Already a favorite of Inthehumidor.com, as Crowned Heads La Careme ranked in our Top 25 Cigars of 2018. Crowned Heads has produced what hopes to be the best version to date with this Limited Edition!
Under the heading, “back by popular demand,” Crowned Heads has announced the return of the sought-after Le Careme Belicosos Finos in the form of a 2019 Limited Edition.
In February 2018, Le Careme Belicosos Fines LE 2018 was introduced and immediately became a cigar enthusiast favorite. High ratings and industry accolades ensued, culminating in Halfwhee/’s ‘Cigar of the Year 2018’ Runner-up award in January 2019. Unlike the regular production Le Careme brand which is trunk-pressed, the 51/2″ x 52 Belicoso Fino LE 2019 retains the same round format as it’s 2018 predecessor.
“When we released the 2018 LE, we knew we had something special,” commented Crowned Heads co-founder, Jon Huber, “but we really had no idea that the Le Careme Belicoso Fino would go on to do what it did. We actually had made the decision to produce the LE 2019 in September of last year, well before the annual ‘awards season’ came into play. We also made the decision early on to increase the total production for 2019.”
The blend is comprised of an Ecuadorian (Sumatra) binder, Nicaraguan filler tobaccos, and is finished with a Grade A Dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Production is limited to 2,500 (12-count) boxes, i.e., a total production of 30,000 cigars. The suggested retail price for the Le Careme Belicosos Fines LE 2019 remains the same as last year with an MSRP of $10 per cigar, and $120 per box.
Le Careme Belicosos Finos LE 2019 is manufactured at Tabacalera La Alianza, S.A., Santiago, Dominican Republic, under the supervision of premium cigar industry icon, Ernesto Perez Carrillo.
Altadis U.S.A.,maker ofworld-renowned premium cigars, is reinventing a timeless product – to offer the Montecristo Classic as a Mini Cigarillo in a convenient and stylish tin carrying case.
Montecristo is a brand known the world over and has garnered countless accolades. While the saying “never mess with perfection” seems apt, what if that perfect cigar could be reimagined and offered in a compact form? Imagine being able to enjoy that award-winning cigar during a 10-minute coffee break,
Imagine no more. The Montecristo Classic Mini Cigarillo is here and boasts the same Connecticut shade wrapper and premium Dominican fillers that made the original a pinnacle cigar brand.
As Altadis U.S.A.’s senior brand manager Eddy Guerra explains, “The idea for a Montecristo Mini Cigarillo comes from our desire for a quality cigar experience even when time is short. I really look forward to enjoying this product when sipping my Café Con Leche coffee after my lunch break, for example. Just because you don’t have a lot of time, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a beautiful cigar experience.
Introducing our inaugural release from Seriously Small Batch, Ground ‘N’ Pound. This solid medium bodied smoke was hand crafted by legendary Nicaraguan manufacturer Aganorsa Leaf. Using aged Nicaraguan tobaccos, this cigar transitions from smooth to sweet with a little spice in every pu. We take the name small batch very seriously, pun intended. Due to the rarity of the tobaccos, we have made less then 300 packs of each size. Once they are gone, you will never see them again. Its time to experience the earth shattering avor of the Ground ‘N’ Pound from Seriously Small Batch.
(Miami, Fla.) – Crux Cigars has announced the first of their Short Salomone Series, the Epicure Short Salomone, will be landing this week at their retail partners.
Each cigar within the Short Salomone Series be produced in limited quantities, and debuted in short run fashion. The initial production will be 10-count boxes of 500 or less. The Short Salomone is a 6 x 54 vitola.
“The Short Salomone Series is really a showcase of craftsmanship, due to the difficulty this vitola presents. Only the best rollers can execute this shape,” shared Crux Cigars President Jeff Haugen.
Additionally, for the first time, the initial shipment of the Epicure Short Salomone will include the Privada Cigar Club, a monthly membership subscription service.
The Epicure blend is highly rated and a top selling cigar in the Crux Cigar portfolio. It features an elegant Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper and small farm Nicaraguan Condega filler. A sophisticated creamy experience awaits with refined notes of white chocolate and creme brulée, with a kick of pepper and cinnamon in the retrohale. This favor profile is enhanced in the Short Salomone size.
