"Why does this cigar cost so much?"

This is a question I get asked by a lot of new smokers and if you are one of them looking to get into the cigar hobby, this may be insightful for you.

   As many of you know, Don Juan Metairie made our way to the IPCPR retail cigar convention. There was plenty going on and plenty we can report on but the wider view of the show to you guys, I find, is a better glare into the inner workings on these sorts of events.

   So what is the IPCPR? Essentially the IPCPR is a retail convention closed off too consumers. You need to have a tobacco related business as well as a yearly membership paid to participate. The money provided by the IPCPR's members go to paying for the trade show as well as political action taken on ours and your behalf. It isn't just a convention we pay for, though. It is a group of retailers who utilize these events so that we can learn more about our industry. Cigar related and otherwise. We can pick up all sorts of valuable knowledge from manufacturers, other retailers sharing experiences and general business knowledge.

   SO WHAT ABOUT THE CIGARS?! Is what I feel like you're screaming in your heads right now. Well, the IPCPR definitely has a huge amount of cigar manufacturers that showcase their products! That's the core of the show after all. When we are there, as purchasers we have the opportunity to get a cigar that hasn't released to the public from multiple manufacturers. We can either sit and enjoy it and just talk to our friends from all over the world or we can critique it and form an opinion right then and there. Sure, many of the manufacturers will give us a handful of cigars to try. At the end of the day though, you can't taste anything thirty different cigars smoked. Trust me...it's not as fun as it sounds. However that's how some tend to do business. Smoke everything and then make their decisions. There are always some that choose to just order and move on. Everyone does things differently and that usually leads to multiple retailers waiting for a meeting or just skip an appointment all together. It's a crap shoot some times but most folks keep a good schedule.

   STILL WAITING ON CIGAR NEWS! Yes I know! I'll break down this years ones to keep an eye out for as well as things that may pique your interest coming to our shop!

WHIFF OUT: We finally made contact! This is a small affordable powder and spray that can kill tobacco smoke. The Spray is for your clothes. It's usefull as hell. Keep some in your car or in a briefcase. The powder is one of the more interesting items from them as you use it to pour into your ashtray then ash over it. Don't want that stale acrid smell emanating from your ashtray? This will do the trick!

Dunbarton T&T- Sin Comprimiso: This is one of the clear winners from this years show. From the mind of Steve Sake, he brought "no compromise when making this cigar...except for not making it $100 a stick like the previously released Unicorn. I had already smoked a ton of cigars but even through all of it, I could taste some flavor notes as it broke through the barrier of 9 cigars. It was smooth, robust in flavor, medium strength and extremely well constructed. It is featured in beautiful 10 count boxes and will be available around mid August (Or atleast we hope)

CLE...NUBS?- CLE Cigars from maker Christian Eiroa is bringing his core lines (Habano, Connectcut, Corojo) into a short, fat...almost cute 4x60 version. For all of you NUB smokers, these are ones that might catch your eye!

ALADINO- We have had the Aladino Maduro for about a month now and it is an amazing cigar. Medium strength, full flavored Maduro reminiscent of "old school" Camacho maduros. The full release of this cigar is slated for next week but what's really awesome news is the Corojo Reserva! If you remember Camcho pre-Davidoff, you will know this cigar as the "Diploma"! Julio Eiroa made some magic happen!

SOUTHERN DRAW- There is a lot going on for SD Cigars! The first limited release, Cedrus, will be featured in 10 count up-right boxes that latch from the side. It's a very cool box with VERY good cigars inside. Medium-full body, rich cedar and coco notes followed by some hints of green chili pepper. It's unique and extremely tasty! BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE! Coming September 1st, 300 Hands! A charity project that gives each purchase of a 10-count bundle a look into the lives of a Nicaraguan Native that gave owners, Robert and SHaron Holt, their story. Portions of the proceeds go directly to hand picked charities benefitting those living in Nicaragua 

Tatuaje is a company created out of passion. Passion for art and fine cigars! The creator, Pete Johnson, channels his love of tattoos
and cigars in his company and it shows in all of his creations. Mr Tatoo, as they call him for good reason, came on the scene with his
vision and passion and has yet to let up. In all of his products from the boxes to the bands to the stogie itself, there is a part of him
and that's why he is one of the best boutique companies out there! Today's review is on a little bombshell (while it has been out for a while),
the Petite Cazadore!


Cigar: CLE Prieto Toro
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Since the SYAP (Shut Your Ash Up) team has been busy, I decided to burn some time with an unadulterated, no-holds barred review of the #17 cigar of the year, the C.L.E Prieto Toro. While the robusto is technically the vitola that got the rating from Cigar Aficionado, I wanted a longer smoke…so sue me.
Now, to preface this, I am eating pizza and drinking coke. The traditional lazy man’s delivery dinner when all other options are exhausted. I say this only because when I looked down at my cigar…the paper wrapping is stained with pizza grease. Just sayin’….now on with the show!!!

Over the years, we have urged everyone to sign-up for the CRA(Cigar Rights of America). They continually fight for our rights to enjoy cigars! If you haven't joined them, now is the time to. The FDA has acknowledged that they are going to attempt to regulate the premium cigar industry. This is the worst case scenario, unfortunately. With the FDA rules in effect, for example, we would no longer be able to give away free cigars. Blends of cigars will be subject to an application where the FDA may allow or disallow the manufacturing of particular cigars. That means we could be seeing the same old same old from every cigar maker and not be able to enjoy the creativity expressed through tobacco just because the FDA doesn't deem it fit for consumption weather it be too strong or even using tobacco grown in certain locations. This will most definitely stifle the experimental cigar lines out there like certain small batch companies often do. This is the time to act and we whole heartedly encourage you to visit www.cigarrights.org and sign-up.

Even if you do not sign-up(although please do and support them), they have an "Action Alert" button that will aid you in getting a message out to your state reps and congressional representatives. This is not a drill and this industry faces a very hard battle....help out on the front lines and lets save cigars as we know it! A full article on what the FDA plans to do can be found at www.halfwheel.com


Thank you and as always, Smoke on!