Archive for the ‘zino’ Category

Davidoff Goes All In, Camacho Goes Bold and Smoking = Jobs by Frank Seltzer

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Davidoff is expanding its core business—that is cigars.  Last week,  the Oettinger Davidoff Group released its 2012 results (basically its cigar brands grew at about 5 percent).  But the company is now changing its strategy.  Previously, Davidoff was a branded house, meaning it focused on the Davidoff label.  The company under the leadership of Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard it is becoming “a house of brands” which will include Davidoff, of course, but also the Camacho and Zino Platinum flagship brands along with AVO and Griffin.  The company also will continue to expand its stores and is seeing large growth potential in Asia.

Camacho goes Bold


With its launch by Christian Eiroa in 2000, the Camacho label has been known for its full body.  The original Corojo was one of the first stronger cigars in the market.  Since that time, others have joined in the higher strength league and Camacho has added several other lines which provide flavors to all taste profiles.  In 2007, Eiroa’s marketing director Dylan Austin convinced Christian to re-do the packaging for the lines while it rolled out the Triple Maduro.  The next year, Christian and his family sold Camacho to Davidoff.  Dylan Austin stayed with the brand and once again re-launching it.


The official debut of  “Camacho The Bold Standard” is this Thursday at a big party in Dallas (how convenient for me).  The event will be hosted by legendary coach Mike Ditka (who has his own cigar called the Throwback being made by Camacho), Room 101’s Matt Booth and screenwriter Rob Weiss (HBO’s Entourage).  One of the most visible changes is new bigger bands, which now run lengthwise, and the Camacho logo now has a scorpion on it.  The boxes also are changed with a more modern look. According to Austin, the idea is to create a bolder brand identity.


As part of the move, Camacho is slimming down its portfolio  to six blends and re-blending four of the lines or as they call it an upgrade.  The original Corojo is one of the blends that will be upgraded along with the Diploma line.  According to Austin,  “We kept what was great, like our Authentic Corojo, and made it better. For our famed Corojo, a top-grade fifth priming wrapper is now standard – it’s back to knock your socks off level.”


The former Havana blend is now going to be called what it is Criollo for its wrapper and under the new formulation it will have Dominican Piloto Cubano in the filler. The Triple Maduro and Connecticut will not change except for the bands and boxes.


The Dallas party on Thursday is the official release, although the new blends will not really go on sale until the industry trade show in the middle of next month.  Camacho expects the cigars to be in stores nationwide around the beginning of August.




Want Jobs? Allow Smoking.

That is the message Las Vegas mogul Sheldon Adelson is sending to Spain.  It makes sense since you may recall the story on Revel Casino in Atlantic City, which was proud of its non smoking policy.  That policy stayed until Revel hit bankruptcy and THEN decided to allow smoking.  Adelson is now working on a new project in Spain for gamblers.


Adelson is proposing a development called Eurovegas on the outskirts of Madrid.

Eurovegas would become one of Europe’s biggest construction sites, creating tens of thousands of jobs in a country where the unemployment rate is expected to hit 28% by the end of this year. But Adelson wants gamblers to be allowed to smoke inside the complex – something that is against Spanish health laws.

According to The Guardian, the anti-smoking laws came from the previous socialist government in Spain and now with a new conservative Prime Minister Adelson thinks the time is ripe to change the law to allow smoking in the casinos.  Adelson met with the Spanish Prime Minister to make his case.  The development would cost upwards of 9 billion dollars and when complete could create nearly a quarter million jobs.  It will be interesting to see what Spain does.

Glendale Nixes Smoking


The California city of Glendale has decided to reach into private homes and ban smoking.  The council voted last month to ban smoking in condos and apartments.  The catch is that the law is for new construction.  It means for now, they cannot ban it in existing buildings.  But there is another side to this…


One of the biggest problems with Glendale’s smoking rules has been enforcement. Police or code enforcement officials can’t cite a smoker if they don’t catch them in the act. City officials said giving private citizens the right to sue smokers for breaking the rules is another tool to add more teeth to the smoking restrictions.

If found guilty, violators could be fined $250 for every day they violate the law, according to a city report, although they would first have to violate the law twice and receive a written notice before being sued. The smoker could also have to pay for the costs of the lawsuit if found guilty.


Gee wonder if the ACLU would defend the smokers?




