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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. 

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FRATELLO INVERSO SHIPPED

fratello2Springfield, VA (October 25, 2018) – Omar de Frias is proud to announce that Navetta Inverso is heading to stores Monday.


Inverse shuttle in Italian, Navetta Inverso, was introduced at the 2018 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show in July. Blended with a Nicaraguan wrapper, Ecuador binder and Dominican and Nicaragua filler, Inverso is rich in flavor and full in body.


Navetta Inverso will be featured in 3 vitolas:


- Corona Gorda (5 7/8 x 46) 9.50
- Robusto (5 ½ x 54) 11.25
- Toro Grande (6 ¼ x 54) 12.50

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.

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Screwpop® Tool to offer "Tether™

Tether 3Screwpop® Tool to offer "Tether™ - Universal Key Holder and Organizer"

The latest in compact and highly functional tools, Screwpop® introduces - Tether™, that makes attaching, removing and carrying your keys made easy.

The Tether™ uses an revolutionary anchoring system. It's completely "tool-less" and requires only your hands to fully assemble and/or disassemble.

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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

GRAN HABANO ANNOUNCES BLUE IN GREEN

5 closed box clippedDoral, Florida, October 23, 2018 – George Rico of Gran Habano is excited to announce the official release of its long awaited Gran Habano’s Blue in Green project.


This medium-bodied version of a Gran Habano classic blend is selected from the finest vintage tobaccos. The Blue in Green Connecticut-wrapped cigar blissfully embodies the rich nuances of its fillers from the exceptional sunbathed soils of Nicaragua. Blue in Green’s wrapper, binder, and fillers produce a synergy of smooth, creamy, and toasted loaded flavors. This is one cigar that demonstrates that a mild to medium-bodied cigar does not have to be bland. Now shipping to retailers nationwide.

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GRAN HABANO UNVEILS THE COROJO #5 GRAN RESERVA 2012

Gran Reserva closed sideDoral, Florida, November 8, 2018 - Father and son team, Guillermo and George Rico, are proud to announce the official release of the Gran Habano Corojo No. 5 Gran Reserva 2012.

Gran Habano’s Gran Reserva cigars are made using the top 10% best leaf from the yearly crop and aged for an extra seven to eight years prior to the cigar being rolled. It is then aged for a period of four to six years additionally as cigars. The 2012 installment has been aged an additional three years longer than any other prior Gran Reserva release. These cigars offer a bold new experience in full-bodied premium cigars made with vintage tobaccos. Expect a remarkably smooth, earthy and spicy smoke, accompanied by notes of sweet wood and espresso for this aged smoke. The Gran Habano Corojo #5 Gran Reserva 2012 is currently shipping to retailers nationwide.

 

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FDA Updates Unified Regulatory Agenda

ipcprlogo17 Oct. 2018

Earlier today, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated its roadmap for regulations, called the Unified Regulatory Agenda. This outlines the regulatory priorities and perspective timeline for the FDA and other federal agencies.

Importantly, on its agenda, the FDA noted their recent review for premium cigars remains ongoing, meaning the agency still considers this issue an open item. However, the FDA did not prescribe a specific timeline for any potential action on item, instead noting that it is “Long-Term Action” that will be addressed at a date “To Be Determined.” In short, the premium issue is an agenda item, but it is unclear at the moment when any regulatory change will come to the product category.

Scott Pearce, IPCPR Executive Director, believes this underscores the need to continue pressing the FDA to act on the premium issue. “As an organization, our number one priority is to fight on behalf of our retailers and the industry at large to bring a quick resolution to arbitrary regulations on premium cigars. We have the right message and we’ve armed the FDA with government data disproving the need for regulations. However, the agency chose to prioritize other initiatives at the moment. I remain optimistic that the FDA will address this glaring issue – but it is on all of us, as a united voice for the industry, to continue applying pressure on the Administration and the Congress.”

The FDA recently solicited thousands of comments from industry and the public at large for data on the use and public health impact of premium cigars. IPCPR’s comment provided a significant amount of government sourced data and statistics that definitively show premium cigars are not a public health concern for youth or adults.

Regulatory requirements on premium cigars and the small businesses that sell them have been in place for over two years. In that time frame – the economic pressures of the ill-conceived Deeming Rule have been felt across the industry. Ken P Neumann, President of the IPCPR Board of Directors, reiterates this point- “Cigars have needlessly come off the market, retail jobs remain at risk and the uncertainty of rising product costs and reduced stock continue to threaten brick and mortar stores around the country. All of this without any proven benefit to the public health or the FDA’s goal of stopping youth use of tobacco products and mitigating adult addiction to nicotine.”

