Saturday, April 30, 2011

Local pastor invites public to join him for a cigar

( If there's one thing Tim Stevenson loves, it's a fine cigar. He also enjoys people-watching and engaging in conversation.
That's why he frequents Stogies Cigar Lounge on Pine Street when he isn't at Horizon Community Church in Galt, where he is senior pastor.
Stevenson, who always seems to try something new, is beginning a program called Holy Smoke at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Continued

Friday, April 29, 2011

Tobacco planting nearly done in Georgia-Florida, just starting in Kentucky

(Tobacco Farmer Newsletter) The “horses are at the gate” for Kentucky burley, but the “race” is going to be delayed at least a little while longer, says Bob Pearce, Kentucky Extension tobacco specialist. “We have plants ready for setting, but we have had an incredible amount of rain,” he says. “Our soils are very wet, and our fields aren’t ready yet.” Continued

Scandal in Cuba's cigar industry

(Economist) ... For over a decade Manuel García, Habanos’s commercial vice-president, was the public face of the Cuban cigar industry, living a jet-set life that most Cubans can only dream of. But this year Mr García was not there to greet visitors at the Havana cigar festival. Since August 2010 he has been in jail, accused of masterminding graft on a grand scale. Continued

Thursday, April 28, 2011

J.C. Newman adds "Short Torp" to its Brick House cigar line

(Cigar Aficionado) Tampa's J.C. Newman Cigar Co., which has long had most of its premium cigars made in the Domincan Republic, is boosting its popular and inexpensive Brick House line from Nicaragua.
The Brick House Short Torp, a 5 1/2 by 52 mini-pyramid, will be on display in July at the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers (IPCPR) trade show. Continued

Cuban Cigar Maker Breaks His Record and Keeps on Rolling

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 28 (acn) With the tenacity of the great champions, Cuban cigar roller Jose Castelar Cairo, best known as "Cueto", surpassed on Wednesday his latest world record for the longest cigar (45.38 M long) made by himself in 2008 and certified as a Guinness Record.
Cueto is still working on the cigar at La Triada cigar store, located in La Cabaña Fortress, in Havana, to make it longer with the goal of exhibiting it at the upcoming International Tourism Fair FitCuba 2011 in May. Cueto started his most recent deed on Monday using aromatic leafs from tobacco plantations in Vueltabajo, Pinar del Río, the land were the best tobacco of the world is grown. Continued

Tobacco Farmers Urged to Insure Their Crop

( TOBACCO farmers must insure their crop to guard against hazards which might affect their golden leaf in the event of mishaps.
The call follows incidents during the Easter holidays in which tobacco awaiting delivery at the auction floors was drenched by rains while waiting for the reopening of the floors.
Experts said that such instances would result in a drop in the value of the crop at the auction. Continued

Photo: South Georgia tobacco sharecropper during the tobacco auction, 1938 Dorothea Lange (Library of Congress).

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Zino Releases Amped Up Z-Class Cigars

(Cigar Aficionado) A new, full-bodied Zino is coming to retail in May—the Zino Platinum Z-Class Series.
Stronger than the Zino Platinum Crown or Scepter lines, the Z-Class draws its increased power from a Dominican Wrapper, Peruvian binder, and hearty Nicaraguan and Honduran filler.
The cigars come outfitted with a sleek black band and are packaged in streamlined, brushed-metal tins of 20. Continued

Xikar Cuts Prices on its HC Series Cigars

(Smoke Magazine) Cigar and accessory maker Xikar, Inc. has cut the prices on its HC Series cigars by an average of 18 percent across the line, repositioning the premium, handmade cigars to a price range of $6-8 per cigar.
"The blends and the quality will not change," says Scott Almsberger, Vice President of Product Development. The cigars are produced at boutique factories in Nicaragua and Honduras by Jesus Fuego, and are offered in three different blends: Connecticut Shade, Criollo, and Habano Colorado, and from four to six shapes per blend. Continued

Commission gives Bartow cigar extension

(Polk County Democrat) Until several weeks ago, everything was on schedule for the county to transfer title of the Thompson Cigar Factory to the city of Bartow. Then at the penultimate moment, the Environmental Protection Agency stepped in and told the city it wanted to conduct its own study using its own resources. Continued

Tobacco-derived compound prevents memory loss in Alzheimer's disease mice

University of South Florida (USF Health) Cotinine, a compound derived from tobacco, reduced plaques associated with dementia and prevented memory loss in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, a study led by researchers at Bay Pines VA Healthcare System and the University of South Florida found.
The findings are reported online in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease in advance of print publication. Continued

Indio Cigar Factory owner offers tobacco knowledge

CHARLESTON, Ill. (Mattoon Journal-Gazette) ... "The most unique thing about my shop is you can see how a cigar is made from start to finish," said Marvin Mirick, owner of Indio Cigar Factory. "You also get the benefit of my vast knowledge of cigars, tobacco and trends in the industry."
Indio Cigar Factory was established in June 2006, but opened at its doors at its current location, 503 Seventh St., Charleston, in July 2007.
Mirick said he's rolled at least 10,000 cigars since first opening his business in the garage of his Charleston home. Continued

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Raw Video: Rolling the World's Longest Cigar

(AP) Famed Cuban cigar-making king Jose "Cueto" Castelar is looking to almost double his previous Guinness World Record cigar by rolling one more than 229 feet long. (April 26)

Spring tobacco update from Dubinthedam

Just a quick hello and a look around the messy home of the habitual pipe smoker.

