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Cohiba Connecticut Unveiled

COHIBA Conn RobustoThe artisans of Cohiba are proud to unveil COHIBA CONNECTICUT, a super-premium release that marks an important milestone for the brand, as this is the first Cohiba to be wrapped in Connecticut Shade.

Cohiba Brand Ambassador Sean Williams said, “Our agronomists partnered with an independent grower in Ecuador’s Los Rios province to produce a silky and lustrous Ecuadoran Connecticut Shade wrapper. Unlike cloth-covered fields that shield the tobacco from the blistering sun in Connecticut, this special wrapper is grown beside Ecuador’s Vinces River and beneath the thick, natural cloud cover that blankets the region. The volcanic soil yielded a wrapper that was intentionally developed for its aesthetic qualities, with veins that are barely perceptible. Looks aside, the wrapper is ideal for blending, as it maximizes the filler and binder leaves.”

Brazilian Mata Fina and Dominican Piloto Cubano lend complexity to the blend, and Nicaraguan Jalapa enhances the strength of the cigar, while Dominican Olor adds depth to the smoke. A Mexican San Andrean binder complements the filler leaves and delivers optimal combustibility. This is a mild-to-medium-bodied smoke with a rich aroma and compelling notes of sweetness and spice.


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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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David Lafferty new VP Sales at Dunbarton

dunbartonlogoDunbarton, NH – On February 6th, 2019, David Lafferty was named the future Vice President of Sales at Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust (DTT).

Lafferty spent eleven years employed with Drew Estate in a sales position. He began his career as the New England Sales Representative to be promoted to the East Coast Regional Sales Manager and then again, he worked his way up to become the Director of National Accounts prior to his departing in May 2018. Lafferty then served as the Executive Director of Nat Sherman International in their premium cigar division until his scheduled departure on February 28th, 2019. He will assume the responsibilities of his new position with Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust on March 1st, 2019.

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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.




Springfield, VA (January 24, 2019) – Omar de Frias announced today that Fratello Cigars, in partnership with W. Curtis Draper Tobacconist, will be offering relief to federal employees in the DC area. Over 800,000 federal workers are going without pay as the government shutdown enters the record books as the longest in history.

“Having been furloughed myself back in 2013 while working at NASA, I can tell you the uncertainty and the worry was real for me and my family”. – Said Frias.

“Being in Washington, DC we see stress of furloughed government employees and we want to help them in their time of need. Smoking a cigar is a fantastic way to relax and we would like to offer all furloughed government employees a discount on Fratello cigars in their time of need.” Said Anderson.

Omar de Frias has decided to extend this partnership to all of his blog in DC, Maryland and Virginia to offer a bit of relief to all furloughed government employees. 

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

Crux Cigars Introduces Short Salomone Series

crux salamones(Miami, Fla.) - Crux Cigars has announced the introduction of the Crux Short Salomone Series. 

The initial production will include three of their popular blends; Epicure, Guild, and Limitada.

Each will be debuted in short run fashion, produced in limited quantities. The initial production
will be 10-count boxes of 500 or less. The Short Salomone is a 6 x 54 vitola.

The company are taking pre-orders through December 31st.

“We are excited to announce these short run releases. We are continually looking to enhance
our portfolio and the smoking pleasure of our brand,” shared Crux Cigars President Jeff Haugen,
“and frankly, we enjoy challenging ourselves and our team.”

The cigars are rolled by a single pair at the La Catedral de Tabaco factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.

Epicure Short Salomone $12.99 MSRP/Cigar Initial Production: 500 boxes
Guild Short Salomone $11.99 MSRP/Cigar Initial Production: 200 boxes
Limitada Short Salomone $13.99 MSRP/Cigar Initial Production: 300 boxes

Release Date: Spring 2019

For questions or additional details, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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

Montecristo Event in Miami



Montecristo Cigars to auction one of a kind

Art Basel-inspired humidor designed by artist, Ruben Trespalacios

MIAMI – Montecristo, maker of world renowned premium cigars, will host an exclusive Montecristo Art Basel event in South Florida’s most popular pop-up event space: The Wharf Miami. The event “Montecristo Marina” hosted by the Montecristo Social Club will combine live art, fine spirits, music, networking and Montecristo cigars while overlooking the Miami River. The event takes place on Saturday December 8, 2018 at 7PM. The Wharf Miami is located at 114 SW North River Drive. Miami, Fl. 33130.

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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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Pivat Cigar Lounge Now Open



Rancho Mirage, Calif. (November 29, 2018) – Cigar aficionados and those who aspire to become one have a new upscale smoking lounge with the opening of the Pívat Cigar Lounge at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, a AAA Four Diamond and Forbes Travel Guide Recommended property. This luxurious destination’s latest addition, Pívat — named after the Cahuilla Indian word for “smoking tobacco”— offers a selection of premium hand-rolled cigars, signature cocktail and cigar pairings, and a select menu of delectable small bites and entrees from the resort’s award-winning fine dining restaurant, The Steakhouse, recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence yearly since 2007.

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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 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 blog.

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.


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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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


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.


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,

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..

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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