The handmade cigar industry gathered in Las Vegas this week at the PCA trade show to exhibit upcoming products, limited editions and new releases, some of which are heading to your local retailers right now. Cigar Aficionado attended the convention, scouring the showroom floor for the most interesting cigars. Some of the companies were first-time exhibitors while others have been attending the show for decades yet still managed to keep their displays fresh, interesting and relevant. Below is a list of the standout cigars and trade show highlights that caught our attention.
A new regular-production line called Mas Igneus by Luciano made an appearance the trade show, and the Nicaraguan brand is named after a winery in Spain. The cigars are meant to be paired specifically with M de Mas Igneus, a red Priorat made up of cabernet, grenache, merlot and carignan. According to ACE Prime co-founder Luciano Meirelles, the M de Mas Igneus finds synergy with the cigars’ blend of high-priming Corojo ’98 wrapper from Ecuador, Brazilian binder and Nicaraguan fillers. Mas Igneus by Luciano is available in four sizes: Short Robusto, measuring 4 1/2 inches by 50 ring gauge ($11.95); Toro, 6 by 52 ($12.45); Ancho, 5 by 54 ($12.95); and Excelente, 6 by 60 ($13.45). The cigars ship in boxes of 20 and are made at Tabacalera Pichardo in Nicaragua.
The Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario Maduro is now in regular production. Formerly a limited-edition torpedo marketed under the old Casa Fernandez name, the brand comes in three box-pressed sizes: Gran Robusto, measuring 5 inches by 54 ring gauge; Toro, at 6 1/4 by 52; and Gran Toro, 6 by 58. All three sizes will ship in boxes of ten with suggested retail prices ranging from $13.50 to $15.50 per cigar. All of the tobaccos, including the shade-grown Corojo maduro wrapper, grown on Aganorsa’s farms in Nicaragua. It’s shipping next month.
A broadleaf wrapper and binder drive this new blend, which is aptly called Alec Bradley Double Broadleaf. But this broadleaf isn’t from the United States. These leaves are from Connecticut seeds planted in Honduras. The Honduran cigars also contain a second binder leaf from Nicaragua, along with a mix of fillers from Honduras and Nicaragua. According to the company, the blend is full-bodied. Double Broadleaf will be available in five sizes: Robusto, measuring 5 inches by 50 ring gauge ($9.85); Chunk, 4 by 60 ($10.50); Gran Corona, 7 by 46 ($11); Toro, 6 by 52 ($11.50); and Gordo, 6 by 60 ($12.75). All sizes will ship in dual-tone green and natural wood boxes of 24 cigars each.
Arturo Fuente Cigar Co.
For the first time in cigar history, two of the biggest names in the premium cigar business have collaborated on a project for charity. Carlos Fuente Jr. blended a cigar in honor of Jorge Padrón’s father and Padrón did the same for Fuente’s father. The result is a 40-count humidor with the two cigars—one blend made in Nicaragua and the other in the Dominican Republic. Both measure 7 by 50. There’s no definite word as to when this monumental “Fuente y Padrón Legends” project will go on sale, but Fuente is hoping before the holidays.
It may look like a giant Boveda sticker on the side of this humidor, but in reality, the label is an intricate inlay of exotic woods meant to resemble the Boveda seal found on so many cigar boxes. Made by Elie Bleu, this humidor marks the 25th anniversary of the company. The exterior is plied with more detailed marquetry on a classic burlwood grain. Inside, the unit is meant to be humidified by Boveda packs. Boveda expects these limited-edition humidors to ship next year. There’s no word on price, but it won’t be cheap.
Called Inner Circle, you won’t have to be in a private club to smoke it, but according to brand owner Sébastien Decoppet, these cigars are made with tobaccos the company has never used before. Inner Circle is rolled in Honduras and consists of a Cuban-seed wrapper from Nicaragua’s Jalapa region, Cuban-seed binder from the Jamastran area of Honduras and a four-country filler blend of Pennsylvania broadleaf, Dominican Piloto Cubano, Honduran broadleaf and more Cuban-seed tobacco from Jalapa. Packaged in 24-count cabinets, Inner Circle comes in four sizes: Petit Robusto, Robusto Grande, Toro and Figurado. Suggested retail prices will range from $12.80 to $14.30 when the cigars ship to retailers later this month.