IPCPR will continue to press this issue on behalf of our retailers and the industry and provide any and all updates as necessary.

Flavors

Today’s Unified Regulatory Agenda also included a new FDA proposal to prohibit “characterizing flavors” in all cigar products. Earlier this year, the agency solicited comments from the industry and the public on flavors in all tobacco products and what, if any action the FDA should take. It is unclear what the FDA’s intended timeline for this initiative is. IPCPR will continue to engage with the agency and others in industry as the agency pursues this objective.

World's first cigar themed phone - The COHIBA iPhone XS

cohiba luxury iphone legend
Legend has launched the world's first cigar themed phone as part of their new iPhone XS collection.
The company that pioneered the bespoke phone and smartwatch concept has collaborated with Finnish cigar accessories company Conocedor to create this Cohiba tribute iPhone for the Cohiba fans worldwide.
Like the rest of the products from these companies, the phone is handcrafted by experienced artisans with high attention to detail. Each phone is made to order and additional bespoke features can be requested as with other phones from Legend Helsinki: Hand engraved gift inscription plate, custom logo, alternative precious metal plating and more, although the customization options on this model are more limited than for their other models.
The Cohiba model is Legend's tribute to the finest cigar brand in the world. The iconic Taino Indian head logo is made of solid 18 karat gold to emphasize the gold theme found in Cohiba's premium quality Behike cigars. The squares are machined into a mirror polished solid silver plate and the spaces are filled with black enamel to give a unique inlaid appearance.

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Oak & Eden Releases New Whiskey

cabwhiskeyCabernet Steeped Bourbon is Oak & Eden's first small-batch expression!

We start with bourbon whiskey, distilled from corn, rye and barley. We age our whiskey for two years in new American charred oak barrels, which produces a rich, deep and sweet, yet slightly spicy spirit. Exceptional on its own, but our work has just begun!

Most often used to age wine, we use French Oak to breath new life and inspiration into our whiskey. At bottling, we add a 5 inch long spiral cut piece of French Oak. We call this our "Spire". This spire is not only exceptional due to it species of origin, it is exceptional because we rest it in cabernet sauvignon for 4 weeks before allowing it to rest in our bottle, finishing our whiskey.

The combination of American bourbon whiskey, finished with a French Oak spire that has been influenced with deep, rich, red wine creates an inspired elixir that is sweet, fruity and simply remarkable. Combining sweet bourbon, with rich, deep cabernet and french oak, produces a creative whiskey experience that must be imbibed to fully appreciate.

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FRATELLO CIGARS ANNOUNCES FRATELLO D.M.V.

fratellologoSpringfield, VA (November 6, 2018) – Omar de Frias is proud to announce the launch of Fratello D.M.V and Delaware. The D.M.V is an abbreviation well known to residents of the DC metro area as DC, Maryland and Virginia. This blend will be sold exclusively to retailers in DC, Maryland, Virginia and Delaware and manufactured at the La Aurora factory in Dominican Republic.

The cigar features an Havana Vuelta Arriba Ecuador wrapper with a Sumatra Ecuador binder and Dominican, Nicaragua and USA filler.

Fratello D.M.V will begin shipping to retailers the last week of November with launches planned throughout the DC metro area.

“The first retailer to carry my cigars was in Maryland, my launch event was in DC and Virginia is home to my business. This blend is my tribute to the DMV and to the retailers that helped put Fratello in the map.” Said de Frias.

Fratello D.M.V. will be released in 4 vitolas:

District of Columbia – Toro (6 ¼ x 54) 9.00 MSRP per Cigar
Maryland – Gordo (6 x 58) 9.25 MSRP per Cigar
Virginia – Robusto Extra (5 ½ x 52) 8.75 MSRP per Cigar
Delaware – Robusto (5 x 50) 8.50 MSRP per Cigar

Fratello Cigars was established in 2013. Since inception Fratello has grown to be sold in 800 brick and mortars in the US and 9 international destinations. Fratello is considered one of the fastest growing manufacturers in the last five years.

Providencia Cigars Announces New Release

La missionFort Worth, TX – Providencia Cigars is pleased to announce their latest, limited production, cigar - La Misión.

