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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cigar Review: Regius of London Claro Especial Exclusivo U.S.A Pressed Perfecto

Regius of London Claro Especial Exclusivo U.S.A -
Pressed Perfecto
The Regius of London Claro Especial Exclusivo U.S.A. line is the latest line by Regius Cigars that will be exclusively available in the United States.  Regius Cigars is a company based in the United Kingdom and is owned by Akhil Kapacee. A little over two years ago, the company expanded into the United States market. Continuing his expansion strategy Kapacee has now introduced two lines of cigars targeted specifically for the American consumers. The first line, the Regius Exclusivo U.S.A. (sometimes called "Red Label") was launched earlier this year.  This has now been followed up by the Regius Claro Especial Exclusivo U.S.A. - featuring a different blend from "Red Label". Today we take a look at this cigar in the Pressed Perfecto format. I have found Regius' portfolio to be some of the most impressive cigars to hit the American market in recent years. The Regius Claro Especial Exclusivo U.S.A. does not disappoint as this is another home run for Kapacee and his company.

Cigar News: Black Label Trading Company Deliverance (Cigar Preview)

Deliverance is set to become the eighth blend for Texas-based manufacturer Black Label Trading Company.  The cigar features a Mexican San Andrés Natural wrapper as well as a quadruple cap. Consistent with the rest of Black Label Trading Company's portfolio, the Deliverance will be a limited production, small batch cigar.

 “We are always experimenting with new styles of cigars. Our goal for all of our limited releases is to bring something totally different to our line up. The flavor profile and construction of Deliverance is unlike any of our other cigars and the label, well that speaks for itself! What I love about this cigar is that it’s gritty, raw and elegant all at the same time. The flavor profile is very diverse starting off extremely bold - combining earth, leather and cedar. As the cigar progresses you will notice a richness of cinnamon and cloves with a lingering salty sweetness.” Said James Brown.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Feature Story: Analyzing General Cigar Company's Acquisition of Leccia Tobacco (Editorial)

For the second week in a row General Cigar Company made headlines with a brand acquisition.  Last week the announcement of General Cigar Company's acquisition of the Toraño Family Cigars sent shockwaves into the cigar industry.  Earlier today it was announced that General Cigar would be acquiring the brands of Leccia Tobacco, the company headed by Sam Leccia.  While both acquisitions were strategic to General Cigar, they were made for very different reasons.  In the case of the acquisition of Leccia Tobacco, this has all of the makings of a "win win" for both General and Sam Leccia.

Cigar News: General Cigar Acquires Leccia Tobacco Brands; Sam Leccia Joins General

General Cigar has announced their second acquisition in less than week.  Today it was announced that General has acquired the brands of Leccia Tobacco.  As a part of the deal, Leccia Tobacco founder and owner Sam Leccia will join General Cigar as a "Cigar Blend and Tobacco Specialist".  The acquisition and announcement is effective immediately.

In the announcement, General Cigar will market and  distribute Leccia Tobacco's three  lines: Leccia Black, Leccia White, and Luchador. The Leccia lines are being added to the Foundry Tobacco Company brand - a subsidiary of General Cigar that was launched in 2012. Leccia told Cigar Aficionado there is a real possibility the cigars would be branded without the Leccia name.

Cigar News: Sensei's Sensational Sarsaparilla by Espinosa Cigars Announced for Cigar Dojo (Cigar Preview)

Sensei's Sensational Sarsaparilla
 by Espinosa Cigars - Packaging
Cigar Dojo has announced their latest collaborative project with a cigar manufacturer.  Details were announced today on Sensei's Sensational Sarsaparilla.  This is a project being done in conjunction with Espinosa Cigars.  The project will be a limited production release and is being targeted for release this November.

Eric Guttormson, aka "Master Sensei", owner of Cigar Dojo was a guest on Episode 109 of Stogie Geeks and mentioned the project with Espinosa Cigars was forthcoming.

Guttormson collaborated with Espinosa Cigars to create a cigar to pay homage to Sarsaparilla. Sarsaparilla was a very popular beverage in the old west and was often believed to be a remedy of a number of health conditions. Sarsaparilla is a drink that is still popular today because of its distinct and complex flavor. Guttormson sought to create a to pay homage to the complex flavor of this beverage.

Cigar Review: El Rey de los Habanos by Don Pepin Garcia (2014 Edition for The Pipe and Pint) Toro

El Rey de los Habanos - 2014 release for The Pipe and Pint
Late last month, we reported the details behind the return that Don Pepin Garcia's El Rey de los Habanos was making to the marketplace.  With its return, the brand will be exclusively sold and distributed by The Pipe and Pint in Greensboro, North Carolina.  El Rey de los Habanos was originally released in 2005 and was the first national release by Don Pepin Garcia.  About three years ago, the line had been discontinued.  The new El Rey de los Habanos features a new blend and is being launched in five sizes.  Recently I've had an opportunity to sample the new El Rey de los Habanos.  Overall, I found this to not only be an outstanding cigar, but one that really keeps to the character and essence of the original El Rey de los Habanos.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cigar Pre-Review: Rocky Patel Prohibition San Andres

Rocky Patel Prohibition San Andres (Pre-Release)
At the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show, Rocky Patel Premium Cigars launched four new cigar lines.  One of those lines is called the Rocky Patel Prohibition. For the past few years, company President Rocky Patel has invested many time and resources in the crusade to defend cigar rights. The name of this cigar is a reference to the real threat of regulation now staring the cigar industry in the face. The Prohibition line consists of two distinct blends - one containing a Connecticut Broadleaf and another containing a San Andres Mexican. Today we take a look at a pre-release of the Rocky Patel Prohibition San Andres. Overall I found this cigar to be a real surprise when it came to the San Andres wrapper as it delivered a very good cigar experience.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cigar Pre-Review: Illusione ~eccj~ 20th

Illusione ~eccj~ 20th
Back in 2008, Illusione Cigars launched a limited edition cigar to commemorate European Cigar Cult Journal's 15th anniversary called (appropriately) the Illusione ~eccj~.  The cigar quickly became one of the most sought after limited edition cigars released by Illusione.  Following the release of the ~eccj~, the company would launch its Illusione Epernay line in 2009.  This would also develop into one of brand owner Dion Giolito's most popular lines expanding to ten vitolas.  This year, Giolito has decided to bring back the ~eccj~ to coincide with 20th anniversary of Cigar Journal (the new name for European Cigar Cult Journal).  The Illusione ~eccj~ 20th introduces a new size of the ~eccj~, but with a new size and a tweaked blend.  Recently I've had an opportunity to smoke the ~eccj~ 20th.  While I've not an an opportunity to smoke the original 15th, I can say the ~eccj~ 20th is an outstanding cigar and one to keep an eye on.