The Series will include two additional blends, the Guild, and Limitada in the coming months.
The cigars are rolled by a single pair at the La Catedral de Tabaco factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.
(Miami, Fla.) – Crux Cigars will begin shipping the much anticipated Limitada Redline this week to their retail partners across the country.
Announced at the 2018 IPCPR Trade Show, the Redline is the first line extension of the popular Limitada line from Crux Cigars since the introduction of the Limitada IPCPR in 2016. The Redline is a 6 x 50 Toro finished with a Cuban box press.
As with the previously released Limitada PB5 and the Limitada IPCPR, the Redline is produced once per year as a limited edition of 1,000 10-count boxes. It features the proprietary Nicaraguan Engañoso wrapper.
Diesel is rolling out Hair of the Dog, a limited-edition release that’s hitting retail this month.
Developed by AJ Fernandez with Justin Andrews and handcrafted at Tabacalera AJ Fernandez in Esteli, Nicaragua, Diesel Hair of the Dog is a medium-to-full-bodied smoke with earthy flavor, notes of pepper and a heady aroma. The blend is made entirely of Nicaraguan Habano, which is balanced by an Ecuadoran Habano wrapper and an Ecuadoran Sumatra binder.
Senior Brand Manager Justin Andrews said, “Diesel Hair of the Dog was blended to have just the right amount of kick. It’s not an overly powerful cigar, yet it really delivers on the flavor. For the cigar lover who’s looking for the hair of a dog after a night of over-indulgence, or for anyone who seeks the complexity of Nicaraguan tobacco, Hair of the Dog is definitely going to do the trick.”
Diesel Hair of the Dog is available in one size, a box-pressed Toro (6” x 54). The SRP per cigar is $10.00 and the cigars are packed rustic wooden boxes, each containing 10 cigars. Just 5,000 boxes have been produced.
Hair of the Dog complements Diesel Whiskey Row, a top-selling cigar launched last year in partnership with Louisville, KY-based Rabbit Hole Bourbon.
Handcrafted by artisans in Esteli, Nicaragua, Diesel cigars are “bold by design.” The brand challenges the current conventions of the handmade cigar category through the bold, unapologetic style of its Cigar Master, AJ Fernandez. Diesel cigars are unified by their deeply complex flavor which is achieved through AJ’s steadfast adherence to time honored cigar making techniques and his insistence on using the highest quality tobacco. The Diesel portfolio includes Whiskey Row which launched in 2018 and Diesel Grind which debuted in 2017. For more information, visit www.dieselcigar.com.
J.C. Newman Cigar Company will release its first Tobacconist Association of America (TAA) exclusive brand, Brick House Ciento por Ciento.
Brick House Ciento por Ciento offered as TAA exclusive
Handcrafted in J.C. Newman’s Nicaraguan factory, Puros de Estelí Nicaragua, S.A. (J.C. Newman PENSA), Ciento por Ciento only uses tobaccos grown in the rich, volcanic soils of Nicaragua. It is the first Nicaraguan puro blend in the Brick House line, hence the name, which means 100% in Spanish. The wrapper is a Habana-seed, corojo leaf grown in the Jalapa Valley which encloses binder and filler from three of Nicaragua’s mountainous regions.
Production has been limited to 500 boxes and is only available for purchase by TAA members. The cigars will only be available for purchase at the 2019 conference and will ship by the end of May.
Brand: Brick House Ciento por Ciento
Size: 6 1/4 X 54
Box Count: 25
About J.C. Newman Cigar Co.
Founded in 1895 by Julius Caeser Newman, J.C. Newman Cigar Company is the oldest family-owned premium cigar maker in America. J.C. Newman rolls its El Reloj, Factory Throwouts, and Trader Jacks cigars by hand-operated, vintage cigar machines at its historic cigar factory in Tampa, Florida. It also hand rolls its Brick House, Perla del Mar, El Baton, and Quorum cigars at the J.C. Newman PENSA cigar factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. J.C. Newman’s Diamond Crown, MAXIMUS, Julius Caeser, and Black Diamond cigars are handmade by Tabacalera A. Fuente in the Dominican Republic. With its longtime partners the Fuente family, the Newmans founded the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation, which supports low-income families in the Dominican Republic with education, health care, vocational training, and clean water.
