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Alec Bradley Cigar Co. Now Shipping 10 Year Anniversary Fine & Rare Sets

ab10aAlec Bradley Cigar Co. Now Shipping 10 Year Anniversary Fine & Rare Sets

The First Boxes Featuring 5 Iterations of the Fine & Rare Blends to Arrive at US Tobacconists
Fort Lauderdale, FL (December 18, 2020) Alec Bradley Cigar Co. announced today that the first boxes of the 10 Year Anniversary Fine & Rare sets will soon be arriving to tobacconists in the United States. In total, 500 limited edition boxes were created.

Ten years ago, Alec Bradley founder, Alan Rubin introduced the world to the Alec Bradley Fine & Rare. More than just a cigar, Fine & Rare was a novel concept and challenge for Rubin to create blends using an unheard of 10 different tobaccos. To date, Alec Bradley has released five different iterations of the project. The 10 Year Anniversary Fine & Rare sets feature examples of all five iterations from their original release years.

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CI SRS EXLTDRetailer Announces Exclusive Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Cigar

EASTON, PA – [September 30 2020] – Famous Smoke Shop has bolstered their Exclusivo Series of cigars, collaborating with Southern Draw Cigars on a new exclusive size of their renowned Rose of Sharon Desert Rose cigar.

“Desert Rose headlines the 2020 Fall Release Collection, offering a wider variety of smoking experiences of the blend,” said Sharon Holt, co-founder of Southern Draw and namesake of the Rose of Sharon line. A 6 ½"x 52 Toro, Holt says, “It’s a size I personally consider one of the best smoking experiences of the blend.” The Desert Rose line extension first appeared in 2019; Sharon noted, “We understand that our customers are sometimes very focused on new releases, wanting products that are specifically tailored to uniquely highlight the blend. This product line expansion is intended to address this desire for new releases while honoring the character of the original.”

Rose of Sharon Desert Rose Famous Exclusivo is made at Tabacalera AJ Fernandez in Esteli, Nicaragua with premium tobaccos hand-selected by Southern Draw Founder and Chief Evangelist, Robert Holt. The blend includes an Ecuador Cloud-Grown Claro wrapper, a Nicaraguan Habano binder, and long filler leaves from Honduras and the Dominican Republic. Modeled on Rose of Sharon’s Toro size, it’s the first cigar in the Desert Rose line to be rolled traditionally and not box pressed.

“Southern Draw has always attracted a more experienced palate,” said Famous Smoke Shop Purchasing Director, Jim Charnley. “But what we love about the Desert Rose is that it gives new cigar smokers the chance to taste more flavorful tobaccos, without overwhelming their palate. The blend is a perfect bridge between enthusiasts of any experience level. That’s why this was the perfect cigar to add to our Famous exclusive series.”

Now in their 81st year of operation as a private, family-owned business, Famous Smoke Shop owner Arthur Zaretsky noted a special connection with Southern Draw: “To work with another family-owned company, it's a connection that allows our families to collaborate so easily, and create exciting cigars our customers will enjoy.”

Production of the Famous-exclusive Desert Rose has been limited to just 250 boxes of 10. “Considering Southern Draw’s continually growing popularity,” added Charnley, “we’re expecting the cigar to sell out quickly. This is not one to sleep on.”

The Desert Rose Famous Exclusivo will debut tonight during a live virtual event hosted by Famous Smoke Shop & Southern Draw.