Cigar Travel: Graycliff Boutique and Divan Airport Lounge, Nassau, Bahamas

(Cigar Aficionado) Flying is often a stressful endeavor for anyone, but it can be especially tough on a cigar enthusiast needing a smoke.That is, unless you're traveling to The Bahamas, where the new Graycliff Boutique and Divan recently opened, the third such lounge (The others are located at Nashville International Airport.) Continued

Bulgaria Launches Privatization of State Tobacco Giant

( Bulgaria's state cigarette producer Bulgartabac Holding, whose management has been harshly criticized in recent years, will be declared for privatization on Tuesday after years of procrastination. Continued

Related: Philip Morris, Japan Tobacco, KT&G Interested in Bulgartabak

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cigar Review: Torano Single Region Serie Jalapa

(Toasted Foot) Released in August of 2010, right around the IPCPR convention, the Torano Single Region Serie Jalapa is available in three sizes and priced between $6.50 and $6.95. The three sizes are a 5×52 Robusto, a 6×54 Toro Grande, and a 7×50 Churchill. The Serie Jalapa is the first release in the newly established Single Region Series. Each cigar in the series will feature tobacco from one field in a particular region. The Serie Jalapa’s tobacco is derived from the El Estero Farm in Jalapa, Nicaragua, which is located in the northernmost growing province. To learn more about this blend you can read the press release here. Continued

Why won't my girlfriend get intimate without lighting up a cigar?

(Mirror) Dear Coleen,

I don’t understand my partner. She’s taken up cigars and says it’s very sexy to smoke them, which I kind of agree with.
But every time we start getting intimate, she lights up. And if she hasn’t got a cigar, she won’t get close. Do you think this is strange? Continued

Cuban seeks to break own record with 70-meter cigar

HAVANA (AFP) A Cuban cigar roller began Monday rolling a 70-meter (230-foot) cigar in an attempt to nearly double his previous Guinness world record, a spokesman said.
Working eight hours a day for nine days, 67-year-old Jose "Cueto" Castelar is hoping to break his 2009 record of a 43.38-meter-long (142-foot-long) stogie.
He hopes to complete his latest feat on May 3 and display it at the International Tourism Fair, which runs Monday-Saturday next week. It would be his fifth record in more than half a century of cigar-rolling. Continued

Vintage Cadillac giveaway planned for cigar store anniversary

( Two Guys Smoke Shop of Salem, Nashua, and Seabrook [NH] will be celebrating its 26th Anniversary on Sept. 21, by giving away a classic automobile, a 1936 Cadillac Fleetwood. Two Guys has not only become known for its retail cigar shops but also for its elaborate anniversary events which have included everything from giving away motorcycles, a Hummer H2 automobile, elaborate trips and cash. ... At 6 p.m. on Sept. 21 at DiBurro's Function Facility in Ward Hill, Mass., there will be dinner, 22 premium cigars per person, music, meet-and-greets with the biggest names in the world of hand-crafted cigars and a wide variety of door prizes, including the 1936 Cadillac Fleetwood automobile. Continued

Sunday, April 24, 2011

India Tobacco Board to revive exports, targets 20% growth

( With exports declining in 2010-11, the Tobacco Board has held a meeting with top exporters of tobacco products to revive and increase exports by 20 per cent as projected by the Union Ministry of Commerce.
Keeping in view the sensitivities involved, the Board discussed strategies to increase productivity from the existing area of production, while reviving and finding new markets abroad that give higher yields.
“We are not going to issue any new licences. We would like to increase productivity from the existing acreage,” Mr G. Kamalavardhana Rao, Chairman of Tobacco Board, told Business Line. Continued

The Smoking Poet has celebrated stogies and stanzas for five years

(mlive) Five years ago, Zinta Aistars dreamed of opening a poetry/cigar lounge.
The Kalamazoo writer was in Austin, Texas, on a business trip and visited a cigar lounge. There, she saw how clientele “just dropped the stress of the world at the door,” Aistars said. Continued

Pioneers of Connecticut Shade Leaf Tobacco

(International Cigar History Museum) An 1896 USDA Bulletin described the light sandy soil along the Connecticut River to be very much like the soils in which high priced wrapper-grade Sumatran tobacco was grown.
In 1899 the US Department Agriculture sent the Department’s top tobacco expert, Milton L. Floyd, to help study fermentation methods.
Another of Floyd’s duties was to do a detailed analysis of 400 square miles of Connecticut Valley soil from South Glastonbury, Conn., to South Hadley, Mass. Floyd explained the reason behind the Survey: Continued

Photos: Cultivating shade tobacco covered by "fields" of cheesecloth to protect it from the sun. Near Hartford, Connecticut, 1941 (Marion Post Wolcott/Library of Congress).

