Archive for the ‘AZAN’ Category

My Old Kentucky Home by Frank Seltzer

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

A couple of years ago someone must have really been pushing Kentucky Fire Cured tobacco.  It was something you didn’t hear about then this year, bam three makers are using it, albeit in different blends.  For me, mostly it is over the top, but perhaps like a fine peaty scotch you can come to appreciate it.  Heck I know now I love Ardbog and other peat bombs.

Ok you already know about the Kentucky Fire Cured My Uzi Weighs a Ton (they will be shipping soon)  and I’ve told you about Sam Leccia’s Black label using the Kentucky tobacco…but there is one more.

George Rico has a small factory in little Havana.  He and his family are Gran Habano and George’s factory is part of the George Rico STK project.  STK comes from the saying Stay True Kid, which George has taken to heart.  Last year he came out with the Zulu Zulu from the STK side and he also debuted a robusto cigar in Hawaii called the Barracuda.  The one from last year was very limited, only 100 boxes of 20, but now he has tweaked the blend and is able to make more. The new Barracuda uses Nicaraguan Habano from 2002 for the wrapper over a Jalapa binder and Jalapa and Esteli fillers.   He has also added sizes, a 5.625” x 46 Corona Gorda and a 6.5” x 54 Toro along with the 5 x 50 Robusto. They retail between $7-9 each.


But one of the most interesting things out of STK is the American Puro.   Coming in three sizes, a 4.75” x 52 Robusto, 5.875” x 54 Toro Grande and a 5.625” x 46 Corona Gorda,  Rico is using all American tobacco…that is tobacco from the U-S with the Kentucky Fire Cured, Pennsylvania and Connecticut broadleaf fillers over a Habano wrapper and binder grown in Connecticut.  Rico goes even further in that the boxes and bands are made in the U-S and the cigar is rolled in his Miami Factory.  How is that for an All American? The retail prices are $8 to $9.


Chinese Cuban?


Roberto Pelayo Duran was born in Cuba.  He learned about tobacco growing up there and he later set up the Pacific Cigar Company, which helped distribute Cuban cigars to Canada and Asia.  Now out of Cuba and living in Hong Kong, he is growing tobacco in Ecuador, and making cigars in Esteli and just opened a warehouse operation in Miami.  He debuted at the IPCPR show his first creation, Azan.  Azan is actually an old Cuban cigar brand.  The name dates from 1928 when Wan Ben Sen, who later adopted the Cuban name of Domingo Azan, and his brothers started producing handmade cigars from the center of Cuba.  Azan’s great granddaughter Maria Isabel Alvarez Azan is part of Duran’s team and is very happy the old brand has been resurrected.  Initially, the cigars were sold primarily in Asia and with the show, they are now being offered in the United States.


There are two primary lines, the White and Burgundy, with the White label being the premium one.  It uses an Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and fillers from Jalapa and Esteli,  Nicaragua  along with Brazlian Matafina.   The cigar is medium bodied and comes in three sizes Robusto 4.875” x 50, Robusto Extra 5.5” x 52 and Campana (torpedo)  5.5” x 52 and retails between $6- $8.


The Burgundy line, which is priced for everyday smoking,  again uses Nicaraguan binder and fillers with an Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper.  It has four sizes from Petit Corona 5.125 x 42,  Short Robusto 4.75” x 50 , Robusto 4.875” x 50 and Short Campana 4.375” x 46 and will retail between $3.50 to $4.


Azan is also making a Special Edition Maduro Natural.  The cigars are made of 100 percent Maduro tobaccos and come in two sizes—Robusto Extra 5.5” x 52 and Campana at 5.5” x 52.



FDA  going after E-Cigs We are Next


On a recent NPR show, the top people from the FDA basically said they are going after e-cigs.  Why should you care?  Well the FDA is supposed to regulate tobacco and e-cigs don’t contain any.  But apparently that is not stopping them.  The FDA also is not supposed to regulate cigars so what do you think they are going to do?

In the broadcast, the head of the FDA’s Tobacco control division Mitch Zeller said:

The thing that’s most interesting about e-cigarette is that we look at individual-level risk, what is the risk, say, to a current smoker who would be otherwise unable or unwilling to quit, if that person completely substituted all of their conventional cigarettes for an e-cigarette, that’s individual-level risk.”

 But the FDA won’t consider the individual…

“… Policy is going to be made here at the population level, and there’s population-level harm.  Who is actually using these products?  And how are they being used?  Tim [McAfee] talked about this earlier.  Are current smokers going to be less inclined to quit, and more likely to engage in what we call dual use of both the combustible version and the electronic version?  Are kids going to start using e-cigarettes?  These are the kinds of questions that we have that ultimately comes down to behavior, and right now we have far more questions than answers.”


So bottom line, you have to be involved.  As of today there are 117 co sponsors of the bill to protect cigars in the House and only 11 on the senate version.  Please take a minute and sign the petition to keep the FDA out of our humidors.

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