HR Hirochi Robaina Claro Toro

HR Hirochi Robaina Claro Toro

posted on September 27th, 2016

Brian’s The Week In Smoke, Issue 103

Brian’s The Week In Smoke, Issue 103

posted on September 23rd, 2016

Foundation Cigars Charter Oak Connecticut Rothchild

Foundation Cigars Charter Oak Connecticut Rothchild

posted on September 22nd, 2016

Browsing all articles by Brian Hewitt

enjoying cigars since 1997

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Brian’s The Week In Smoke, Issue 103

Brian’s The Week In Smoke, Issue 103

If there’s a theme for this Week In Smoke, it’s a mix of new cigars and relaxation. Heavy on the relaxation. Maybe a little procrastination too. It’s been a busy summer, and I for one am ready to welcome a less hectic season of bourbon and heavier beers. Sure, I drink both year round, but it’s nice to be able to do so on a patio without bursting into flame or ingesting lethal amounts of pollen. And shorter, cooler days …

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IPCPR 2016: Complete Digest

IPCPR 2016: Complete Digest

And our IPCPR 2016 coverage is complete. It took us a little longer to get everything posted, due in large part to our decision to switch our gear and software out all at once. But it all worked out in the end. We didn’t talk to everyone we wanted to interview, but we never do. There are just too many booths and too little time. But we got a good percentage of them. Here’s the complete list:

FDA

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The FDA Update with Frank Herrera – 8/30/16

The FDA Update with Frank Herrera – 8/30/16

In the latest episode of The FDA Update with Frank Herrera we talk about the August 16th order issued by the judge in the case Philip Morris brought against the FDA. The opinion rendered applies to the guidance documents the FDA provided with regard to Substantial Equivalence (not the actual deeming regulations), and looks to be beneficial to cigar manufacturers. You may have heard something about it- it has to do with packaging changes and box counts. What you may …

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IPCPR 2016: John Drew Brands

IPCPR 2016: John Drew Brands

After hoofing it around Drew Estate’s planet-sized booth with Pedro, we climbed to the top of the bridge at the heart of the booth to talk to Jonathan Drew about his new venture, John Drew Brands.

JD tells us that the next step for him doesn’t involve leaving Drew Estate behind, it’s a matter of combining two separate aspects of his life. Drew Estate being one of them and John Drew Brands the other.

5 years ago he and Jeff …

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IPCPR 2016: Drew Estate

IPCPR 2016: Drew Estate

Jonathan Drew can be a hard guy to track down at IPCPR, and a tour of the all the new products in the Drew Estate booth would be difficult to accomplish without numerous interruptions from customers and fans. Everyone’s looking for a few minutes of Jonathan’s time. So we took the pragmatic approach this year, we had Pedro Gomez take us on the tour, freeing up our time with Drew to focus on other developments.

Ben and I have known …

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IPCPR 2016: Foundation

IPCPR 2016: Foundation

Nick Melillo was back this year with a colorful new booth, new Foundation cigar lines and of course, new insights into the world of tobacco. We got started with The Upsetters. Nick has been a long time fan of reggae music and Jamaican tobacco, and he also has a history of working with Nicaraguan tobacco. Those factors came together to create The Upsetters, which features both Jamaican and Nicaraguan tobacco (as well as a “Caribbean infusion”). He describes the profile …

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IPCPR 2016: White Hat (HR)

IPCPR 2016: White Hat (HR)

As the show was winding down on the last day we dropped by the White Hat booth for a quick chat with Spencer Drake about what’s new with HR. Of course the first thing that is new since the last trade show is White Hat handling distribution of HR, which means that the original line is back on the market. The original line has two new sizes, a Corona (MSRP $11.95) and an A which comes in a coffin of …

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IPCPR 2016: 26 Minutes With Pete Johnson

IPCPR 2016: 26 Minutes With Pete Johnson

No IPCPR is complete without another episode in the growing Minutes With Pete Johnson series. This year we met up with a slender Pete behind the bar in his 2016 Best In Show booth. It seemed more like he was tending bar in his shiny new booth than selling cigars. (He was behind the bar talking and pouring his wine for visitors every time we saw him.) Not that his cigars need any help selling.

We get started with Pete …

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IPCPR 2016: Perdomo

IPCPR 2016: Perdomo

We caught up with Chris Harper in the spacious Perdomo booth the last day of IPCPR and we learned that everything old is new again. By that I mean, Perdomo is bringing back all of their pre-2007 brands, though some of them may have some packaging updates. That means the reintroduction of a lot of cigars which should please Perdomo fans that have been missing the retired brands. Here are a few of the highlights:

They’ve brought back all the …

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IPCPR 2016: Romeo y Julieta

IPCPR 2016: Romeo y Julieta

Our IPCPR tour continues with Yasemin Ozoncul in the Romeo y Julieta section of the Altadis booth. Before we get into the new product she gives us a little background, telling us about her first project at Altadis, 2011’s ROMEO. That leads us into the Plasencia-made ROMEO 505 Nicaragua, a box-pressed puro that was created as an answer to the “Nicaraguan trend” in the cigar industry. The potent blend features a Jalapa wrapper, and fillers from Jalapa, Condega and Esteli. …

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