The Humidor D E C E M B E R
Cigars of the Year Round Up
Uptown Cigars: Nat Sherman
IPCPR 2 016: “ The Year of t he Fed”
Cald we ll Cigars
Bra nd Break down
2 0 1 6
The Humidor is a publication of ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. Copyright 2016 ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. Reprinted reviews remain the copyright of the original publisher.
Cigars of the Year Round Up Phoebe Dykes Certified Retail Tobacconist
Wrapped up in a blanket, rocking in a chair on a cool evening with a fine cigar in your hand may seem like a faraway dream. It really doesn’t have to be. With so many cigar options these days (light to dark, Churchill to Robusto, infused to traditional) it doesn’t have to be overwhelming when choosing the perfect smoke. Here are five of the year’s best cigars, ranging from a new hit to the most sought after cigar. If you are intrigued by infused cigars, such as the brand Acid, yet want to entice yourself with something uniquely different, how about trying a cigar with a chocolate profile flecked with hints of mint? The Rocky Patel Java Mint Robusto cigar is a heavier, mediumbodied, infused cigar. This cigar is a great
choice after a nice meal, because it might
traditional cigar with a slightly creamy texture.
beautiful, well-crafted, full-bodied cigar, made
just remind you of Andes Chocolate Mints.
It has a firm draw but burns with a flaky
with the well-known broadleaf wrapper. This
On the other end of the infused spectrum is
ash and produces slight hints of cocoa and
makes for a slightly sweet but completely
a cigar with the oaky taste of a smooth, fiery
coffee. If you are thinking that you are not
enjoyable cigar. It is loaded with very hearty
bourbon that punches you in the back of the
familiar with this cigar, you are not alone. It
tobacco, giving the cigar its uniquely, bold
throat. The Kentucky Fire Cured Fat Molly
is very difficult to keep this one on the shelf.
profile. This is a solid choice.
is a light to medium-bodied cigar that has a
Grab it when you see it!
You definitely can’t go wrong with any
hickory-smoke sweetness to it and a slight
For a different cigar experience, the Rocky
of these five choices when you indulge
kick of spices. This cigar resembles a good
Patel G. Sheffield Home Run is a truly
your dreams. Give one or all of them a try
bourbon with hints of barbeque and maple
enjoyable cigar in the medium to full-bodied
tonight, while your chair’s a-rocking and your
and subtle oakiness. Pair this cigar with the
cigar range. Named for an outstanding
W.L. Weller Bourbon (available through our
athlete, this cigar definitely lives up to its
Bourbon Lottery), which has a hint of oak
name. It starts with slight hints of spice and
and an enjoyably smooth taste. It perfectly
has undertones of dried fruit. And to top it
complements this cigar.
off, its unique shape, as a result of being box
For a lighter cigar that you can enjoy for a
pressed, gives this cigar intriguing character.
shorter amount of time than most, try the
To round up this list, let’s end with one of the
Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente Natural.
most publically known cigars on the market.
