Despite a lot of the new releases coming out a little early like the Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary and the CAO La Traviata Maduro there were a few surprises to the IPCPR that I didn’t know about. Now this doesn’t mean that they were a surprise to all but they did manage to catch me off guard.
EP Carrillo - I went out with a few of my fellow bloggers for lunch. Upon walking in I noticed Ernesto and his family sitting and having lunch. After a quick hello so has not to disturb their lunch I sat down in the back of the restaurant and enjoyed some Aligator. During the course of our meal Ernesto had the waiter come over and buy us a round of drinks which was totally classy. I got to hang out on the trade show floor with the Carrillo family and I sampled the Core line plus I was also gifted a 2010 Special Edition. I am sure I will have a review before long on this stick.
Pinar Del Rio – While there was nothing completely new from the Pinar Del Rio family I spent a lot of time at Don Leoncio which is a great cigar shop on Canal Street just off of Magazine in New Orleans. While there I sampled the PDR 1878 and was amazed at how good this cigar was for its price ($5.00 MSRP). I sipped on some Abita Amber and got to speak with Abe Flores for a while. Look for an interview with him and if you haven’t tried his cigars in a while I suggest you do as they have definitely gone up a few notches.
La Flor Dominicana – Sadly I never saw the booth overly crowded despite the strong sales they have reported with the Air Bender. On display was the new Air Bender Chisel and the new Maduro Salomon. There should be a new small batch coming soon as well as a new Vintage cigar so keep an eye out for those.
General Cigar – Normally I wouldn’t be so enthralled with them but I was really impressed with how Victoria took the time to give us a tour of the new lines which include two new Macanudo’s one of which has a metal band limited to the furst 75K sticks. The idea for the band was to keep the name on the cigar as most people discard the bands and they wanted the brand to be recognized for the duration of the smoke. Also on top was 2 new La Gloria Cubana’s one of which is shaped like a Monument and looks very tasty. The other is the Series N utilizes Nicaraguan tobacco. The first batch will have a Shade wrapper N on the stick offering nice contrast. The brand manager is very into bling and this this fits his style. Lastly there is a new Hoyo De Monterrey coming out as well. Look for a future posting showcasing these new lines.
7-20-4 – The brand out of New Hampshire by Kurt Kendall has two new sizes coming one called the Dog Walker and the other a Londres. Kurt also shared with me that he would have a new brand coming out soon that features a Brazillian Mata Fina wrapper which is amongst my favorite.
Avo Cigars – Sorry to the rest of those at the show but for me the best “new” cigar was the Avo Herritage. While some others might be giving it a run for its money I had sampled them before and was even gifted a box of the other sticks about a month ago. But the Herritage was totally new to me and for that reason I am awarding it Best New Cigar at the show. The wrapper is the same as the Campanero 09, and it consists of Ligero tobacco from the Dominican Republic and Peruvian tobacco which is my favorite filler.
Tatuaje – We all know about the new items coming out thanks to this video shot by Tom of cigarreader.com and myself but one thing I saw that piqued my interest was the Scraeders line which Pete has taken over distribution for and the new release for Halloween called “The Face”. When these are released I will definitely be purchasing them for review.
Altadis – Our local sales rep Dennis took the time to give us a tour of the new releases from their lines. Included are the Don Diego Fuerte, H. Upmann Sungrown and the A. Turrent Triple Play which utilizes some Maduro wrappers avid cigar smokers might be familiar with but I can say no more. Also coming is the new Warlock which they are billing as a boutique cigar. I am not sure how a company as big as Altadis can label something boutique but it has piqued my curiousity to say the least.
Davidoff – Sadly I did not stop by the Davidoff booth and I know my good friend Michael Herklots who heads up the New York shops will give me hell for that. But a highlight of the show was the Davidoff tasting hosted by Henke Kelner. While it got off to a slow start it got better with each passing moment. We smoked the tobaccos that when put together created the Grand Cru #3 but as a treat we got to taste the same cigar with a Yamasa wrapper and one from Indonesia and its mind blowing how much the wrapper change totally altered the cigar.
Greycliff – Lastly the company which really wanted no part of a blogger did take the time to show me the new Greycliff line which to compliment the Red White, Blue & Purple. The new Maroon is slightly stronger then the red and should come out soon. I was told this was the first post Avalina Lara stick to come out. I am sure I will try one but to be honest despite the booth being quiet being blown off kind of left a sour taste in my mouth.
If there is anyone I forgot please leave a comment and I will address it there.
Tomorrow the Sunday Links.. and Monday the first review of a new cigar debuted at IPCPR.