unpackaged cigars and retailer obligations for advertising warning statements.
 
What are the Warning Label requirements for packaging?
Beginning on 8/10/2018, manufacturers of cigars must label product packages with//www.ipcpr.org/link.asp?e=This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.&;job=3395149&ymlink=250943482&finalurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Efda%2Egov%2FTobaccoProducts%2FLabeling%2FLabeling%2Fucm524442%2Ehtm" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&q=https:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.%26job%3D3395149%26ymlink%3D250943482%26finalurl%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww%252Efda%252Egov%252FTobaccoProducts%252FLabeling%252FLabeling%252Fucm524442%252Ehtm&">//www.ipcpr.org/link.asp?e%This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.%26job%3D3395149%26ymlink%3D250943482%26finalurl%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww%252Efda%252Egov%252FTobaccoProducts%252FLabeling%252FLabeling%252Fucm524442%252Ehtm&;source=gmail&ust=1528901766071000&usg=AFQjCNFZLZl_NXW6FE31G6VBxD3LoupXLg"> six separate FDA warning statements. On the same date, manufacturers of pipe tobacco must label product packages with //www.ipcpr.org/link.asp?e=This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.&;job=3395149&ymlink=250943482&finalurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Efda%2Egov%2FTobaccoProducts%2FLabeling%2FLabeling%2Fucm524470%2Ehtm" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&q=https:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.%26job%3D3395149%26ymlink%3D250943482%26finalurl%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww%252Efda%252Egov%252FTobaccoProducts%252FLabeling%252FLabeling%252Fucm524470%252Ehtm&">//www.ipcpr.org/link.asp?e%This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.%26job%3D3395149%26ymlink%3D250943482%26finalurl%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww%252Efda%252Egov%252FTobaccoProducts%252FLabeling%252FLabeling%252Fucm524470%252Ehtm&;source=gmail&ust=1528901766071000&usg=AFQjCNGFuwIr1Kjg7k0PxdIrSIT17fDJQA">a nicotine-addictiveness warning. The labels must make up 30% of the two principal display panels of the package, comply with other formatting requirements, and in the case of cigars be displayed consistent with an FDA-approved warning plan.
 
Manufacturers have until the end of 9/10/2018 to introduce into domestic commerce any inventory of products in packaging that DOES NOT comply with the new FDA labeling requirements, AS LONG AS they were manufactured prior to 8/10/2018. (In the case of a domestically manufactured product, this could mean removal from the factory before 9/11/2018.  In the case of an imported product, this could mean release of the product from customs before 9/11/2018.)
 
What does this mean for retailers?
On and after 8/10/2018, U.S. distributors and retailers may continue to sell, distribute or import products that do not have compliant warning labels, AS LONG AS the products were manufactured before 8/10/2018.

What happens if the FDA comes to my store? Will the Agency hold me responsible for any package labeling issue?
The labeling responsibility for packaging rests with manufacturers. And there are a series of protections under the Deeming Rule that reinforce this for retailers.
 
On and after 8/10/2018, retailers WILL NOT BE in violation for selling any packaged cigar or pipe tobacco product without compliant FDA warning labels AS LONG AS:

  • The retailer can demonstrate or reasonably assert that the product at issue was manufactured prior to 8/10/2018 (and therefore is not subject to the warning requirements); or
  • The package has some type of “health warning*”;
  • The retailer obtained the product from an appropriately licensed manufacturer, importer, or distributor; and
  • The retailer has not altered the product in a way that is material to the new requirements. 

*It’s important to note that the regulations do not define what qualifies as a “health warning” for these purposes, but legacy FTC cigar health warnings, California health warnings, or improperly executed FDA warnings could qualify.  
 
How do I “demonstrate or reasonably assert” a product’s manufacture date?
Ultimately, each individual supplier (including manufacturers, importers, and distributors) must determine how best to help assure its retailer customers that they may sell supplied products without FDA-compliant warning labels on or after 8/10/2018. Examples include:

  • Provide a letter confirming the date on which the manufacturer began complying with the new warning label requirements;
  • Include documentation confirming the date of manufacture (or the pre-8/10/2018 status) of products in a shipment;
  • Include production date information on or in packaging; or
  • Make such information available upon request and presentation of a labeled code.