La Misión (The Mission) brings the company’s production line to five blends, joining the ranks of the El Santo, El Padre, Trinitas, and The Hostage. With the addition of La Misión, the company completes the story of Providencia Cigars Founder Jim Faber’s “mission” to Honduras which started as a professional soccer player and turned into a mission to organize youth soccer camps to get boys and girls off the street in a gang littered environment.
Jim Faber, founder of Providencia Cigars, states:

 

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IPCPR Webinar: 11/15/2018

ipcprlogoIPCPR's 2018 Election Wrap Up and Fall Compliance Update
Thursday, November 15, 2018 @ 2:00 PM EDT


Join us for our latest Federal Government Affairs Update

Featured presenters Will Woodlee, partner at Kleinfeld, Kaplan & Becker, LLP, and Daniel Trope, Senior Director of Federal Government Affairs for IPCPR, will bring you up to speed on what you need to know about FDA Regulations, and how the 2018 Congressional Elections could impact the premium cigar and pipe tobacco industry. Register now for this can’t-miss conversation on politics, cigars and compliance.

Register Today

IPCPR WEBINARS RESTRICTED TO MEMBERS-ONLY; PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED:

There are a limited number of viewing slots available for IPCPR Webinars. Pre-registration will be cut off approximately two hours before the broadcast, or when the registration allotment is reached.

HOW TO WATCH RECORDING OF THIS WEBINAR IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND LIVE EVENT:

IPCPR Webinars are recorded for the viewing convenience for those who are unable to view live. Beginning on Friday, November 16, members may request a link to view the recorded webinar via the Webinar Request Link Form at the Association's website, www.ipcpr.org.

Questions about the IPCPR Tobacconists Webinar Series and other Member Services should be directed to Retail Member Services Manager Greg Vickers at 202-849-6048 or 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..
Presenters

Will Woodlee - Partner

Kleinfeld, Kaplan & Becker, LLP

Washington, DC

Daniel Trope - Senior Director, Federal Government Affairs

International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association

Washington, DC

 

Cigars International Opens Super Store in Dallas, Texas

ci loungeCigars International recently launched a Super Store in the suburbs of Dallas-Fort Worth, marking Cigars International’s fourth retail store and the first outside of its home state of Pennsylvania.


The store was built in just six months and is located in a sprawling, mixed-use development called Grandscape in The Colony.


Craig Reynolds, president of Cigars International said, “Given that the handmade cigar category was built on the kinds of personal interactions that can only be had in-store, our new location gives cigar lovers a unique venue for experiencing the camaraderie of fellow smokers. Our stores are meant to complement the traditional cigar shop experience and enhance the cigar lover’s appreciation for handmade cigars.”


The Cigars International Super Store at the Colony encompasses more than 7,000 square feet including an outdoor smoking lounge. A 2,500 square foot, glass-enclosed humidor anchors the space, which also includes a bar, a Club Macanudo lounge, 32-foot-high ceilings and an impressive array of handmade cigars and accessories.

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Drew Newman Speaks at the FDA Conference

Last week, the FDA held a conference on tobacco regulation. The agency invited Drew Newman, J.C. Newman's general counsel, and a fourth-generation cigar maker, to address the conference on behalf of the premium cigar industry and respond to questions from the audience. Below are Drew's remarks. 


In his speech, Drew explained that "premium cigars are an old-world, handmade craft enjoyed by adults." "It is not a science," he said. "It's an art, and the tradition has been passed down from generation to generation." He discussed how the latest FDA data show that premium cigars are smoked infrequently and by adults — not children — and that the entire premium cigar industry is just 0.5% of the entire tobacco industry. He noted that the FDA's guidance is "completely unworkable for handmade cigars." In urging the FDA to provide relief, Drew said, "Our one goal as a family business is to continue my great-grandfather's legacy and continue hand rolling premium cigars in America for another four generations and 123 years."

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OSOK CIGARS SERVES ANOTHER KILLSHOT

osok1Along with Casa Turrent, this new cigar will redefine the meaning, “Hecho en Mexico”

Houston, Texas – September 26, 2018 – The success of OSOK Cigars has been bolstered by rave reviews of industry critics and patrons alike, but this did little to satisfy its founder Edgar Hoill. Happy, but not content, Mr. Hoill fell in love with the industry but had an unwavering desire to gain a deeper appreciation behind the process.

“The growth of ‘boutique’ cigars has been incredible, but I wanted to up the game and the only way to do so was to truly understand the entire process. I owed it to myself, and it I owed it to all who have ever supported the OSOK brand” says Edgar. He further mentions, “The only way to gain a true appreciation for the process was to be a part of it so I moved to Mexico to apprentice under Don Alberto Turrent – an experience that changed my life, and one which resulted in the creation of OSOK San Andres.”

During his stay, Mr. Hoill took a multifaceted approach to learning the entire process. From seedling to growing, fermentation to blending, his explorations resulted in him becoming a quality control appointee for Casa Turrent. As a result, he then took another year to create the OSOK San Andres – a medium bodied cigar filled with complexity, infused with pride, and crafted to satisfy the most discerning pallet all the while delivering the true flavors of Mexican tobacco.

