I’m just coming down off the high of the IPCPR Cigar Trade Show in Orlando Florida. This week long parade of new cigars and accessories literally had my head spinning. As a buyer for one of, if not the largest selling shops in the world, can you just imagine what I go through? Everyone is excited about their new brands and new items and so am I, but when you take thousands of new products and put them all together and are force fed them by some of the best salesman in the country one after one, day after day, something gets lost. Ten cigars in by noon on day one will make what seems to be paradise into brutally obnoxious. And some great new cigars are wasted on me after already tasting dozens that day. So I taste some home with me and try them at my leisure, share with some employees and friends and regroup and re evaluate. Now is the time to really pay attention as a buyer…what did I miss, what did I overlook, where there a real gem out there and I didn’t buy it? I’m sure there was and is but here are some of the diamonds I found and will pick up and if the samples are the same as the product we will soon receive; these are what I will be recommending in the very near future.
Avo 25th is a new limited release of 25 years of the Avo brand. The box is a piano with a piano finish and the cigar more full bodied than you would expect with an Avo name attached to it. The cigar will run about $16 but this is one you just have to buy by the box…it’s that cool looking.
Bandolero is from Costa Rica and something I guess will be turning heads real soon. Very special and exciting…you’ll see. And remember, you heard this one here first!
Recluse is the most deadly spider and this cigar by ICONIC Brands is a collaboration between two icons in the Dominican cigar business. Who they are is a secret, I don’t even know…yet. The cigar is unique and outstanding. A box pressed figurado with a curly head top.
Windwood is a new cigar that will be made in Miami Beach’s Windwood Art District under the watchful eye of Christian Eiora who was the mastermind behind the Camacho brand. This is a shade wrapped cigar but is bursting with flavor.
Oliva Melanio is the highest priced Oliva to date and a project in the works for years. I still have not tried this one but I’ll take a chance based on past experiences of the Oliva brand.
Alec Bradley Rare and Fine is the 2nd release of this particular cigar. Last year this one just flew off the shelves and was out of stock everywhere before I could even really appreciate it and save any. This won’t happen to me again, I’m buying in this time and I will grab a couple of boxes right away just for aging.
Loose Cannon is a new cigar by C& C and is a box pressed Dominican. A funny story to follow on this full bodied smoke.
Byron & Atabey is in my opinion the next big thing. No cheap date here but up there with the best cigars I have ever smoked in my life. Again, if the supply rivals the samples we might have a monster here!
Padron #4 is a new Anniversary 1964 and is a 60 ring. No sample was provided or expected, but I bought it anyway. These guys proved themselves year after year. I’m quite sure it will be wonderful.
Ortsac who was voted Cigar of the Year last year has not one but two new wrappers coming out. Habano and San Andreas. I had a sample of both and was wowed once again.
Swag SoBe is Swag South Beach. The boxes are cool with the art deco look and colors and the sample was great so we will add this for sure.
Esencia is a lesser known cigar but a great one has come out with their new one called “E”. Apparently E stands for Esencia but I think it stands for excellent. I real stand out micro brand smoke.
Padilla makes his way back into cigar shop humidors with his Reserva Habano and Maduro – both made by Oliva and very tasty. They also have a Miami blend made by Titan de Bronze that got my attention.
L’Atelier is a new company directed by Pete Johnson of the Tatuaje fame. His brother K.C. and friend Shawn take the reins with a few brands including the L’Atelier line. We’ll give these guys a try…why not.
Davidoff who put out the Davidoff White for 2011 last year has re done it with a new size also limited to a one time buy. This time we doubled up on our buy with the Robusto Gordo. Just ten cigars to a box and all breathtaking in appearance and flavor. Dark chocolate, spices, nuts and roasted coffee all perfectly balanced is how they describe it
INCH by E.P. Carillo – Big 1 inch ring gauges are all the rage and welcome the guy that brought us La Gloria Series R back in the game
Perdomo 20th Anniversary – One of the best new ones out there hands down but don’t hold your breath waiting because the release date is a month away, September 12th which is Nick’s father’s birth date. Nice gesture but I’m jonesing for another sample!
Origen Maduro – we test marked this one for almost a year and it gets our two thumbs up for sure, now released for the entire world. You must try this one.
A.Florez is Abe Florez’s new cigar that he has attached his name too. It has to be good says Abe, and it is, so we are awaiting the Serie Privada in Habano and Maduro. Which is best is the tougher decision.
La Flor Dominicana has a couple of new tubo’s, one called ORO meaning gold and the gold tube is classy and unique. It has a chisel end to it! The other is glass and looks very nice for gift giving.
Headley Grange is the new one from Crowned Heads who brought us Four Kicks. No sample was smoked but we’ll give it a try anyway and waiting them soon.
Lots more to try and decide upon in the coming weeks.