Cigar Information

Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Desert Rose Famous Exclusivo

Size: Toro (6 ½” x 52) Introductory Price: $99.95
Presentation: Box of 10 cigars

Wrapper: Ecuador Cloud Grown Claro

Binder: Nicaragua Habano

Filler: Honduras Corojo ’99 and Dominican Piloto Cubano

To find more information on the Rose of Sharon Desert Rose Famous Exclusivo by Southern Draw click 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

Southern Draw Cigars adds the “little apple”

DECEMBER 19, 2020 - Happy Anniversary Sharon.

manzanita1Austin, TX — The Southern Draw Cigars family have commissioned the AJ Fernandez Cigar Co. to produce our contemporary blend cigar, a humble effort to share the legacy of Traditional Tobacco, that is tobacco and other plant mixtures used by Native Americans for the same reasons as our family, for sacred rituals, ceremony, healing and giving thanks. FUN FACT: Research shows that Native Americans were smoking tobacco more than 1,000 years before Europeans arrived with their own domesticated variety, possibly dating back to 2500 BC.

The blend is being called MANZANITA — a term coined years ago during a planning session as AJ, Rafael, Freddy, Sharon, and Robert inspected bales of rich Habano hybrid, noting the deep red oily leaves, indicative of the shimmering “red” bark of a manzanita tree, these superbly fermented leaves were destined to be the wrapper. Each tobacco involved in the blend brought an undisclosed origin during blending, which included varieties of Pelo d’Oro, Corojo 99, Habano and the compulsory, ligero. The company has decided to keep the countries and farms of origin confidential as not to form notions prior to each person’s own actual smoking experience.

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pennSpringfield, VA (September 25th, 2020) – Omar de Frias is proud to announce the launch of The Pennsylvanian. This blend will be sold exclusively to retailers in Pennsylvania and will be part of a series of state releases by Fratello.

The blend uses an Habano Ecuador wrapper with a Dominican binder and Nicargua filler tobacco.

Pennsylvania has been critical to the success of Fratello from the beginning, and what better way to say “Thank you” to the retailers there than with a blend exclusive to the state.” said de Frias.

MSRP: 11.00

Size: 6x52

Box of 10 Cigars

Strength: Medium Body

Factory: La Aurora Factory in Dominican Republic.

Official Launch: November 2020

Fratello released the DMV in November 2018 to be sold exclusively in D.C. Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. The Texan joined the ranks of the series of state releases in November 2019.

The production is limited to 300 Boxes.

Fratello Cigars was established in 2013. Since inception Fratello has grown to be sold in 800 brick and mortars in the US and 11 international destinations. Fratello is considered one of the fastest growing manufacturers in the last five years.

Protocol Introduces Paddy Wagon

protocolpwProtocol Cigars is happy to announce a shop exclusive cigar called the Protocol Paddy Wagon for Caravan Cigar Company in Bath, PA. Keeping with the law enforcement theme, the project is named The Paddy Wagon. “When we do projects with shops we try our best to personalize that project to that specific shop. We do this to totally immerse the shop and it’s spirit into the project. Here the Shop is called Caravan Cigar Company because the company started doing mobile cigar events at fairs out of the back of the family Caravan. We looked at the concept of a Caravan and tried to see how we could relate it to the law enforcement world. That’s how The Paddy Wagon was born,” said Juan Cancel. A paddy wagon is a term used to describe a large police vehicle or van used to transport prisoners. 

The Paddy Wagon is being produced at the La Zona Factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, under the watchful care of Erik Espinosa. The initial Paddy Wagon vitola available at time of launch will be a Box Pressed Toro 6X52 Rabito. They will come in 10 count paper bundles. The MSRP will be $9.50 per single cigar and $90 per 10 count bundle. The cigar is wrapped in a Mexican San Andreas Maduro leaf over a Nicaraguan binder and filler featuring tobaccos from Jalapa and Condega. “When we do a project for people we want them to feel like their soul is part of the project. We involve them from marketing, to picking the vitola and even in the blending process. We had Brian Lewis, owner of Caravan Cigar Company work closely with La Zona’s blender, Hector Alfonso Sr. Brian did a great job. The cigar is fantastic,” added Kevin Keithan. 

