When you are in Vegas, you lose all sense of time. Especially when you are walking the huge Sands convention center floor for IPCPR. Traffic seems a bit lighter this year, but it could be due to the layout.
The first day was a long one, not only on the floor, but then there was a tasting last night at Lavo—a club inside the sister hotel of the Venetian. Starting at 8 am with the breakfast and going til 9 at night makes a long day and generally that is what the trade show is like.
There is a lot of new product here. At Altadis USA, much of what is new, has already come out. The company seems to have decided that rather than flooding the market with a bunch of new stuff in July, when the product is ready, the company releases it. Earlier this year, The Banker by H. Upmann was released and it pays homage to the Upmann brothers who 170 years ago decided to make a cigar they could give to the clients of their bank. It uses this year’s hot wrapper—Ecuador Habano over a Nicaraguan binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers.
The second product released right before the show was Espada, the new Nicaraguan Montecristo made in partnership with Nestor Plasencia, in his Nicaraguan factory. The Espada represents a new taste profile for Montecristo, offering smokers a deeper flavor. The Espada uses all vintage tobaccos in the blend. A Habano seed from Jalapa is the wrapper with a vintage of 2000, the same leaf is the binder but its vintage is 2009. The fillers are from 2008 and are Habano seed coming from three different Nicaraguan areas, Jalapa, Ometepe and Condega. Espada comes in three sizes 5” x 54, 6” x 50 and 7″ x 56, priced from $11.25 to $12.50.
The newest release for the show is the 1875 by Romeo and Julieta. This line sits between the classic Romeo flavor profile and the stronger RyJ which is another Nicaraguan cigar. Made in Honduras, the 1875 by Romeo and Julieta uses a 2010 vintage shade grown Indonesian wrapper over aged Dominican piloto binder and aged fillers of Olor and Dominican tobaccos. It comes in five sizes from the Dos measuring 44 x 5.5” to the 6” x 60 Gordo. This is not to be confused with the existing Romeo Y Julieta 1875.
But other additions to the company’s portfolio are the Vegafina Sumum 2013—a limited edition cigar using a Cameron wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguanb and Dominican fillers. There are only 2,000 boxes for this one size Toro and it will retail for $9.50. The Juan Lopez line is getting a big boy – the new Juan Lopez will be a 7” x 70 with a retail price of $6.75…and the Casa de Garcia also is adding a 7” x 70 for the price of $3.50.
Altadis USA president Javier Estades says the company is focused on bringing new profiles and sizes to its lines as a way a satisifying consumer demand.
Connecticut My Father
The My Father line from Pepin and Jaime Garcia has added a new flavor to the line with a Connecticut wrapper. Known for the spice and power of most of their cigars, the Garcias are using an Ecuador Connecticut wrapper over Nicaraguan Habano Criollo binder and Nicaraguan Corojo 99 fillers. But in addition to those tobaccos, the cigar features another aromatic leaf to give the Connecticut My Father a unique taste. It comes in 4 sizes from a Corona Gordo at 6” x 48 up to a Toro Gordo at 6” x 60. Pricing ranges from $7.50 to $9.40.
It has been 10 years since Ashton has added to its core line. This year marks the introduction of Symmetry, the latest expansion for the company, and, like the other Ashton cigars, it comes from Tabacalera Fuente in Santiago. Symmetry uses an Ecuador Habano wrapper over a Dominican binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic and the Fuente farm in Nicaragua and this is the first Ashton to use Nicaraguan tobacco. The cigars will come in 5 sizes the smallest is 5.625” x 46 and the largest is 6” x 52. Prices for the Symmetry will run from $11.50 to $12.75.
The Company’s La Aroma de Cuba line is showing a limited edition called Noblesse. The cigar comes in one size, a 6.5 x 52 toro and will retail for $16 (the highest prices La Aroma de Cuba ever). It also uses an Ecuador Habano wrapper but the rest of the tobacco comes from the farms of Pepin Garcia and his family who make the vitola for Ashton.
Davidoff is continuing to show tremendous growth. The company is up 23% this year. The Davidoff Nicaragua blend has been a big seller for the company. At its booth, the company unveiled its newest Nicaraguan size, the Diadema which will retail for $18. But this year at the show, the company introduced more affordable options for those who love the blend Primeros by Davidoff in the Nicaraguan blend. These are small panatelas which come 6 to a tin for about $30. B.G. Meyer is another line under the Camacho segment. The company has more, but for today that’s it from me.. I am beat.