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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.

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.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Cigar News: Saka Comments on Swisher International's Acquisition of Drew Estate Tobacco

Steve Saka (Cigar Coop Photo)
Former Drew Estate CEO and President Steve Saka took to his Facebook page this evening to address his thoughts on Swisher's acquisition of Drew Estate Tobacco company.

Saka, who retired from Drew Estate 15 months ago did say his departure did not have anything to do with a pending deal and there were no such discussions taking place with Swisher during his tenure.  Saka addressed some of the business reasons the timing was right for a sale, why Swisher International can be an ideal partner for Drew Estate, whether the products and the company will change, and finally he commented on the initial denial of the sale by Chairman Jonathan Drew.

Feature Story: A Closer Look at Swisher International

While Swisher International is the largest manufacturer of cigars worldwide, they are a company that the online cigar media has not focused on. This is because much of the cigar media focuses around handmade premium cigars. In light of the acquisition of Drew Estate Tobacco Company by Swisher International, we take a closer look at who Swisher International is, and examine what actually is a rich history by this 150+ year old company.

First up, in terms of products it makes, Swisher's  focus has been around machine made / mass market cigars - playing heavily in the flavored cigar market.  The company does have roots in premium handmade cigar manufacturing.  For a while the company had a bit of hiatus from this area of the business.  Last year, this changed when it was announced that Royal Gold Cigars was being launched as a subsidiary under Swisher.  In addition to cigar making, the company also produces cigarillos, pipe tobacco, smokeless tobacco, and e-cigarettes.

Cigar News: Swisher International Announces Plans to Acquire Drew Estate Tobacco

Swisher International and Drew Estate Tobacco Company have announced they have entered into an agreement in which Swisher International will acquire Drew Estate Tobacco company.  The announcement was made via a press release and confirms what has been weeks of speculation that such a transaction would occur.  According to the press release, the transaction will close sometime during the fourth quarter of 2014.  Drew Estate will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary with its current management team in place.

Cigar Review: Espada by Montecristo Guard (Altadis USA)

Espada by Montecristo Guard
The Espada by Montecristo is the latest line to be introduced to Altadis USA's Montecristo brand. Over the past three years, Altadis USA has working on making their existing lines more contemporary in terms of their packaging and / or blends.  With the Espada, this is a a definite change of pace for the Montecristo brand.  Not only is this the first Nicaraguan puro to carry the Montecristo name, but this is a Montecristo that is being produced in Nicaragua.  The Espada made its debut just before the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show and was also showcased at the show.  I have recently have had the opportunity to smoke the Espada in the Guard vitola.  I've been very impressed with what Altadis USA ha done with the Montecristo brand over the past few years.  While this might be a very different Montecristo in terms of origin and blend, this continues the excellence that has been delivered from this blend.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

CIgar Review: Blessed Leaf Kairos

Blessed Leaf Kairos
The Blessed Leaf Kairos is a cigar that was made for the cigar-themed Christian Minstry Blessed Leaf.  Blessed Leaf was founded by Ezra Zion Cigar Company co-owners Kyle Hoover and Chris Kelly.  As such, it is a cigar that comes to Blessed Leaf from Ezra Zion and produced at Ezra Zion's manufacturing partner, the Casa Fernandez Miami factory.  Kairos is one of what could be considered three shop exclusives spearheaded by Ezra Zion in 2014 - joining The Collective (a cigar for Cigar Federation) and SP3 (for Lone Star State Cigar Company).  Recently, I've had an opportunity to smoke the Kairos.  The track record of work between Ezra Zion and Casa Fernandez has proven to be excellent - and once again, the combination comes through with another solid cigar.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Cigar Industry Report: Volume 3, Number 47 (10/18/14)

The Cigar Industry Report is a one stop place to catch up on the activity here at Cigar Coop and Stogie Geeks. It is a combination of our news reports, cigar reviews, and assessment updates we do throughout the week.  We will also recap what happened on our Stogie Geeks show.  Finally, each week we will look back at Cigar Coop history. Look for this report every Saturday morning at 8am Eastern time.