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New Vitola by Protocol released

jane doeProtocol Cigars announces their second release in the Protocol Jane Doe Series with the Jane Doe 2.0. Jane Doe is the name given to unidentified females until identification can be made at a later time. The cigars will be available in 10 count bundles with a 89.99 MSRP. The wrapper, binder, and filler are unidentified at this time. The only information available is place of birth. At this time it has been confirmed that the place of birth is the La Zona Cigar Factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. This installment in the series is a true limited release with only 200 bundles in a 6X50 vitola, with an unidentifiable plain white cigar band. Jane Doe 2.0 will be available for purchase one time only, never to be released again. Once they are gone, they will be gone forever.

Pedigree information: 

Wrapper: Unidentified

Blinder: Unidentified

Filler: Unidentified 

POB: La Zona, Esteli, Nicaragua 


Protocol Cigars is proud to offer this installment through Smoke Inn Smoke Shop, and their online site: The release date will be Thursday, October 1st, 2020. There will be a Virtual Event on that date starting at 7pm EST. Abe Dababneh, owner of Smoke Inn will be in attendance during the Virtual Event on Zoom. Bundles sales will be available to the public on a first come, first served basis during this Virtual Event. 

"Smoke Inn is happy to partner with Protocol Cigars on this latest installment of the Jane Doe Series. I strive to offer my customers unique projects like this to give them a one of a kind smoking experience and this project does that perfectly" said Abe Dababneh, owner of Smoke Inn. 


Kevin Keithan, co-owner of Protocol Cigars added "Staying true with the original Jane Doe, the Jane Doe 2.0 is a very elegant and sophisticated smoking experience. This may be the best release yet in the Doe Series to date and at only 200 bundles it's going to be gone in minutes. It's definitely been my favorite Doe thus far." 


Report prepared by Protocol Cigars

Royal Jamaica Cigars – Now a Casa de Montecristo Exclusiv

royal jamaicaMIAMI, Fla. – The Royal Jamaica cigar brand makes its comeback as a Casa de Montecristo exclusive. Officially launching on Monday, December 14, the day marks a new beginning for a brand that carries a storied history filled with great successes, a natural disaster and now – a revival.

Founded in Jamaica in 1935 by James Frederick Gore, the Royal Jamaica brand earned a reputation for using high-quality local tobaccos and providing a unique smoking experience.  After the Cuban embargo, Royal Jamaica gained in popularity and became a go-to cigar for many. Sadly, disaster struck in 1988 as Hurricane Gilbert wreaked havoc throughout the Caribbean Islands, South, Central and North Americas. Jamaica sustained more than $700 million in damages and the losses for Royal Jamaica were immeasurable with its tobacco crops and a Kingston factory devastated.

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Cigars International to Host Virtual CIGARFest 2020

VirtualCFEST 2009America’s Mega-Herf Kicks off on Friday, October 16th

Bethlehem, PA (September 23, 2020) – Cigars International (CI) announced today that the company will host “Virtual CIGARFest 2020,” a weekend of entertaining events, special guests, informative interviews and over-the-top raffle prizes on Friday, October 16th and Saturday, October 17th.

Virtual CIGARfest 2020 kicks off on Friday, October 16th at 10:30 AM EST and runs through Saturday, October 17th at 5 PM EST. All events will be broadcast on the CIGARfest Facebook page, where cigar fans can join in and chat with their favorite cigar makers. For those unable to watch live, each interview will also be uploaded to the Cigars International YouTube channel, once the interview is complete.

Steve McDevitt, director of sales and customer service for Cigars International, said, “We cannot put into words how disappointed we were in having to cancel CIGARfest 2020, and we couldn’t let the year go by without having a virtual event. Let’s face it, nothing can replace enjoying a cigar with friends, both old and new, in person. But we can get pretty darn close. Virtual CIGARfest 2020 will be the next best thing to the real thing, and we’re all ready to make this the premier virtual cigar event of the year.”

