Last year there were well over 1200 new blends of cigars that hit the market, many of which were represented at the IPCPR. Stogie Press had received a fraction of those new blends to sample as there are more suppliers than there is time to meet and greet. The same of course held true for this year’s IPCPR, but we did manage to meet some of our many friends in the industry. We are most interested in sampling what we received and reporting the results to you, our readers.
After returning from the show we were laying the cigars in the Stogie Press humidor and thought it would be interesting to note what we were most interested in sampling and reviewing first. The following is our select list of cigars that we are interested in, based on looks, social media hype, and consistent blend introductions in the past.
There is no assurance that the cigars we list will make the Stogie press top 25, but we certainly will give them the first shot of making the list. Now that these cigars have been resting in a proper environment for about a month we would like to introduce, are in no particular order, the first blends Stogie Press will review from the IPCPR. Of course we did dip into the stack to try the new MLB Cigar Ventures Imperia cigar where we did a Video review of which can be seen here. We all agreed in the Stogie Press Lounge that it was a definite hit and should be in the our top 25 at the end of the year.
Warped Corto – An annual release with the 2015 debut being the X50 – 4 1/2 x 50 Vitola. Sell described by Warped as their strongest cigar to date. The Corto is a Nicaraguan Puro and is manufactured at the TABSA factory in Nicaragua which is the same factory that the Flor Del Valle (our number 2 ciagr of 2014) was manufactured. It is a short cigar but looks and smells great.
Boutique Blends, Aging Room F59 Quattro – According to the Aging Room site, the F59 is the successor to the No. 2 Cigar of the Year in 2013, rated 95 by Cigar Aficionado, the Quattro F59 lives up to its pedigree delivering flavor, aroma and incredible balance. The F59 is a Dominican puro. Presented to us by Rafael Nodal, the F59 rests in it own private coffin and is just a great looking cigar. I know I ready to fire it up.
Royal Agio Cigars Balmoral Anjeo XO– Distributed by Drew Estate, The Balmoral is a beauty of a stick but as a search will discover, the story is still be written and we hope to be part of that story as we sample and review it. What we do know is – The XO stands for Xtra Old. Hailing from the Dominican Republic, the Balmoro has a Brazilian wrapper, Dominican and Nicaraguan filler and a Dominican binder.
Blind Mines Bluff- The newest line from Caldwell Cigars. Blended with leaf from Ecuador, Honduras and the Dominican Republic. The filler is Dominican San Vicente viso and Criollo ligero, with a touch of Honduran Generoso ligero sol. The binder is Honduran Criollo and the whole creation is wrapped in a beautiful Ecuadorian Habano leaf.
My Father, H-2K-CT El Centurion – Now this is one cigar that is going to be special if the leaf used in it lives up to the expectations. The Garcia family has created a special hybrid Connecticut-grown leaf. If you look at this cigar the wrapper is much darker than any other Connecticut wrapper. That comes from the fact that this leaf which is a Cuban-seed strain of tobacco, grows in the Connecticut River Valley and is allowed to absorb an abundance of sunlight. The Garcia family describes this H-2K-CT as a full body, medium strength cigar that is unique in flavor. We are certainly looking forward to this new stick.
Crux du Connoisseur – I really enjoyed the Crux Cigars that debuted last year so I am looking forward to the latest blends. The company did not have all the new blends yet for sampling but they did provide me a beautiful lancero Crux du Connoisseur. The Crux du Connoisseur features a Habano wrapper from the Jalapa region of Nicaragua, as well as a Nicaraguan binder and filler made up of tobacco from Honduras. As with all Crux cigars so far, the Crux du Connoisseur will be produced at Plasencia Cigars S.A. in Esteli, Nicaragua, and will be a regularly available release.