In addition, IPCPR recommends that, as appropriate, retailers rely on their own records and inventory management practices for these purposes.  For example, this could include:

  • Completing a physical inventory of packaged products on hand before 8/10/2018 (and thereafter as appropriate); and either
    • Applying a sticker or other marking to help the retailer identify the date of inventory of each package; or
    • Segregating products manufactured before 8/10/2018 to allow the retailer to identify products not subject to the warning requirements.

For any additional questions or concerns regarding warning labeling requirements, please contact Daniel Trope, IPCPR Senior Director of Federal Government Affairs at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Southern Draw releases Jacobs Ladder Lancero – Box Press

ignite whiteAustin, TX. – Born from the new charitable strategy, IGNITE some good and produced at the A.J. Fernandez Cigar Co. in Esteli, Nicaragua, the Jacobs Ladder Lancero makes its debut in an exclusive box pressed format known as the TOP RUNG at Casa de Montecristo which coincides with the Texas Cigar Festival. The box pressed lancero in this award winning premium cigar blend is a limited exclusive release and will be available in a number of Casa de Montecristo retail locations.

Blessed with an impressive resume since its 2017 release date, Jacobs Ladder, Lancaster 401 Broadleaf wrapper - double ligero has been honored with a number of Cigar of the Year awards including an impressive #1 Cigar of the Year by Houston’s own Toasted Foot, #2 Cigar of the Year – the Consensus by Half Wheel and #4 Cigar of the Year by Cigar Dojo, we wanted to offer a special size and an incredible representation of this bold but approachable blend as the initial release for our IGNITE charitable strategy. Let’s IGNITE some good!” said Sharon Holt of Southern Draw Cigars.

Southern Draw Cigars arrives in Houston for the Texas Cigar Festival with an announcement of this limited release. With rarity comes quality and consumers will certainly want to burn a few of these beautiful lanceros and experience the complexity and craftsmanship while they directly support the charitable cause, Operation Cigar for Warriors through generous financial and cigar contributions. Available only in the 10 count humidified jars under the IGNITE brand, the TOP RUNG is the first of five special releases scheduled for 2018.

We are excited to partner with Robert and Sharon Holt and the Southern Draw family on the release of the IGNITE project. As the largest brick and mortar cigar lounge chain in the country and the first retailer to receive and offer these for purchase, we feel that our customers will be just as excited as we are to try these exclusive items. The IGNITE jars will be first available at our Texas Cigar Festival in Houston, TX on April 14th 2018. Shortly after, you'll be able to purchase these at many of our 20 retail locations, including our newest additions in Tampa, FL. until our limited supply is gone,” stated Ernie R. Watson, Sr. Merchandise Manager, Casa de Montecristo Inc. Ernie also added an important note "We believe this is just the first of many steps in aligning Casa de Montecristo with trends and exciting projects that make this industry so unique." www.casademontecristo.com

Southern Draw Cigars remains committed to providing the highest quality products to the market and just as its done with all cigars in their line, each IGNITE jar will contain a donated 69 – percent RH pack from Boveda. “Boveda is proud to be part of this exciting and innovative IGNITE project that Southern Draw Cigars has orchestrated. Boveda believes in supporting initiatives like these that serve our US military and its veterans, grass roots charities and premium cigar rights. Each of these unique jars will be packaged with Boveda’s 2-way humidity control from the factory, ensuring the customer is provided the best smoking experience by delivering the cigars in ideal smoking condition” added Tim Swail, Executive Vice President of Sales for Boveda, Inc. an IGNITE project sponsor and the global leader in 2-way humidity control. www.bovedainc.com

Southern Draw Cigars, Casa De Montecristo and Boveda Inc. have selected Operation Cigars for Warriors (www.cigarsforwarriors.org) as the initial beneficiary of the IGNITE project.

LET ALL THINGS BE DONE WITH CHARITY”

Please direct all questions, comments and requests about IGNITE or to inquire about our future sponsorship opportunities for retail partners to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For general information about Southern Draw Cigars, a list of retail partners and reviews, please visit us at www.southerndrawcigars.com.

Soli Deo Gloria!

FDA Announces Extension to Tobacco Related ANPRMs

ipcprlogoEarlier today, the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced extensions to three advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) dockets currently underway.  The extension covers the ANPRMs on nicotine reduction, flavors and premium cigars.