Cigar celebrities from Drew Estate, Oliva, Altadis U.S.A, Macanudo, CAO, Diesel, Quality Importers, Xikar, Rocky Patel, Perdomo, Room101, and Southern Draw will make special appearances during virtual CIGARFest 2020. Each event will be fully interactive, with cigar makers taking questions from the online audience. Additionally, those watching live will have opportunities to win exciting prizes during each and every segment.

All cigar lovers of legal smoking age can enjoy Virtual CIGARFest2020. There are no ticket sales, sign-up requirements or other prerequisites for participating.

For more information about Cigars International’s Virtual CIGARfest 2020 and to see the full schedule of events, please visit the Virtual CIGARfest 2020 Facebook page at

About Cigars International
A subsidiary of Scandinavian Tobacco Group, Cigars International (CI) was established in 1996 and is the largest internet and catalog retailer of handmade cigars and accessories in the U.S. Headquartered in Bethlehem, PA, CI has more than 1 million active online customers referred to as CI Nation, and annually distributes over 20 million catalogs to consumers across the country. CI has retail stores in Bethlehem and Hamburg, PA, and recently expanded to Texas, opening stores in Dallas and Fort Worth. The company is on target to open two new retail locations in Florida by the end of 2020. For more information, please visit

VirtualCFEST 2009 Schedule

J.C. Newman Cigar Co. Reintroduces Perla del Mar

perladelmarTAMPA, FL – Today, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. began shipping its new Perla del Mar cigars to brick and mortar retailers across the United States.  Handmade at J.C. Newman PENSA in Nicaragua, the new Perla del Mar is a significant refinement of the Perla del Mar cigars that J.C. Newman launched in 2012.  

"Although our Perla del Mar cigars were good, we were not totally satisfied," said Drew Newman, general counsel and a member of J.C. Newman's fourth-generation.  "We wanted to make them better – and that's exactly what we did.  After two years of effort working to perfect the brand, we are thrilled to reintroduce Perla del Mar."

Perla del Mar's existing Shade and Maduro blends have been strengthened with aged Nicaraguan filler tobaccos, and a new flavorful Corojo blend, rolled with a robust Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper, has been added to the family.  Perla del Mar cigars are now shaped in a classic Tampa-style press and packed with traditional bands and boxes.  Each blend comes in four sizes with an MSRP of between $6 and $7.

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fratellonewlogoSpringfield, VA (August 8th, 2020) – Fratello Cigars and Omar de Frias are pleased to announce the Fratello Sorella.

Sorella was introduced in June 2019 with the release of the Space Fresh Packs in 6 x 50 format and served as “market research” for Fratello as they investigated expanding their future product offering.

This “Same Blend, New Look” version of the Sorella will be available only for international markets only and debut in 2 vitolas, a 5 x 50 robusto and a 6 ½ x 54 toro and come in 10-count boxes. This special cigar is produced at the renowned Joya de Nicaragua, like the previous release.

Wrapper: Ecuador

Binder: Indonesia

Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican

It’s fascinating to me how our international markets reacted to Sorella vs Arlequin. In every country outside of the US where I would have a tasting, Sorella took the center stage. For this reason, we decided to make Sorella an exclusive blend to our international partners.” Said de Frias.

Fratello plans to begin shipping October 2020.


CAO LOGOCAO proudly presents Vision, a limited edition cigar inspired by the fans of CAO and the tutelage of the brand’s Blender/Ambassador Rick Rodriguez by the legendary Benji Menendez.

Whether traveling across the world visiting cigar shops and even in doing virtual events as I have been for the last several months, the CAO fans always tell me that CAO Cameroon is one of the absolute best Cameroons on the market. It got me thinking about the time I spent learning the art of leaf priming and selection with Benji Menendez. Back then he loved Cameroon wrapper (he still does, by the way), and he spent a lot of time teaching me which tobaccos are the best for bringing out the Cameroon’s natural sweetness. I’ve never developed my own blend with a Cameroon wrapper, and I thought it was time to do it, to share my take on a Cameroon-wrapped cigar with Benji and the fans of CAO. It’s my way of saying thank you for this amazing career I have in the cigar business,” said Rick Rodriguez.