Saturday, April 23, 2011

18th Century Tobacco Economy

Tobacco was an important crop grown in Virginia and the other southern colonies before the American Revolution and was essential to the economy during colonial times. In this video, two young visitors to the Yorktown Victory Center learn about growing tobacco, why it was called a cash crop, how the farmer exchanged his tobacco for a note rather than cash and how farming changed during and after the war.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Napoleon Cigar Club now open in Scottsdale

( Old Town Scottsdale's swanky new hangout is a nod to the old school, with cigars, retro cocktails, live jazz and old movies. The Napoleon is a cigar lounge. It opened in February, replacing the second floor of what used to be the Estate House at the Scottsdale Waterfront. The 6,000-square-foot space pays homage to the classy cigar clubs in New York City and Los Angeles, according to owner Napoleon Smith. Continued

At long last: Cigars and Bowling

(Leesburg Today) King Pinz, located at 1602 Village Market Boulevard, Suite 100 [Leesburg, Virginia], has announced plans to expand its existing 15,312-square-foot space to 21,564 square feet. Plans for the expanded space include six additional bowling lanes, for a total of 18 lanes, as well as a cigar bar and cocktail lounge with a separate entrance. Continued

Cuban Cigar Roller to Attempt a New Guinness Record

(Solvision) Cuban cigar-roller Jose Castelar Cairo (Cueto), with four Guinness World Records, will make an attempt to roll a 70 meter-long cigar, starting on Monday, April 25, until noon on May 3, at the Morro-Cabaña Park, in Havana. According to the Opciones newspaper, Cueto will exhibit his work at the 31st International Tourism Fair (FITCuba 2011), scheduled for the Cuban capital from May 2 through 7 with the attendance of national and foreign participants. Cueto, who works at La Triada Shop, has already hand-rolled four Habanos of 11,04 m, 14,80 m, 20,41 m, and 45,38 m, in chronological order; all of which have been acknowledged as Guinness World Records. Continued

How to Prepare Plug Tobacco

(Bob Tate) Plug pipe tobacco is another form of tobacco that needs to be prepared and cut before it is able to be smoked. It is another form of tobacco that can seem intimidating to prepare, but once you know how to do it, it is really quite simple. Plug tobacco is basically large pieces of tobacco leafs that are layered on top of each other and pressed into a block, or plug, of tobacco. Continued

Uganda: Kanungu RDC Cautions Tobacco Farmers

( Tobacco farmers in Kanungu have been cautioned against doing business with companies that have not been registered with the district authorities. According to the Resident District Commissioner, Mr Ben Rullonga, farmers risk losing out if the companies continue operating illegally. Continued

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

21 Degrees Cigars Three Year Anniversary Extravaganza

Scottsdale, AZ (PRWEB) Love cigars? 21 Degrees Cigars invites all cigar lovers to come celebrate with the 21 Degree Cigar Family and Rocky Patel on Friday May 6th, 2011 from 4 to 8pm. Celebrate what the cigar life style is all about. Take advantage of savings on top rated cigars, buy a box of Rocky Patel cigars and have it personally signed by celebrity cigar maker Rocky Patel. Continued

Monkeys and Tobacco don't mix

The Good Little Monkeys, Hear no Evil, See No Evil, and Speak No Evil take up smoking, and have a trippy time with dancing and singing hobo cigars, Mexican cigarettes and hillbilly corn-cob pipes.

‘Roll-your-own’ smokes now high tech, low cost

(Morehead News) We can throw away the image of a grizzled cowpoke closing his tobacco pouch drawstring with his yellowed teeth and licking a loosely-rolled, skinny, homemade cigarette.
“Roll-your-own” has gone high tech with a growing number of smokers opting for homemade cigarettes at a fourth of the cost of mass produced, tailor-made “smokes.” ... “Yep, I know I’m probably killing myself but it’s not costing me as much as it did before.” Continued

Bartow wants more time on cigar factory

(The Ledger) Bartow officials are scheduled to appear before the County Commission on April 26 to ask for more time to get things squared away on the plans to restore the former cigar factory.
Last year commissioners gave the city and anyone else involved until the end of April to come up with a plan to take over the historic building that has become a health and environmental hazard because of water damage and bird guano. Continued

Cutter's Cigar Bar to Host Wine & Cigar Tasting on April 21st

( Cutter's Cigar Bar at the downtown Charlotte Marriott City Center Hotel -- named one of the "Top 50 Cigar Bars in the US" by Cigar Aficionado -- will be hosting a wine and cigar tasting on Thursday April 21, 2011 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The tasting will pair three wines from Renwood Winery with Jose Oliva Cigars.
The wines featured will be Renwood Winery's Cranky Old Vine Zinfandel, Fiddletown Zinfandel, and Old Vine Zinfandel. The rich, bold reds will be the perfect complement to the Jose Olivia cigars. Continued

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Maduro Cigar and Bar North opens in Southwest Florida

(Sarasota Herald-Tribune) Opened by Rick Bellucci, Maduro’s features more than 250 varieties of premium cigars. Fine wines by the bottle or glass and a large selection of imported beers can be enjoyed in the lounge area. ... Maduro also carries cigar accessories, including lighters, humidors, cutters and ashtrays. Continued

RED SUN Cigarettes: We Put the Fun Back Into Smoking!

(Business Wire) Goodrich Tobacco Company, a subsidiary of 22nd Century Group, Inc. (OTCBB: XXII.ob), introduced RED SUN brand cigarettes to the tobacco trade at the NATO (National Association of Tobacco Outlets) trade show in Las Vegas. RED SUN is a super-premium specialty cigarette that challenges the anti-smoking establishment.
In response to consumer sentiment against the endless assault on tobacco usage, Goodrich Tobacco Company proclaims on “We put the Fun back into smoking!” RED SUN contains a rich, proprietary tobacco blend with relatively high natural nicotine content, and RED SUN utilizes the finest cigarette paper and filter creating an extraordinary tasting cigarette that smokers describe as “The Best Cigarette Ever Made.” Continued