This cigar gives you the natural aroma of a
The Liga Privada No. 9 Corona Doble is a
n Cigar w o t s: Up NAT SHERMAN
Chris Gwaltney Certified Retail Tobacconist, @abccigarchris
As we celebrate our 80th anniversary at ABC it is only fitting that we join forces with another family business that has been operating just as long, to bring our guests a quality cigar. The Nat Sherman Company began producing tobacco products in New York’s Garment District in 1930. Today their flagship store, referred to as the “Townhouse,” occupies a spot on some of the most prized retail real estate in New York City, 42 nd Street off Fifth Avenue. Just as their store in New York is a landmark, the same can be said for their tobacco products. We have sold their natural cigarettes for many years and decided that it was time to add their cigars to our humidors. The Nat Sherman name is synonymous with luxury and quality. Soon to be available in our stores and online shop are three different bands from Nat Sherman: Metropolitan Connecticut, Metropolitan Habano and Timeless. Metropolitan Connecticut is a mild Dominican-filled cigar encased in a lovely Connecticut wrapper. Its traditional look and smooth, elegant flavor profile will please all smokers, from the novice to the most discerning. For a little stronger smoking experience there is the Metropolitan Habano. This is a new release and Nat Sherman’s first foray into the world of Nicaraguan Tobacco. This cigar is a 100% Nicaraguan Puro, with Nicaraguan filler and binder and a Nica Habano wrapper. As expected, this cigar is quite the departure from the Connecticut/Dominican originals, with its peppery spice notes and more powerful smoke on the strength scale. Our final Nat Sherman cigar is the Timeless Nicaraguan. This is another Nicaraguan Puro addition to their portfolio. This medium-bodied, boxpressed beauty is a wonderfully blended cigar that incorporates all that is loved in Nicaraguan tobacco without the full-bodied punch. It is a rich and creamy smoke with plenty of spice notes welded brilliantly together with cocoa and light earthy notes. Just as ABC is a family business known for providing great service to those planning their next celebration, Nat Sherman does the same to ensure that a splendid cigar can be part of the party. s
IPCPR 2016: Chris Gwaltney Certified Retail Tobacconist, @abccigarchris
This year has been a bit tumultuous for
There will also be a high fee for getting these
cigarette industry. Cigarette regulations were
the cigar industry. With some tough, and
cigars approved and it doesn’t apply to each
enacted to protect public health but more
very ambiguous new regulations applied to
type. If a company releases a new cigar in
specifically to prevent marketing to kids and
the industry this past August, the dark cloud
six different sizes, then they have to make six
their access to cigarettes. The science is there
of the Food and Drug Administration’s new
different approval requests. The cost will be
to prove that cigars are not cigarettes and there
dictum felt heaviest at this year’s International
devastating for even the largest companies.
is analytical data that proves that children and
Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association Tradeshow (IPCPR for short).
cigars on the market and many great cigar
underage teens do not smoke premium cigars. When it comes to accessibility, teens have less access to cigars than they do cigarettes,
It was not only the subject of many dinner and
producers fall into this category. And although
bar conversations but it had a huge effect on
the larger, older cigar makers are in better
the actual makeup of the tradeshow. Cigar
shape and able to survive these tough times,
The bottom line is that no kid is going to spend
manufacturers had to ramp up production and
the death of innovation is never a good thing
seven dollars on a cigar that will take him/her
release as many new products as possible this
for any industry. Could you imagine the federal
one to two hours to smoke. And it is also going
year because of one of the more crippling new
government telling Apple that the iPhone 7 is
to be very hard for them to not stand out in
edicts laid down by the federal government.
the last new phone they can release?
a cigar shop. I have a hard time imagining a
Under the new regulatory guidelines any new
Another facet of this new decree is that it
products released after August 8, 2016, must
will prevent consumers from being given free
be pre-approved by the FDA before being
cigars to smoke at charity events, no matter
placed in the market place. Considering the
the cause. The days of sampling are over and
amount of time and expense that it takes to get
this will definitely make things difficult for a vast
a new cigar to market, it is a safe assumption
majority of retailers.
to say that this will probably mean the end of new products going forward. Even the large cigar companies will have a hard time justifying the cost of bringing new products to market and will probably have to focus most of their resources on keeping their current items legal.
Perhaps the saddest part about this overreaching regulatory action is the negative impact it will have on the economies of countries like Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic. When you visit places like Estelí, Nicaragua, then you understand what it
Another part of this FDA rule also states that
means very quickly. I have witnessed firsthand
any products introduced to market between
the positive effect the cigar manufacturers
2007 and August 8, 2016, will have a 2-year
have had above and beyond providing jobs.
period to make the same application for
Schools, health clinics, clean drinking water,
approval. The only difference is that they can
affordable quality housing and even college
continue to sell their products until the time
scholarships are just a few of the many things
runs out or they get approval. I would bank
that have been built by cigars. With more
on the time running out before anyone gets
than half of the region working either directly
approved. Since this same rule was applied to
in cigar production or other industries that
cigarette makers in 2007 very few new products
support it, the effect of these regulations will be
have been greenlit. In simple terms, any cigar
devastating to say the least.
or cigar company that was created after 2007 will probably be extinct after 2018 if these regulations go unchecked.