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Diesel Esteli Puro openA highly-anticipated release from Diesel is set to make its debut next month. Called “Estelí Puro,” the full-time addition to the Diesel lineup was created in collaboration with AJ Fernandez.

This tobacco-forward release is poised to become a core product in the Diesel portfolio.

The collection harnesses the strength and complexity of Estelí’s renowned tobacco which comes from the darkest and most dense of Nicaraguan soils. Each of the tobaccos that comprise Diesel Estelí Puro were hand-selected from AJ’s farms to meet specific requirements set forth by the Diesel team. The wrapper was harvested from La Lilia, the binder from San José and the fillers from several plots including AJ’s celebrated San Lotano farm.

Senior Brand Manager Justin Andrews said, “Estelí Puro represents the future of Diesel in that the story of the blend is told by the tobacco itself. With Estelí Puro, we made a collection that is completely unique in its bold flavor profile, yet has many of the attributes that have made the other Diesel expressions a cigar of choice among dyed-in-the-wool smokers. This is a cigar that demands the smoker’s full attention with deep and balanced flavor, a strong presentation and an attractive price point.”

Blended by AJ Fernandez, handcrafted at Tabacalera AJ Fernandez in Estelí, Nicaragua and developed by General Cigar’s Justin Andrews, Diesel Estelí Puro is made with hand-selected leaves that are cultivated, processed and aged by AJ’s team. Heady aroma and spice dominate, lending body and dimension to the cigar, and delivering a smoke for experienced palates.

Diesel Estelí Puro will be available in three sizes, sold in 20-count boxes and will begin shipping to retailers on September 1.

Robusto 5.25” x 54 -- SRP per cigar $8.99

Toro 6” x 54 -- SRP per cigar $9.49

Gigante 6” x 60 -- SRP per cigar $9.99

About Diesel

Handcrafted by artisans in Estelí, 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 and his insistence on using the highest quality tobacco. The Diesel portfolio includes Delirium which debuted earlier this year; Hair of the Dog which was released in 2019; Whiskey Row which launched two expressions, one in 2019 and one in 2018, and Diesel Grind which debuted in 2017. For more information, visit


Pinhook Pressrelease3Pinhook Bourbon War Vertical Series 5 Year and Siboney Reserve by Aganorsa Leaf Cigars Combine for an Exclusive Limited Time Offer

EASTON, PA — October 15, 2020 — Dubbing it, “A Perfect Pairing at a Perfect Price,” Famous Smoke Shop, a leading online distributor of discounted premium cigars, has teamed-up with Pinhook Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey for an exclusive online promotion that showcases the bourbon maker’s newest release, Pinhook Bourbon War Vertical Series 5 Year and Famous’s Siboney Reserve by Aganorsa Leaf cigars for a limited time only. By texting “Pinhook” to 926-848, enthusionados can be the first to try the pairing which includes a box of 10 Siboney Reserve Toro and a bottle of Bourbon War 5 Year – a $135.00 value – for only $110.00.

Named for a colt who ran in both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, the Bourbon War Vertical Series 5 Year is the second straight bourbon whiskey in the Vertical Series collection. Following a single group of bourbon barrels as they age from four to 12 years, Pinhook carefully selects, blends, and proofs those barrels to highlight the strengths of the liquor at a given point in time for each vintage.

Our idea was to take a wine approach,” said Pinhook co-founder and sommelier, Sean Josephs. “Why not celebrate the variability instead of hiding it? That was really the ethos at the core of what we’re doing,”

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fratellonewlogoSpringfield, VA (July 23, 2020) – Omar de Frias is proud to announce Fratello Cigars’ newest distribution partner in Brazil, Reality Cigars. Since 1995, Reality Cigars has been dedicated to the import and distribution of tobacco products in the Brazilian market.