British American Tobacco to Distribute 600,000 Tree Seedlings in Migori, Kenya

( Migori tobacco farmers will get 585,000 tree seedlings to replenish trees cut to cure the produce before it is sold cigarette giant British American Tobacco. BAT's Oyani leaf centre manager Charles Kamau said the seedlings will be distributed before the end of June before farmers start planting for the new season. Kamau said by June, they expect to distribute the tree seedlings to over 1,500 contracted tobacco farmers. Continued

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tobacco use at Little Bighorn

(Beartooth NBC) The jumping off point was two small pieces of metal found at the Little Bighorn archaeological site. They were identified as tobacco tags and eight of ten human remains showed signs of tobacco use. Then Shannon Vihlene of the Montana Historical Society went to work. "It was a long process of check marking; did this guy take his tobacco ration? Yes or no?” says Vihlene. Continued

Photo: Little Big Horn Cigars. This box first appeared in stores within months of Custer’s demise. Brand was trade marked by Holzmann & Deutschbverger, a 250 roller factory in Manhattan. Fact. 976, 3rd Dist NYC. (National Cigar History Museum).

Trio of Cuban San Cristóbal Cigars to Get Cut

(Cigar Aficionado) Every year, a few Cuban cigars are deleted from Habanos S.A.'s portfolio of sizes. This year, a trio of San Cristóbal de la Habana sizes are on the chopping block. The Muralla, Mercaderes and Oficios are scheduled to be taken out of production. Though not part of the original core line, which was launched in 1999, these sizes were released in 2006 as La Casa del Habano exclusives. Continued

Producing safer tobacco critical in capturing foreign markets

( The rapid growth of middle classes in China, India and other countries over the past few years has opened up new markets for Southeastern tobacco. Health problems associated with tobacco use are well circulated worldwide and making tobacco safer is an ongoing challenge for the tobacco industry. China is the world leader in tobacco production and a good example of how the tobacco market is likely to go in the near future. As is the case for all developed countries, the growth in demand in China is expected to come from safer tobacco, which is not grown extensively in China or other Asian countries. Continued

Reeking Gallants: Elizabethan Tobacco Culture

The contemporary writer Dekker employs the term "artillery" to describe the elaborate smoking paraphernalia of these fashionable dandies who, especially at the Elizabethan theater, earned themselves the title of "reeking gallants." Such a "tobacconist" might carry a set of Winchester clays (or those ornamented with silver and gold), an ivory or metal box which contained up to a pound of tobacco, silver tongs for lifting the glowing ember to light his pipe, a pick, a knife to shred the tobacco, and a small scoop for drying the leaf. With such equipment a gallant might sit on a stool at the side of the stage and, "clowding the loathing ayr with foggie fume," as one observer put it, embarrass the actors with his audible criticism. Serving boys supplied lights which were passed from one gallant to another on the point of a sword. ... And so, while the Elizabethan dandies with their starched ruffs, gilthandled swords, and velvet breeches took boxes of silver pipes to the theater, clay pipes were passed from hand to hand in the so-called "tabagies"--meeting places resembling ordinary taverns. And the poor man had to content himself with a pipe made from a walnut shell and a straw stem. -Alfred Dunhill

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Savanna Tobacco in international expansion drive

( SAVANNA tobacco is on a drive to consolidate and expand its market share after identifying gaps that need to be filled, the cigarette manufacturer’s executive chairman Adam Molai has said. Savanna tobacco, which produces cigarette brands Pacific, has also caught the eye of international cigarette producers. Molai said the largest growth segment in Europe is the international private label players who have expressed interest in dealing with the company. He intimated that big European tobacco players have approached the company to produce on their behalf after noting the company’s exceptional performance on the market. Continued

CigarCyclopedia back online

Looks like the old Cigarcyclopedia site is back online, including its "cyclopedia of cigars," which is the best cigar reference tool that I know of. Link

Sesquicentennial Tobacco: Major Anderson Cigars

(Wikipedia) Robert Anderson (June 14, 1805 – October 26, 1871) was an American military leader. He served as a Union Army officer in the American Civil War, known for his command of Fort Sumter at the start of the war. He is often referred to as Major Robert Anderson, referring to his rank at Fort Sumter. Continued

Photo: Major Anderson cigars. Woodcut by Calkins & Goodwin, circa 1861 (Library of Congress).

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A case for pairing cigars with water

(Robert Meyn) ... Although I mentioned that alcohol (especially my favorite, Maker's Mark) is the same kind of solvent as water, I would dissuade y'all from drinking alcohol if you're trying to assess a new stick's true flavor, simply because alcoholic beverages come with their own characteristic flavors which will interfere with your taste buds in a way that water - which, by definition is flavorless - will not. Trying a cigar for the first time accompanied by water will also give a truer sense of which alcoholic beverages will go best with that same cigar when you move on to the 2nd and 3rd cigars you sample, and that is something I'm always looking forward to. Continued

Malawi court convicts 124 tobacco farmers

(Nyasa Times) A Malawian court has convicted and sentenced 124 tobacco farmers from the Central Region district of Mchinji for attempting to smuggle tobacco to neighbouring Zambia. The 124 were among a group of 170 growers arrested last Wednesday around 2am at Kapiri Trading Centre as they tried to illegally cross into Zambia via Nkanda using uncharted routes. ... Most Malawian tobacco farmers this year are turning to countries like Zambia and Mozambique to sell their leaf because buyers in these countries are offering prices that are way above those offered in Malawi. Continued

"It should be done everything possible to preserve tobacco industry in Garmen district"