Le Pâtissier was once a limited-edition lonsdale, but is now a regular-production line with four sizes, all made at Tabacalera Pichardo in Nicaragua. Retailing from $10.50 to $12, Le Pâtissier is offered in Senadores, measuring 6 1/8 inches by 48 ring gauge; No. 50 at 4 3/8 by 50; Cañonazo, at 5 7/8 by 52; and No. 54, 5 3/8 by 54. It’s made with a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and filler from Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
El Septimo Geneva
El Septimo gives us a lesson in history with its Emperor Collection, a series of cigars named after a different ruler. Most of the Emperors come in only one size, though some are offered in both Connecticut wrappers or Maduro: Alexander III, measuring 6 by 54 ($15); Augustus Caesar, 5 by 52 ($10); Napoleon Royal Salomon, 9 by 55 ($32); Yao, 6 1/2 by 60 (torpedo, $25); King Sargon Connecticut, 7 1/4 by 50 ($17); King Sargon Maduro, 4 1/4 by 54 ($10). The cigars are made in Costa Rica.
E.P. Carrillo Cigar Co.
E.P. Carrillo Allegiance is a cigar bearing the Perez-Carrillo name that’s being produced in Nicaragua by Oliva Cigar Co. Future versions of the cigar will be made by other cigar factories. This version of Allegiance is all-Nicaraguan, save for the Sumatra-seed wrapper grown in Ecuador. The blend is intended to be medium-to-full in body. It comes four sizes: Robusto, Toro, Double Corona and No. 58, with suggested retail prices ranging from $12 to $14. Only 5,000 20-count boxes are being released, half for the U.S. and the other half for international markets.
It’s Part Four in a six-part series of limited-edition cigars named after the provinces of Cuba. This year’s is named CMW after the province Camaguey. Measuring 6 by 50, Las 6 Provincias CMW retails for $18 and is made in Nicaragua by A.J. Fernandez with an Ecuador Habano wrapper and Nicaraguan tobacco from Estelí, Condega and Pueblo Nuevo. Like previous releases, the box features art by Edin Gutierrez.
Brand owner Luis Falto celebrates his 46th birthday with the Falto Edición Especial ELH Hato Viejo, a 6 by 47 corona gorda that’s wrapped in a Cameroon cover leaf around a Dominican Corojo binder and Dominican filler. Hato Viejo is the name of the farm from which most of the Dominican tobacco comes from, and ELH are the grower’s initials. These come in boxes of 20 and retail for $8 each. Like all Falto cigars, these new smokes are made in the Dominican Republic at the La Aurora S.A. factory.
Now in its second year of operation, Ferio Tego is releasing its 2022 edition of Elegancia and Generoso, both of which debuted last October as the company’s first official releases. Both are toros and come in handmade travel humidors with 10 cigars in each box. These two cigar lines are made in different countries by different families. The Elegancia is manufactured by the Quesada family in the Dominican Republic, and consists of an Ecuadoran wrapper, Dominican binder and fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The Generoso is more full bodied, and rolled by the Plasencia family in Estelí, Nicaragua. Its Nicaraguan binder and filler are covered by a Honduran wrapper. The suggested retail price for the humidor with 10 cigars is $220, or $22 per cigar.
Foundation Cigar Co.
In a tribute to Mexico and its ancient Mesoamerican people, Foundation Cigars showed a new brand called Olmec, which showcases a Mexican San Andrés wrapper. Made in Nicaragua by A.J. Fernandez, Olmec is a regular-production line rolled with Mexican San Andrés wrappers around Nicaraguan binders and fillers. It’s offered in two versions: Claro or Maduro. Both versions come in five sizes: Corona Gorda, measuring 5 1/2 inches by 48 ring gauge; Robusto, at 5 by 50; Toro, at 6 by 52; a 6-by-60 Grande; and a Double Corona that measures 7 by 52. They have suggested retail prices of $12.50 to $16 and are packaged in 12-count boxes.
