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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Cigar Review: Padrón 1964 Anniversary Belicoso TAA Exclusive Natural (2014)

Padrón 1964 Anniversary Belicoso TAA Exclusive Natural
The Padrón 1964 Anniversary Belicoso TAA Exclusive Natural is one of two cigars made by Padrón for the 2014 TAA Exclusive Series.  These two Padrón exclusives represent two of the eight cigars made for the Tobacconist Association of America (TAA) in 2014. As is the case with the Padrón 1964 Anniversary line, the Padrón 1964 Anniversary Belicoso TAA Exclusive comes in a natural and a maduro offering. This is the second set of cigars that Padrón has provided to the TAA. There is also Padrón 1964 Anniversary Toro TAA Exclusive (in a natural and maduro). While the Toro TAA Exclusive is an on-going offering to the TAA, the Belicoso TAA Exclusive set is intended to be a one time offering for 2014. Today we take a look at the Padrón 1964 Anniversary Belicoso TAA Exclusive Natural offering. Thus far, I have found the 2014 TAA Exclusive series to be underwhelming. To date I have smoked seven of the eight releases of the 2014 TAA Exclusives and have found the  Padrón 1964 Anniversary Belicoso TAA Exclusive Maduro to be the best offering.  While not quite at the level of that Maduro, the Padrón 1964 Anniversary Belicoso TAA Exclusive Natural is still one of the better offerings in the 2014 TAA Exclusive set.

Cigar News: Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2014 (Cigar Preview)

For the seventh consecutive year, Oliva Cigar Company has released a maduro version of their popular Oliva Serie V cigar.  The maduro wrapper version is released once a year (usually at the end) and a single production run is done.  The cigar is typically released in one size toward the end of the calendar year..  For 2013, Oliva introduces a new size to this line - a double toro measuring 6 x 60. 

Numerous retailers have reported receiving the cigar.

The Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2014 uses a San Andres wrapper from Mexico - marking the fifth consecutive year the wrapper has been used.  The 2014 edition marks the first time a 6 x 60 frontmark has been done in the Serie V Maduro line.

Cigar News: Viaje Platino Mr. White Heading to Westside Humidor in Wichita Kansas (Cigar Preview)

Viaje Cigars will be a part of Westside Humidor's line of exclusive shop exclusives for their 5th Anniversary.  While Westside Humidor already has an annual shop exclusive called the Viaje Platino Five Fifty-Eight, the Viaje Platino Mr. White will be a modified version of that vitola, but without the usual covered footer. The cigar will be officially released at the retailer's 5th Anniversary celebration on Novermber 1st.

In an email to Cigar Coop, Westside Humidor General Manager Gorden Crippen explained the Mr. White and how it differs from the Five Fifty-Eight: "Mr. White is our annual store exclusive release from Viaje.  it's 5x58 in the Platino Blend, the largest size our good friend Andre Farkas makes in the Platino blend.  This year, in order to differentiate it from other years, we have had the factory roll it without the usual covered foot.  These cigars have been aging for almost 7 months, and are ready to smoke today.  Due to the open foot, we have found that it smokes a little bit brighter than our other releases of the 558."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Feature Story: Swisher's Acquisition of Drew Estate - The Analysis

This past week, one of the biggest stories in recent cigar industry history took place as Swisher International announced they had entered into an agreement to acquire Drew Estate Tobacco Company.  Last month, shockwaves rode through the cigar industry as General Cigar Company acquired the brands of Toraño Family Cigars and Leccia Tobacco.  As big as the shockwaves that were sent with those acquisitions, they pale in comparison to this past Monday's announcement.  Drew Estate was one of the largest privately held handmade cigar companies in the world, and Swisher is the largest cigar producer in the world.  One thing that is certain is that the acquisition will be a create a lot of possibilities and opportunities for the two companies - as well as more questions to be answered.