More New Cigars and New Taxes by Frank Seltzer

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Davidoff is coming out with a new cigar which is a huge departure for them.  The company which makes The Griffin’s, Zino and Avo along with the traditional White Label Davidoff is branching out.  All of the Davidoff cigars are made in the company’s factory in the Dominican Republic and blended by cigar master Hendrik Kelner.  All of the cigars contain some Dominican tobacco…but soon that will change.  Davidoff  had Kelner and his team work on coming up with what it calls adding to the variety of taste experiences and smoking pleasure. According to the release:

For this challenge, Henke and his team embarked on a worldwide search for tobaccos that would enable us to create a unique cigar. The search landed in the tobacco fields of Nicaragua.

Preparing, curing and ageing this tobacco for 10 years with the unique expertise of Davidoff craftsmen in the Dominican Republic allowed us time to ‘tame’ the wilder tendencies of Nicaraguan tobacco and deliver a blend with intensity and excitement and all the refined sophistication you would expect from Davidoff.

 The result is a Nicaraguan Puro called “Davidoff Nicaragua”. The line will come in three sizes, A Robusto at 5” x 50, a Short Corona  measuring 3.75” x 44 and a Toro at 5.5” x 50.  The trio will use a 10-year-old Havana-seed wrapper with Jalapa binder and fillers from Esteli, Condega and the volcanic isle of Ometepe in Nicaragua.  No word on pricing yet but they will debut at the IPCPR show this summer and will be made in limited quantities.


KFC (no troubles with THAT name_

Drew Estate, which is known for its ACID line among others, is adding to the MUWAT series…if you don’t know this is the My Uzi Weights A Ton and is made for Drew at the Joya de Nicaragua factory.  About 2 and a half years ago, Jonathan Drew and Steve Saka were smoking a Liga Privada T52 with the president of Universal Leaf when they spied a pillon of Kentucky Fire Cured Tobacco.   The three took a leaf and wrapped it around the T-52 and loved the flavor. Trouble is the leaf would not burn right.  So for the past couple of years, the Drew team worked on curing the leaf properly and now are coming out with the MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured…or KFC as they call it in shorthand (hmm…anything else called KFC?  Oh yeah..cue the lawyers in three, two, one…)


In the official press release according to Nicholas Mellilo ,who takes care of the leaf for Drew,


“First off, Kentucky Fire Cured is from a stalk-cut tobacco. The initial firing of KFC is done at low heat between 100 F to 115 F degrees and maintained until the color reaches solid brown. Once color is set temperatures increase to 120F- 130F to completely cure down the midrib of the leaf and darken. Once the midrib is dried the temperature will be reduced and the smoke maximized with saw dust to finish the leaf. When KFC hits your olfactory nerve you know it.”


The Kentucky Fire Cured MUWAT will come in three sizes—6” x 52 Just a Friend,  5” x 56 Molly and 4” x 46 Chunky.


More Taxes


If you don’t know it, the new Obama budget presented to Congress calls for additional taxes on cigarettes and tobacco.  Federal taxes on cigarettes would just about double.  I have not waded through the whole thing to find out the cigar tax increase, but you can bet there is one in there.

Anti-smokers are almost wetting their pants with excitement saying the tax increases will drive down the number of smokers.  Couple that with more smoking band and viola no more smokers.  Gee…trouble is a couple of new studies say not so.

According to a study of American smokers by the Paris School of Economics smoking bans do not work.


…based on extensive surveys in America, [the paper] suggests that bans on smoking are not just effective but actually make smokers happier. By not allowing them to light up in restaurants and bars (as New York already does), governments give weaker-willed individuals an excuse to do what they otherwise cannot: stop smoking. As an additional benefit, bans also seem to make spouses of smokers happier.


Why?  They aren’t going out and getting hammered and smoking, they do it at home.  As for the tax increases, a paper by researchers at Cornell and York Universities looked at if higher prices would curb the younger smokers.  SO are they price sensitive?


Not very, it turns out. That is because a big share—46% of teenage girls and 30% of teenage boys—do not smoke for pleasure, but to stay thin or lose weight.

That may not be healthy, but it is rational: cigarettes appear to suppress the appetite and increase the metabolic rate. At any rate a desire to lose weight makes young smokers much less sensitive to price changes: other ways of shedding pounds, such as eating less or exercising more, are less appealing.