Freud Cigar Co.
Freshman company Freud Cigar Co. has collaborated with Davidoff alum Eladio Diaz to create Agape, a single-size limited-edition Robusto made at Diaz’s new factory, Tabacalera Diaz Cabrera, in the Dominican Republic. All the tobacco is Dominican and this 5-by-54 cigar represents Diaz’s first project since leaving Davidoff, as well as the second brand from Freud, started by Luis Torres and David Stadnyk. Agape retails for $30 per cigar and comes in boxes of 10.
Gurkha Cigar Group
With a name like Pure Evil, one would expect this cigar to be full bodied—and it is, with a blend of Ecuador Habano wrapper around strong Nicaraguan tobacco. If it sounds familiar, it’s because the brand was released in 2006, taken out of production, and re-launched this year. It comes in three sizes—Robusto, Toro and the 6-by-60 XO—and will retail for $8.95 to $9.95 when it ships in September.
Brand owner Dion Giolito is branching out and having his newest brand made by A.J. Fernandez in Nicaragua. Intrigued by the Nicaraguan Habano-seed wrapper that Fernandez grows, Giolito decided to create a brand that showcased this cover leaf. The brand is called Illusione Habano, and it consists solely of Nicaraguan tobacco grown by A.J. Fernandez. It comes in six sizes: Corona Minor (4 by 44), Lancero (7 1/2 by 40), Robusto (5 by 52), Corona Gorda (5 5/8 by 46), Churchill (6 3/4 by 48) and Gordo (6 by 56). They’ll be packaged in 25-count boxes and are expected to arrive early next year.
J.C. Newman Cigar Co.
Angel Cuesta is made by hand in Tampa at J.C. Newman’s El Reloj cigar factory. The cigars are named in honor of Angel Cuesta, one of the two co-founders of the Cuesta-Rey cigar brand, and rolled with an Ecuador Havana wrapper. The seam around the cap of each cigar is rolled to form an angel’s halo. Angel Cuestas will be offered in three sizes: a Double Toro (6 by 52), Double Robusto (5 1/2 by 56) and Grand Salamones (7 1/4 by 57). Retail prices will range between $16 and $22 per cigar when they ship to retailers this fall.
Dominican cigarmaker La Aurora is honoring what would have been cigar legend Don Fernando León Asensio’s 100th birthday with a limited-edition smoke called La Aurora Family Reserve Fernando León Legacy Lancero. The cigar is a little shorter (6 7/8 inches long) and a little fatter (40 ring gauge) than a traditional lancero, and is made with a Dominican binder and mix of fillers from Brazil and the Dominican Republic, wrapped with a Corojo wrapper that bears some extra significance—La Aurora says it was harvested in 2008 and was the last project developed by Don Fernando before he passed away in 2009. The cigar has a suggested retail price of $20 each and is limited to a production of 1,000 boxes, each containing 10 cigars.
La Flor Dominicana
There’s a new blender in the Gomez family. Twenty-two-year-old Litto Gomez Jr., who works at La Flor with his father Litto, brother Tony and mother Ines, showed his first cigar blend at the trade show, the La Flor Dominicana Solis, it's a one-size brand made with an Ecuador Sumatra wrapper, Ecuadoran binder and a mix of Dominican tobaccos from La Flor’s farm in La Canela. The cigar measures 6 1/2 inches long by 50 ring, and will retail for $12.20. It’s meant to be medium-to-full in body. Solis comes from the Latin word for “sun,” and the smoke is intended to contrast with Tony Gomez’s project La Nox, which has images of the moon. “I was inspired by my big brother’s project La Nox and I wanted to and I wanted to create something that contrasted it,” Gomez Jr. said.
