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One-of-a kind venue opened its doors in the epicenter of Miami’s Downtown Brickell area.

MIAMI – Casa De Montecristo by Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar in Brickell-Miami officially opens its doors to the public after an invitation-only “Gold” carpet event attended by VIPs, city officials and local celebrities.  Prime Cigar’s first location in Boca Raton, set them apart as the premier cigar bar in South Florida. Prime Cigar is partnering with Tabacalera USA to unveil a one of kind cigar and whisky lounge. The new establishment looks to thrive in the heart of Miami’s business district, at Brickell’s newly built 1100 Millecento residential tower.

Prime Cigar’s founders, Jason Reznik and Ryan Leeds, celebrated in grand style, as they treated over 300 event guests, to an evening of live music, cocktails, catered food, and a variety of select Montecristo cigars. Guests were also treated to a special Johnnie Walker tasting. Hosted by a Master Whiskey expert, the tasting featured a traveling showcase trunk, with every expression of the brand. Casa De Montecristo by Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar finally became a reality after Jason and Ryan along with Javier Estades, Head of Premium Cigar Operations for Tabacalera USA, cut the ceremonial ribbon with oversized scissors. Ryan and Jason were later presented with a “Salute” by Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado. Local celebrities in attendance included Tito Puente Jr., world renowned Cuban- American artist Carlos Navarro, and VH1 reality star and recording artist Jane Castro.

monte loungeThe location of the 4,700 square foot Casa De Montecristo by Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar, was strategically chosen. Brickell has become one of Miami’s most dynamic neighborhoods, where business and nightlife seem to live together seamlessly.  The upscale bar and lounge, will features a walk-in humidor, full-bar stocked with exclusive and hard to find whiskeys, members’ lounge, and private board room. Custom furniture and design elements (which exude simple elegance) will please the cigar aficionados, or those looking for a unique experience, for a rare whiskey, craft cocktails, or a nightcap. The establishment also features a “vintage collector’s room,” which houses unique and vintage cigars.

One important feature that sets Prime Cigar apart is the state-of-the-art air control system. This innovative system provides 80 tons of A/C, and replaces 100 percent of the air constantly. This system was of great importance to Leeds and Reznik, as they wanted customers to enjoy themselves in the upmost comfort.

Prime Cigar was born out of close bond between father and son. Ryan Leeds’ father passed away in a tragic accident, which led Leeds to ponder the meaning of life, with friend and business partner, Jason Reznik.  Ryan retired from his career in banking which spanned two decades, and put his efforts into creating Prime Cigar in Boca.  Inspired by the lessons and experiences of his father, Ryan created a space which celebrates their love of cigars, good whiskey, and luxury comforts.

Casa De Montecristo by Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar invites the Miami-Dade public to experience ‘sophisticated relaxation.’

Founded in 2010, Prime Cigar & Wine Bar is a cigar bar and lounge featuring premium cigars, top-shelf spirits and fine wines. Prime Cigar delivers a sophisticated relaxation experience to all its guests and boasts a state-of-the-art air control system, ensuring a comfortable smoke-friendly environment.

About Tabacalera USA

Tabacalera USA oversees the Fort Lauderdale-based premium cigar division of Altadis U.S.A., the manufacturer and marketer of such classic hand-made cigars as Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta and VegaFina. Tabacalera USA is also responsible for the North Carolina-based 800-JR Cigar and its affiliates. Tabacalera USA’s affiliates operate premium cigar production facilities in the Dominican Republic and Honduras. For more information about Tabacalera USA, please contact Mark Smith at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information on Casa De Montecristo by Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar, please contact Creativas Group at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Photographs and interviews are available by request. Follow on social via @ Casa De Montecristo by Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar

Creativas Group Inc. provides public relations and marketing counsel to national brands, recognized special events and leading non-profit organizations. For more information: us on social media @CreativasGroup.


fratello trySpringfield, VA (April 18, 2016) – After a several delays, selected Fratello Cigars retailers should expect the receipt of the Fratello Branded Tray beginning this May. With a slight change on its design, the Fratello Tray will not come with the secret compartment as suggested in a prior company’s release.

“After revisions with the design team, we decided to not to include the secret compartment so that the tray would fit most retailer shelves.” This tray combines the power of engineering with functionality and style. Cutting the total Fratello shelve space by 30% while increasing our cigar output by 10% was one of our main goals”. - said de Frias.