Cigar Review: Viaje Skull and Bones Cloudmaker Edición Limitada (2014)

Viaje Skull and Bones Cloudmaker Edición Limitada
The Viaje Skull and Bones Cloudmaker Edición Limitada was released with the May 2014 shipment of Viaje Skull and Bones.  This shipment was the eleventh of the Skull and Bones series released by Viaje since its launch in the Spring of 2010.  In each of the shipments there have been different blend variations and sizes of this line of powerhouse cigar from Viaje.  The Cloudmaker is a 5 x 60 vitola of an undisclosed blend falling into the Skull and Bones genre.  It actually is the second 5 x 60 vitola to be shipped in the Skull and Bones family.  Back in 2013, Viaje released the Viaje Skull and Bones Big Ivan - another 5 x 60 cigar with not a lot of details disclosed.  I recently had the opportunity to smoke the Cloudmaker. Overall I found this to be an excellent addition into the Skull and Bones line.

Cigar News: La Flor Dominicana Mr. Blonde Heading to Westside Humidor in Wichita Kansas

La Flor Dominicana Mr. Blonde
(Photo Credit: Westside Humidor)
As a part of Westside Humidor's 5th Anniversary celebration, La Flor Dominicana will provide a limited edition shop exclusive to the Wichita-based retailer.  Plans are for the La Flor Dominicana Mr. Blonde to launch at the retailer's 5th anniversary celebration on November 1st.

Details of the Mr. Blonde have not been disclosed, but in an email to Cigar Coop from Westside Humidor General Manager Gorden Crippen, he described some background on this cigar, "Mr. Blonde is our version of the up-and-coming event cigar for La Flor Dominicana.  it is a beautiful cigar, complex with a burn that starts mild and becomes full as it progresses.  Tony Gomez (son of La Flor Dominicana founder Litto Gomez) has been to the shop a few times, and we always have a blast with him when he's here, even when we have to pull him away from the football game on TV (HAHAHAHAHA).  But in all seriousness, when we started talking to our rep about doing some thing special, and his first call was to Tony, it was just a matter of minutes before he said he had something awesome for us to use.  this is an exciting cigar, and the first of time anyone has seen this available in the U.S.".

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cigar News: 262 Paradigm Mr. Pink Lonsdale Heading to Westside Humidor in Wichita Kansas (Cigar Preview)

262 Paradigm Mr Pink
Photo Credit: Westside Humidor
As a part of Westside Humidor's 5th Anniversary celebration, 262 Cigars will be provide 6 1/2 x 42 lonsdale size of its 262 Paradigm blend.  The 262 Paradigm Mr. Pink will be a limited edition shop exclusive to the Wichita-based retailer.  The Mr. Pink will launch at the retailer's 5th anniversary celebration on November 1st.

Mr. Pink becomes the eighth frontmark to be made in the Paradigm line.  Paradigm was the first line released by 262 Cigars and the first shop exclusive to be in the Paradigm line. Last year, 262 released the 262 Revere Lonsdale as a shop exclusive to J. Shepherd in Louisville, Kentucky.

The packaging will be unique for the 262 Paradigm Mr. Pink as it will contain the 262 logo in pink font on a white painted box.  Normally the 262 Paradigm features a black colored logo.

The 262 Mr. Pink will have a suggested retail price of $9.55

Cigar Review: Tatuaje Drac (Part of the Pudgy Monsters Series)

Tatuaje Drac - Part of the Pudgy Monsters Series
The Tatuaje Drac is a part of Tatuaje's Pudgy Monsters Series that was released in mid 2014.  For the past few weeks we have been looking at the various cigars that are a part of this sampler.  Pudgy Monsters is the second sampler series based on Tatuaje's Monsters Series - a line released on an annual basis that pays homage to a different monster / horror movie character. In 2012, the Tatuaje Little Monsters would be the first sampler series released - providing smaller and thinner versions of the original Monster Series releases. While there are two all new blends in the new Pudgy Monsters Series with the Tatuaje Chuck and Tatuaje Tiff; the remainder of the set provides another set of smaller monsters.  With these other Pudgy Monster cigars, for the most part they will have the same ring gauge as the original Monsters and same length as the Little Monsters. Today, we take a look at the Tatuaje Drac - which is a shorter version of the 2009's Tatuaje - The Drac and a thicker version of the Little Monsters' Tatuaje Lil' Drac.  I recently had an opportunity to smoke this cigar.  The Pudgy Monsters sampler has scored very nicely on Cigar Coop, and the Pudgy Monsters Drac is no exception.