If you missed the La Palina 125 Años that came in those eye-catching glass amatista jars, you’ll have another chance to try the cigar. La Palina is releasing some in 10-count boxes. It’s a 6 1/2-inch-by-52-ring-gauge Toro topped with a fantail cap and retails for $25. The cigar celebrates the brand’s 125th anniversary and is made at Oliva’s Tabolisa factory in Nicaragua with only Nicaraguan tobacco.
My Father Cigars
This year would have been the 100th anniversary of José García Alayón, father to Pepin Garcia and grandfather to Jaime Garcia of My Father Cigars. To honor this birthday, the company released the My Father Le Bijou 1922 100 Años Limited Edition in two sizes, Corona Extra, measuring 5 1/2 inches by 48 ring gauge, and Corona Especial, at 6 1/2 by 44. The Corona Especial is round, but the Corona Extra has a soft box pressing. Both cigars are topped with pigtail caps and both will retail for $13 each. The blend differs a bit from the core My Father Le Bijou line, as all the tobacco is grown in Nicaragua by the Garcia family, namely their San Rafael, Las Quebradas and San José farms. The wrappers on the cigars are exceptionally dark. Only 1,922 boxes of each size will be produced, with 22 in each box.
Oliva Cigar Co.
Oliva has brought back the Cuba Aliados brand. After purchasing the rights to the trademark from the Reyes family last year, Oliva contracted two third-party manufacturers to make the new versions of Cuba Aliados: JRE Tobacco and E.P. Carrillo. The Cuba Aliados Original Blend will be a regular-production brand made in Honduras by JRE Tobacco Co., the father-and-son team consisting of Julio Eiroa and his son Justo. All the tobacco here is Honduran and it comes in five sizes: Robusto, measuring 5 by 50; Toro, at 6 by 50; Torpedo, 6 by 50; Churchill, 7 by 50; and the ReGordo, at 6 by 60. They are packaged in boxes of 20 and will have suggested retail prices ranging from $10 to $12 each. The limited-edition comes in the same five sizes and is made in the Dominican Republic by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo. These cigars are rolled with Ecuadoran Sumatra wrappers, Nicaraguan binders and fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. They come in 20-count boxes, and are slated to retail from $14 to $15.50 each. Only 15,000 boxes will be produced for 2022.
Padrón Cigars Inc.
Company founder José Orlando Padrón would have been 96 this year, and to help keep his memory alive, Jorge Padrón, now company patriarch, showed the Padrón Family Reserve No. 96, a 5 3/4-by-52 cigar that is not box-pressed and offered in both natural and maduro wrappers. It’s made in Nicaragua and consists of only Nicaraguan tobacco. Packed in boxes of 10, No. 96 retails for $29.50, but it’s a PCA exclusive, so if your local retailer didn’t attend the show, chances are you’ll have to travel a little further to get it. Also, Padrón is responsible for half of the Fuente y Padrón Legends project (see the Arturo Fuente entry above).
Tobacco grower and cigarmaker Nestor Andrés Plasencia has added a second size to his Plasencia Alma Fuerte Colorado Claro line. Called Eduardo I, the box-pressed toro measures 6 1/4 by 54 and is expected to start shipping in mid-September. The Eduardo I has the same dimensions as the Alma Fuerte Nestor IV. It’s packaged in boxes of 10 and will have a suggested retail price of $20.60. The blend consists entirely of Nicaraguan tobacco grown by the Plasencias, and according to the company, the wrapper has been aged for 10 years.
Dominican cigar company Quesada Cigars is adding a new line of smokes to its Casa Magna series, and it showcases a Connecticut-seed wrapper grown in Ecuador. Called Casa Magna Connecticut, the cigars are rolled with Nicaraguan binders and fillers and come in three sizes: Robusto, measuring 5 inches by 50 ring gauge ($9.40); Toro, 6 1/2 by 52 ($9.70); and Toro Gordo, 6 by 56 ($9.90). All sizes ship in bronze-colored boxes of 20. Made at Quesada’s Tabacos de Exportación Inc. (TABADEX) factory, the new Casa Magnas should ship in September.
