Archive for the ‘FDA cigars’ 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.

Cigar Tobacco Legislation: Chalk One Up for Us by Tommy Zman

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon is a man who knows common sense, and more importantly, knows a propaganda filled, spineless agenda when he sees one.

This past week in a ruling that effects the entire tobacco producing world, Judge Leon told the FDA & the US government that their proposed grotesque graphic labeling of cigarette packaging was indeed: UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

67373892_310335571_Unconstitutional_answer_1_xlarge_xlargeHell, yeah… Here Come Da Judge! (Showing my age with that one right there.)

Several months ago I wrote about Judge Leon’s decision to put a temporary injunction on the FDA’s labeling effort, but now it has come to a head and the gubmint has been given an official smack down – FINALLY – by a guy who understands the Constitution of the United States, and doesn’t take crap when it is doled out in extra-pungent proportions.

In his official 19-page ruling, Leon wrote, “The graphic images here were neither designed to protect the consumer from confusion or deception, nor to increase consumer awareness of smoking risks; rather, they were crafted to evoke a strong emotional response calculated to provoke the viewer to quit or never start smoking.”

Good Lord… someone in Washington actually possesses a brain AND a soul. Somebody get me a JR BRUTO!

It has come down to the fact that the FDA has been found in violation of the First Amendment and even though the ruling was for cigarette packaging, you have to know that if the FDA had won, cigar packaging was to be next in line – desecrating the industry’s ornate boxes and bands while destroying 150 years of tradition in an instant. I think this landmark decision also takes away some of the FDA’s ammo in trying to regulate the cigar industry, showing the public that many of their motives are unscrupulous with an agenda far reaching outside the boundaries of their jurisdiction: meaning the elimination of all tobacco products from the face of the earth (which btw, is my own personal and humble opinion, but you know that I damn-well speak the truth.)

p10b“Although the FDA conveniently refers to these graphic images as ‘graphic warnings,” Leon cited, “characterizing these graphic images as ‘warnings’ is inaccurate and unfair as they are more about shocking and repelling than warning.”

Seriously guys, can you even believe that there’s someone like this even alive in our nation’s Capital? (Hmmmm… maybe a La Gloria Cubana Serie R would be a worthy celebratory smoke…)

Last November, five of the major tobacco manufacturers filed suit against the government, accusing them of violation of their freedom of speech. And, make no mistake about it my Brothers and Sisters of Leafiness, this is indeed a victory in the cigar world’s continual fight against the clueless anti-smoking tyrants who use questionable logic and suspect data to further their “take no prisoners” agenda.

One more very frightening thought to ponder if the Judge had ruled in favor of the vile and offensive labeling is that it would have opened the door for the government to attack other industries in the same manner, such as meat, snack food, desserts, soft drinks, and liquor. And while I applaud the decision of this magistrate, I wonder if he REALLY knows what a profound effect that his ruling has when it comes to Americans rights and freedoms, now and for the future. This is truly HUGE, my friends, and while it is a victory for those who exercise their constitutional right to enjoy a legal adult product, we must all continue to stay vigilant and fight for what we believe to be rightfully ours.

In the closing of U.S. District Judge Richard Leon’s ruling, he says with absolute conviction, “The government has failed to carry both its burden of demonstrating a compelling interest and its burden of demonstrating that the rule is narrowly tailored to achieve a constitutionally permissible form of compelled commercial speech.”

TRANSLATION: Up Yours, Dude.

Stay Smoky My Friends,


JR Cigars Blog with the Zman

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