CROWNED HEADS ANNOUNCES ‘SANCTUARY’ EXCLUSIVE FOR SMOKERS ABBEY
On April 1, Smokers Abbey, a Nashville-based retail tobacconist, will debut a new Limited Edition cigar, “Sanctuary,” created exclusively for the boutique-centric retailer by Crowned Heads.
Produced at Tabacalera La Alianza, S.A., the factory behind Cigar Aficionado’s ‘Cigar of the Year 2018’ (EPC Encore Majestic), ‘Sanctuary’ is a 5 1/2″ x 52 trunk-pressed Genios vitola that features an Ecuadorian (Sumatra) wrapper and all-Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. Total production of ‘Sanctuary’ is limited to 333 12-count boxes. “We’ve been amazed to witness the rapid rise of The Abbey since they began from square one five plus years ago,” commented Crowned Heads co-owner/founder, Jon Huber. “We’ve always had a mutually supportive local relationship and it’s really been a labor of love to create a shop exclusive for them. ‘Sanctuary’ have been aged for over fourteen months, and they are truly a special smoke for a special tobacconist.”
‘Sanctuary’ single cigars will be available for $11.99 and boxes will be priced at $129.99 (including shipping). Box reservations are currently being accepted by contacting Smokers Abbey at (615) 678-8458, via email at [email protected], or online at SmokersAbbey.com.
Founded in 2013 by Joshua Stump, Smokers Abbey is located in the heart of East Nashville. The Abbey was born from Josh’s passion for cigars and his desire to build community and fellowship amongst people. The Abbey has successfully carved a national reputation as a go to source for some of the most sought-after and hard-to-find boutique cigars on the market, as well as a place where all are welcome to come “Find Rest for Your Soul.”
(Miami, Florida) March 14, 2019—With much excitement, Villiger Cigars will introduce a European favorite, the Villiger La Meridiana to the U.S. consumer. Recently obtaining a 92 rating by Cigar Journal, the Villiger Meridiana was released in 1998 and has gained a loyal following, among full-flavored cigar enthusiasts in Europe. The Villiger Meridiana was conceived by Heinrich Villiger, as a way to pay tribute to some long lost Cuban cigar heritage.
The Villiger La Meridiana bases its historical roots, in a long forgotten Cuban factory named “La Meridiana”. The factory owned by Pedro Murias, was once of the largest and most well-known cigar factories, which determined the cityscape of Havana at the end of the 19th century. Sadly, Murias was forced to sell La Meridiana factory due to unrest in Cuba during the Cuban war of Independence. The sale went through shortly after the war ended in 1898, and just like that, Pedro Murias along with the original La Meridiana cigar factory became a fading memory.
The resurrection of “La Meridiana” came from Heinrich Villiger’s love of everything Cuban. During his many trips to Cuba he discovered the name and rich history of the Meridiana factory, and thought to create a full-flavored cigar, beautiful and elegant enough to carry on the La Meridiana name in honor of Pedro Murias.
The Villiger La Meridiana is a Nicaraguan full-flavored puro. This blend features complex flavors without overpowering the palate of the smoker. The uniquely distinct hue of the wrapper and flavor are born out of a special aging process of the tobacco which takes approximately four years.
The Villiger La Meridiana is elegantly packaged in 10 count boxes and is expressed in 5 vitolas:
Corona (5.5 x 42)………….MSRP: $6.50
Robusto (5×50) ………… MSRP: $7.50
Torpedo (6×52)……………MSRP: $8.00
Churchill (6 7/8 x48)………MSRP: $8.50
Toro Box Pressed (6×54) .MSRP $10.60
Rene Castañeda, President of Villiger North America said,” We feel that it is the perfect time to launch the Villiger La Meridiana to the US consumer. The Villiger La Meridiana is an exceptionally elegant and flavorful cigar that I am confident will satisfy the cigar connoisseur. We look to begin shipping to retailers in March of this year.”
