Heads up New York cigar smokers: the Cigar Inn just released an announcement of an upcoming dinner event featuring the newest cigar from Montecristo: the Connoisseur Edition No. 2. According to the announcement this cigar is the follow up to the popular Montecristo New York Connoisseur Edition (No. 1), which featured and Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and a box pressed design. I’ve smoked that cigar many times, and it is a really fantastic cigar, so I can’t wait to see what Montecristo has planned for the #2.
The dinner will be held at the Cigar Inn (2nd Ave location) on July 17th at 7:00pm. There is no ticket information or price information – so not really sure what is up with that or if they even want people to show up – but it’s worth looking in to.
Greggory Mottola from Cigar Aficionado writes on the CA website that the East India Trading Co., a subsidiary of Gurkha, is releasing the “Red Witch”, which is a new box pressed cigar that will debut next month. No photos of the cigar yet, but we’ll try to get one up for you soon.
From the release:
“Named after a trading ship from the British rule during the 1800s, Red Witch features an Ecuadoran rosado wrapper, Dominican binder and filler tobacco from Nicaragua’s mountainous region of Jalapa. Housed in rustic 50-count boxes, Red Witch will be available in three sizes: Robusto, 5 inches by 52, Rothchild, 6 by 54, and XO, measuring 6 by 60. Retail prices are expected to fall in the $4.99 to $6.39 range.”
With a retail price between $5 and $7, it should be a cigar to keep your eye on.
I was onsite this afternoon to cover Ventura Cigars’ event at the Nat Sherman Townhouse on 42nd St. Fellow FineTobaccoNYC.com contributing writer, James Bollen was on hand for the event as well. We were greeted by Patrick Hurd, Ventura’s General Manager.
Patrick told the Ventura story in an entertaining and compelling way, referencing their 100 year old parent company, Phillips & King International and the top of their corporate chain, Kretek International, makers of my favorite machine made cigar, Djarum Cloves. Ventura is from (duh) Ventura County, California, an LA suburb.
Patrick was featuring 2 of Ventura’s lines at the event; Pura Sangre & Estillo Cubano. The first line, Pura Sangre’s top stick (torpedo) was recently rated a 92 in Smoke Magazine and is a Nicaraguan puro. The line was named by Nestor Placencisa Jr., and means “pure blend”. The Pura Sangre line represents the Placencia’s 5 generations in tobacco.
The second line, Estillo Cubano is constructed from a Honduran Habano wrapper, with ligero binder/filler from both Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The name means “Cuban Style” and is rolled with a pigtail at the cap. This line has some good press going for it already, having earned a 90 rating (robusto) in Cigar Aficionado.
Also in attendance were the incredible staff at Nat Sherman. I am always educated walking into their world, and today was no exception. In addition to discussing the Ventura lines with them, I was brought up to speed on a quicker/easier way to fill my S.T Dupont lighter. (more about that in another post).
In a future post, FineTobaccoNYC.com’s Editor in Chief, Matthias Clock will be reviewing Ventura’s wares for your reading pleasure.
To sum up, the 5 year old Ventura Cigar Company hosted a nice event and FineTobaccoNYC.com was there to provide a recap for our readers.
As always, please shoot me an e-mail with any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org @BigRonnie
Michael Herklots, Executive Director of Retail and Brand Development at Nat Sherman, recently delivered the keynote address at Killingly Highschool. Herklots has been a major supporter of the Killingly High School Career Pathways Program, a program which offers students the chance to explore different career paths while still in highschool.
Those who know Herklots know that he loves to give back to the community. Every year, for example, he hosts a large fundraiser. This year, he raised $70,000 for the KHS Career Pathways Program.
During his speech, Herklots encouraged students to embrace the excitement that comes with advancing into new career territory. “You may learn that where you plan on going isn’t where you end up,” he explained.
As many New York Cigar smokers know, recent years have seen a huge shift of popularity towards cigars with big ring gauges. My Uzi Weighs a Ton – enough said. BestCigarPrices.com recently took some time on their blog to ask essentially “what accounts for the trend toward larger ring gauge cigars?” The company released a June 18th press release titled “Best Cigar Prices Explores the ‘Big Ring’ Trend in Cigars.”
The release actually just links to a post on the company blog, but I thought it was a pretty fascinating explanation. From the release came three basic reasons for the shift towards large ring gauges:
“Complex flavor: Cigars with a larger ring gauge tend to have a more complex and fuller flavor. This is due to the fact that there is more room to blend together different types of tobacco.
Cooler burn: Thicker cigars burn slower than thinner cigars causing the burn to feel cooler in the mouth. This is because there is more filler exposed to the air. For this reason, a cigar smoker with a heavy draw would benefit from smoking a cigar with a wider ring gauge.
Weight and feel: Some smokers prefer the heavier weight and feel of the larger cigars. Also, smoking a big fat cigar has often been interpreted as a symbol of power or status.”
Do you agree with their assessment? I found it a bit interesting that they didn’t point towards what seems to me at least to be the most obvious reason: fashion. Cigars are often thought of as hyper-masculine products, and what is more masculine – a large ring gauge cigar or a lancero? I find a bit more truth in that line of thinking than the reasoning above, but I could be wrong.
One thing I won’t budge on, however, is the closer of the post:
“One thing is for certain, you do get more bang for your buck with these behemoth cigars.”
I guess it really depends on how you define “bang”, but in my book, the amount or length of smoke really isn’t what it’s about. It is about flavor, and as David Alicea could explain to you, smaller ring gauge cigars actually offer a tremendous amount of flavor. And in the long run, I think they’ll be rediscovered, and that the big ring trend will prove to be fleeting.