Currently, the company is the largest importer and distributor of cigars, tobacco and accessories in Brazil. They have grown and enhanced their reputation by representing some of the most successful brands in the industry and are excited to add Fratello Cigars to the distinguished list.

I first met Omar when he came to Brazil. He told me his story and told me who was supporting him in production…and I believed his brand could be a success. We conducted a trial in the Brazilian market and got awesome feedback, so we decided to make the product available in our current portfolio. Our expectation is to have a good market share and to make Fratello one of the most sold cigars in the country” said Daniel Teixeira, Marketing and Sales Director Reality Cigars.

When I first met Daniel and the Reality family, I was so impressed not only for their years in business but also because of their extensive knowledge and approach to the distribution of premium cigars. We are committed to their team and clientele and hope to soon get to Sao Paolo and expend our footprint” said de Frias

Fratello Cigars currently has distribution in Germany, The Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Dominican Republic, Thailand, Norway, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Switzerland. This partnership will open new doors and continue to expand on Fratello Cigars accelerated international growth.

Alec Bradley Announces Release of Project 40 Maduro

abpr40Take Control of Your Happiness, Again! 

Fort Lauderdale, FL (October 15, 2020)
Alec Bradley Cigar Co. today announced the Global Release of the Alec Bradley Project 40 Maduro- the second cigar line in the 'Experimental Series' and a follow up to the critically acclaimed Project 40 line of cigars (Project 40 received a 93 Rating and Top 25 ‘Cigar of the Year’ nod from Cigar Aficionado, as well, the line garnered similar scores and accolades from Cigar Dojo, Cigar Coop and Halfwheel). Project 40 Maduro continues to represent Alec Bradley founder, Alan Rubin’s belief that cigars create a positive impact on both mind and body.

“The dark and rich Project 40 Maduro is another opportunity for Alec Bradley to enhance a positive experience through the tradition of cigar smoking,” Alan Rubin said. “Premium cigar enthusiasts truly accepted the original Project 40 cigar line and the underlying concept that it demonstrates. Project 40 Maduro is the next chapter of the story.”

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Crux Cigars Epicure Gordo Now Shipping

cruxlogoCrux Cigars Epicure Gordo Now Shipping
Crux Cigars now shipping a new vitola.
The number one selling brand in the Crux portfolio adds the Epicure Gordo 6x60. A nutty, peppery, creamy blend that has a smooth and clean finish. 
The Epicure line has been on the market since 2017 and features an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and fillers. 
Produced by Plasencia at La Catedral del Tobaco in Estelí, Nicaragua.
Available sizes:
Corona Gorda 5.375 x 46 (MSRP $9.25)
Robusto 5 x 50 (MSRP $10.00) 
Toro 6.25 x 52 (MSRP $11.50) 
Robusto Extra 5.75 x 54 (MSRP $10.75) 
Gordo 6 x 60 (MSRP $12.50)- NEW
20-count boxes.
See more:
Instagram: @CruxCigars
Twitter: @CruxCigars


FO three blend mazos.jpg

Southern Draw Cigars and Cigars International today announces the release of two NEW sizes of Fraternal Order White (Lancero) and Fraternal Order Black (Solomon) and a new blend - Fraternal Order Blue (Toro) which have been produced by Southern Draw Cigars in Estelí, Nicaragua. Exciting news for consumers, the Fraternal Order blends are no longer retail exclusives as Southern Draw and Cigars International will debut all three new releases at the 100% free event - Virtual CIGARFest 2020 on October 16th and 17th and provide the Fraternal Order portfolio to all retail store locations and online store for those consumers that are unable to visit one of the exciting retail store locations.