Introduced last year, Fratello limited the production to 125 trays. The Tray was offered to retailers who placed orders at the IPCPR in 2015. With a capacity to hold 200 cigars and 10 modular divisions, the Tray has the flexibility to display and adjust the complete Fratello line.

About Fratello - Launched in 2013 Fratello, the Italian word for "brother", is a line created by Omar de Frias out of the Dominican Republic. The inspiration for the company came 20 years ago when Omar watched a torcedor (cigar roller) working on his art in the Dominican; when the torcedor finished the cigar he was rolling, he handed it to Omar and said "Kid, welcome to the true gentleman's club".


biancaSpringfield, VA (June 6, 2016) – Fratello Cigars is proud to announce the Bianco Boxer and the Bianco IV began shipping last week to 10 retailers. The first event with the new cigars was held at Delaware Cigars May 29th.

The company is holding a series of pre-launch parties for the Bianco Boxer and Bianco IV at the following stores:

  • Quartermasters Cigars (June 10th - Frederick, MD)

  • Old Virginia Tobacco (June 14th - Alexandria, VA)

  • Michaels Tobacco (June 16th - Dallas, TX)

  • ZT Cigars (June 18th - Oklahoma City, OK)

  • Mr. J’s Havana (June 23rd – Warwick RI)

  • The Party Source (June 29th Bellevue, KY)

  • Jungle Jim’s (June 30th - Fairfield, OH)

  • Jungle Jim’s (July 1st - Cincinnati, OH)

  • Almost Havana (July 2nd - Hurricane, WV)


Bianco Boxer retails for 10.00 Per Cigar.

Bianco IV retails for 9.75 Per Cigar.

Premium Cigar Exemption Survives Committee Challenge

Today the House Appropriations Committee held a full committee mark-up to move the Agriculture Appropriations bill to the next phase of the legislative process. This bill contains important language that would exempt premium cigars from FDA regulation. 

During the committee meeting, an amendment was offered by Rep. DeLauro (D-CT) to strip the cigar language that defines premium cigars and exempts that category from FDA regulation. This amendment failed 14-34.

The House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment to include language that changes the predicate date for a new tobacco product from February 15, 2007, to the date of enactment for any new regulations. This amendment, sponsored by Reps. Cole (R-OK) and Bishop (D-GA), passed 31-19.

Both provisions are critical victories for our industry and strengthen our position against FDA as we move towards the release of the deeming rule. The Agriculture Appropriations bill now moves to the floor of the U.S. House for consideration. While the U.S. Senate remains a challenge, IPCPR continues to develop a strong coalition through our educational advocacy efforts. 


Springfield, VA (May 25, 2016) – After its debut November 2015, The Fratello Boxer Series is back for father’s day. The Boxer Series will be limited in production and manufactured at Joya de Nicaragua.

“Our success with the Boxer Series prompted us to release it for Father’s day.” “We also see a great benefit of having this five pack available for our large scale events, so we are limiting the Boxer Series to Father’s day, Christmas and large Fratello Events.” Said de Frias.

MSRP: 45.00

About the Boxer Series:

This seasonal five pack was born from the exciting flavor profile of its father, the Fratello Boxer. The Fratello Boxer Series will be available in five box pressed sizes, made with a Nicaraguan Habano Wrapper, Ecuadorian Sumatra Binder and Filler from Nicaragua and Peru.

The Boxer (6 ¼ X 52)

Boxeador (6 X 54)

Boxero (5 ½ X 50)

Boxista (5 X 48)

Boxerito (4 ¾ X 40)


collecion1Miami, Florida, April 13, 2016 – Gran Habano announces the pre-release of La Colección de Elegancia, or The Elegance Collection, a collection of Gran Habano’s best-selling Corojo #5 blend in smaller ring gauge sizes.
Gran Habano introduces its Colección de Elegancia for the discerning smoker, seeking a unique Corojo #5 experience. The Corojo #5 Elegance sizes have the strongest blend in the Gran Habano profile with rich, full-bodied flavors further enhanced by the smaller ring gauge. Gran Habano is now taking pre-orders from retailers for La Colección de Elegancia Sampler containing 10 cigars of each ring gauge size. Gran Habano will also be releasing three new sizes of Corojo #5 cigar boxes as part of the Elegance Collection series, the 5 ½ x 42 Petite Corona, the 6 x 44 Corona, and the 5 x 48 Figurado #200.
La Colección de Elegancia
Country of Origin: Honduras
Factory: G.R. Tabacaleras Unidas, S.A.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler: Nicaragua & Costa Rica
Sampler Box Count: 50 (10 - 4 ½ x 40 Lunch Break, 10 - 5 ½ x 42 Petite Corona, 10 - 6 x 44 Corona, 10 - 7 ½ x 38 Lancero, & 10 - 5 x 48 Figurado #200)
Sampler MSRP: $280.00

