I feel very lucky to attend this year’s IPCPR trade show for CigarNoise.com. The show brings together manufacturers and retailers to discuss and sell new products, and it’s a good relationship-builder too. There is a staggering amount of cigar knowledge in one place. The attendee list reads like a who’s who of the cigar industry and I want to share as much as I can with all of you this week. There’s no way to fully describe the show, the booths, and the cigars. But come along with me to see a glimpse of what’s going on at this year’s IPCPR!
There’s a lot going on at IPCPR and things are moving fast, so I’ll be posting a Day 1, Part 2 with what I wasn’t able to fit into this one.
I started the morning by visiting SAGA Cigars, a relatively new brand from a family that has been in the cigar & tobacco business for six generations, the Reyes family. SAGA announced a couple of new lines. The first is Don Julio, which they bill as being sweet & mellow. I found the packaging of this cigar interesting – they filled the box with the same tobacco used to make the cigar. They called out that the tobacco can age right along with the cigars and help that process, which I found fascinating.
They also released Short Tales, which is a short cigar that comes in book-like packaging. It’s particularly cool that their book has the story of the cigar in it. As a book-lover, this concept appealed to me.
I have samples of the Golden Age, the Blend No. 7, and the Short Tales for upcoming CigarNoise reviews.
Cuban Stock Cigars
The FDA regulations have been the talk of the town. The folks at Cuban Stock Cigars told me that almost all of their cigars are pre-2007 and they expect them to be grandfathered. They said they felt that they could demonstrate ‘substantial equivalence’ for their new cigars. The new cigar they debuted in the Chubbys line, the Elegidos, is a medium smoke. The ‘medium’ spot was previously vacant in the Chubby’s lineup.
Even though it’s part of the Chubby’s line, note that it’s packaged and branded a bit differently – they’re going blue instead of red for this one. I’ve seen quite a bit of repackaging and slight rebranding at the show so far. And several manufacturers have said that their new cigar fills a missing spot in the mild-medium-full spectrum for their lineups.
Carson gave us an awesome pitch on IPCPR TV. We’ve seen a lot of Carson on CigarNoise, and have reviewed many of his cigars with very high ratings. We talked about how stoked we were that his cigars are being released. I smoked my first Serino cigar at IPCPR, the Serino Royale Medio, and enjoyed it. Serino announced recently that they’ll be carried by Two Guys Smoke Shop, which should give some good distribution.
You can also read our Community Spotlight interview with Serino Cigar Co here.
Peter James Leather Co.
IPCPR isn’t just about tobacco, it’s also about accessories. If you’re looking for a high-end leather travel case, Peter James Leather was displaying some beautiful ones.
The case has places for all of your accessories and five cigars. They told me that almost any cigar fits into the cigar pocket, even the Texas Lancero.
Custom Ash was showing a variety of metal ashtrays and cigar rests. They’ll engrave anything you’d like onto their products. Their latest release was a cigar rest where the top unscrews to reveal a cigar punch. You can see that in the lower left corner of the picture below. That struck me as pretty neat. All you need is your cigar rest and a lighter, and you’re ready to smoke.
The folks at Epic Cigars have come out with a few new cigars, including the Project E San Andres that features a tobacco leaf with the Epic Cigars E cut into it as the band.
They’re doing another Limited Edition with the Maduro Fuerte, pictured below.
They also released La Rubia – I have one of these for an upcoming CigarNoise review. The folks at Epic Cigars were very nice people – they may be up for joining us in the Virtual Lounge, so keep an eye out for that!
We know and love Cornelius & Anthony Cigars on CigarNoise, and they shared that love right back. The folks in the booth were happy to see someone from CigarNoise, and that was a highlight of my day. I’ll be talking to them more today, but for now check out their pitch video on IPCPR TV.
You can also read our Community Spotlight interview with Cornelius & Anthony here.
Check out this pitch with Tony Bellatto from La Barba. They’re doing a very limited release called One and Only that Tony shows in the video.
Crossfire doesn’t do online sales, only B&Ms. They came out with a new Library Series, released in a book-like box. That’s the second of the book-boxes I’ve seen at the show so far.
Crossfire gave us some samples to review, so expect to see reviews of their cigars on CigarNoise in the future.
Sentinel Cigars donates all of its profits to charities for wounded veterans. They’re a cigar with a cause, and the long line of retailers at their booth showed that their mission resonated with people. Michael from Sentinel took time to talk through what Sentinel Cigars does in this IPCPR TV video. If you want to see the impact of what they’re doing, check out this IPCPR TV video with Matt. Matt is a wounded veteran who got a service dog from one of the organizations that Sentinel Cigars supports. He speaks to the mission eloquently.
I was struck by the mission from the folks at Sentinel Cigars. So many people in the cigar industry have passion, and many have missions. These guys combined both. They gave us a couple samples to review, so expect to see more about those in the future.
More to come!
This wasn’t everything from the first day; there’s more to come. Unfortunately, Day 2 is going to start soon! I’ll come back with more recaps and information for all of you at CigarNoise. If there’s anything you’d like to see this week, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org