We’ve come to the fourth and final day of IPCPR. It’s a short day, with the floor only open from 9-1. Most business has been done before Thursday, and the show is pretty dead. There aren’t many retailers, and many of the manufacturers don’t have a lot going on. On top of that (or maybe because of it?), the many parties that went well into the morning have most people dragging today. I hear numerous stories of people staying up until 5 and waking up at 7. Thursday, for most, is the least productive day of the show.
Given that most people didn’t have as much going on, I was more able to get time with brands that had been packed all week. Let’s go to the highlight reel!
Omar from Fratello Cigars did a video for us where, among other things, he told us what he’d been hoping someone would ask him during the show that nobody did. Fratello released a few additions to their lineup. One will have Fratello fans excited and the other is newer territory for the brand. If you enjoyed the Bianco line, you might be interested in the new Bianco Boxer.
In addition to the Bianco Boxer, Fratello added the Oro to fit the mild-to-medium category. It’s a lighter cigar than they’ve done in the past.
Perdomo Cigars has an interesting strategy to deal with the FDA: they’re re-releasing many of their pre-2007 cigars. As you are likely aware, the FDA regulations state that cigars that existed prior to 2007 aren’t subject to the same level of scrutiny. Perdomo has many cigars that predate 2007 but have been discontinued since then. Now they’re coming back. You may remember the cigars below and many other discontinued Perdomo sticks on the shelves of a retailer near you.
Perdomo also had a beautiful, branded drum set in their booth. Every day when the show closed at 5, the sound of those drums being played could be heard across the show floor.
La Flor Dominicana
The folks at La Flor Dominicana are no strangers to making attractive cigars. This year they kicked it up a notch. One of the most popular pictures to take at the show was of the new Salomon Unico. These are made by one roller who has artistic license to make all kinds of beautiful cigars. No two boxes will have the same cigars with the same designs.
They also introduced the limited-production Andalusian Bull. Many people were saying good things about this cigar on the show floor, so I’m excited for us to review it here on CigarNoise. They described the cigar as being unique and different from their other cigar lines.
LFD also released a petite version of their La Nox.
Tatuaje Cigars saw a lot of traffic at the show, with both new releases to see and the booth’s own wine bar. When things were winding down, I was lucky enough to get a few minutes of Pete’s time for a CigarNoise video.
Each year near Halloween, Tatuaje releases a new addition to their Monster line. This year the Krueger will join the monster mash.
In other Monster-related news, they introduced individual boxes of Skinny Monsters. If you have a favorite in the Skinny series, you’ll soon be able to buy just that cigar.
Tatuaje also featured a new branded melamine ashtray with pull-out storage underneath.
It’s safe to say that the most-anticipated accessory of the show was Xikar’s new XO cutter. They’ve spent 3 years working on getting the engineering just right, and we got a video with their VP of Engineering showing us how the cutter works. You can watch the gears turn inside, just like with some pocket watches. The action is smoother and easier than I anticipated.
Foundation Cigar Co. Interview
Nick Melillo was kind enough to fit a video for us into his very hectic day – his booth was full almost all the time. When I asked him if he wanted to shoot a video for CigarNoise, he said, “Let’s make some noise!” That was a pretty cool highlight.
There were several booths that were full during most of the show. Most of them were the big companies you’d expect: Drew Estate, Fuente, Perdomo, those guys. There were also a number of smaller booths that were consistently full. Cornelius & Anthony, Caldwell, and Foundation Cigar Co. were packed almost all the time.
Other smaller manufacturers didn’t see many retailers. Overall, the number of retailers in attendance increased about 15% from last year. That number, by the way, is based on the number of retailers in attendance, not the number of people. Four people from the same shop count as one retailer.
There were plenty areas of the floor that were just dead. On an editorial note, it would be nice to see even more retailers next year, with more incentive to stay throughout the show and learn about some of the newer or smaller cigar brands. On CigarNoise, we really do like many up-and-comers. Making sure they get a good shot is important.
There were a whole lot of people who did awesome things for me and for CigarNoise the week of IPCPR. In no particular order, I’d like to call them out so they can get their props: everyone who shot videos with us. All the manufacturers who took time to explain what they had coming out. Everyone who gave us samples to review. Joe from Cigars for Warriors for making several connections, giving me good ideas, a whole lot of Starbucks, and spending a bunch of time together. Mo from the Sultans of Smoke / Casa de Puros who helped make connections and hooked me up with breakfast the first day. Andrew from Small Batch Cigar for good ideas, good friendship, and several very good cigars. The list goes on – this industry is full of very generous and kind people. That was clear before the show, and it became even more apparent as the week went on.
I’m glad to have had the opportunity to cover IPCPR for CigarNoise. In the near future, you should see more Meet & Greets from manufacturers I made new relationships with. You’ll also see reviews of cigars we were given at the show, including many of the new releases. I also hope to have been successful at strengthening existing CigarNoise relationships with folks in the industry who have been with us for a while. We have a great community of both enthusiasts and industry folks on CigarNoise, and I’m proud to be part of it.