It’s been a trying year for most all of us, and as we all adjust to the ever-changing environment in which we live, the Southern Draw family takes this opportunity to fellowship by sharing an integral part of our Fall Release Collection. The process for selecting the new Fraternal Order releases was unique in that we worked closely with members of Cigar Internationals product, marketing and merchandising teams (2019 we worked with the retail sales and management staff to make final decisions on the releases) and now we are pleased to share the expanded Fraternal Order cigar line as part of the innovative Virtual CIGARFest 2020. Cigars International has provided an ideal opportunity for consumers to learn more about these new releases via a special virtual appearance by Southern Draw Cigars at 3pm ET on October 17th where we can share a cigar and maybe even offer some prizes and raffles during our scheduled 1 hour virtual visit. Southern Draw is just a small part of a stellar line-up of brands so make plans to join Virtual CIGARfest for both days,” said Robert Holt on behalf of the entire family. “We would also like to extend our prayers and very best wishes for a full recovery to our friend and brother, Richard L. Monts, General Manager, CI Retail Superstore (Hamburg, PA).”

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CAO Pilón Named Cigar of the Year by L’Amateur de Cigare

CAO Pilon churchill left openCAO Pilón was named “Cigar of the Year” by celebrated international cigar magazine L’Amateur de Cigare.

The magazine’s prestigious tasting panel rated a total of 450 cigars, with Pilón ultimately winning out against the finest cigars available in France, one of the world’s leading markets for handmade cigars.

Regis Broersma, president of General Cigar said, “We are extremely proud that CAO Pilón received this honor from such a distinguished and respected international publication. When we created Pilón, we developed the brand according to a 19th-century Cuban fermentation technique, so it is ironic that Pilón beat out the best of the best cigars from Cuba, as well as other top cigar-producing countries.”

L’Amateur de Cigare described Pilón as “elegant” and hails its “great complexity and agreeable persistence,” while praising Pilón’s “satisfying finish” and “excellent value.”

CAO Pilón was introduced in the U.S. in 2015 and launched in France in 2018 at an exclusive event in Paris at the DuPont headquarters.

Handcrafted in Nicaragua at STG Esteli, Pilón was created by Rick Rodriguez and the CAO blending team who utilized the labor-intensive pilón process of natural fermentation to maximize the flavor and color of the Cuban seed Ecuadoran wrapper, delivering a taste and appearance unattainable through other methods. The blend consists of spicy Nicaraguan filler and binder leaves from the distinctive growing regions of Esteli and Ometepe. CAO Pilón bears a deep, rich color and an incredible depth of flavor, featuring notes of wood, spice and a touch of sweetness.

CAO Pilón is available in the U.S. and in select markets worldwide in these formats:

Churchill 7x 48 – SRP per cigar $8.49

Robusto Extra 5 x 52 – SRP per cigar $7.49

Corona 5.5 x 44 – SRP per cigar $7.09

Toro 6 x 58 – SRP per cigar $8.49

Torpedo – 7 x 54 - SRP per cigar $8.89

Southern Draw – the Desert Rose has TWO new blooms

sd drSouthern Draw Cigars, the family owned premium cigar brand announced two unique line extensions for the DESERT ROSE cigar blend. The first “new bloom” is the Famous Exclusivo (Famous Smoke Shop) and the second is for general distribution to all valued retail partners.

Leading off Southern Draw Cigars’ exciting 2020 Fall Release Collection, are two new renditions of the Desert Rose cigar blend. This includes sizes intended for any consumer who wants to experience the heartier Rose of Sharon blend in the ever-popular Toro 6.0x52 and the company has heeded the overwhelming requests and now offers an elegant Lonsdale 6.0x44. Southern Draw has also made a commitment to expand the award winning 2019 release Desert Rose Belicoso Finos 5.5x54, production is set at 80,000 cigars per year and these are now available for purchase in standard 20 count boxes and a limited amount of 20 count bundles.