It is very sad because some of the best
As far as the fight goes, there is a legislative option that, if passed, would exempt cigars from the same regulations that govern the
despite the government intervention in 2007.
child being allowed wandering access to any humidor, anywhere. In the cigar industry we are about growing our brand and marketing it to adults as a means of relaxation and/or celebration. Cigars are a celebrated lifestyle and culture, not a means for a child to get a quick thrill or to display a show of rebellion. To end things on a more positive note, there were a lot of great new products released at IPCPR 2016 and the cigar makers are unified in their efforts to fight these new dictates. I know that the cigar lifestyle is about being happy and I hate to take so much time discussing such a depressing topic but it might be necessary. Though it doesn’t directly impact our ability to provide our guests with the best cigars available today, it is the cigars of tomorrow that I worry about. And of course all of the great people that work in these factories, many of whom I call friends. s
“The Year of the Fed”
Steve Mungeer Certified Retail Tobacconist, @abccigarmungo
While the name Caldwell Cigars may not be familiar to all cigar smokers, many of the cigars they
to Davidoff and was reentering the
ABC Fine Wine & Spirits is proud to partner with
world of cigars. Together they formed
Caldwell Cigar Company and we will be carrying
Wynwood Cigars in Miami and created
several blends to begin with. Eastern Standard
some great blends. However both of
is a mild to medium smoke with a Connecticut
these gentlemen are strong-willed and
Hybrid Ecuadorian Wrapper, Habano Dominicano
had different goals in mind. They soon parted ways
binder and a filler of Dominican and Nicaraguan
and Robert left to pursue his own path. Several
tobaccos. Smooth and complex and a definite
months later Christian put the business on the
winner. The King is Dead wears a Dominican
backburner to pursue his dreams of the now highly
Negrito wrapper over a Dominican Corojo binder
successful CLE brand.
and is packed with a variety of Dominican filler
produce may ring a bell if only
In 2014, after seven months out of the business
for their unique names. The King
but time spent searching out great tobaccos, the
is Dead, Long Live the King, Blind
Caldwell Cigar Company was formed. Working
Man’s Bluff, Eastern Standard—the list can go
with William Ventura in the Dominican Republic,
on for a long time. While still a boutique cigar
previously a master blender with Davidoff who
manufacturer, Robert Caldwell burst onto the cigar
left to open his own factory, the original lineup
scene placing a cigar in Cigar Aficionado’s Top
of Caldwell Collection was created. Robert was
25 last year and garnered some great reviews
always looking for new and unique tobaccos and
for his blends. I had the good fortune of smoking
continued searching Central America during
The King is Dead several years ago and was
absolutely amazed at the flavors, complexity and smoothness of this blend. Caldwell Cigars was very small at that time and still searching for a home. The past couple of years have seen dramatic changes in the company and we at ABC are thrilled to welcome Caldwell Cigars to our growing family of cigar partners.
sound a bit strange but I was visiting the Camacho manufacturing plant while Robert was working in Honduras on a new blend and he decided to join our entourage for a few days. A great experience to smoke a Long Live the King with its creator!
high-end hotels and resorts. A native of Miami, he
was hoping to see him succeed in his ventures.