The FDA's New Rules pertaining to the Cigar Industry

[PUBLISHER"S NOTE: This is an article about the effects of the pending ruling by the FDA on the inclusion of new tobacco products subject to its approval. It was originally posted on Facebook and written by none other than Lew Rothman, the legendary cigar expert and former owner of JR Cigars, one of the world's largest cigar distributors. He has graciously allowed us to repost his work here.]

A lot of people on the various cigar sites (Herfers Paradise, Cigar Weekly, Cigar Aficionado, Cigar Family, etc., have posted information that is somewhat correct, somewhat incorrect, or somewhat incomplete. So I figured I would just post the ruling as it actually is.

These rulings will have dramatic implications for both the consumers and the manufacturers and importers.

Here it is:
FDA Final Rule Details

• The FDA's final rule, "Deeming Tobacco Products To Be Subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act," extends the agency's current authority to regulate cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco, and smokeless tobacco to products that meet the statutory definition of "tobacco product," except accessories of the newly deemed tobacco products, under the Federal FD&C Act, as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. It takes effect on August 8, 2016, or 90 days after the final rule is officially published in the Federal Register on May 10th. "Deeming" all tobacco products to be subject to the FD&C Act "will result in significant benefits for the public health," FDA said. 

Read more...


(Miami, Florida) March 5, 2016 – La Aurora is pleased to announce that the La Aurora 1962 Corojo and the La Aurora 1987 Connecticut are now in stores. La Aurora is celebrating their 113 years in existence. These two blends are dedicated to the years in which they began working with the types of wrappers used on each.

The La Aurora 1962 features a corojo wrapper, from the Cibao Valley in the Dominican Republic, wrapped over an Ecuadorian binder, and fillers from the Cibao Valley and Nicaragua. The La Aurora 1987 sports a Connecticut shade grown wrapper, over a Dominican binder, and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers.

La Aurora offers both cigars, in four sizes in 20 count boxes: Robusto (5 x 50), Churchill (7 x 50), Toro (5 1/2 x 54) and Gran Toro (6 x 58). The low MSRP of $5.50 to $6.00 is to pay tribute to the consumers who have supported La Aurora for 113 years.

About La Aurora Cigar Factory

La Aurora is the oldest cigar factory in the Dominican Republic. Masters artisans elaborate manually the best handmade cigars, since 1903, almost 113 years ago today. Located in Santiago de los Caballeros, world capital of Premium cigars, in the center of the best tobacco-growing area in the world, El Valle de Cibao, La Aurora Cigars is a family-owned company chaired by Guillermo León. He represents the fifth family generation at the forefront of the company and a symbol for all Dominicans. La Aurora is the leading company of the Dominican tobacco market and is present in more than 60 countries – among which United States, Spain, Russia, France and Germany

Follow La Aurora on Social Media: Facebook: La Aurora Cigars, Instagram: @LaAuroraCigars


fratello boxerSpringfield, VA (May 17, 2016) - Omar de Frias is proud to announce the company’s latest blend, the Bianco Boxer. The Bianco Boxer will be soft launched at 10 locations nationwide before making its official debut at this year’s IPCPR show in Las Vegas. “Similar to the Fratello Boxer, we modified the filler blend in the Bianco Boxer to highlight a different flavor profile from its Father the Fratello Bianco.” Said de Frias.

The Bianco boxer will debut at a 6 ¼ x 52 Box Press Torpedo with an MSRP of 10.00 per cigar. “The Bianco Boxer will join forces with one of our bestselling sizes, the Fratello Boxer.” said de Frias “One of our goals with The Boxer line is to show our consumers how modifying the ratio of filler tobacco can change the profile in a cigar.”

