Archive for the ‘ipcpr’ Category

IPCPR: Drew Estate – Liga Privada H99 Connecticut Corojo

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

10 years ago, Drew Estate bestowed upon the cigar world one of the most popular and highest rated cigars in history.  The Liga Privada is no longer just a cigar line, but a brand name on its own.  Its symbolic lion logo can be seen on ashtrays, hats, cutters and even tattoos.  It has become a symbol of power, flavor and above all quality.  While we have seen additions such as the T52 and the little brother line, Undercrown, fans of the brand have been waiting in earnest for a new release under the Liga Privada flag.  Well, at this year’s IPCPR trade show, our prayers were answered.

Drew Estate has announced the release of the Liga Privada H99 Connecticut Corojo.  It is handcrafted with a blend of aged Honduran and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos.  It is held together with a bold and rich Mexican San Andres binder.  The finishing touch is a stunning Corojo wrapper grown in the heart of the Connecticut River Valley.

According to a press release from Drew Estate, the H99 will be featured in a single toro size for now, although more sizes are planned for later.  This rich blend of tobaccos promises to deliver a rich and complex blend that is spicy, rich and slightly sweet.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I can hardly wait for this cigar.  I have yet to be disappointed with any Liga Privada or Unico release.  Each one of this cigars has its spot in my regular rotation, and I’m willing to be the H99 will find its place right there as well.  Although a shipping date has not yet been announced, keep checking back here at JR Cigars for more updates and sales info on the brand new Drew Estate Liga Privada H99 Connecticut Corojo.

Top Cigar Releases From IPCPR 2018

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

I have been to several IPCPR tradeshows over my time in the cigar industry.  In the past few, it seemed to be entering a dark period.  With FDA Regulations looming, there was a dark cloud cast over the show.  Attendance was dwindling, the mood to become one of worry instead of excitement and new products were their but limited.  This year, however, saw a resounding return to form for the most anticipated event of the year for the cigar industry.  Not only was in lighter in mood, it also showcased some of the most anticipated releases I’ve seen in quite some time.

While many companies brought this thunder this year, first we have to talk about Drew Estate.  While the new Corona Viva sizes and the introduction of new cigarillos have been known for a few weeks, the company finally announced the release of two brand new lines for their Liga Privada brand.  First is the store only Liga Privada 10th Anniversary, celebrating more than a decade of success with their highest rated cigar.  Second, we have the Liga Privada H99, a new cigar that will feature a special grown Connecticut Corojo wrapper.  These cigars were certainly the talk of the town, with several articles and even shout outs from other manufacturers.

General Cigar saw one of the most impressive amounts of releases this year.  They are adding a new cigar to their CAO world edition with the introduction of the CAO Nicaragua.  They are taken a bolder approach with their heritage lines with the new Hoyo La Amistad Black and a redesigned Punch from AJ Fernandez known as the Punch Diablo.  Partagas, Macanudo and La Gloria Cubana are all receiving new releases as well, with amazing updated packaging and new enticing blends.

Altadis USA is also flexing quite a bit at this year’s shows.  We are seeing new editions in tow of their most popular Montecristo lines. We are getting a brand new Montecristo Artisan Series and a stunning new addition to the Montecristo Grupo de Maestro line.  We are also getting the first of a new Grupo de Maestro line, the H.Upmann Grupo de Maestro Connecticut, which we are all very excited about.

For the boutique, small batch aficionado, the 2018 IPCPR show unveiled a plethora of new and exciting cigars.  Nick Melillo and the team at Foundation is bringing a new Tabernacle to shelves, this time with a special Havana seed wrapper grown on Nicks personal farm in Connecticut.  Steve Saka showed up in style, showcasing a new line, the Sin Compromiso, and a slightly tweaked, stronger version of the Todos Las Dias known as Mas Fuerte.

Robert Caldwell brought three new editions of some of his best known cigars.  We are excited to be getting an Eastern Standard Habano, A Long Live the King Maduro and a tweaked version of the Anastasia.

1st Annual IPCPR Something Awards: Look Who Won Things!

Monday, July 24th, 2017

Best Bald Nicaraguan Manufacturer- Erik Espinosa

Espo 2

Its no lie that Erik and I are friends, however he deserves this award. There was no back alley deals here.  Coming into the show with the Reggae and the collaboration with AJ on Murcielago, Erik demonstrated that even with the FDA, he will not be stopped from creating new amazing blends.  It was a close call seeing as how Nestor Plasencia came in strong with the Alma Fuerte, but the fact that Erik made fun of my shoes, I feel that getting this award is fitting.


Best Small Mammal Mascot – RoMa Craft Weasel


   If you do not know Roma Craft, then this award makes literally no sense.  Actually, I know the company quite well but even I’m confused.  Anyway, as many of you know I am a huge supporter of Mike and Skip and the amazing work they are doing with Nica Sueno.  Although they had nothing new for American consumers in terms of cigars, they have released some new sizes into the European market and have worked with Xikar to create some top of the line Weasel related products that you must pick up right away. Pop goes the Weasel!


Best Cigar That’s Kind of Hard to Pronounce- Powstanie


   Ill admit El Gueguense had my vote in the beginning, but after learning the correct pronunciation most people catch on pretty quick.  However, for Mike and the boys over at Pospeich Cigars, it has probably been a battle to get the right pronunciation.  At the end of the day you can call this line sd;ofihsdjghsdkfjg and Id still love it.  I got to enjoy my favorite broadleaf in the new robusto size at this year’s show so props to the cigar hustler for bridging the cultural differences between America and Poland by using a delicious cigar.