Commenting on these developments, Southern Draw Cigars’ Boss Lady and the namesake of the Rose of Sharon blend, Sharon Holt said “We had to wait much longer than desired but the Desert Rose now headlines the 2020 Fall Release Collection in sizes that I find most enjoyable, offering a wider variety of smoking experiences of the blend. Simply put, the two new sizes of Desert Rose provide consumers, what I personally consider the two best smoking experiences for the blend and I have tried it in many sizes and formats. That said, we understand that our customers are sometimes very focused on new releases, wanting products that are specifically tailored to uniquely highlight the blend, so these are my gifts to them. These product line extensions address this desire for new releases while honoring the character of the original blend and by working closely with Famous Smoke Shop over the last 18 months, we were able to bring yet another exciting exclusivo cigar offering to their loyal consumers.”

Southern Draw Cigars is elated to announce the Desert Rose Toro 6.0x52 Famous Exclusivo. A toro size in an eye-catching round format, each cigar is dressed in the iconic pink main band with a unique Exclusivo secondary band each produced by Cigar Rings, Estelí, Nicaragua. Production of the Famous Exclusivo has been limited to just 250 boxes of 10. “Considering Southern Draw’s continually growing popularity,” added Jim Charnley, Director Purchasing & Merchandising at Famous Smoke Shop, “we’re expecting the cigar to sell out quickly. This is not one to sleep on.”

The Famous Exclusivo is available for purchase during a live virtual event hosted by Famous Smoke Shop & Southern Draw Cigars from 7 – 9 pm ET on September 30th. Now in their 81st year of operation as a private, family-owned business, Famous Smoke Shop owner Arthur Zaretsky noted a special connection with Southern Draw: “To work with another family-owned company, it's a connection that allows our families to collaborate so easily, and create exciting cigars our customers will enjoy.”

Meeting ID: 879 7929 7165

Passcode: 176484

For those unable to attend the virtual event, all remaining 10 count boxes will be made available via the Famous Smoke Shop website on October 1, 2020 by clicking on the link:

The second Desert Rose line extension is a subtly sophisticated Lonsdale 6.0x44, also rolled at AJ Fernandez Cigar Co. in the traditional “redondo” format with a “flag” cap and packaged in artful 12 count box designed by Humidif Group USA, a shelf friendly design that offers an eye-catching display for the new size. Production is slated for 4,000 boxes per year and all valued retail partners can now pre-order the initial 1,000 boxes that are expected to begin shipping in October 2020.


poolparty1Protocol Cigars announces a special limited edition release cigar called the Protocol Pool Party Year 1. The cigars were produced at Erik Espinosa’s La Zona Factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. The Protocol Pool Party Year 1 is offered in a Corona Gordo: 5 5/8 X 46 vitola. They are presented in a 10 count paper bundle. Only 100 Bundles have been produced. The packaging is symbolic of fun summer time pool parties. This cigar is wrapped in a Mexican San Andreas Maduro Leaf, Connecticut Shade Binder, and Nicaraguan Corojo from Esteli and Condega filler. The Protocol Pool Party Year 1 is a solid medium to medium plus with spicy rich flavors and a long sweet creamy finish. 

The Protocol Pool Party will not be for sale. These limited edition cigars will instead be given to the first 100 attendees to the Protocol Pool Party on Saturday, August 1st, 2020. This is a ticketed event in Neptune, NJ.  The event is not the first of its kind. In the past the Protocol Pool Party was held at the home of co-owner Kevin Keithan. The event has steadily outgrown that location. The company has decided to make the party a yearly ticketed event. This event is 100% outdoor and on a 7 acre picnic ground with an Olympic size pool. This event is 100% compliant with all NJ State Covid Rules and Regulations. The company has implemented several levels of protection to all attendees.  “We wanted to do something special for our supporters, especially since everyone has been locked at home for the last several months. The demand to attend and numbers have grown exponentially for this event and needed move to a bigger venue. We have implemented safety precautions to ensure everyone’s wellbeing. The health of our supporters is of the utmost importance to us.  With that said everyone will be safe and a phenomenal time will be had by all!” Juan Cancel, co-owner Protocol Cigars. For more detailed event information visit the company’s website at or their social media platforms