So smoking bans don’t work and higher taxes on cigarettes do not reduce smoking, but they are gonna try it just the same.  Bottom line, never confuse them with the facts, their minds are made up.

Pro Cigar Underway by Frank Seltzer

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013


Pro Cigar 2013

Well the big cigar party in the Dominican Republic is underway.  It began over the weekend in La Romana where participants came in to begin the week long smoke event and today will tour Tabacalera de Garcia—Altadis USA’s huge factory that makes Romeo y Julieta, Montecristo and others.

The annual festival, now in its 6th year, is a chance for cigar smokers to visit the factories, fields and generally hang out with some of your favorite cigar makers.

Pro Cigar is the Dominican group that represents all the major cigar manufacturers on the island. It works to promote the Dominican Republic as Cigar Country making the finest cigars in the world, as well as working on issues that would affect the business. I say all because just a week ago it was announced that Litto Gomez and Ernesto Perez Carrillo have joined the organization.

This means that the trade group represents Altadis USA with its above named brands and factory, General Cigar (maker of Macanudo, Cohiba and La Gloria Cubana among others), La Aurora (maker of La Aurora, Leon Jimenes and Guillermo Leon), MATASA (maker of the Quesada lines and Fonseca), Tabadom Holdings (maker of Davidoff, Zino and Avo), Tabacalera  A. Fuente y Cia (Fuente, Opus X),Tabaquisa (Juan Clemente), Corporacion Cigar Export ( Augusto Reyes) and now La Flor Dominicana and EPC Cigars.

The fun in Santiago kicks off tonight and then continues to build until the big gala dinner on Friday.  We’ll bring you further reports on this.

Diplomatic Help

No doubt Pro Cigar was a big factor in letters that were sent to the FDA, State Department and White House from the ambassadors of the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua warning about the damage to their respective economies should the FDA begin to regulate cigars.

The letter says

“If history is any precedent, some of the regulations that could be imposed by the agency would prove disastrous to the centuries old cigar industry that provides more than 350,000 jobs among our three nations, and represents millions of dollars in export revenue. No regulatory measure should threaten such jobs, and hence raise the specter of political and economic consequences within our region.”

Whether anyone at the FDA can read is another matter.

FDA Will Rule

It was the present delivered to anti tobacco advocates right before Christmas…the administration’s Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan…it covered everything from workplace safety to you got it tobacco regulation.  On December 21, the FDA indicated it would issue rules by April subjecting additional tobacco products to its control.  According to Troutman Sanders law firm:

What is clear is that while the FDA has not issued a specific proposal to regulate cigars, pipe tobacco, electronic cigarettes or other tobacco products, it has indicated it intends to take some action. This proposed rule seems to lay the foundation for the FDA to take that action. What is also clear, is that the Obama Administration continues to place tobacco regulation as one of its priorities for the next four years.

And that could be a major problem for cigar makers.  Even Roll Call agrees that something is coming up soon.  But of course moronic democrats like California’s Henry Waxman are pushing the FDA hard on tobacco…including cigars because, you know, it is for the children.

 “I’m pleased to see the FDA has begun to enforce the law. I continue to call on them to take forceful action to protect the public health with the authority given to them,” Waxman said in a statement. “We need to take action to stop tobacco companies from exploiting loopholes and continuing to addict youth.”

Yeah like banning flavoring in tobacco except the most popular one…menthol cuz the President smokes that.  Right.  Hypocrite.

New Bill

IPCPR announced that on Friday the 15th, a new bill was introduced in Congress to protect premium cigars. There were 12 co-sponsors initially this time…

Reps. Bill Posey (R-FL) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) introduced H.R. 792, the ‘‘Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act of 2013.” This legislation is a crucial step forward in protecting the premium cigar retail industry from undue regulation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) aiming “[t]o amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to clarify the Food and Drug Administration’s jurisdiction over certain tobacco products, and to protect jobs and small businesses involved in the sale, manufacturing and distribution of traditional and premium cigars”.

We had a lot of co-sponsors last time (221) but need more to get it through.  As Rocky Patel told me last weekend in Hawaii, after spending the week in Washington, because of some language changes, “I think we are going to get a lot of momentum.  We have not lost one congressman as sponsor from the last session and we are going to pick more up.  We are making a real push this year and want to get about 300 sponsors,  At that point we can attach to bill to a vehicle that will move through Congress.”

Let your voice be heard! Contact your legislator here and urge them to support H.R. 792!

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