Sam Leccia Luchador El Gringo – The original Luchador was one of our Top 25 cigars from last year. Sam has added to his Luchador line this year with the introduction of the El Gringo. The El Gringo is primarily Nicaraguan leaf, including Oscuro for the wrapper, Habano for the binder, and Ligero for the filler. But for it to be a gringo he added Pennsylvania ligero in the filler. During a short discussion with Sam , he noted all leaf used in the blend is at least 3 years old which is what he typically uses with the exception of the Dark Fire leaf in the Black label
La Bohème Encantada – According to Rafael Nodal of Boutique Blends. “The La Bohème unites our 3 passions in life: Cuba, Cigars and Music.’ The new Encantador builds on its Cuban Heritage to deliver a sophisticated smoking experience with Dominican Habano fillers and Binder and beautiful Ecuadorian Habano wrapper I am certainly looking forward to sampling this one.
Ezra Zion Ex from Texas – according to the Ezra Zion press release: “We are constantly trying to challenge ourselves in our blending. The next cigar has to be better than the last.” said co-owner Kyle Hoover. “All My EX’s is a blend that we’ve been working on for over a year to perfect… All My EX’s is a medium-strength, full bodied cigar. Flavors include creamed coffee, earth, leather, nuanced with baking spices, cashews, and bitter-sweet chocolate.” This certainly sounds like a blend that will make the Stogie Press Top 25, so stay tuned and we shall find out.
FDG 20th Anniversary – Last year it was the Spectral and the 90 Miles Nicaragua R.A.. This year the folks at FDG Cigars have released their 20th Anniversary cigar that is adorned with one of the most beautiful bands out there. It is lightly box pressed and if looks can tell a story this one is certainly one I will want to tell.
Moya Ruiz Chinese Finger Trap – Who can’t be excited about the latest creation from the crew at Moya Ruiz that brought us the Nunchuck last year? Just the concept of this new stick is exciting and if the sticks are as good as the presentation I may well be trapped into buying a box of these. Meanwhile it will be fun to experiment getting the outer finger trap band off the stick without hurting the stick.
Nomad Esteli Lot 8613– Fred Rewey @godfadr, has been working hard to bring us the best tobacco he can get his hands on. This time it is the Esteli lot 8613 a new creation from Fred that will build on the success of the Nomad Esteli LE Lot 1386. Talking to Freed he noted that he would never get his hands on the same tobacco as the 1386 but he did get some amazing leaf for the 8613. You may also note the juxtaposition of the numbers (1386..8613) We will leave at that. The 8613 looks like something I will enjoy after a big lunch on a Saturday afternoon.
Patoro Red label – Patoro is a Swiss cigar company that forged a distribution relationship with the CLE group last year. As we were walking about the CLE booth we met Dr. Pablo Richard, owner of Patoro cigars. We spoke for a little while and then he handed me a single sample of his latest blend that was just one of the most beautiful looking cigars in all of the show. The wrapper was smooth and glistening in the light. All I could say was thank you and I can’t wait to try it. Well the time is about here, as it has been resting for a month in my humidor and we have reviews to do. Top 25? We shall see.
Quesada Oktoberfest 2015 – I didn’t have last year’s Quesada Oktoberfest but I did enjoy the Quesada 40th anniversary and it made the 2014 top 25. I don’t plan on reviewing this one until late September when Oktoberfest officially opens in Germany. This year Quesada has included a Nicaraguan puro into the lineup and that is the one I am most interested in sampling and reporting on. So check with us in late September as I plan to sit on the back patio on Sunday morning enjoying this creation.
Moya Ruiz Rake – Another creation from Moya Ruiz and the look and aroma of this stick has me “all in” before looking at the whole hand. Stay tuned for the details on this one. MoyaRuiz describes The Rake as a med-full bodied, full flavored cigar – incorporating a powerhouse blend of four ligero leaves. Two from Jalapa which are sweeter and two from Esteli known for their strength. The wrapper will be Connecticut Broadleaf. Ok guys, like I said I am all in.
Veritas – These guys made a nice splash in Las Vegas last year and they returned to New Orleans this year with a unique cigar that is sure to tease and twist your palate. We sat with them at the show and did a short video interview where Chris Weber describes it. Known as the “Three Blends” line everything about the cigar is in 3’s.Three wrappers – a sun grown Ecuadorian Habano, a Connecticut and a Habano Maduro, they come in boxes of 9 (3×3), and retail for $12 (3×4). They are half box pressed using a unique mold. This is going to be a fun one to smoke. We hope to have a full video review on these.