This extension provides additional time for industry to present its case to the administration and submit comments to the FDA.  IPCPR, along with other industry associations, members of Congress and industry stakeholders submitted extension requests. Our association applauds the FDA’s decision and attributes it to the continued dialogue IPCPR has forged on Capitol Hill and with the FDA regarding premium cigars and a need to exempt this niche artisanal industry from an ill-suited regulatory framework.

The new ANPRM deadlines are listed below:

For any questions concerning the ANPRM, please contact Daniel Trope, IPCPR Senior Director of Federal Government Affairs at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Southern Draw Cigars launches new charitable strategy

ignite logo

April 6th, 2018 – Austin, Texas

Teaming up with premium cigar retailers and sponsors to help select charities, Southern Draw Cigars is proud to announce its new charitable strategy as we endeavor to IGNITE some good.

Our Vision.

IGNITE, is a creative way for Southern Draw Cigars to dedicate NEW release cigars to provide hope, morale and charity to those in need. Southern Draw Cigars with its partners will join together by voluntarily assisting in all lawful ways, to support mutually agreed upon charities and causes. The primary focus will be serving:

  1. Active-duty, deployed, military veterans and their families;

  2. Premium cigar rights and cigar retail associations; and

  3. Our community’s needy, homeless and hungry, many of whom are US military veterans.

Our Values.

  1. Ambition – IGNITE partners and sponsors will be demanding of ourselves, providing our first and best cigar offerings and are each committed to increasing annual contributions for every cause we agree to support.

  2. Collaboration – INGITE partners value one another, thrive on our united resources, and will work to leverage our combined strength in making a difference, without placing the financial burden on any single party regardless of their own resources.

  3. Creativity – IGNITE is a new idea, a new approach in overcoming federal, state and local restrictions that have proven somewhat prohibitive for the premium cigar industry, to take a disciplined approach to develop sustainable options to best support our causes.

  4. Accountability – IGNITE partners take responsibility for using our combined resources effectively and efficiently, achieving quantifiable and sustainable results and being accountable to one another, and most of all, to the causes we support.

ignite 3What is IGNITE?

Southern Draw has initiated the following charitable strategy for 2018:

  1. Produced five NEW cigar offerings with custom IGNITE bands;

  2. Partnered with FIVE different premium cigar retailers;

  3. Produced 5,000 custom “IGNITE some good” jars, ½ black and ½ white each with the charities’ sticker on top and informational brochure insert;

  4. Allocated $3.75 per jar to select charities (x 5,000 jars);

  5. Retail partner commitment of $3.75 per jar to select charities (x 5,000 jars) and optional coupon for future savings;

  6. $37,500 to charities ($3.75 x 5,000 from SDC + $3.75 x 5,000 from retailers) = $37,500).

Southern Draw Cigars will provide complete transparency regarding the identity of each partner, sponsor and the amount of all contributions and the frequency of the offerings.

Current Partners and Sponsors.

Each IGNITE jar has been optimized for delivery with Boveda’s (www.bovedainc.com) patented 2-way humidity control and a freshness seal, each donated by Boveda as they increase their already generous charitable giving program.

Southern Draw Cigars and three retail partners have selected Operation Cigars for Warriors (www.cigarsforwarriors.org) as the initial beneficiary. This is a concerted effort to increase the cigar donations and monetary contributions that have seen a significant decrease since the 2016 FDA Regulations. Stockpiles of donated cigars and funds to ship the cigars to our deployed military personnel have diminished to all-time lows.

April 14 – IGNITE release #1 during the Texas Cigar Festival.

Serious Cigars and Casa de Montecristo have partnered with Southern Draw Cigars for the 1st IGNITE release, details on the NEW cigar to be announced on April 9th. https://www.casademontecristo.com/west-loop/events/texas-cigar-festival/

May 12 – IGNITE release #2 at Famous Smoke Shop & Leaf Cigar Bar.

NEW and exciting cigar release in Easton, PA, details to be announced soon. https://www.leafcigarbar.com/

Date TBD – Cigars International has selected two unique releases under the IGNITE banner, along with scheduling wo exciting events in September and November.

TBD – Q3 - 2018 IGNITE release #4 is available for retail partnership, 1,000 jars and a NEW Southern Draw Cigars release.

TBD – Q4 – 2018 IGNITE release #5 is available for retail partnership, 1,000 jars and a NEW Southern Draw Cigars release.