Fratello Bianco Boxer is blended with a beautiful San Andres Negro Wrapper, Dominican Binder and features Pennsylvania, Nicaraguan and Peruvian filler with a different percentage ratio from the Fratello Bianco. The Bianco Boxer joins The Fratello Boxer and the Fratello Boxer Series.



New shapes in the Crowned Heads Cigars' line extension will be limited to 500 boxes

EASTON, PA – Famous Smoke Shop, the leading online distributor of discounted premium cigars, specializing in offering the web’s widest selection of cigars at the lowest prices, has released the two remaining vitolas in their exclusive Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle selection by Crowned Heads Cigars. Named "Sublime" and "Robusto," the new sizes join the Black Belt Buckle Corona Gorda, which was released in November of 2015, and will be limited to only 500 boxes each.

Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle cigars are made using the same Nicaraguan long-filler and binder tobaccos used in the original "91-rated" Four Kicks blend, except the wrapper is a toothy, ebony-hued Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper which adds a note of sweetness to the flavor profile. The blend is medium-bodied and well-balanced as notes of honey, chocolate, hints of light peppery spice, and cedar combine for an intriguingly complex smoke.

CI BBB SUBM5PKWe’re excited to bring Black Belt Buckle into a regular production brand for Famous Smoke," said Jon Huber, Crowned Heads Cigars co-founder. "It’s always been a dream of mine to work with Ernesto [Perez-Carrillo] on a project that involved a [Connecticut] Broadleaf wrapper, as I think he’s one of the best in the business at working with that particular wrapper leaf. And to be able to create this blend for our friends at Famous is a bonus.”

The Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle selection will now be presented as follows in boxes of 20 cigars:

Sublime (6" x 54 Toro) @$8.95 msrp

Robusto (5" x 50) @$8.45 msrp

Corona Gorda (5 5/8" x 46) @$7.95 msrp

CI BBB SUBMZ"The success of the Corona Gorda has definitely proven that Jon and Ernesto were on to something," said Jim Charnley, Famous Smoke Shop Sr. Project manager. "I see the Black Belt Buckle Sublime and Robusto taking the brand to the next level of consumer awareness and expect sales to be even higher, now that cigar smokers will have all three sizes available to them."

Find more information on Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle cigars here.

About Famous Smoke Shop 
Famous Smoke Shop is the nation’s #1 discount retailer of premium cigars online, offering one of the largest selections of handmade cigars, machine-made cigars, cigar humidors and accessories. Famous offers the web’s lowest prices on a wide selection of cigar brands including Acid, Davidoff, Macanudo, Romeo y Julieta, Ashton, Padron, Oliva and Perdomo cigars, and many more. Famous offers their customers the best prices on all premium cigars as well as friendly and knowledgeable customer service.

Famous Smoke Shop

90 Mort Drive

Easton, PA 18040



Springfield, VA (May 5th, 2016) – Fratello Cigars launches the Fratello Ambassador Program. Fratello has officially retained the services of Jon Palmer and Jeremy Seely to lead this endeavor. “With a combined cigar retail experience of over 25 years, Jeremy and Jon will be supporting our retailers with events, orders and product placement strategies in designated territories”. Said de Frias.

Jeremy Seely brings over 15 years of experience in luxury retail management, business development and creating a customer focused culture. Jeremy served as Store Manager for Old Virginia Tobacco Company for 14 years in VA. Jeremy’s primary territory will be the San Antonio and Austin market.

Jon Palmer, has more than 11 years of leadership and management positions building teams, monitoring retails sales performance and customer service. Currently the manager at Leesburg Cigar and Pipe in VA Jon’s primary responsibilities will be assisting Omar in large scale events.

Both Jon and Jeremy bring a wealth of retail experience in sales and customer service, both pillars of our strategies in assisting our retailers reach their goals.’ Said de Frias.

Please visit for a bio on Jeremy and Jon.

About Fratello - Launched in 2013 Fratello, the Italian word for "brother", is a line created by Omar de Frias out of the Dominican Republic. The inspiration for the company came 20 years ago when Omar watched a torcedor (cigar roller) working on his art in the Dominican; when the torcedor finished the cigar he was rolling, he handed it to Omar and said "Kid, welcome to the true gentleman's club".



Jason Holly to release “Ojos Verdes”, the first blend under the Cloak & Dagger series.

