Cigar of the Week: Unbanded 019
Good day, folks! Welcome to Episode 095 of Half Ashed, featuring Unbanded #019, suggested by listener Dan Crouch. Without giving away too much information, both Craig and I were completely fooled by this cigar. More so than any past Unbanded. It was a great smoke, and the reveal surprised us both profoundly. With a solid track record in the past, I suppose it was past due for us to fall flat on our faces with one…
In the news, we covered several items, including:
- The HR Habano has launched – we talked of this a couple months ago; it is the collaboration between Alejandro Robaina’s grandson Hirochi and Omar Aleman of Cubanacan. The line comes in 4 vitolas, and features a Ec. Habano wrapper over Jalapa binder and Nicaraguan fillers. It’s available at Cubanacan Platinum accounts (somewhere around 30 stores), and retails for $19-22 per stick….pretty steep, but the feedback has been very good that I’ve seen so far. Still…
- Halfwheel has a story out of San Francisco that should stand our hairs up. The city passed legislation this week that effectively eliminates the ability to open a tobacconist. There are currently 1,000 permitted tobacco sellers, but the new law limits permits to 45 for each of the city’s 11 districts (total 495). While they won’t go back and cancel any existing permits, whenever a business closes it’s permit is gone if there are 45 others in that district. The act goes on to specify that NO new permits will be issued for tobacco shops (tobacco shop = “any retailer whose principle business is selling tobacco products, tobacco paraphernalia, or both” and where 70% of gross sales receipts are derived from the sale of tobacco products or 50% of completed sales transactions includes a tobacco product or paraphernalia. “ STORY HERE
- Skip Martin posted up a pic of a blending sample for an upcoming cigar celebrating Esteban’s 25 years in tobacco….Esteban is his right hand man in the Nicaraguan operation, managing much of the day-to-day operations.
- AVO is freshening up a bit. They will be rebranding the whole lineup in early 2015. New packaging, new boxes, and the elimination of the Signature & Maduro lines (buy ‘em up if you like ‘em). Finally, we’ll see price drops of $.10 to $2.40 per stick. I personally have wondered what’s going on with the lineup, after seeing countless “blow-out deals” on this year’s LE, and just this week my local has the AVO Greatest Hits sampler (all the LE’s but one) on clearance for $126.95 (orig price = $194.95). I don’t think I’ve seen any taken from the stack they initially received….
- The Ezra Zion guys are busily working on 2015 as well. They put up a pic of a prototype simply labeled “Unicos #2 // Mexico” this week. I imagine it’s another San Andres wrapped cigar, but I’m still anxious to give it a whirl….PICTURE
- Finally, we talked a bit about this year’s “Top ??” lists from various sources….some interesting things going on there.
What Have We Been Smoking?
Our extra-curricular smoking this week was fairly subdued, with only a couple entries from Craig (Padron Aniversario 1964 Principe and the Herrera Esteli Norteño) and one from me (La Tradicion Cubana Reserva Familiar). We also gave a bit of attention to ongoing changes with the website and forum.
We covered one email this week, from Officer Paul…tune in to get the details on that.
In the next episode we will be featuring the illusione Fume D’Amour, so be sure to check back in Friday night at 9:30pm EST on halfashed.com where you can catch us recording and participate in the new and much improved chatroom. If you would like to contact us in the meantime, you can reach us through the contact page or at the following emails: [email protected] or [email protected]. Please feel free to drop us a line if you have any questions you’d like answered, comments to make…or even compliments and complaints. We love to get your emails! Also, remember you can always go back and listen to previous episodes, which can be found in the Half Ashed Archive. You can download this week’s audio directly below (right-click “Download” and save), find us on iTunes, or subscribe with any podcast app at our RSS Feed. Video, as always, will be available at the Half Ashed YouTube Channel.
P.S. – If you have unbanded suggestions or contributions, you can get those to us by sending an email to [email protected]. This email address goes directly to my wife, so you can simply suggest an unbanded cigar for her to source, or send me an email to [email protected] if you have something you’d like to send in. I will provide an address to send them. Thanks!