LET ALL THINGS BE DONE WITH CHARITY”

Please direct all questions, comments and requests about IGNITE or to inquire about our future sponsorship opportunities for retail partners to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For general information about Southern Draw Cigars, a list of retail partners and reviews, please visit us at www.southerndrawcigars.com.

Soli Deo Gloria!

New Margaritaville and LandShark Cigarware

 

MV1(Fort Lauderdale, FL – June 1, 2018) – The Lotus Group and Vertigo by Lotus, in partnership with Lifestyle Brands, LLC, will make a splash at the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association convention with a new line of co-branded Margaritaville and LandShark cigarware. As the exclusive global licensee for Margaritaville and LandShark cigarware, the company will debut pocket, table, waterproof and extendable lighters, cigar cutters and ashtrays that include lyrics from songs by singer, songwriter and best-selling author Jimmy Buffett.  

“Our team is honored and excited to partner with Lifestyle Brands, LLC to create products for a laid-back lifestyle,” said Rosemary Sharp, president of Lotus Group. “We’ve taken some popular phrases our customers associate with Margaritaville, such as ‘Fins Up!’, ‘It’s 5 o’Clock Somewhere’, ‘No Working During Drinking Hours’ and ‘Work like a Captain, Play like a Pirate’, and incorporated them into our cigarware, creating a unique and fun-filled product experience.” 

mv2Margaritaville, the global lifestyle brand synonymous with fun and escapism, is comprised of restaurants, resorts, casinos, vacation ownership properties, consumer products, retail shops, a national radio station on SiriusXM® and more.

Available at most retail liquor stores, LandShark Lager is a refreshing, island-style lager from the Margaritaville Brewing Company.  Like Margaritaville, LandShark Lager – which made its debut in 2007 – is all about island living, good times, good friends, good food, and a great party. 

Margaritaville and LandShark cigarware is shipping now and available at many tobacconist shops across the United States.

For more information, please contact The Lotus Group/Integral, LLC., the exclusive worldwide licensee for Margaritaville and LandShark Cigarware, 6501 Nob Hill Road, Suite B, Tamarac, FL 33321, Phone: 954-746-9026, Fax: 954-746-9206, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

mv3About Margaritaville
Margaritaville is a global lifestyle brand inspired by the lyrics and lifestyle of singer, songwriter and best-selling author Jimmy Buffett, whose songs evoke a passion for tropical escape and relaxation.
 
Margaritaville features 12 lodging locations with more than 20 additional projects in the pipeline, four gaming properties and over 60 food and beverage venues including signature concepts such as Margaritaville Restaurant, award-winning JWB Prime Steak and Seafood, 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill and LandShark Bar & Grill. More than 20 million travelers every year change their latitude and attitude with a visit to a Margaritaville resort, residential real estate destination, vacation club, vacation home rental or restaurant.
 
Consumers can also escape everyday through a collection of Margaritaville lifestyle products including apparel, footwear, frozen concoction makers, home décor and more. Additionally, the brand’s food, beverage and spirits lines – including Margaritaville tequilas, rums, LandShark Lager and a new bestselling cookbook – deliver authentic, tropical escapism to fans around the world. Margaritaville, a state of mind since 1977.


MEDIA CONTACTS:
Samantha Jacobs or Kayla Louttit
Hemsworth Communications (for Margaritaville)
954-716-7614 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CAO Debuts LE Release “Zócalo”

CAO 14209 ZocBoxCAO is igniting the spirit of Mexico with a new, limited edition release that coincides with the brand’s virtual tour of the Pan American Highway.

Called Zócalo, the name for a vibrant and celebratory city square in Mexico, this is first cigar in CAO’s lineup to be made with Mexican tobacco.

CAO’s Master Blender Rick Rodriguez said, “Zócalo speaks to CAO’s spirit of going off the beaten path. We’ve never used Mexican tobacco in any of our blends, so we went bold by using a Mexican wrapper leaf. It’s a special Morron wrapper grown in the San Andrés Valley and it delivers a great, earthy flavor I know the CAO fans will love.”

The filler is entirely Nicaraguan and the binder is Cameroon. All told, the blend delivers earthy spice and subtle sweetness.

