I have been to several IPCPR tradeshows over my time in the cigar industry. In the past few, it seemed to be entering a dark period. With FDA Regulations looming, there was a dark cloud cast over the show. Attendance was dwindling, the mood to become one of worry instead of excitement and new products were their but limited. This year, however, saw a resounding return to form for the most anticipated event of the year for the cigar industry. Not only was in lighter in mood, it also showcased some of the most anticipated releases I’ve seen in quite some time.
While many companies brought this thunder this year, first we have to talk about Drew Estate. While the new Corona Viva sizes and the introduction of new cigarillos have been known for a few weeks, the company finally announced the release of two brand new lines for their Liga Privada brand. First is the store only Liga Privada 10th Anniversary, celebrating more than a decade of success with their highest rated cigar. Second, we have the Liga Privada H99, a new cigar that will feature a special grown Connecticut Corojo wrapper. These cigars were certainly the talk of the town, with several articles and even shout outs from other manufacturers.
General Cigar saw one of the most impressive amounts of releases this year. They are adding a new cigar to their CAO world edition with the introduction of the CAO Nicaragua. They are taken a bolder approach with their heritage lines with the new Hoyo La Amistad Black and a redesigned Punch from AJ Fernandez known as the Punch Diablo. Partagas, Macanudo and La Gloria Cubana are all receiving new releases as well, with amazing updated packaging and new enticing blends.
Altadis USA is also flexing quite a bit at this year’s shows. We are seeing new editions in tow of their most popular Montecristo lines. We are getting a brand new Montecristo Artisan Series and a stunning new addition to the Montecristo Grupo de Maestro line. We are also getting the first of a new Grupo de Maestro line, the H.Upmann Grupo de Maestro Connecticut, which we are all very excited about.
For the boutique, small batch aficionado, the 2018 IPCPR show unveiled a plethora of new and exciting cigars. Nick Melillo and the team at Foundation is bringing a new Tabernacle to shelves, this time with a special Havana seed wrapper grown on Nicks personal farm in Connecticut. Steve Saka showed up in style, showcasing a new line, the Sin Compromiso, and a slightly tweaked, stronger version of the Todos Las Dias known as Mas Fuerte.
Robert Caldwell brought three new editions of some of his best known cigars. We are excited to be getting an Eastern Standard Habano, A Long Live the King Maduro and a tweaked version of the Anastasia.