Garmen, Bulgaria (Focus) We have to do everything possible to preserve tobacco production in Garmen district – Garmen municipality and region have their own serious problems. That is what President Georgi Parvanov said in Garmen in his greetings to people on the occasion of celebrations of the holiday of the municipality, correspondent of Radio Focus – Pirin announced. Continued

Cigar lovers light up at Magnum's

( When he opened his shop, Amar Patel wanted to quash the notion that cigars were indulgences reserved for gray-haired gentlemen wearing three-piece suits, sitting around a fire talking about the stock market. Patel opened Magnum's Cigars, Wine and Spirits in north Phoenix in 2005.
Patel's elegant ode to the upscale speakeasy has added an expanded cocktail lounge, lured one of the industry's hottest bartenders and successfully fought for the right for patrons to legally smoke and sip. Continued

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hearth & Home Lakeland Brickle Tobacco Review

(P*p*s Magazine) Do you want to try something unique, extremely tasty, and previously hard-to-get? The new Hearth & Home Lakeland Brickle is one of my favorite new tobaccos. Blender Russ Ouellette realized a market opportunity with the scarcity of “Lakeland-style” blends from British makers Samuel Gawith and Gawith Hoggarth & Co. Both of these boutique pipe tobacco manufacturers have some extremely popular blends, and to the frustration of pipe smokers worldwide, they cannot keep up with the demand. When stock does arrive, the hoarding mentality takes over, leaving still many discouraged pipesters. Now we have Hearth & Home Lakeland Brickle to the rescue. Continued

Capt. Earle’s Honor Blend Tobacco Review

(Bob Tate) The tin aroma is rich, sweet, and slightly earthy with hints of plum to it. There is also a kind of fruitiness to it that reminds me of wine. I cut off some of the tobacco and rubbed it out. After it was rubbed out, the aroma changed a bit. The sweet and plum aromas are more pronounced and now there is quite a bit of tang to it that tickles the nose. This blend smells great! The moisture content is perfect for smoking right away with no drying time needed. I loaded up the pipe and proceeded to the charring light. Continued

Photo: The Charles W. Morgan, Captain Earle's ship.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Big Cut—Donatus Cigar Scissors

(Cigar Aficionado) While you don't absolutely need a cigar cutter to smoke a fine cigar—you could always use your teeth to nip off a bit of the closed cap—every aficionado should own one. ... Cigar cutters can be beautiful things, and none are more elegant or stylish than a full-sized pair of cigar scissors. A fine example is the Donatus Big Cut. Continued

Chaos At Zimbabwe Tobacco Auction Floors

( LAST week's brief suspension of tobacco deliveries to the floors failed to ease congestion and improve the plight of farmers. The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board had suspended all deliveries to the floors to allow merchants to clear the tobacco that was already there. A visit to the Tobacco Sales Floor yesterday showed that thousands of farmers are still stranded in long queues of laden trucks waiting to be served amid reports of rampant corruption among the officers manning the entry points. Continued

Woohoo Buckaroo, it's The 2011 Balkan Sobranie Tobacco Throwdown!

(P*p*s Magazine) As G. L. Pease refers to it, Balkan Sobranie is “The Stuff of Legend“. This long ago extinct brand of pipe tobacco is probably the most legendary of all pipe tobaccos. Even after two decades of being out of production, it is still one of the most talked about tobaccos in online forums. We now have a collaboration between three of the most prominent pipe clubs across America in sponsoring and hosting the first ever, “2011 Balkan Sobranie Throwdown”, which will be a competition to try to re-create this famous blend. The Seattle Pipe Club and the New York Pipe Club are co-sponsoring the competition, and the Chicagoland Pipe Collectors Club will host the final judging and awards ceremony at the Chicago International Pipe Show at 5:00pm on Saturday, May 14th. Continued

Photo: Lamarde

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chess, cigars at Friday Fest

(Polk County Democrat) ... That’s not all that’s in store on Friday night in Downtown Bartow. Thompson Cigar Factory Redevelopment Project Team will feature a woman hand rolling cigars from tobacco leaves in the traditional manner. The team is raising money for restoration of the historical Bartow factory on Third Avenue. Team members will be on hand to explain the importance of the project and the possible uses for the building, that could contribute to the economy and cultural life of the Bartow area. T-shirts featuring a rendering of the factory will be sold to help raise funds and awareness of the project. Continued

Photo: "The Pride and Sorrow of Chess," Paul Morphy (Library of Congress).

Tuco looking for a cigar

Scene from "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" (1966). For more on this subject see: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Coyote: The Return of American Style Cigars

Zimbabwe Tobacco Sales Top Last Year's Figure

THIRTY-EIGHT million kilogrammes of flue-cured tobacco worth US$112 million has been sold since the tobacco marketing season began in February.
This is about seven million kilogrammes more than the 31 million kg worth US$94,7 million sold during the same period last year.
According to the latest statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board, 511 306 bales have been laid so far. Continued

Illinois hookah lounges thriving

(Chicago Tribune) Three years after the state banned indoor smoking in public places, Chicago-area hookah lounges are hotter than ever, packing in a new crop of aficionados to puff on ancient communal water pipes.
Employing a loophole that allows patrons to light up inside tobacco shops, dozens of the exotic smoking dens have sprung up in the city and suburbs since the Smoke Free Illinois Act became law in 2008, much to the frustration of some health officials. Continued