Zócalo is being made in one size only, a 6”x 60 vitola called San Andrés that maximizes the flavors of the three-country blend. Individual cigars will sell for an SRP of $8.49 apiece, and will come in brightly colored, 20-count boxes, selling for an SRP of $169.80.

Only 3,500 boxes of Zocalo have been produced, and the limited release will hit cigar shops in time for Cinco de Mayo on May 5.

For more information and to follow the CAO Pan Am Tour, visit www.caocigars.com/PanAmTour.

Congress Asks FDA For Comment Period Extension

ipcprlogoLast week, Congressman Bill Posey along with 32 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter urging the federal government to extend the premium cigar ANPRM comment period. The comment period is currently slated to close on June 25th, and is the third of three tobacco and nicotine focused ANPRM’s released by the FDA. The letter also asks for a simultaneous delay to the looming August 10th, 2018 labeling deadline for packages and advertising.  IPCPR, along with other associations representing the premium cigar industry have previously filed comments directly with the FDA requesting an extension of the ANPRM comment period. The association applauds the 33 Members of Congress for their continued support on behalf of the industry.
 
Addressed to Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the letter once again highlights the deep-seeded concern within Congress over FDA regulations of premium cigar products.
 
“As members of the U.S. Congress representing all sectors of the hand-rolled premium cigar industry, we remain concerned that the FDA’s regulatory overreach on this issue, which is contrary to Congress’ intent under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA), will continue to impose greater economic burdens on the manufacturers and retailers of premium cigars.”
 
The letter rightly points out that the time and resources needed to respond to the breadth and technical detail of data requested by the FDA exceeds the allotted.
 
Specifically, it states the FDA “seeks an all-encompassing, comprehensive response that seeks data, research results, and other information relating to premium cigars, in three separate categories.  The current 90-day public comment period is insufficient to garner the kind of “all-encompassing, comprehensive response[s]”
 
According to Scott Pearce, IPCPR Executive Director, Congressman Posey’s letter is indicative of the value retailers around the country hold on Capitol Hill. “It’s heartening to know that because our IPCPR members have been such a vocal constituency to representatives in Congress, those representatives truly understand our issues and are now a vocal constituency to the Administration,” said Pearce.  “IPCPR is excited about once again proving our case against poorly designed and harmful regulations through the ANPRM process. Our association sincerely thanks the letter signatories for their support and effort to make sure we have the time necessary to respond.”
 
For questions concerning the letter to the OMB or any issues regarding FDA regulations, please contact Daniel Trope, IPCPR Senior Director of Federal Government Affairs at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

JEREMY JACK CIGARS RELEASES THE JJ14 LANCERO

JEREMY JACK CIGARS IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF THE JJ14 LANCERO!

jjlTHE JJ14 LANCERO CONTAINS NICARAGUAN AGANORSA LEAF BINDER AND FILLER AND IS WRAPPED IN ECUADORIAN CT.  
 

AVAILABLE IN BOXES OF 20 AND READY TO SHIP NOW.

Screwpop® Tool to offer redesigned of cigar cutter "Chopo™"

Chopo 3 editedThe latest in compact and highly functional tools, Screwpop® introduces - Chopo™ Cigar Cutter, a reengineered force in cigar cutting technology.

Chopo™ is the successor of the original Screwpop® Cigar Cutter with a few major improvements. First, the Eyelet has been generously enlarged that puts the pivot motion closer to the cutting circle. Second, two ultra-thin washers have been added (one each side) to further minimize blade separation and to additionally prevent less wear on the Eyelet mechanism.

A few other key improvements are in the materials and methods of fabrication.

Chopo™ is made from high quality ultra flat 420 J2 (Japanese) stainless steel. Additionally, CNC manufacturing aids in helping with a few finishing touches that ensures the cutter fully closes and is virtually perfectly flat, in light of the 90 degree bends that dub as both finger and thumb grips.

Like it's predessesor, Chopo™ includes a well-placed bottle opener for those who enjoy pairing a fine cigar with micro-brews.

Chopo™ is available for pre-order on Screwpop's website: www.screwpoptool.com. It will also be available on Amazon.com, soon to follow.

Blades — 420 J2 sharpened stainless steel
Eyelet — Yellow Brass
Weight — 2oz
Size — 1/8 inch x 1.5 inch x 3 inch
Price — $24.95
Release Date — June 15, 2018
Intellectual Property Status — patented USPTO (design patent)

Punch Packs a Punch!

