IPCPR Wrap up

As you can tell, I hated Orlando.  It is the land of the Mouse and I don’t think they honestly care if you are well treated or not.  They figure the attractions are strong enough that service does not matter.  And do not get me started about the driving. Guess I won’t be getting the Orange County Chamber of Commerce job….But I will say at this year’s show there were MANY fine cigars.

In talking with several folks, we basically agreed that the cigars being offered at this year’s show are most likely the best ever.  That is saying something.  In fact, in talking with a former resident of Spain who USED to smoke Cubans exclusively, he finds himself tending to smoke more Nicaraguans and Hondurans.

We found cigars priced very reasonably and then one that is most likely the most expensive one ever made.  We’ll get to that in a bit.

We ended late Sunday with Carlito Fuente.  He is excited about that is coming up next year as the company marks the first year of a new century.  Carlito had planned to mark the family’s centenary this year, but after the fire in one of their barns last September, it messed up his plans. So instead next spring will mark the beginning of the new century for the family and the company.  The family will be coming out with the Don Arturo Anniversario as the first new offering later this year.  Then, next year, they will roll out lines like the special Angel’s Share (using special tobaccos from the heart of the plant and taking part of the proceeds from the sales to help fund the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation) and Casa Cuba that is an old brand the Fuentes are bringing back.

Monday began with Alec Bradley. The company has added to its American line with a new Sun Grown using all Nicaraguan tobaccos and coming in 6 sizes from a Corona to a 6”x 60 Gordo.  Bradley also premiered the Alec Bradley Connecticut that features a Connecticut wrapper over a Honduran binder and fillers from Honduras and Nicaragua.  The Nica Puro was being shown but the cigars are not ready yet and it will not head to stores until November.

It's a Boy

Bradley’s George Sosa, never realized how much business there is in the It’s a Boy It’s a Girl lines of cigars when he was with another company a few years ago, but he did slowly notice that when orders came in, those Boy/Girl cigars would keep going out.  He and Alan Rubin decided they did not like the packaging that was out in the market for an affordable cigar.  The idea was to make the cigar box a keepsake by putting a picture frame on the lid of the box allowing for the baby’s picture to be put in customizing the box for every parent and child and on the inside of the lid there is a place to write down the baby’s stats.  The It’s a Boy/It’s a Girl will retail for about $64 a box.


Ashton is adding to the popular La Aroma de Cuba line with a Mi Amor Reserva same wrapper as the regular Mi Amor line but with a higher priming of the plant t give added flavor and the wrapper is fermented longer making an actual Oscuro grade.  Combined with the Nicaragua fillers and binders this Mi Amor kicks it up a level with a stronger finish.  It will be in 4 sizes running from $8.50 – $9.95.  In the regular La Aroma de Cuba line there is a new El Jefe size measuring 7” x 58 with a retail price of $6.95.

Cigars costing about $7 dollars are reasonable, but how about the World’s Most Expensive Cigar.  Regius from London is offering a single double corona cigar for the price of $70,000.  The deal is if you buy this cigar, Regius CEO Akhil Kapacee will come to where you are and personally light it for you.  And then the buyer and his or her tobacconist will get an all expenses paid VIP trip to Nicaragua where they will be able to blend and name a cigar according to their taste.  The buyer also gets 1,000 of the custom blend.  A total of ten cigars have been made and they will be sold in London and in a few select high-end shops around the world.

But if 70K is out of your price range but you want the true cigar experience, the Pro Cigar Festival has announced its dates for next year.  The Dominican festival begins on Sunday February 17th and goes through Friday the 22nd. This is an opportunity to get up close and personal with the stars of the Dominican cigar industry.  The festival is intimate with total attendees running about 200 so everyone can get face-to-face time with the makers.  You smoke, drink and party in Santiago for a price of $895.  Pro Cigar suggests if out want to attend THE cigar party, make reservations soon since it sells out every year.

This has no means been exhaustive (other than to me) coverage of the show.  There are literally dozens of cigars I have yet to smoke and will be continuing our coverage in the coming weeks.

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