Lagunas Cigarettes

(CSN) Kretek International Inc. launched the U.S. sales of Djarum's Lagunas brand premium imported cigarettes. A combination of tobaccos from the U.S., Brazil Indonesia, Turkey, and Greece, Lagunas is available in two styles: Smooth Select and Menthol select. Continued

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cigar Review: Sancho Panza

(Toasted Foot) With a slight box press and a medium brown to almond colored wrapper, this is a good looking cigar. The Sancho Panza is well packed and is quite hefty in the palm – from head to foot, there is a sloppy double cap but a well packed and formed foot. The exterior is leathery and has an excellent and clean aroma of mild spice and nuts. Continued

Fader’s Tobacco Shop

(Pipes Magazine) Last week I had the occasion to be in Towson, MD with some time to kill. I stopped in to Fader’s Tobacco shop. This is the real tobacco deal. When you first walk in you are greeted by that familiar aroma that you can’t get shopping online. Continued

A Tale of Two Cigar Factories

(Cigar Aficionado) My trip to Nicaragua last week was short and sweet. I was there for the Nicaraguan Cigar Festival and file a story for Cigar Aficionado (you'll read more about that soon). You saw my visits to tobacco fields, but I also took the time to visit two very different cigar factories in Estelí, the town in northwestern Nicaragua where most of the country's cigars are made. Continued

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hickey Brothers Cigar Stores marks the 110th anniversary

ROCK ISLAND, IL (Quad-Cities Online) For over 50 years the signature color of green represented a Quad-Cities based business empire that stretched across America. No, it wasn't John Deere. It was Hickey Brothers Cigar Stores. April 13, 2011 will mark the 110th anniversary of the day in 1901 when 17 year-old Davenport native William Hickey, and his 12 year-old brother Dennis, used the $745 they had saved selling newspapers to open the very first Hickey Brothers Cigar Store at 123 E. 3rd St. in Davenport. From this small beginning the brothers branched out by acquiring and opening other stores and hotel cigar stands. At its peak, Hickey Brothers grew to over 150 stores that ringed the nation like a giant cigar band. Continued

Bella Filtered Cigars

(CSN) Sunshine Tobacco is adding to its line-up of tobacco products with Bella Filtered Cigars. Bella will come in five varieties: Full Flavor, Lights, Ultra Lights, Menthol and Menthol Ultra Lights. Bella will be available in 100s for its mid- to late-April launch; 120s will follow in the next couple of months. After receiving favorable response from focus group testing and Tobacco Plus Expo 2011 attendees Sunshine Tobacco is looking to fill a niche among the growing number of women in the filtered cigar market. Bella Filtered Cigars come in elegantly designed packs of 20. Link

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tudor Holcomb: Tobacco Farmer, Entrepreneur, And Organizer

(Patch) The historic Broad Hill Farm in the western hills of Granby with its beautiful collection of woodlands, hillside pastures, barnyards and open fields, intersected and bordered by trout streams and the Salmon Brook, is known today as the Holcomb Farm. Long referred to by many as 'Granby’s jewel,' it covers more than 300 acres of land formerly owned and operated by Tudor and Laura Holcomb. The family built a thriving operation that survived the Great Depression and in 1940 allowed Tudor to be named Connecticut’s Farmer of the Year, honoring his long history of experimentation and innovation in both tobacco and dairy farming. This was quite an accomplishment considering the financial condition the farm was in at the turn of the 20th century. Continued

Photos: Tobacco sheds near Greenfield, Connecticut, John Collier, 1941 (Library of Congress).

Tobacco crop generates revenue despite declining market

(Tennessean) Westmoreland farmer Richard Denning spends his spring days caring for seedlings in his greenhouse, waiting for the plants to be strong enough to withstand the shock of planting in the field. Denning, a second-generation farmer, has watched his acreage grow through the years from 20 to 150 acres. He is one of 75 farmers in Sumner County still growing tobacco, a once-lucrative crop that can still put food on the table. Continued

Photo: Tobacco drying in a barn in Tennessee, Jack Boucher 1976 (Library of Congress).

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Leaf & Bean offers cigars, coffee, music ...and maybe some talk

(Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) According to barista Jeff Schooley, the reaction most people have when they walk into Leaf & Bean Company in the Strip District for the first time is almost universal: "What are you guys?" It's a question that has multiple answers. It's a coffee bar, a cigar shop and a hangout that evokes the image of a Key West haunt, with its island-themed decor. But the essence of Leaf & Bean can't be quantified by what it offers in material goods. It's what patrons do there -- commune over coffee, cigars and music -- that makes it unique. Continued

U.S. Growers Direct buying Southside tobacco

(Lynchburg News & Advance) U.S. Growers Direct plans to buy 100 million pounds of flue-cured tobacco this year from U.S. farmers, including growers in Southside Virginia, for markets in Southeast Asia, company leaders said. “Everybody’s excited about it,” said USGD co-founder and Vice President Jimmy Lee. “It’s another opportunity for tobacco growers.” Continued

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cigar Country: In the Fields of Jalapa

(Cigar Aficionado) Daybreak came all too soon Thursday morning in Estelí, Nicaragua. It had been a late night at the Nicaraguan Cigar Festival—or early morning, since I didn't hit the sack until 2:30 a.m.—and the cacophony of cigarmakers coming to work roused me out of bed before 7 a.m. The workday begins early in Nicaragua, and this is no place for a person to sleep in. I needed to be up anyway, as I was due to spend the day with the team from Aganorsa, one of the largest growers of cigar tobacco in Nicaragua. Continued

Millenium Tobacco Holds Inaugural Sale

( MILLENIUM Tobacco Auction Floors held its first tobacco sale in Harare on Wednesday with prices ranging from US$0,80 to US$4,50 per kg. MTF chairman, Mr Hillary Mombeshora, said the quality of the leaf was good especially as most of the first bales sold were from seasoned commercial farmers. "There is a blend of commercial, communal and small-scale farmers coming here but the quality is very good," he said. Continued

Cartoon by by Adam Koford, some rights reserved.