Best Father Son and Son Team- Alec Bradley

Alec Bradley 2

   I have interviewed many of the biggest and most interesting people in the cigar industry, but I must say never have I been more touched then when I sat down with Alec Bradley front man Alan Rubin and his boys, the names sakes of the company, Alec and Bradley.  The relationship between father and sons surpasses the norm when it comes to working in a family business, and Alan could not have been prouder that his boys followed him to work for this great company.  Let’s all just be happy he didn’t have another child named Eugene or something.


Best Booth With No Cigars in it- Room 101


   Yes Boofy is back!  Matt Booth has risen from the depths of hell and is reeking havoc on the industry yet again.  While the big cigar news is mostly focused on his two collaborations with Robert Caldwell and AJ Fernandez, I think the real story is the Room 101 booth this year.  It had no cigars, 1 couch, and 3 vintage arcade style video games.  In the midst of playing Asteroid, Matt presented me with a custom urinal screen with his face on it.  I have used it Matt, many many times.


Best Team that Reminds me of My Giant- Matt Booth and Robert Caldwell


   The picture says it all.  This team up between two legends really looks like it should be on a VHS cover and picked up at your local Hollywood Video.  While the Hit and Run was the talk of the show and one of the best new cigars of the year, I honestly can’t get over how adorable these two look together.  It’s like a version of the movie Twins but in some kind of weird Miami nightmare scenario.


Best Southern Gentleman- Robert Holt and Steve Bailey

Corn & Ant 1

The South has risen again, this time from two debonair gentleman who are bringing some much needed southern charm into the cigar industry.  First we have Robert Holt, whose work with Southern Draw has made him a household name.  If you try the new Jacobs Ladder, make sure you are sitting down, it does pack a punch.  Next you have my friend Steve Bailey of Cornelius and Anthony.  I have never seen a company rise so far so fast, all due to Steve’s dedication to quality and humility.  These are two guys I wouldn’t mind sitting on the porch sharing a mint julep with.  Well, maybe not sharing, we could each probably have our own. We are all adults. You get the idea.


Best Statue Based on a Mythological Figure (or is it?) Steve Saka


   Since the creation of Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust, I’ve been waiting to find a cigar from Steve Saka that I didn’t like.  Better yet, I was trying to find one that’s average, and to no avail.  Following major releases like Sobremesa and Mi Querida, Steve came in hot this year with the Todos Las Dias, one of the most well balanced full body cigars I’ve had in aa while.  Yet, I kept getting distracted at his booth when I thought I saw something rustling past me.  It was probably just the wind, but just to be sure I’m going to call the guys from Supernatural to have a look.


Best Accessory Based Off a Coen Brothers Movie- Xikar/Hutch


   These two cutters are all I care about in life.  The reasons being are 3 fold.  First, it is a Xikar cutter so you know it is of the highest quality and will last a lifetime.  B, Hutch studios hand crafted the designs on them.  Have you ever seen such quality work by hand!?  Lastly, this is one of my favorite movies of all time and it should be yours man.  At the bottom of the page I will leave my bosses email address and I encourage you all to email her asking her to buy me this cutter.  The dude abides.


Best Cigar based on a Historical British Drama- Highclere Castle/Nick Melillo


There was so much drama on PBS’s Downton Abbey that you could taste it.  But it probably tasted weird.  However, the Highclere Castle cigar from Nick Melillo tastes outstanding.  Nick worked hand in hand with the Earl of Carnarvon to make a premium cigar in a similar style to what the ancestors of the Earl would smoke.  They even found receipts dating back 200 years to see what kind of cigars the aristocrats would enjoy.  The results speak for themselves. This cigar has even higher ratings then the show! Let’s just be glad he didn’t make a cigar based upon an American drama, like Greys Anatomy or something else that’s stupid.


Best X-Treme Sports Equipment – Drew Estate 


Look at these skateboards… that is all.





Day 3 at the 2017 IPCPR – Dunbarton Tobacco

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Check out Steve Sakas latest bold smoke: the Todos Las Dias. If you’re looking for insane power and flavor you’re going to love this smoke!


…keep checking back for more of the best new smokes of the year from the 2017 IPCPR!

Day 3 at the 2017 IPCPR – H. Upmann AJ Fernandez

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Took a stroll over to the Altadis booth. This is the best hupmann I have ever smoked. Truly amazing and it’s already available!


…more amazing smokes to come from the 2017 IPCPR!

Day 3 at the 2017 IPCPR – Crowned Heads

Thursday, July 13th, 2017
Enjoying one of the finest Maduros of the year… the brand new 4 Kicks Maduro from The Crowned Heads. Look for them soon!

…keep checking back for more exclusives from the 2017 IPCPR!

Day 2 at the 2017 IPCPR – Caldwell

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017
Got to catch up with the legend himself Robert Caldwell.. two awesome releases this year with him and Matt Booth! Coming Soon!


…check back soon for more updates from the 2017 IPCPR!

Day 2 at the 2017 IPCPR – Warped

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Sat with my main man from Warped, the great Kyle Gellis! Keep an eye out for the Black Honey and Gran Reserva 1988.


…more to come from the 2017 IPCPR!

Day 2 at the 2017 IPCPR – Alec Bradley

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017
We got started today by sitting with the famed Alan Rueben of Alec Bradley and his two sons Alec and Bradley. We spoke of many things but I was too distracted by the delicious Prensado Lost Art to really pay attention!
…stay tuned for more to come!


Xikar at the 2017 IPCPR

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

Today’s meeting with Xikar was a sight to behold! They have produced some of the worlds finest cigar accessories including the new Xikar XO cutter, the VX Vcut and the Xp4 lighter all available in Ferrari Red!


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