Miami, Florida- Viva Republica, the premium handmade cigar manufacturer announces a new series named Cloak & Dagger. This new effort will allow the company to quickly release an array of limited edition blends. The Cloak & Dagger program is unique, as the blend contents will not be released to the public. The first blend under the Cloak & Dagger series is the: Ojos Verdes cigar.

The first release, Ojos Verdes or “Green Eyes”, is a 6" x 47 Corona Gorda, featuring a Dominican Candela wrapper. No other information on the blend will be released, and future blend information on cigars brands under the Cloak & Dagger series will be withheld. Production is limited to 250 bundles of 20 cigars with an MSRP of $8.50.

Jason Holly stated:” It's my belief that to enjoy a cigar you needn't know the blend components, in fact I think it's better to smoke a new cigar without being prejudiced by tobacco origin, marketing/positioning, proclaimed strength, etc. ”Cloak & Dagger was born out of the desire to create a vehicle, to quickly market test blends and unique concepts. Cloak & Dagger will be a limited production line, with an irregular release schedule.”

Keeping in the political vein, Viva has themed its previous releases, and this one takes on the personality, of clandestine operations (or the Dark Arts). These releases will be non-boxed and shipped in mazos of 20. Each different release features the same Cloak & Dagger band, with a hang tag indicating the vintage, and codename for each release.

“I'm excited about this line, because it will allow me to get projects out of the factory much quicker, than we have been doing in the past. With standard packaging prepared, we can turn out a wet-shipped release, in less than a week, or 30-40 days, with traditional minimum aging, stated Holly.

Consumers should expect to see more releases under the Cloak & Dagger program this year, featuring different sizes, different blends and some novel concepts regarding both blending and construction.

The theme for Viva for 2016 will be to reinforce our theme of "Where the Wild Things Grow" and Cloak & Dagger will certainly serve as one of the expressions of the brand.

Miami Cigar & Co. is the exclusive American distributor of Viva Republica.

Viva Republica is a boutique premium handmade cigar manufacturer, with all production being provided by La Aurora, S.A. Miami Cigar Co. serves as exclusive United States distributor

About Miami Cigar & Co.
Miami Cigar & Co. , founded by Nestor and Mariana Miranda, Miami Cigar & Co. has become one of the premier distributors of premium cigars boasting a portfolio which includes Tatiana, Don Lino and the Nestor Miranda brands. Miami Cigar &Co. also serves as the exclusive United States distributor for La Aurora, S.A and all Viva Republica brands.

ALERT: FDA Expands its Regulatory Role to Premium Cigars and Pipe Tobacco

This morning, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its final determination deeming additional tobacco products, including premium cigars, subject to its authority under the Tobacco Control Act.  IPCPR’s policy team is reviewing this complex determination (499 pages) and will provide a further update concerning its impact on retail tobacconists.  The FDA’s regulation of premium cigars if left unchecked, would have a devastating impact on retailers and manufacturers alike.  Consumers will have less choice.  Youth access is simply not an issue in the premium cigar space where 35,000 Americans earn their living along with over 300,000 employees in the Caribbean Basin.  Fortunately, the industry’s legislative strategy continues to be implemented, including language recently adopted by the Appropriations Agricultural Subcommittee disallowing any funding of FDA regulation of premium cigars and negating the arbitrary predicate date of February 2007, after which any tobacco product would be considered new, and have to go through an expensive and time consuming compliance process.  Bills H.R. 662 and S. 441, exempting premium cigars and pipe tobacco, continue to gain co-sponsors as we pursue a legislative solution to unneeded and harmful government intrusion.

StogieFest 2016!

CigarWeekly was invited this year to cover StogieFest 2016 event in Jacksonville, FL.  This was the fifth annual 20160320 164413 smallevent, and we're happy to have been invited!  The adventure began (for us) on Saturday afternoon, with a long drive from Atlanta to Jacksonville. Gary (Doc) Laden, of Smooth Draws Radio show fame and I climbed into the Mustang and headed south.

A really uneventful Five and a half hours later (with the exception of one pit-stop and a ton of excessive road noise from defective Pirelli tires (which they claim are perfectly fine - and that's another subject altogether) we arrived at our hotel, just a few miles from the event.  After dropping off the bags and grabbing a quick bite, we're off to the event, hosted at Aromas Cigar and martini bar.