Wednesday, March 13, 2019 — Miami, FL- Drew Estate announces today the return of the Herrera Esteli Habano Edicion Limitada Lancero exclusively for Drew Diplomat retailers and will begin shipping immediately. This cigar will be displayed to Drew Diplomat retailers attending the TAA Trade show held March 17-21st in Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic.
Originally released in 2014, the Herrera Esteli Habano Edicion Limitada Lancero is wrapped in a spicy Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, with Honduran binder and complex Nicaraguan fillers. Due to the skill required in rolling the 7×38 lancero vitola, there are only 4 pairs of rollers at La Gran Fabrica allowed to produce this cigar.
From La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Master Blender Willy Herrera adds, “The lancero is a notoriously difficult vitola to master both from a blending and rolling perspective. The same rollers who make the L40 are assigned to this special blend since they’re the best of the best. We took our time here at the factory when we decided to re-release this cigar so that every aspect from flavor to construction is perfection.”
The Herrera Esteli Habano Edicion Limitada Lancero is available only at Drew Diplomat Retailers in 15 count boxes with an MSRP of $186.96.
Friday, March 8, 2019 — Miami, FL- Drew Estate announces the launch of its 2019 Barn Smoker Program, with ticket sales for the Florida and Pennsylvania events currently available on www.barnsmoker.com. Tickets for the Kentucky, Connecticut and Louisiana events will go on sale later this year. Drew Estate Barn Smoker highlights the American Tobacco Experience, bringing the cigar enthusiast to the field and farm level by teaching them the full gamut of growing, processing, and manufacture of premium cigars.
2019 is a transformational year for the program, creating a festival atmosphere that celebrates attendees love of the leaf and of the Drew Estate Culture. Envisioned and inspired by Jonathan Drew to bring people, brands, and local business to American Tobacco Farms, these events also serve to raise awareness for Cigars for Warriors, a 501(c)(3) charity whose sole focus is to support the American military.
This year, Drew Estate introduces for the first time a VIP package. Only a limited number of VIP packages will be available, so attendees will need to move quickly to purchase them. VIP attendees will be a guest at an intimate dinner the evening before or after the Barn Smoker, hosted by Jonathan Drew and the entire Drew Estate team, as well as receive 3 rare Drew Estate cigars. At the Barn Smoker event, VIP attendees will also be given a premium swag package, including a Barn Smoker torch lighter and cutter, a Barn Smoker rocks glass set and more.
From the Wynwood Safehouse, Jonathan Drew, President and Founder of Drew Estate notes, “The Barn Smoker Program is constantly evolving. From adding new locations, to transforming the event into a furious festival of brands, it’s going to be a sight to behold. We’re talking about a whole new level of Mega-ness. For those who join us at the VIP dinner the night before, you will get to enjoy rare smokes and an intimate night with Fabien, Willy, Pedro, Henry, Frankie Dranks and myself, plus a whole crew of amped-up Drewpees.”
The expansion of the program in 2019 creates an immersive dive deep into a variety of unique sensory activations focusing on additional brands, including Herrera Esteli, ACID, and more.
The Barn Smokers will be taking place on the following dates and locations:
Florida Barn Smoker in Clermont, FL on May 18th, 2019
Pennsylvania Barn Smoker in Strasburg, PA on July 20th, 2019
Connecticut Barn Smoker in South Windsor, CT on August 10th, 2019
Kentucky Barn Smoker in Hopkinsville, KY on October 5th, 2019
Louisiana Barn Smoker in Convent, LA on October 26th, 2019
Tickets for the Florida and Pennsylvania Barn Smoker events are on sale now.
February 20, 2018 — Black Label Trading Company is pleased to announce they are shipping vintage 2019 to select retailers this month. Bishops Blend is hand crafted in Esteli, Nicaragua at Fabrica Oveja Negra.
“I’m very excited about this release of Bishops Blend. We wanted to start the year off strong and release one of our most anticipated releases early. Bishops Blend boasts big bold flavors of anise, pepper, raisins and a sweet earthiness on the finish. It is very complex and extremely refined. As with the past vintages, the broadleaf fillers shine at the forefront and are perfectly balanced by the Nicaraguan filler tobaccos,” said James Brown, creator of Black Label Trading Co. and partner at Fabrica Oveja Negra.