market. Not entirely satisfied with the brands he was able to obtain for his venture, he began his relationship with Leo Reyes of the Dominican Republic to create some of his own special blends of premium, rare and unique tobaccos for his business—the journey into blending cigars began. The year 2012 was a monumental year for Robert as he teamed up with Christian Eiroa, another Miami native who, several years earlier, had sold his highly successful Camacho Cigar Company
Dominican Corojo wrapper and binder and a very unique filler blend. Blind Man’s Bluff breaks the mold on most of the Caldwell cigars in that it is not a Dominican-produced cigar but rather an offering out of Honduras. Sporting an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, a Honduran binder and a filler of Dominican and Honduran tobaccos, this is an rich and creamy flavors.
tobacco, blending and overall cigar knowledge and
cigars, training and humidors in the South Florida
into the medium to full strength range with its
outstanding medium-bodied smoke that exhibits
journey around 10 years ago marketing cigars to
establishments with a full service package of
Live the King is a world class smoke that creeps
karaoke bar in Danli, Honduras. Yes, that does
I found him to be a fountain of information on
as Hotel Humidor which supplied these high-end
a vast array of flavors showing through. Long
It was in early 2015 when I first met Robert at a
Robert is a true cigar entrepreneur and began his
began this cigar journey with his company known
leaves. It is another mild to medium smoke with
Success was waiting right around the corner. A new factory, stepped up production and selfdistribution along with a continuing worldwide tour to promote the expanded line of blends began last year and coupled with rave reviews has thrust Caldwell Cigar Company into a brand to be reckoned with. I sat down with Robert at this year’s IPCPR in Las Vegas to talk about his success in the past year and he is absolutely thrilled with the acclaim his brands are now receiving. Despite all the rulings the FDA has handed down this year he is optimistic for the future and looking forward to continued success.
Also in our lineup are two offerings being distributed by Caldwell from his friend Tony Bellatto: La Barba Red and La Barba Purple. Both La Barbas have some very unique tobaccos and border on high medium to full-bodied smokes and are extremely complex smokes and big flavor bombs. These are cigars that must be experienced and having smoked them both I agree with all the praise that has been lavished upon them! If you have never experienced a Caldwell cigar you are missing out on the magic that tobacco has to offer. Every type of tobacco has its own unique characteristics and the art of blending these flavors is what creates the cigar smoking experience. “The purpose of Caldwell Cigars is to go wherever we must go to find the most exotic flavors we can,” Robert Caldwell says. “The Caldwell Collection is made up of a number of very unique brands that utilize these premium rare tobaccos.” s Page 7
8989 South Orange Ave.
Orlando, Florida 32824
Brand The original Tatuaje cigars were produced in
Miami with a simple brown band. To this day that
The Tattoo represents a boutique cigar without the
label is still produced in Miami using Ecuadorian
boutique price tag. The Caballero happens to be a
Habano wrappers and Nicaraguan binder and filler.
perfect go-to cigar that can almost always be found
Pete Johnson, heart and soul behind the brand,
in many of our Tobacconists’ personal humidors
was looking for a cigar similar to a Cuban blend
due to its quality, flavor and price point. This was
with earthy and powerful flavors. This is a cigar that
originally introduced back in 2011 in a limited edition
doesn’t disappoint in that arena. Produced in limited
version and was a huge success.
quantities but always in demand, this can be a difficult cigar to find but is well worth the effort. With demand for Tatuaje quickly surpassing the ability to
PALATE: Medium strength and body that is loaded
produce enough cigars, the operation headed south
with flavor. There are some definite pepper notes of
to Nicaragua and production shifted to the My Father
Nicaraguan tobacco without it being overwhelming.
facilities in Estelí. With Don Pepin in the house at My
There are notes of cocoa, leather and a bit of dark
Father Cigars and the extensive portfolio of available
coffee. A great smoke without being overly complex.
tobaccos now at hand, this gave the duo some great
SIZE: Advino and Caballero
tobaccos to collaborate with and the ability to expand
WRAPPER LEAF: Ecuadorian Habano
production and create some exciting new blends.
BINDER: Nicaraguan FILLER: Nicaraguan STRENGTH SCALE: Medium