“Many top cigars already utilize Mexican San Andres tobacco for their wrappers, but they do little to give them the recognition they deserve and I wanted to change that,” says Mr. Hoill. As a result, he created the OSOK San Andres in conjunction with the Turrent family as a way to showcase the strength and flavor of a cigar that is made entirely of Mexican tobacco grown in San Andres.

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FRATELLO HIRES NEW SALES DIRECTOR

fratello salesFRATELLO CIGARS HIRES DIRECTOR OF SALES FOR THE MID-ATLANTIC

Springfield, VA (November 1st 2018) – Omar de Frias is proud to announce the hiring of Samuel Dietz as the new Director of Sales for the Mid-Atlantic for Fratello Cigars. Sam is an energetic and engaging young leader. With his background and sales acumen we expect to boost our presence and product traction in the northeast.” Said de Frias.

“When it comes to business growth one of the hardest things for any entrepreneur is to learn to let go and delegate key aspects of the business. This is the moment where we double down to keep up with our accelerated growth. Said de Frias.

“I’ve been an avid cigar smoker and fan of Fratello for years. This opportunity comes full of challenges and with a clear path to learn from Omar and expand my knowledge of tobacco.” Said Dietz.

Fratello Cigars was established in 2013. Since inception Fratello has grown to be sold in 800 brick and mortars in the US and 9 international destinations.

FDA Vapor Announcement Explained

ipcprlogoThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently announced a flurry of policy directives specifically targeting e-cigarettes or “vapor” products. So what exactly has the FDA announced, and what is the impact or potential impact on IPCPR’s retailers? We’ll unpack both questions below.

 What Exactly Did the FDA Announce?

The FDA rolled out an action plan specifically targeting vapor products and what the agency has identified as an “epidemic” level of product use amongst teenagers. This plan includes:

  • Potential removal of vapor products from the market until a pre-market application is reviewed and approved. This is a reversal of FDA’s comprehensive plan on tobacco announced in July, ’17;
  • Required responses of the top 5 selling vapor product brands to provide detailed action plans on how they will combat and mitigate youth use of their products. This could include the voluntary removal of flavored products from the market;
  • Investigating whether vapor products may be on the market illegally;
  • Continued aggressive brick-and-mortar and online store inspections, underage stings and enforcement actions to combat underage sales, and
  • Launching a multi-million dollar media blitz discouraging youth use of vapor products.

All-in-all, the FDA announcement threatens action that could seriously limit what vapor products remain on the market and promises increased enforcement against manufacturers and retailers of these products who are not adhering to current regulations.

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Tell Congress to Save Premium Cigars

ipcprlogo- Time is Running Out - Tell Congress to Save Premium Cigars-

FDA regulations continue to threaten the future of premium cigars - putting small business retailers at risk.  The best way to make a difference is to take a moment today to contact your elected officials urging them to exempt premium cigars from the one-size-fits none FDA regulations. 

Over 1,000 retailers and enthusiasts have already reached out to Congress urging them to save premium cigars, but we are not done yet!   Help us reach our goal and make your voice heard on behalf of the premium cigar industry!

After you send a letter to Congress, post this link on social media and email it out to fellow cigar enthusiasts, store owners, and employees. We need everyone to do their part to save our industry.

John Anderson
IPCPR Vice President Board of Directors and Federal Chair
Owner W. Curtis Draper Tobacconist and Civil Cigar Lounge

ISLAND CLUB CIGARS SHIP NATIONALLY

island lifestyleIsland Lifestyle Importers is pleased to announce the shipping of their Island Club cigars to dealers across the country.  The line of cigars were introduced this past July to a national audience at the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers (IPCPR) Convention in Las Vegas. 

The Island Club cigar is comprised of aged Nicaraguan filler and binder tobacco wrapped in a beautiful Ecuadorian Connecticut leaf with a covered foot.  These cigars are manufactured in Estelí, Nicaragua by 9 pairs of dedicated rollers. 

The line consists of five sizes: Robusto 5x52, Corona Gorda 5⅝x46, Toro 6x52, Torpedo 6⅛x52, Churchill 7x52 and packaged in bundles of 20 cigars.  The cigars carry a “wallet-friendly” suggested retail price ranging from $3.95 to $4.75 per cigar.  Corona Gorda $3.95

  • Robusto $4.25
  • Toro $4.50
  • Torpedo $4.50
  • Churchill $4.75

The line of cigars sits beautifully inside a custom adjustable wooden retail display unit.

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