Bishops Blend will be available in limited quantities at select retailers.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Maduro
Binder: Ecuador Habano
Filler: Nicaragua, Connecticut & PA Broadleaf
Corona Larga – 6.25 x 46 (20 count) MSRP $11.50
Robusto – 5 x 48 (20 count) MSRP $11.00
Black Label Trading Company is redefining the standards for cigar making. With a “less is more” philosophy, Black Label Trading Co. creates hand crafted premium cigars of the utmost quality in small batch, limited quantities.
BLTC cigars are available for purchase through Boutiques Unified.For more information contact [email protected]
As a native Texan, there is a phrase, like it or not, that will forever be embedded within my identity,
“Everything is bigger in Texas”.
There are staples within this state that purposely try to continue to uphold the tradition. Giant cowboys overlooking theme parks, or even the giant theme parks themselves. We have bigger cuts of meat that you can get for free if you eat it all, and cows that produce said meat with giant “Longhorns” unseen to many regions of the country. Our high school football stadiums look like colleges, and pro stadiums that have been likened to famous sci-fi lore. Needless to say, Texas has not shied away from the “bigger” connotation and most of us are damn proud of that.
However, in the cigar world that same theme is not always as widely accepted. Bigger does not always resonate with great popularity. Many cigar enthusiast’s, including myself, I tend to overlook or pass by some of the mega cigars that sit in humidors across the world. Large ring gauges and long lengths have a reputation of being solely made for aesthetic purposes. It’s simply that “look at me” affect. Whether it is construed as less quality tobacco or diminished flavor, bigger cigars just don’t get the same love most of the time.
I say, “don’t knock it till you try it”! Not long ago I was aimlessly wandering through the humidor at my favorite local cigar shop, shout out to Industrial Cigar Co., and one of the employees, who knows my palate very well, led me to this cleverly named smoke called the Pistoff Kristoff. Naturally with a name like that I assumed that it would be a much bolder smoke and I honestly hadn’t dipped into Kristoff’s catalogue in quite some time. Long story short I was very impressed.
That first introduction to the Pistoff was the (7 x 50) Churchill and I enjoyed it so much in fact, that it wound up making its way into our Top 25 Cigars of 2018! Probably the most impressive trait of this Pistoff Kristoff is the gradual change from start to finish. The namesake hits like a ton of bricks initially with bold spice and a hint of nuttiness to balance it out, as to not overwhelm the palate. Along the journey I picked up notes of toasted bread to compliment the aforementioned flavors. Then just as I began to wonder if that was all there was to it, the finish was so smooth with hints of sweet cream and toffee, acting like a very pleasant dessert to cap off a great smoke.
Already impressed with the Pistoff, here comes the true nature of me writhing this review. Announced late in the calendar year for 2018 was the introduction of the “Extremely Pistoff Kristoff” featured in a daunting (8.5 x 60) vitola. Again, my immediate impression was one of timid uncertainty. How could something already so good retain its quality in something that was visually equal to that of a novelty item you might see at an adult toy shop.
I found the answer rather quickly during a round of golf not to be forgotten. With a cigar of this size I will tell you now you absolutely cannot expect to enjoy it when pressed for time. So, I decided to pick the ultimate activity in which I could get the most out of this smoke. The morning was crisp, enough to delay tee times a half hour with a frost delay. By the time I got nice and loose and wet my lips with my second cup of coffee, I hit the first tee box ready to go. With a bit of a crowd in front and behind us, all antsy to get their rounds going, I decided to delay the cut and light till the second hole. A short par three was the task at hand, I grabbed my 52-degree wedge, my Colibri dual sided cutter and xikar lighter and made my approach to the tee box. With a perfect straight cut clip, I toasted the foot nicely while I waited on the rest of my family to hit their shots. My turn to tee off, the placement of my shot, hit thin and long past the green, was excused because my head was immersed in sweet flavorful tobacco.
