Last Weeks Cigar Social Media News and Questions – June 15, 2018

Welcome to the 5th installment of the Stogie Press “Last Weeks Cigar Social Media News and Questions”, where Boston Jimmie scours the world-wide web of cigars and summarizes relevant news and questions of the past week. On the following Monday, my friend Kap Kaplowitz then shreds my writing and puts his unique commentary on select news bites from today’s article, during his Kaplowitz Media radio pod cast.

Let’s see if I can get this written without typos this week.

Social Media Cigar News and Questions for the week ending June 15, 2018.

  • R.I.P.  Eric Hanson and Cano Ozgener
  • Nicaragua Labor Strike
  • J.C. Newman Takes FDA Fight National


R.I.P. Eric Hanson and Cano Ozgener

This past week we saw many posts, sending condolences and memories about two fine cigar gentlemen we lost this week.

Eric Hanson

Eric Hanson, founder of Hammer and Sickle cigars passed away suddenly on Friday, June 8th. at the young age of 45. Hanson launched Hammer + Sickle Vodka in 2008 under the Hammer + Sickle lifestyle brand and then in 2010 he branched into the Hammer + Sickle cigar brand. Fellow BOTL, Kurt Wilson, sums Eric up beautifully in his post:

Cano Ozgener

Founder of CAO Cigars, Cano Ozgener, passed away Saturday June 9. There were many blog posts about this news, but here is the post directly from his personal Facebook page.

Nicaragua Labor Strike

With all the gun and mortar fire heard, throughout the country of Nicaragua lately, an eerie peaceful calm settled over the country for 24 hours late this week. It took a nationwide labor strike to calm the streets. In Esteli, the cigar factories were closed for a day. Here is a view of the streets of Esteli, courtesy of Cesar Mendoza by way of Riste Riatevskei from Jas Sum Kral cigars. This view is a sharp contrast to the photos and videos we have seen the past few months. We can only hope such peace can continue and the people and government can find a way to resolve their differences. 

Of course, things may go right back to the way they were the past few months and that would be disturbing. For those that are interested, there is a “We the People” White House petition, being circulated across the cigar social media channels. that asks the administration to sanction Daniel Ortega under the Magnitsky Act.  The act is a bipartisan bill passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Obama in December 2012, intending to punish Russian officials responsible for the death of Russian tax accountant Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow prison in 2009. Since 2016, the bill is applied on a global scale by the US government. As of this writing, we need 13,812 more signatures to make the 100,000 signature threshold, in order for the White House to consider the petition and take possible action. We need these by June 29th. To Sign the petition just click the following link:

J.C. Newman Takes FDA Fight to National Audience

The Cigar Rights of America reported on their Facebook page that Bobby Newman, executive vice president and third-generation owner of J.C. Newman Cigar Company, appeared on the Rush Limbaugh Show, Friday, June 8. On the show Bobby made his case to a national audience, that the FDA has overreached with the current regulations on premium cigars. We must never quit this fight, even when we feel defeated. As the great Yogi Berra said, “it ain’t over til it’s over”!

That my friends, is the big news of the week. Stay Tuned to Stogie Press as we start to bring you news of the  latest releases that your favorite brands will be featuring at this years IPCPR.


Now for a good question from Charles Stansbury posted in the Cigar Cartel group., Charles asks – What is a Boutique Cigar?

Wow, that is a great question and there were plenty of responses to that question as one would expect.

Way back at the end of 2014, when I was preparing to pen the top 25 Boutique Cigars of the year, I felt the need to apply a definition to Boutique. I wrote an article on it, and in that article I stated:

If you like craft beer, single malt scotches, vintage wines or small batch bourbons then you understand the essence of “boutique”. It doesn’t have to be limited quantity, but it should have at least 2 primary components -high quality ingredients and masters of blend and construction. Translated to cigars this would mean the use of higher-grade tobaccos and more experienced torcedors and master blenders. Many boutique cigar lines do not own their own farms or factories so they contract the work to the some of the best in the industry to produce their cigars.

We believe  boutique cigars are those that offer flavor and quality construction in a consistent production. The brand owners are more deeply involved in the production, overseeing and validating that it meets their expectation. Even if it is a larger manufacturer like CAO or My Father Cigars the blend and flavor profile is unique and special to the owner.  Overall we feel that Boutique Cigars are not defined by price or availability but rather quality and uniqueness in flavor like the Warped Flor Del Valle our # 2 cigar of the year . Of course, companies that are small and have a limited production of quality cigars are by definition Boutique but that does not exclude larger companies that produce a quality and uniquely flavored cigar. Many of these boutique cigars may not be available on all the shelves of brick and mortar shops due to lack of knowledge of the shop owner or limited shelf space.

Well kind folks, that’s a wrap for this week. Don’t forget to tune into to Kaplowitz Radio this coming Monday to see how he shreds this during the “News Powered by Stogie Press” segment on his pod cast.

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