Is High Nicotine Snus the Best Snus?

(SnusCentral) As Swedish and Scandinavian snus use by Americans continues to grow, I'm receiving more questions and noticing more posts on snus forums equating the quality of snus by the amount of nicotine it contains. People talk of "moving up" to the extra high nicotine Extra Stark / Extra Strong /Ekstra Sterk snuses as though it is a right of passage to being a real snus user. Continued

RI’s Best Cigar Bars

The days of enjoying a cigar over a three-martini lunch went out with bell bottoms and disco, but fear not Don Draper wannabes: GoLocalProv has Rhode Island’s top spots to smoke a stogie and sip a scotch. Continued

Thursday, April 7, 2011

How To Bring Back A Dry Cigar

Do you have some precious smokes that are dried out? Let Al Remp, Thompson Cigar cigar expert, show you how to bring them back.

India's Tobacco Board to develop new sales centres

(sify) ... The Board has already cleared seven new auction platforms – three in Karnataka and four in Andhra Pradesh. These would be fully equipped with computers and closed circuit televisions to monitor the auctioning of tobacco. Besides, they would also have storage sheds. Continued

Infinity Smokes prepares for opening in Minneapolis

(Downtown Journal) The retail spaces on the first floor of the Stage Apartments at 814 Hennepin Avenue South are about to welcome a new tenant, an upscale cigar and tobacco store. ... Hamoubah noticed that Downtown lacked the high-end smoke shops common in cities like Chicago and believes the location is perfect for just such a shop. Continued

Government estimates point to record low burley tobacco acres in Kentucky, other burley states

(AP) Farmers in Kentucky and elsewhere are preparing to plant the fewest burley tobacco acres on record, according to government estimates. The National Agricultural Statistics Service says farmers intend to set 94,750 acres of burley overall this year. That would be the lowest burley acreage in nearly a century of records, falling below the current low of 97,500 acres in 2008. Continued

Photo: Pioneer Tobacco. Kentucky, circa 1868 (Library of Congress).

Cigar Review: EP Carrillo New Wave Connecticut

(Toasted Foot) The E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Edition is one of two new releases from the Carrillo family, the other being the Elencos Series, which is the same blend as the Edicion Limitada 2010 Elencos. These two blends are being released now to B&Ms. The New Wave is available in four sizes and is priced very well. This will be a full addition to their portfolio and will be available year round. Continued

How to Prepare Rope & Twist Tobacco

(Bob Tate) ... Ropes used to be the most common form of finished tobacco products. It can be chewed, cut and smoked, or ground up into nasal snuff. It was also the preferred choice of tobacco amongst sailors and miners of days gone by. Smoking in the mines was very hazardous and was not allowed. While they were in the mines working, they would just bite or cut off a chunk of tobacco from the rope and chew it while working. When they were done for the day, they would then cut tobacco off of the same rope and load it into their pipes to smoke it. It was, and still is, a multi-purpose form of tobacco. Continued

BAT to Develop ‘Safer’ Nicotine Products for Long-Term Use

(Bloomberg) British American Tobacco Plc (BATS), the maker of Lucky Strikes, created a unit that will seek to develop nicotine products for people wanting an alternative to cigarettes as governments aim to reduce smoking. Nicoventures Ltd. plans to develop tobacco-free nicotine products, Kate Matrunola, a spokeswoman for London-based BAT, said today. The unit employs four people and will discuss with regulators what sort of products might work, she said by phone. “It’s not for cessation,” Matrunola said. “There is an unmet need out there for consumers” who don’t want to quit. Continued

Zimbabwe Tobacco Deliveries Stopped

( THE Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board yesterday suspended all tobacco deliveries to the three tobacco auction floors for the rest of this week - to deal with a 13 000- bale stockpile of flue-cured tobacco. According to a notice issued yesterday, all new tobacco deliveries to the auction floors had been suspended until tomorrow. Deliveries would resume on Saturday, April 9. Continued

Tobacco Farm Life Museum presents author Elisa New

KENLY, N.C. (WNCT) A Harvard professor is making a stop at the Tobacco Farm Life Museum Thursday. It's happening in Kenly from 5 - 7 P.M. Elisa New will present and discuss her new book, Jacob's Cane. Continued

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Millenium Tobacco opens for trading

HARARE - Millennium Tobacco on Wednesday opened its doors for trading bringing to three the number of auction floors now operating in the country. An estimated 3 600 bales of tobacco were expected to be sold while the highest price per kg was $4, 50. Millennium Tobacco chairperson Hillary Mombeshora said the development would go a long way in easing pressure at the auction floors. Continued

Inside 262 Cigars with Clint Aaron

( Recently I sat down with Clint Aaron, the Co-Founder of the new boutique line 262. Clint was a warm and affable guest who had a lot to say when it came to talking about his new lines, company, and the cigar industry as a whole. Continued

