Cigar Article: IPCPR 2012 Day 2

Cigar Article: IPCPR 2012 Day 2

IPCPR 2012

A New Bloggers Journal

 Day 2-Sunday

(Editors Note:  All of our Q&A’s are from the show are posted here.)

After a whirlwind of a day Saturday, and a heck of a night celebrating with friends Saturday night, I made it a mission to cover as much territory as possible on Sunday.  I wasn’t sure if I would be back Monday and I had a lot of readers questions left and a lot of manufacturers I hadn’t met.

I arrived at the show shortly after it opened Sunday morning a bit groggy from the night before.  After I gathered my bearings I set out across the trade show floor.    I started my day spending a few more minutes with Terence Reilly of Quesada Cigars.  I’ve had the fortune of meeting Terence previously at an event so it was good to start off with a familiar face.  Not to mention the Quesada booth was pretty close to the entrance of the show.  I’ve been quite the Quesada fan for the last year and was lucky enough to smoke the new Quesada Jalapa prior to the show.  Be on the lookout when these hit stores, they are a fantastic smoke modeled somewhat off the ever elusive España, but they are set for American distribution.  Terence gave a tour of the new Sag Imports (Quesada’s distribution company) offerings.  The new Oktoberfest were out for full display and I anticipate they will be just as big a hit as last years.  They are also releasing a box pressed Casa Magna, yum!

Sag Imports is also going to be distributing a previously only European available line called the Regius, including a “white label” blended by Manuel Quesada.  Finally, one of the big stories heading into IPCPR was their collaboration with My Father Cigars on the Tres Reñyas, a delicious offering I was lucky enough to smoke at the show.  On a personal note, I have to say I am really impressed with Terence, he is a fantastic ambassador for the business.  He makes himself available to everyone with incredible enthusiasm and a welcoming demeanor.  I’m definitely looking forward to crossing paths with him again, and when I do I’ll remind him Tom Brady cant beat Eli Manning in the big game.

As I left Quesada and started working my way through the maze of booths I ran into Irv and Frankie of Cigarnews.com.  It’s always a pleasure to meet other individuals who share a passion for the business and yet are “outsiders” of the trade trying to promote the industry and help build brand awareness and loyalty between consumers and manufacturers.  Frankie and Irv were everywhere getting interviews and you can check out their work at here.

I started wandering down a row of smaller manufacturers, “boutiques” if you will.  As I stopped to get organized I ended up chatting with Antonio Lam of Reinado Cigars.  I had never smoked a Reinado and Antonio was kind enough to offer one up and as we stood together talking about the show.  The cigar was called the Reinado Grand Empire Reserve and it was fantastic.  The Maduro wrapper was one of the thicker Maduro wrappers I’ve smoked in a while and the cigar was incredibly smooth.  Be on the look out for a review soon!

As I worked through to the back of the show I caught up with Erik Espinosa, formerly of EO brands.  I was at Erik’s launch party for his new Espinosa Cigars La Zona a few weeks earlier, you can read our review here, and it was good to catch up with him.  We talked about his plans to continue keeping the 601 lines alive and then he hit me with some more news that I was excited to hear, Erik is planning on a Murcielago re-launch.  Viva le Bat!

Not too far from Erik I ran into Eddie Ortega, Erik’s former partner at EO Brands and owner of Ortega Cigars.   I’m a huge fan of Eddie’s new cigars, the SerieD which are reviewed here and here.  I didn’t know Eddie personally prior to reviewing his cigars but have met him a few times since and I can say I’m a big a fan of the person and I am of the cigar.

After I left Eddie I found the Roma Craft Tobac booth with Skip Martin and Michael Rosales.  I had heard and read great things about their cigars, but never smoked one.  From behind their glass displays they looked fantastic.  Skip and Michael are incredibly knowledgeable cigar guys and their cigars looked great!  We spent some time talking about the growth of their company which sounds like it’s doing great.  My oath to not weasel, so alas I still haven’t smoked a Roma product.  I hope they picked up a retailer near me.

When I left Roma I wandered through the Alec Bradley booth and it was humming.  I suspect it will be another great year for Alan Rubin and his team as they were all busy meeting with retailers and working through a busy afternoon.  I did a quick walk through of the Alec Bradley booth and they had something on display that caught my eye,  their new Nica Puro.  I’m not sure when this is scheduled for release but it’s up there on my “find and try” list.

As I worked my way to the front I met Stephen Roel of Havana Saver.  Havana Saver is basically a tool that can be used to de-plug cigars and doubles as a tool for nubbing.  Great product and definitely worth looking for at your local shop.

Working my way back to the front I decided to go hunting for Pat Quinn of Roxor Cigars.  I had never heard of Roxor until a few months ago when an area rep had given me a few samples from different manufacturers to try out.  I wasn’t wholly impressed with what he was offering until week before IPCPR which is when I decided to try out the Roxor Deluxe.  It was a great tasting cigar and I wanted to take a few minutes and talk to the man behind it.  Pat was a fun guy to chat with and he proudly showed off his newest release, the Rising Sun.  If my memory is right it is a Nicaraguan Puro with a sun grown wrapper.  Either way, it looked good, and if its as good as the Roxor Deluxe then I think more and more people will be enjoying Pats’ offerings.

I circled back into the AJ Fernandez booth which definitely wins the award for best location as it was right by the front door.  Clay Roberts, VP at AJ Fernandez Cigars welcomed me and we sat down and talked about a range of topics from the role of bloggers, his industry experience, and of course about AJ Fernandez Cigars.  Clay shared a Pinolero, the newest offering from AJ Fernandez with me.  The Pinolero is a wonderful smoke with rich woodsy notes and a Cigar I look forward to reviewing and, based on the one Clay shared with me,  will be finding a regular spot in my rotation.

The day at the show was winding to a close but I managed to stop and chat with Clint, Mike, and Jerry of 262 Cigars.  I had heard a lot about 262 Cigars through social media and had recently enjoyed an Ideology.  262’s latest offering is the Revere, and I plan to smoke one for review soon.  The 262 team has a strong following online, and I could see why, they were a fun group with a lot of passion and energy and I hope I get to catch up with Clint and his team again.

I had an end of day meeting scheduled with Perdomo Cigars so and it was getting late so I worked back to the Perdomo booth to get some questions answered.  Nick and his team were helpful and proud to show off their new offerings.  Perdomo fans, be on the lookout for their 20th Anniversary stick, I know I cant wait to smoke one.

By now it was after 5 o’clock and the show was winding down for the day.  I left the show and went back to my hotel room for a bit before a night of parties commenced.  The first party I attended was a showcase of boutique brands at the World of Beer sponsored by Charmed Leaf  and Halfwheel.  The crowd was really thick but I got in some great conversations with a number of boutique manufacturers.  Eventually the tight quarters got to be too much and I grabbed a bench out front and shared drinks with Eddie Ortega and a host of characters.

Across the street Drew Estate was hosting a party at Corona Cigar so naturally I worked my way over and spent the rest of the night enjoying smokes and camaraderie with a host of other Cigar Industry types as well as Charlie and Brian from Halwheel.com.  All in all another great day with great people from the Cigar industry.

(Editors Note:  All of our Q&A’s are from the show are posted here.)

Stay tuned for our journal on day 3!