Punch PackPunch is hitting cigar shops everywhere this month with a knockout new pouch called PACK OF PUNCH.

The mischievous Mr. Punch, the brand’s mascot had this to say, “We just got a 93 rating on one of the cigars in the Punch blue box line. That size may or may not be in the pack. You figure it out.”

The new six-pack is hitting retail this month and will sell for an SRP of $24.99. At cigar shops, the packs will be easy to spot, in a convenient counter top display featuring Mr. Punch and the brand’s signature red and blue.

PACK OF PUNCH contains some of the brand’s most popular blends and sizes, all handmade in Honduras. The pack includes these Punch classics:

Punch Champion in Natural and Double Maduro (4.5 x 60)

Punch Rare Corojo Champion (4.5 x 60)

Punch Elite (5.25 x 45)

Punch Grand Cru Robusto (5.25 x 50)

Punch Deluxe Royal Coronation (5.25 x 44)

Punch cigars are handmade in Honduras. For more information, visit www.punchcigars.com or follow Mr. Punch and his wicked musings at @punchcigars.

Cigars International joins Southern Draw Cigars to IGNITE some good

ignite3Southern Draw Cigars is proud to announce the third installment of the IGNITE some good charitable campaign as it partners with Cigars International to release 1,000 custom IGNITE humi-jars. Going back to its roots, the original two cigar blends from Southern Draw Cigars, Kudzu and Firethorn now have a fresh new size to be enjoyed. A 5x58 round format perfecto.


Austin, Texas - “We are pleased to release an exclusive new size in both of our original blends, the rich medium to full bodied Kudzu – Oscuro and the clean burning medium+ flavor of the Firethorn – Rosado as we celebrate the IGNITE project together with Cigars International,’ said Southern Draw Cigars Founder, Robert Holt. “While there are no significant changes to the original blends, the new perfectos are likely to excite the palates of those new to our brand that most likely have been smoking the 2017 releases, Jacobs Ladder and Rose of Sharon blends and the loyal consumers who have smoked these flavorful and award winning blends since 2014.”
The 5x58 perfectos will each have the custom IGNITE cigar bands and will be officially released by Cigars International on June 15th with details to be announced but CI Mega Store, Hamburg customers can get a sneak peek of these new cigars starting at 6pm on June 5, 2018 as Robert Holt joins the CI staff for an IGNITE some good social.


ignite4“Cigars International is incredibly excited to team up with Southern Draw Cigars on these two new, exciting, and delicious projects for CI Nation. Any opportunity we receive to help out our troops is one we’ll jump on without any hesitation, so when Robert Holt approached us with his idea for Ignite, we knew we wanted to be a part of it immediately,” added Jeffrey Kocher, Chief Merchant.


Each cigar is handmade at AJ Fernandez Cigar Co. in Nicaragua using patiently aged and naturally fermented tobaccos.


IGNITE: Release #3
Size: 5 x 58 Perfecto (round format)
MSRP: $99.99 per jar (10 count)
Availability:
250 jars (black) Kudzu
250 jars (white) Kudzu
250 jars (black) Firethorn
250 jars (white) Firethorn
Cigars International and Southern Draw Cigars will donate a total of $7.50 per jar to Operation Cigars for Warriors.


www.cigarsinternational.com/ignite for early purchasing.


“LET ALL THINGS BE DONE WITH CHARITY”
Please direct all questions, comments and requests about IGNITE or to inquire about our future sponsorship opportunities for retail partners to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
For general information about Southern Draw Cigars, a list of retail partners and reviews, please visit us at www.southerndrawcigars.com.


Soli Deo Gloria!

Cigar Dojo Collaborates with Cubariqueño on Protocol K9

DENVER, CO (TUESDAY, March 13, 2018)

image1

Cigar Dojo, the leader in cigar social media, and Cubariqueño, a heavy favorite in the craft cigar industry, have collaborated to introduce an intense smoking experience that manages to be all bark... and bite!

Law enforcement have been aided by man's best friend in hunting down criminals since
the middle ages, using bloodhounds for their tracking capabilities. In modern times,
more agile and powerful breeds have been selected, such as the German Shepherd,
Belgian Malinois, and Dutch Shepherd. Through extensive training, these canines are
often considered more dependable than an officer's own sidearm, using their size,
agility, and speed to apprehend criminals in some of the most dire situations.