Family-run Lovo's Cigars attract patron support despite sour economy

(Las Vegas Review-Journal) In a tiny cigar shop on Fremont Street East, business thrives despite the economic downturn. Lovo Cigars, 510 Fremont St., is a stone's throw from the famed Fremont Street Experience canopy -- a tourist magnet. Store clientele ranges from homeless people and lawyers to doctors and politicians. But the number of tourists coming into the store has decreased, a sign of the times. Continued

Zimbabwe Tobacco Selling Season: Wives Camp at Auction Floors

( Economy-Zimbabwe - AS the tobacco selling season gains momentum many women whose families grow the golden leaf have decided to follow their husbands to the auction floors to ensure that their spouses do not squander the money on booze and commercial sex workers. However the agony of having to spend as much as two weeks queuing to sell the tobacco is now clearly visible on these women. The women with children as young as four months old strapped on their backs have spent at least two weeks holed up at the auction floors waiting in queues to sell their crop. Continued

How to smoke a cigar like a pro

(Des Moines Register) There are occasions when you might get handed a cigar: wedding, birth of a child, after your best friend wins the lottery. But when that time comes, will you know how to smoke it, or will you fumble with the lighter and hack up a lung? Kai Harris, manager at Cigar Source, told us how to properly cut and light a cigar, and offered novice tips for smoking one without turning green. Continued

Photo: Lamarde

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New G. L. Pease Tobacco Blend

(Pipes Magazine) ... Like Pease’s most recent release, JackKnife Plug, Triple Play will also be in plug form, which is a brick-solid, brownie-size and shaped chunk of tobacco made up of Virginia, Perique and Dark Fired Kentucky. Continued

Photo: Library of Congress

2011 burley contracts mixed for Kentucky growers

( The 2011 tobacco contracts are out. That’s good news for some growers and bad news for others. As U.S. tobacco consumption continues to drop and export demand remains stagnant, tobacco companies cut some burley growers’ contracts this year. Some growers, however, received contract increases this year. Continued

India board raises tobacco price by Rs 4 a kg

(Business Standard) The Tobacco Board has agreed to increase the minimum guarantee price by Rs 4 a kg to farmers of F1 Grade from the current Rs 120. This was decided after board Chairman G Kamalavardhana Rao held meetings with representatives of farmers and traders. Farmers of southern light soils in Prakasam district, who have cultivated flue-cured virginia, have been insisting on remunerative price. However, traders were offering only Rs 112.98 a kg as against Rs 119.9 in the 2010 season. Continued

Vintage tobacco an affordable luxury?

(G. L. Pease) Recently, the "market value" of some vintage, no longer produced blends seems to have skyrocketed to record-setting altitudes. A 2oz tin of a once popular English tobacco was sold at auction for over $400, nearly twice its previous record-high, and not long before that, another often talked-about blend achieved similar levels. By my reckoning, $400 for two ounces of tobacco translates to about $20 per bowl. It’s a lot of money, but is it really as extravagant as it first appears? Perhaps not for the person who paid the money, but what about the rest of us? Let’s look a little more closely. Continued

Monday, April 4, 2011

Beverly Hills Cigar Club Names Top 5 Most Rare, Sought After Cigars

An expensive cigar is a symbol of status. For those who know a guy who loves the high life – enjoys rolling in a Ferrari, riding in a million dollar yacht, has a mansion overlooking the ocean, or would like too -- Vin Lee, CEO, Beverly Hills Cigar Club (BHCC) has selected the five cigars most likely to tickle his fancy. Continued

Tobacco sale stalemate continues

(Times of India) Stalemate in tobacco auctions is likely to continue for some more days with the farmers refusing to offer stocks till they get a remunerative price. Tobacco board chairman Kamalavardhan Rao made a vain bid to pacify the farmers by asking them to take part in the auctions. The farmers representatives fumed at the board officials for making unilateral announcement on resumption of auctions from April 6 without consulting them. The auctions have been stalled for the last seven days with both the farmers and traders refusing to yield any ground. Continued

Black & Mild Cigars Going Sweet

(CSP) Already a market leader in tipped cigarillos, John Middleton Co., a division of Altria Inc., is branching into the untipped cigarillo market. After extensive test runs in Ohio and Tennessee, the tobacco giant is rolling out nationally two new profiles, Black & Mild Classic and Black & Mild Sweets. "Classic is for adult cigar smokers interested in a classic Black & Mild pipe tobacco taste, while Sweets is a more traditional cigarillo taste made from primarily air cured tobaccos," Altria spokesperson Greg Mathe told CSP Daily News. "Both products are available in five-packs and singles." Continued

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Japan Tobacco to resume shipments of 7 tobacco products on April 11

(Japan Today) Japan Tobacco Inc will resume shipments of seven tobacco products including Mild Seven and Seven Stars on April 11 as scheduled. Continued

Farmers file lawsuit against True Blend Tobacco

(Tillsonburg News) A group of tobacco farmers has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against True Blend Tobacco Inc. On Friday, lawyers Trung Nguyen and James Zibarras appeared in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Woodstock on behalf of 49 growers who have contracts with True Blend. The lawyers obtained a "Mareva" injunction, which freezes all of the assets of True Blend Tobacco Inc., as well as two of its directors, Victor Osztrovics and Brian Poreba. Continued

Sacramento's new cigar star

(Sacramento Bee) Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's famed Capitol smoking tent is a thing of the past, but stogie-loving political insiders have found a new spot to call home. Fat Man Cigars, a shop and lounge located just blocks from the Capitol, has become a go-to gathering place for cigar-puffing politicians and politicos since it opened its doors in December. "It's becoming very popular," said Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello. Continued