Locals really benefit from the VIP acess, with a couple of special events on Friday and Saturday evening. We missed Friday's (had to do the radio show on Saturday morning) but Saturday was Partigas night.  got to enjoy a very smooth Partigas 1845 while chatting with folks in the VIP lounge.

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Saturday morning VIP access started at 11am, and we got there just in time to avoid the long line.  It's a mult-vendor event, and they do something quite unique.  Guests are each given a poker chip, and, with that chip they vote on the vendor who's cigar they like the most, or who's presentation/pitch about the cigars they prefer.  We spent a good part of the day visiting with these vendors - some already knew of CigarWeekly, others were introduced.  Meeting the reps from companies like Arandoza Cigars, Sindicato, Drew Estate, Rocky Patel, General Cigar and more, getting a sample of their wares, took us a good hour or so, and after that, while the non-VIP members were taking their turn under the tents, we paused for some more good conversation with other attendees and a beverage or two.

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Aromas sports a full service food menu and a couple of very well stocked bars.  About 1/3 of the square footage is a night club, but today it was the location of several of the beverage vendors.  Can't forget, Sam Adams and Guinness were represented, as well as several Scotch Whiskies and good old American Bourbons.

More good conversations and friendships were made - we met a very large ladies cigar club called Stogies and Stilletos - and enjoyed smoking a few tasty cigars as the afternoon wore on. Around 4pm the raffle began - lots of cigars and accessories, beer glasses and ashtrays were given away to the attendees.  So much that they had to temporarily suspend the raffle to take care of the Bikini contest - crowning Miss Stogiefest2015.  For some, the culmination of the raffle and bikini contest marked the end of their day.  For others, well, Aromas does not close until 2am.  Your humble reporter and his cohort from Smooth draws Radio settled on something inbetween.

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If you are a lover of cigars and the cigar lifestyle, stay tuned for StogieFest next year!  We will be, that's certain, and hopefully we'll be able to get the word out earlier than we did this year. If you live in the area, or want to make a weekend of it and travel down, the VIP ticket is the way to go.

Thanks to the staff and all the vendors in attendance for a really great time. and Smooth Draws Radio ( ended our weekend with breakfast and a cigar, and a combined donation of cigars to the Cigars for Warriors project via Howard Gross.  Thank you StogieFest - See you next year!

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(Miami, Florida) April 29, 2016— Villiger North America celebrated their re-launch and the opening of their new headquarters in Miami with a by-invitation-only red carpet event, at its new location at 8107 NW 29 ST. Doral, FL. 33122. The Villiger North America re-launch was hosted by Mr. Heinrich Villiger himself and new Villiger NA President Rene Castaneda.

The event featured notables to include: Guillermo Leon of La Aurora, Alejandro Martinez Cuenca of Joya De Nicaragua, Carlos Torano Sr. of the famed Torano cigar family, Felix Mesa of Galan Cigars, Scott Chester of ACID Cigars, Albert Montserrat of Cigar Rings, Kris Kachaturian, formerly of A.J. Fernandez Cigars, and Ferdinand Kurt of the Swiss Consulate.

During his speech, Mr. Villiger communicated of his continued commitment to the North American market. After thanking colleagues, friends and the new Villiger North American team, Mr. Villiger was presented a certificate by Doral City Officials before the ceremonial ribbon cutting.

Guests were greeted with three cigars (Villiger 1888, and two private stock unbranded cigars by La Aurora and Joya de Nicaragua). The cocktail reception featured cocktails courtesy of Zafra Rum, Jack Daniel’s, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Gentleman Jack, Jack Honey, Korbel Champagne, and Findlandia Vodka.

This Villiger North America re-launch event comes only months after the announcement of Rene Castaneda as their new President.

Rene Castaneda stated: ” The launch event was a great success, and only a sneak preview of what’s to come. I look forward to working alongside Mr. Villiger, CEO Robert Suter, and Managing Director Michael Blumendeller to expose the Villiger brand to the consumer. We look forward to future exciting announcements in the near future.”

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.

Villiger Cigars North America was established to service the premium cigar enthusiast primarily in the United States. With production from some of the most respected manufacturers in Dominican Republic, Central America and elsewhere, it is the goal of the company, to introduce the finest smoking experience a premium handmade cigar has to offer. Today, and in the future, one can rest assured that when they choose a Villiger cigar, the quality of the leaf, the manufacturing, and even the packaging will be second to none.


