Welcome to the 7th 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.
Social Media Cigar News and Questions for the week ending June 29, 2018.
- Let the Lancero Battle Begin
- The FDA Battle Continues in Texas
- What’s Coming to the IPCPR
- Question of the Week
Let the Lancero Battle Begin
As we grow closer to the opening of the 86th annual, International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers (IPCPR) Association Trade Show, on July 13th, I keep getting press releases and news about lancero line extensions. Just this week alone I can count 5 that I have posted:
- My Father La Gran Oferta
- MBombay MQBA
- Protocol Themis
- Villiger La Flor De Ynclan
- Foundation Wise Man Maduro
Those are just this week, there have been many more and I feel there are more to come as brand owners fill out there portfolio with lancero line extension. In fact, I reviewed the 2018 Jeremy Jack JJ14 lancero the other week which scored a 94 in our new rating system. We also reviewed the 2018 Rock-A-Fella Nicaragua Maduro and the pre-release 2018 Providencia Maduro lanceros earlier this year.
Just for the record, a true lancero, which was created by the Cubans, measures 7.5 x 38. Not all these releases measure up to that but they do come close, with some having a 40 ring gauge and others with a 7″ length. But however you look at it, if you like lanceros, then 2018 is your year. We can only hope that these brand owners have put their most skilled Torcedors on the task to roll them, because they are the hardest to roll.
The FDA Battle Continues in Texas
This past week, oral arguments were heard by U.S. Magistrate Judge Kimberly Priest Johnson in En Fuego Tobacco Shop et al. v. United States Food and Drug Administration et al. The law suit was most specifically about whether the government should delay or suspend the implementation Aug. 10. date for warning labels. and was specific to premium cigars as defined in the FDA deeming regulations.
Before things got deep, the En Fuego legal team argued, for the record, the definition of a premium cigar. The team accepted the FDA definition with the exception of the arbitrary $10.00 price point.
The battle in the court room raged on, with both sides arguing their case and Judge Priest Johnson asking pointed questions. The most curious question came from Judge Priest Johnson as she wondered why the FDA is pushing for warning labels as they have re-opened a new comment period on the original deeming regulation. I would think that would be a red face moment for the FDA lawyers.
The result of the hearing was that we should expect a ruling before the August 10th deadline.
What’s Coming to the IPCPR
Well, it is just 2 weeks before the 86th Annual, International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers (IPCPR) Association Trade Show in Las Vegas, NV. Press releases are filling my inbox constantly with announcements of new blends and line extensions from brand owners. I don’t get all them, but every year Halfwheel.com does an awesome job keeping track of this information. They continually update a table that lists all the new lines and line extensions that have been announced.
Based on that data, as of today, there are 383 launches that are planned or have been launched in 2018.
Further analysis shows that Nicaraguan cigars top the list with 182 followed closely by the Dominican Republic with 123. The rest of the list includes Honduras (48), Costa Rica (11), USA (8), Mexico (1). There are 10 that are not defined. They also include Cuban cigars in their list, but we will not discuss those here. It should also be noted that the list includes cigars that are being “launched”; and for FDA compliance these cigars were somewhere in the US market prior to August 8, 2016.
New cigars lines account for 213 of these launches while full production line extensions total 43. The remainder are considered limited editions. The full break down of the categories is presented below.
Furthermore, the factory with the most launches this is TABSA with 30 and immediately followed by Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A. (29), Cigars Davidoff (23), and Tabacalera La Alianza S.A. (19). The full break down is displayed below.
Not all these may be available at the IPCPR but rest assured most of them will. This list is bound to continue to grow and even after the show there is normally more added. It should be noted that the 383 launches is by far the lowest number I have seen over the last five years. Previous lists were above 1,000. When talking about lanceros – there 16 on the list of 383.
Question of the Week
Strangely, I was not able to find a good question posted on social media this week, so keeping with the theme of Lanceros, I will ask one myself.
Do you like, love, or hate lanceros?
As for me, I love them. I think they offer the best opportunity to truly taste the wrapper leaf and still get the flavor profile of the blend. If you think about it, a lancero is 7.5 inches long with a 38 or 40 ring gauge. If you think about it, the amount of leaf is about the same as a robusto but only spread out along the length. The length of smoke is about the same and if it rolled well it will give maximum pleasure.
That’s about it for major news and interesting questions from cigar media this week. Remember to tune in to Kaplowtiz Media this coming Monday as Kap rips into the Cigar News Powered by Stogie Press.