My golf game is nothing to brag outlandishly about, but I will put a few good shots in here and there. However, the real winner in this day’s round was this Extremely Pistoff Kristoff. Hole after hole the cigar burned impeccably, with a nice ash that ranged from half inch to two-inch increments at a time. All the while my mind was blown by the fact that not once did I have to reach for my lighter. Whether setting down on the green to putt or placing it in my custom magnetic cigar holder attached to the cart, every single time I came pack for a puff it was still lit and burning like a champ. The turn has come and gone, and we approached the middle of the back nine, I am finally getting to that sweet toffee and cream that I remembered from the Churchill I had previously smoked. As we finished hole 11 the first signs of the end started to show. Still lit, the first little run began to emerge and a slight touch up was needed. With hole 12 now completed we approached the tee box on 13, and as I drew the cigar to my lips for another pull….bam! No smoke present and looked down to see just barely and inch of a brown nub placed between my fingers, that was it!
It was then that reality finally hit me, and I took the time to reflect on the magic that had just happened. Just over 3 hours and 10 straight holes of beautifully constructed mastery that never once had to be relit or even touched up until right at the end. Was this a one-time occurrence? Can I replicate this experience again? Only time will tell, but for at least this one moment, I no longer had the fear or uncertainty that I once associated with “Bigger” cigars.
The next time you walk into a humidor and see that one cigar that looks like it is more than you want to handle, don’t judge it so quickly, as it may just turn out to be a once in a lifetime experience. And if you find yourself with the inkling to give a big cigar a try, the Extremely Pistoff Kristoff is a great cigar to dive into for that experience.
If I was absolutely pressed with giving this cigar a rating, which most people are robotically tuned to require. I would rate this an easy 4.5 out of 5 stars in my own personal sense, but due to factors of being the right place and right time, and the length of smoke I will ease back and give it 4.25 of 5-star rating.
On November 20, 2012, Crowned Heads released what would become the first in a long line of Limited Edition releases, i.e., Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2012.
Mule Kick LE 2012 featured a higher priming Habano wrapper and a slightly altered blend to the OR Four Kicks brand. Only 5,000 cigars were produced; however, Mule Kick quickly garnered rave reviews and captured the attention of the premium cigar community. The OR Mule Kick blend would go on to be re-released in 2017. In 2018, Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2018 was released, utilizing the OR Mule Kick blend finished with a Connecticut (Habano) maduro wrapper.
Today, Crowned Heads announces Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2019. Mule Kick LE 2019 features the same binder/filler combination as the previous years releases, and features an Ecuadorian (Sumatra) wrapper. “Mule Kick is an LE that holds a special place in all our hearts,” commented Crowned Heads co-founder, Jon Huber. “We’re always looking towards not necessarily re-inventing the wheel, but how can we innovate and improve upon existing ideas. I’ve always maintained that Ernie (Ernesto Perez-Carrillo) is the master of Sumatra wrapper and once we smoked the samples, we immediately knew that the Sumatra wrapper added another dimension of flavor and layer of complexity to the Mule Kick blend.”
Total production of Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2019 will be limited to 2500 (10-count) boxes, and will have an MSRP of $10.95 per cigar. Manufactured at Tabacalera La Alianza, S.A. (Dominican Republic), under the supervision of Cigar Aficionado Hall of Fame member, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, Mule Kick LE 2019 will begin shipping in March.
January 29, 2019 – Benjamin Holt purchases Dissident Cigars.
Benjamin Holt states, “Over the past few years I have seen many cigar brands come and go. Some stopped operations due to fear of FDA regulations. Others because of failure to adapt to the changes in the market. My intent with Dissident is to learn from those lessons and utilize my experience from both the retail side and as a cigar representative to create a cigar brand for a new generation of cigar smokers.”
For the past 5 years Benjamin Holt has worked in different areas of the cigar industry to include starting off in retail at TJ’s Cigar Lounge in McGregor, Texas. In 2015, he joined Black Label Trading Co. as a sales representative assisting in expanding the brand and in the launching of their Black Works Studio line. In 2016, Black Label Trading Co. joined Boutiques Unified and Holt joined the team soon after, continuing in his role as a sales representative.
As to why he chose to purchase Dissident, he states, “I have always thought that Dissident had huge potential and in time I would like to bring this brand back into the market. There are numerous objectives that need to be met first before that can happen and I am working with some incredible people to see that come to pass.”
Holt will continue to be the representative for the brands distributed by LJ Zucca until further notice.