Rocky Patel Premium Cigars
The new Rocky Patel DBS is all about the broadleaf, and the name refers to double broadleaf selection, with a bold, orange DBS on the secondary band. There’s Pennsylvania broadleaf and broadleaf grown in Jamastran, Honduras. The cigars are dark, with Mexican San Andrés wrappers, and they come in three sizes: Robusto (5 1/2 by 50, $20), Toro (6 1/2 by 52, $21) and Sixty (6 by 60, $23.) The cigars are rolled in Nicaragua, and will be shipping in October. The blend is meant to be medium-to-full in body. Also: Rocky Patel celebrates two decades of his Edge brand with The Edge 20th Anniversary (shown), offered in three sizes—Robusto, Toro and Sixty—ranging in price from $11 to $13.50. The Honduran cigar is made with an Ecuador Sumatra wrapper, broadleaf binder and filler from Honduras and Panama. Both the Edge and DBS will ship in the fall.
Since Matt Booth of Room101 cigars has joined Scandinavian Tobacco Group, one of his projects as creative director was to bring new life to Sancho Panza, a brand that lives mostly in catalogs. This newest version has new packaging and three new blends: Original, Double Maduro and Extra Fuerte. The Original is made with a Connecticut-seed Honduran wrapper and comes in three sizes (Robusto, Toro and Gigante) that retail from $6.69 to $7.59. The Sancho Panza Double Maduro is made with an Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper while the strongest of the three, the Extra Fuerte, is made with an Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper as well. They come in Robusto, Toro and Gigante sizes, both retailing for $7.49 to $9.49. All three varieties are made in Honduras at the HATSA factory and shipped to retailers this week.
An offshoot of the Havana VI Verocú brand, the new Verocú Blue is a Nicaraguan puro wrapped in a shade-grown Corojo ’99 cover leaf. All the tobacco was grown on Garcia family farms and the Blue comes in two sizes: No. 1 at 6 1/4 by 52 and No. 2 and 5 1/2 by 54. Both will retail for $12 and come in 20-count boxes, although Tatuaje is releasing a limited number of 50-count cabinets. They’re made in Nicaragua at the My Father Cigars S.A. factory.
Villiger North America
No, the Villiger Miami 2022 is not made in Miami, but the cigars were created for family, friends, customers or colleagues who visited Villiger’s U.S. headquarters in Miami. Made in the Dominican Republic at the ABAM factory, the Miami 2022 comes in two sizes, a Lancero (7 1/2 by 38) and Robusto (5 by 50), both of which retail for $15. Other than its Ecuador wrapper, all the tobaccos are Dominican, and Villiger says they come from a 2016 harvest. The cigars are packaged in 10-count boxes and only 500 boxes of each size are being produced.
West Tampa Tobacco Co.
Best known for his nearly 25 years with General Cigar Co., former CAO brand ambassador and blender Rick Rodriguez has struck out on his own and formed the West Tampa Tobacco Co. with fellow General alumnus Gus Martinez, who also serves as the company’s president. This is West Tampa’s first trade show, where they displayed two lines, Black and White. White series consists of an Ecuador Habano wrapper and binder around a blend of all-Nicaraguan tobacco. The more full-bodied Black series comes wrapped in a darker, higher-priming leaf of Ecuador Habano and a Nicaraguan binder from Ometepe. Both the Black and White are made at the Garmendia Cigar Co. factory in Nicaragua and come in three sizes: Robusto, measuring 5 inches by 50 ring gauge; Toro, at 6 by 52 and a 6-by-60 Gigante. They have suggested retail prices of $8.99, $9.99 and $10.99, respectively, and come in 20-count boxes.
Zander-Greg has added a new line to its Epic brand, Epic Police 299. The number in the brand name refers to the badge number once worn by Epic’s founder Dean Parsons. It’s a one-size brand, Toro, 6 1/2 by 54 ring gauge. The wrapper is Brazilian, the binder Dominican and the filler a mix of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos. It’s a $12 smoke that’s shipping now. The company also added a 7-by-40 Lancero to the Epic La Rubia line.