Hoyo monterrey toro left openGeneral Cigar will launch a new version of Hoyo de Monterrey exclusively for brick and mortar retailers. The new collection called Hoyo will be available in four sizes ranging in price from $5.49 to $6.99 and begins shipping to all retailers on April 1.

According to Alan Willner, vice president of marketing, “We’re taking the legendary brand Hoyo de Monterrey and moving it into the future. The new Hoyo is about keeping the brand’s rich history of Honduran craftsmanship and infusing it with new ideas, new tobacco and new packaging.”

Hoyo was inspired by Hoyo Edición de Cumpleaños 150, a successful, limited edition cigar released last year. Hoyo 150th anniversary took the first step toward breaking the conventions of the brand by featuring a new variety of Nicaraguan tobacco, a shade-grown wrapper never used before in any other cigar. With sleek new packaging and a contemporary logo, Hoyo Edición de Cumpleaños 150 represented a new wave of the brand.

Continuing along the path carved by Edición de Cumpleaños 150, Hoyo is an artisanal line featuring special tobaccos, proprietary aging techniques and old world craftsmanship. Hoyo takes the same Esteli-grown Habano shade wrapper used in “150” and adds extended fermentation to deepen the flavor. The blend was also updated to complement the wrapper and features longer aging on the filler and binder to deliver a deep, rich smoking experience.

Hoyo begins with a proprietary wrapper called Esteli Habano Shade. Cultivated by the Plasencia Group exclusively for Hoyo, it is the first Cuban-seed, shade-grown wrapper, and is also one of the heaviest wrappers used in premium cigars. The Plasencias use special cultural practices to deliver a thick, pliable leaf with bold, peppery flavor. Given the power of the leaf, the Hoyo blending team chose to apply increased fermentation, taking place over two years, to bring deeper dimension to its taste.

Hoyo monterrey toro cigarThe blend consists of three different tobaccos – a Pennsylvania Ligero, plus Nicaraguan Esteli and Nicaraguan Ometepe leaves. Each of the filler leaves was aged for more than 18 months. The Pennsylvania ligero is a powerhouse, balanced by aged Ometepe leaves. The Esteli leaves lend a familiar earthy flavor that increases the cigar’s complexity.

An aged Ecuadoran Sumatra binder lends great combustibility and ensures an even burn.

Each of the four vitolas will be packaged in sleek, 20-count black boxes with silver branding elements. They are:

Gigante (6” x 60) – SRP per cigar is $6.99

Toro (6” x 50) – SRP per cigar is $6.79

Robusto (5” x 54) – SRP per cigar is $6.59

Rothschild (4.5” x 50) – SRP per cigar is $5.49.

Future new releases will be branded under the name of Hoyo. In keeping with the brand’s artisanal approach, new products from Hoyo will showcase the craftsmanship and expertise of our Honduran factory.

Small batch cigars, collaborations and other exciting special projects are all possibilities under the new Hoyo,” noted Willner.

A Cigars Tale - benefit for Autism

image4aOne of our sisters of the leaf has, @Nomotiv_Enj, started an Autism Awareness Campaign and created a Twitter account (@Cigars4aCause) dedicated to bringing awareness to Autism. Currently she has come up with a cigar raffled theme to help raise money for autism. On you can buy chances for $5 each on several cigar related baskets that include multiple items from cigars, hats, whiskey, glasses and much, much more.

On @Cigars4aCause you will find these baskets that you can win to benefit Go by and see what could be in your home and know that by purchasing a chance you will be helping a worthwhile cause. Many items were donated by cigar manufactures, cigar enthusiasts, and many more. Don’t delay! Go and get you chances now and win some awesome swag and be a part of an important cause.


Robert Suter Villiger CEOPfeffikon/LU, March 15, 2016Heinrich Villiger, Chairman of the Board of the Villiger Soehne AG hands over his function as CEO of the Villiger Group after 65 years in charge. The new CEO of the Villiger Group is Robert Suter ( Swiss Instiute of Technology) who has extensive experiences in international Swiss industries. In his last position he successfully acted as Group CEO of Conzzeta AG a Swiss holding company. 

