Archive for the ‘Robert Caldwell’ Category

The King is Dead By AJ Fernandez

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019
The reworked band takes the original King is Dead artwork but gives it a different color scheme and a secondary band showing that this was made by AJ Fernandez.

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.

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!

Ch-Ch-Ch Changes by Frank Seltzer

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

The IPCPR is officially leaderless.  Bill Spann, who came in as CEO to run the premium cigar group two years ago, has left.  Spann turned in his resignation last week and it was effective on Saturday.  Spann said the main reason was that he was commuting.

“My staff and many of our members know that I have been apart from my family each week since I took this position in July 2011,” said Spann. “We fully intended to move to Columbus, but unfortunately the town’s size did not afford my spouse the career opportunities she required.”

IPCPR will now look for a new C-E-O.  In the meantime, board members say IPCPR board president Finnie Helmuth will be helping to run the organization while the search is underway.


Caldwell says Bye, Christian Adds Another

Robert Caldwell who was partnering with Christian Eiroa in the Wynwood cigar line has left the company.   According to the company’s website:

Wynwood Cigar Factory a part of the Fabricas Unidas family has opened its doors in the Wynwood art district of Miami. The concept of the Wynwood Cigar Factory came from the minds of Robert Caldwell and Christian Eiroa and features a unique environment for cigar smokers and art lovers alike.

Robert has been a pioneer in the cigar industry for over 5 years. He started The Hotel Humidor Company to service the cigar needs of the hospitality industry. He co-founded The Wynwood Cigar Factory with Christian Eiroa with a dual purpose of educating consumers and manufacturing only the finest, most unique cigars possible. Eiroa joined together with Caldwell with a purpose of building a luxury cigar brand different than any other.


A statement is expected in a couple of days, but insiders say creative differences were the reason and Christian says he wishes Robert well in his new venture.

Meanwhile the Tabacleras Unidas (or Fabrica Unidas depending) coop that Christian is running is keeping busy.  He still has his line of cigars like the CLE Corojo and he is also busy with the Pura Soul being championed and blended by Robert Wright.  Robert was V.P of sales for the old Camacho and was a national sales manager with Davidoff as Eirora’s Camacho was being sold.  Now he is back with Christian and came up with the Pura Soul brand.  (He says the name represents his background having been born in Costa Rica yet growing up in New York)  The blend is all Nicaraguan and he says it is a medium bodied cigar with full flavor and a clean creamy finish.  Pura Soul comes in 5 sizes, 5” x50, 6” x 48, 6” x 50, 7” x 52 perfecto and a 6” x 60 with prices running $6.95 to $8.95.  The Pura Soul came out at the IPCPR trade show last summer but just started shipping in the last couple of weeks.




Another new cigar is coming out in the next week or so from Grace Sotolongo who joined Christian right before the trade show.  Grace is expected to debut her cigar the Hechicera or Sorceress in early October.  She says samples are already on the way.  Hechicera is another Nicaraguan blend and comes in four sizes,  4.5” x 50 robusto, 5.5” x 44 box pressed corona, 6” x 52 toro and a 6” X 60 toro gordo.  Grace describes the line as medium bodied. From the press release:

The beautiful art featured in Hechicera is the work of Grace’s dear friend Ninoska Perez Castellon. Ninoska is a journalist, radio talk show host, political commentator and a respected leader of the Cuban exile community in Miami. And recently launched her new career as an artist.


Swisher Cuts Back


Who says taxes don’t kill jobs?  Swisher International maker of Swisher Sweets says it is laying off another 250 people from its cigar making operation in Jacksonville.  The company already had laid off 150 last year.  According to the company, the jobs will move to their operation in the Dominican Republic.


“We’re seeing a shift of a lot of cigar manufacturing to the Dominican Republic and also an influx of low cost cigars being imported into the country that are driving prices way down,” said Joe Augustus, senior vice for global affairs for Swisher. “So, the pricing pressures need to be addressed to maintain our competitive position in the marketplace.”

Regulatory pressures also factored in.

“The way our tax structure is set up, it’s less expensive to be an importer than it is to be a domestic manufacturer,” Augustus said. “We’re seeing a lot of imported products paying much less in tax revenues than we are.”


The company wants to keep as many jobs in Jacksonville as possible since it has been there since the early 1900s, but sometimes other factors get in the way.


Nebraska No Smoke

Cigar bars may be a thing of the past in Nebraska….

A Nebraska judge has upheld the constitutionality of the state’s smoking ban.  The ban was passed in 2008, but a challenge from a pool hall saying the ban illegally infringed on its rights as a private business and cut its revenues.  The judge said nope the state can screw you…well not in those exact words.

And since that ruling, the state Attorney General says he plans to file an appeal to remove the exemptions in the state smoking ban that allow for cigar bars, motels and other businesses the right to smoke legally.

You cannot compromise with these people.  If anyone thinks getting an exemption is the way to fight smoking bans, they are simply crazy.



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