Since launching in 2015, Cubariqueño has focused on the company founder's
backgrounds in law enforcement, debuting the fan-favorite Protocol cigar. This was
followed by the Protocol Probable Cause and Protocol Themis in successive years.

Now, using Cigar Dojo and their close ties to canine law enforcement as inspiration, the
two companies have collaborated to embody the heavy-hitting voraciousness, size, and
grace of the mighty 'fur missile', as the dogs have become known.

"This cigar has special meaning to me," commented Eric Guttormson, owner of Cigar
Dojo. "My brother-in-law is a K9 officer and has had some incredible K9 companions:
JR, Max, Thor, and his newest officer, Arrow, are an amazing benefit to the law
enforcement community. Creating a cigar project to honor these awesome animals and
their handlers means a lot to the Dojo crew."

image2

Protocol K9 by Cigar Dojo and Cubariqueño introduces a full-bodied pepper bomb
explosion onto the palate. As with all other Protocol cigars, this beast is crafted at the
renowned La Zona factory in Estelí. The blend is Nicaraguan through and through,
topped with a dark and oily Nicaraguan Habano Rosado wrapper. While K9 demands
your attention like a Belgian Malinois chasing down a bank robber, this Nicaraguan puro
is all business - not unlike the canines it's named after.

The cigars arrive in a short and stout 5" x 56 'Fur Missile' robusto extra vitola, being
sold exclusively through Famous Smoke Shop (online and B&M). Sales begin at 12pm
(Eastern Time) on Friday, March 23rd, through Famous' online store; there will be an
earlier start (10am) at the physical store location in Easton, PA. A limited allocation of
3,000 Protocol K9 cigars have been rolled, retailing for $89.99 per bundle of 10 cigars.
The release of Protocol K9 will coincide with a special launch event at Famous Smoke
Shop and their in-house Leaf Cigar Bar, where the Cigar Dojo staff and Cubariqueño will
be in attendance.

Bill Ives, co-owner of Cubariqueño Cigar Company commented, "Working with Cigar
Dojo has been a blessing with this project. Juan and I started out being active members
with the Dojo and to collaborate with them on a cigar is a true blessing. The Dojo is the
present and future of cigar smoking involving social media."

image3

Protocol K9 Breakdown

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Rosado
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Factory: La Zona
Production: Limited Edition (300 bundles of 10 cigars)
Packaging: 10-ct Bundles
Vitola: 5" x 56 'Fur Missile'
Price: $89.99 ($9/cigar)
Release: March 23, 2018

Diesel Launches Whiskey Row in Partnership with Rabbit Hole Bourbon

Diesel Whiskey Row Close UpDiesel presents Whiskey Row, a collection blended by AJ Fernandez and developed in partnership with Rabbit Hole Bourbon, a maverick new distillery making its mark on the bourbon category. Whiskey Row features binder leaves aged in bourbon barrels, in a proprietary process developed by AJ to enhance the profile of the cigar.

Diesel Senior Brand Manager Justin Andrews said, “The partnership between Diesel and Rabbit Hole speaks of going against the grain in traditional industries. Rabbit Hole doesn’t claim to use 12 year old juice or have a 6th generation master distiller, much like Diesel doesn’t claim to be an old Cuban brand or have tobaccos that have been aged for 20 years. Both Rabbit Hole and Diesel are young, energetic brands with a unique go-to-market strategy. We knew the first time both companies sat down, there was a tremendous amount of synergy.”

Kaveh Zamanian, founder and whiskey maker of Rabbit Hole Bourbon said, “Together, cigars and great whiskey have created uncountable moments of quiet joy. Aging fine tobacco in bourbon barrels which were used to age Rabbit Hole Bourbon modernizes that great tradition. We’re excited that our partnership with Diesel gives us a hand in adding depth to what is already a profoundly enjoyable experience.”

The synergy between both brands was brought to life in 2016 when Rabbit Hole Bourbon barrels arrived at Tabalacera AJ Fernandez in Esteli, Nicaragua. AJ placed the Mexican San Andres binder in the bourbon barrels in a special configuration. The tobacco was left to rest inside the barrels, and the amount of air inside was controlled at regular intervals to ensure the bourbon flavors were imparted evenly.