“We are very pleased that we were able to hire with Robert Suter a renowned and experiences Swiss manager as CEO for the Villiger Group. Robert Suter has a long and exceptional career as top executive in industrial groups. Among other positions he acted successfully as Group CEO and Chairmen of the Executive Committee at Conzzeta Ltd.” Heinrich Villiger said who will remain Chairman of Villiger Soehne AG and the Villiger Holding.

“It is the right time” emphasizes Heinrich Villiger. For 65 years tobacco was his life as being in charge as entrepreneur of the tobacco group. Heinrich Villiger hands over his responsibility with immediate effect. Starting from March 2016 Robert Suter will take over his new role as CEO. The board of Villiger Soehne Holding AG and Villiger Soehne AG remains unchanged.

This news comes on the heels of Rene Castaneda being named President of Villiger Cigars North America. Robert Suter will work together in tandem with Castaneda as Villiger Cigars North America continues to make big strides in 2016.

The Villiger Group is a Swiss family company in the international tobacco industry in the fourth generation. The group has 1500 employees globally and has sales of about 200 Million Swiss Francs a year. Production locations are Europe, Americas and Asia.

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.

Villiger Cigars North America was established to service the premium cigar enthusiast primarily in the United States. With production from some of the most respected manufacturers in Dominican Republic, Central America and elsewhere, it is the goal of the company, to introduce the finest smoking experience a premium handmade cigar has to offer. Today, and in the future, one can rest assured that when they choose a Villiger cigar, the quality of the leaf, the manufacturing, and even the packaging will be second to none.



Accomplished cigar and spirits consultant brings his expertise to one of the most recognized cigar brands on the map.

gurkha(Miami, Florida) April 26, 2016Gurkha Cigars, known for producing fine cigars for the sophisticated palate, hires Eddy Guerra as new Director of Marketing. Gurkha Cigars’ hiring of Eddy Guerra was a strategic move to strengthen their positon in the luxury market.

A native of Miami, Florida Guerra brings with him an impressive resume, which includes the title of Marketing Director for the world renowned Nikki Beach brand, in Miami and Thailand. Guerra followed his passion and entered the cigar industry in 2010, by becoming partner in the Thailand-based ChindAsia Capital Partners, which grew to become the largest distributor of non-Cuban cigars, in Southeast Asia. Under the ChindAsia Capital Partners umbrella, Guerra helped created the Whisgars Cigar/Whiskey lounge concept, which catered to the high-end market. Under Guerra’s watch, Whisgars was an immediate success. Its growth was rapid, with the brand establishing six (6) locations, throughout Southeast Asia. 

When asked about his position as Director of Marketing for Gurkha Cigars, Eddy Guerra said:” I’m excited to bring a fresh outlook to the team. I feel that my background and love for tobacco will be beneficial to my new role in the company. 

Kaizad Hansaotia, President of Gurkha Cigars stated:” I met Eddy Guerra in Thailand, and we quickly became friends. His knowledge about cigars and marketing acumen, make him a tremendous asset to the Gurkha team.  I look forward to a long and prosperous working relationship with Guerra.”

About Gurkha Cigars

Gurkha produces eight million cigars per year that are sold in more than 58 countries worldwide. And while Gurkha is known for its exclusivity, it has an impressive array of 105 brands of flawlessly handcrafted, premium cigars created in a variety of strengths, tasting profiles, and price-points. No matter what your taste, there's a Gurkha cigar that's perfect for your palate. And each Gurkha brand has its own artistically created packaging further separating that brand from any other. The Gurkha Cigar Group Inc. is located at 6600 Hiatus Road, Tamarac, FL 33321. For information, visit

CAO Steel Horse Will Welcome Two New Vitolas

CAO Flathead Handbrake left openWe’re pleased to let you know that CAO Steel Horse Will Welcome Two New Vitolas.


CAO Steel Horse is launching two smaller-format smokes -- Handbrake (4.5” x 50 – SRP per cigar is $6.99) and Roadkill (5.5 x 54 – SRP per cigar is $7.00) will be available at retail beginning next week.

A spin-off of CAO’s wildly-popular Flathead line, Steel Horse is wrapped in a proprietary Connecticut CAO Flathead RoadKill left openHabano Grueso leaf and features a four-country blend. Made with a signature flat-head top, Steel Horse was released in 2015 and is known for its easy-smoking flavors of leather and spice.