Archive for the ‘PDR’ Category

Little Guys by Frank Seltzer

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

We have talked a lot about the big manufacturers but there are others who while known are still growing.  Take Boutique Blends for example.  The company has a bit of an identity crisis. Many people are not sure of Boutique Blends, but do know of Oliveros.  Rafael Nodal and his partner Hank Bischoff started the company  in February 2002.  When the company started it was to distribute Oliveros, but about  two and a half years ago.  They started with SWAG and then they came out with Aging Room.  They have evolved from Oliveros into Boutique Blends because according to Rafael, they is more what they do…make small batches of cigars.  They take terrific tobaccos and make small batches of cigars.  How many?  Well it all depends on the size of the cigars each blend has…bigger cigars mean fewer available as the use more of the tobacco.


This year at the show, the company released its  Aging Room M-21 Fortissimo, a 5.75”x 47 Salomon.  The Fortissimo is limited, there are only 3,000 boxes of 10 being made with a retail price of right around $13.  The company is adding to its Aging Room line with a new Maduro, which will come in 5 sizes; Presto 4.5” x 48, Rondo 5”x 50, Mazzo 6”x 54, Major 6.5” x 60 and Alto 7” x 47.  They run from about $7.75 to $9.  If you notice some music terms for the names, Nodal was a classically trained violinist in Cuba and came to New York at age 15 during the Mariel Boat lift to study at the Manhattan School of Music.


The other new thing from Boutique is the Wild Pack.  This pack has 5 different blends which eventually will be added to the Aging Room line.  Nodal says  the 6” x 50 cigars will each have a number and he wants feedback from smokers as to which one they prefer.  The winner becomes the next Aging Room release.  Cost for the Wild Pack is $96.




Abe Flores is a small guy too, but he is very busy.  Not only does he have his own line of cigars PDR, but he is also creating new blends for others as well.  He makes the highly rated, La Palina Classic for that company. His own PDR line includes blends like the PDR Small Batch Reserve.  This year, Abe added a maduro, the PDR AFR 75 Edicion Limitada.  It uses a dark San Andres Maduro wrapper over a Criollo 98 binder grown in Nicaragua and Dominican Habano, Connecticut Broadleaf and Nicaraguan Criollo 98 fillers.  The AFR-75 comes in three sizes, Sublime at 5”  56, Edmundo  at 6” x 58 and the Inmenso at 7” x 60.  They are priced at $14.75, $15.75 and $16.75 respectively.


The other new cigar from PDR is  the A. Flores Gran Reserva 1975 Corojo 2006.  The wrapper if a 2006 Criollo grown in the Dominican Republic, the binder is Dominican Olor and the fillers are Dominican Corojo and Nicaraguan Habano.The Gran Reserva comes in three sizes, a half corona at 3.5” x 46, Robusto at 5”x 52 and a Grand Toro at 6” x 54.  The half corona retails for about $5 and besides coming in moxes of 50, it also comes in tins of 5.  The Robusto goes for $12.35 and the Grand Toro is $14.10.


Bloomberg loses but keeps trying


By now you have undoubtedly heard about our favorite nanny—Michael Bloomberg—who lost his Big Gulp fight.  Yup a second court ruled he overreached in trying to get his health department to ban big sodas in restaurants and some other venues.  The appeallate court ruled unanimously that hizzonor went way over the line in trying to ban the drinks ”for the health of the kids”, just like smoking.  Unlike the smoking ban, where the City Council agreed with the moron, err mayor, this time the council did not have a say and Bloomberg acted on his own.  The courts have ruled that this not only violates separation of powers but would eviscerate it.


Bloomberg says he is going to appeal…BUT since he will be soon out of office it may be up to his successor to continue or drop the appeal.  Nice to see New York has so much money it can afford to waste it on appeals of stupid laws.  If only we could get something on the smoking ban.


By the way, you may not have seen the nanny’s latest declaration of war.  It is on elevators and escalators.  It is like the Nazis, they started with something “everyone” thought was evil and continued working their way up.  Bloomberg started targeting smokers, then trans fat, then salt, then sugary drinks and now the Otis creation.  (When will New Yorkers wake up?)


The city is proposing new legislation that all new buildings and any under renovation would be required to give the occupants access to at least one stairwell. Never mind the security concerns.  The buildings would also have to post signs near elevators pointing to near-by stairs.  Another bill would permit the use of hold-open devices for the stairwells.   Since denial isn’t only a river in Egypt, Bloomberg says all his panderings are actually improving the city.


“Somebody asked me the other day: ‘Well isn’t all this nanny … stuff hurting business?’ And I pointed out we had a record number of companies moving here, we had record-number of private sector jobs here, we had record-number of tourists.”


Uh huh…and I have a bridge for you.



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