There are so many updates that I decided to come back a day early. Here are some memories and information about new cigars. The list is long and will continue tomorrow as well.
I guess everyone wants to know how IPCPR was and to be honest I found it a little overwhelming even with crowds much lighter then normal. I pretty much took a lot of time to be a spectator and I wandered the floor looking at new products and only taking the time to introduce myself if the person was not busy. After all this is a show for retailers first, press second.
I managed to speak to some people outside the trade show floors and this is where I got most of my knowledge and information. Here are some of the highlights.
Miami Cigar Company – I’ve been blessed to become friends with these guys and I mean it in the true sense of the word. Before the show started I was lucky enough to be invited to the viewing of the booth being built and even helped in the process of getting the displays set up. Nestor Miranda, Rene Castenada and Jason Wood were kind enough to take me out for drinks and dinner the first day of my arrival. I reciprocated by taking them to breakfast the next day. What is new for this company? Nestor Miranda has the Danno 2010 and the Art Deco. There is also the new Cognac flavored Tatiana.
La Aurora Cigars – Technically a part of the Miami Cigar Company family the trade show booth was all about Guillermo Leon. With the launch of his signature collection and Corojo cigar things are looking very positive for the company. Rumor even has it that they took enough commitments to order a 107 lancero that it might become a reality sooner then later.
Drew Estate – The first night after dinner I ran into David Lafferty the sales manager and he gifted me with a Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig which will be out as a Limited Edition smoke this year. Also coming from the boys at Drew Estate will be the release of the Dirty Rat.
Torano Cigars – Also doing brisk business from the floor appeared to be Carlos Torano which is launching the Single Region, Master and Brigade.
My Father Cigars - The lovely Janny Garcia matched out SIDS donation by submitting a $500 check. For that we will be forever thankful. One night after the trade show had closed and dinner had been devoured we wound up in the back of a bar/diner on Canal Street and Jose Pepin Garcia led us all in song as we drank some beers and downed some hurricanes. Coming soon from them will be the Limited Edition line which will be around a bit pricey and come in boxes of 12 but the production will be limited to a couple of thousand. Also on day 2 of the show I was walking around without a cigar when new Director of Sales Jose Ortega said that can’t be so he tossed me a JJ to smoke. classy.
Alec Bradley – My buddy and local sales rep Barry Blonder arranged a meeting for me to discuss the new lines coming from the factory this year. Those lines are the Maxx Connecticut which really looked beautiful for a Connecticut shade wrapper. Also being released is the Alec Bradly Tempus Maduro on a regular basis but the wrapper has changed which will give it a more oily appearance instead of the dry look they used to have.
El Primer Mundo - I’ve become friendly with Sean who owns this company via Twitter and he is a great guy. He has some cigars out including the new Liga Miami which I hope to review fairly soon. Sean is a great guy and when he told me on Tuesday that he wrote more sales then the last 2 shows combined I was very happy for him. We will share what we think of the stick soon, I promise!
illusione – Dion is the man. Walking around with confidence in his straw hat he still comes off as likable. Along with Thor from Cigar Press and Pete from Tatuaje he took over the music at Don Leoncio (local cigar bar) and sounds of punk and rockabilly filled the thick night air. Coming from him will be the Singulare which will change blends yearly and other then some new sizes in the Cruzado he also has the the HL in a Candela and Maduro.
To be continued…