AJ Fernandez says, “A lot of passion went into this process and I am very pleased with the results. Aging the binder leaf in the bourbon barrels added an unexpected layer of flavor and aroma right beneath the wrapper. When you smoke Whiskey Row, you get a unique and complex experience that engages the senses unlike any other cigar I’ve smoked.”

Diesel Whiskey Row features a three-region blend of Nicaraguan tobaccos from Ometepe, Condega and Jalapa, each aged 5 to 8 years, and enveloped in the bourbon-barrel-aged Mexican binder. The entire blend is wrapped in Ecuadoran Habano which is aged for five years.

The spice and full flavor of the Nicaraguan tobacco, with the aroma, flavor and slight sweetness of the wrapper/binder combo delivers oaky flavor notes and hints of bourbon in the aroma. Diesel Whiskey Row is a very versatile, medium-bodied smoke that plays well with bourbon and other complementary flavors.

Diesel Whiskey Row will launch in June with four sizes, each presented in 25-count boxes.
Robusto 5.5 x 52 – SRP per cigar is $7.49
Toro 6 x 54 – SRP per cigar is $7.99
Churchill 7 x 49 – SRP per cigar is $8.49
Gigante 6 x 60 – SRP per cigar is $8.99

Beginning in July, Diesel Whiskey Row events featuring pairings with Rabbit Hole Bourbon will be held at select cigar shops across the U.S. For more information, visit www.dieselcigar.com.

About Diesel
Handcrafted by artisans in Esteli, Nicaragua, Diesel cigars are “bold by design.” The brand challenges the current conventions of the handmade cigar category through the bold, unapologetic style of its Cigar Master, AJ Fernandez. Diesel cigars are unified by their deeply complex flavor which is achieved through AJ’s steadfast adherence to time honored cigar making techniques. Whiskey Row is the second brand in the Diesel portfolio, joining Diesel Grind which debuted in 2017.

About Rabbit Hole
Diversifying the spirits landscape with a modern approach to whiskey is Kentucky-based Rabbit Hole. Born in 2012 by Founder & Whiskey Maker Kaveh Zamanian in the heart of Louisville’s urban bourbon trail, Rabbit Hole unifies heritage techniques with innovative mash bills, creating unique expressions of American whiskey redefining native Bourbon language. With four signature bottles - Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey, Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in PX Sherry Casks – Fingerprint Edition and London Dry Gin-Kentucky Rye Barrel Finished – Fingerprint Edition – Rabbit Hole turns the whiskey world on its tale, inviting imbibers to take a sip and dive down the rabbit hole, where “there’s no going back™.” Visit rabbitholedistilling.com.

Felix Assouline Cigars Welcomes Heather Callahan

St. Petersburg, FL – Feb. 23, 2018 – Felix Assouline, founder of Felix Assouline Cigars, announced that Heather Callahan has joined the company as its new director of sales and marketing. Her main office will remain in St. Petersburg.

I was very humbled when Felix invited me to be a key component in the growth of his company and I’m excited to help continue and grow the legacy,” said Callahan.”

Callahan will be in charge of growing and enhancing the company’s brand recognition, planning special events with Felix Assouline, attending major cigar-related events, and sales staff management, along with hiring and training sales staff and other general management responsibilities.

Callahan comes to the company with an extensive array of expertise. She has 25 years of experience in sales and marketing and 10 years in the field of finance. She began her career with Gran Habano and Drew Estate Cigars, beginning as a local sale representative and advancing to the position of national sales director.

The new director of sales and marketing has a BA from Michigan State University in Lansing, MI and an MBA from Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, MI. She’s a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves and married with a blended family of four adult children, two of which are still serving actively in the U.S. military.

Felix Assouline Cigars is proud to introduce new premium cigar brands made in the company’s factory in Estelí, Nicaragua, the Capital of Tobacco. Each Assouline cigar is blended from the richest mix of tobaccos from fields in Nicaragua and Honduras and rolled in the traditional Cuban way. The company takes the time to box press its cigars to fuse the leaves together. The result is distinctly rich flavors found in every one of the company’s brands.

I have known Felix Assouline and his right hand man, D’artagnan, for three years,” said Callahan. “I have seen and tasted first-hand the love and care they put into each and every blend. Felix refuses to release any cigar before it has aged to perfection.”

Heather Callahan

Felix Assouline Cigars

Director of Sales and Marketing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. www.felixassouline.com

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