Unbanded #026, from K. Hasselwander
The unbanded vitals, as we have ’em before the unveiling….
Kip: 6.875” x 36; nicely assembled (from outward appearances); even-toned, dark brown, dry complexion.
Craig: My measurements have it at 6 ⅞” inch x 36 ring gauge. Very dry in appearance and slightly rustic, almost in a saturated and dried out sort of way.
Tampa’s new Davidoff lounge has its grand opening tomorrow…
Continuing with the TAA-limited releases, this year’s Angel’s Anvil has been announced by Crowned Heads. This year, the release will feature a CT broadleaf wrapper over Nicaraguan internal components. It’s a 5.5” x 54 box-pressed (Cañonazo?), made at Tabacalera La Alianza (EPC), and will retail for around $10.50 a stick. Expect these to begin shipping in May – only to TAA retailers who order at the annual meeting.
Next year’s federal budget could include a doubling of the federal cigar tax. A new program has been proposed – Preschool for All – which could be funded by an increase on tobacco taxes. Federal cigarette tax would increase from just over $1 to almost $2; the $.40 tax cap on cigars would increase to about $.94. Pipe tobacco would suffer a far greater fate – halfwheel is reporting an increase there from $2.83 per pound to $44.23! This is not likely to come to fruition, but like everything else it’ll come back around again….
The “La Tache” is coming from L’Atelier, a limited-edition 5.5” x 50 robusto. It is based off last year’s LE Cote D’Or (which we smoked back on episode 127) – which included Nicaraguan binder and filler. The La Tache will have a wrapper Sanctic Spiritus wrapper, but from a lower position on the plant than the original.
Tatuaje has announced the impending release of the “Skinny Monsters,” which will be offered in a sampler containing each of the past 10 Monsters Series blends…but in a 6” x 38 petit lancero. According to an interview on Cigar Chat, it appears that the blends will be available singly in 25 count boxes some time in the future. Expect these to ship between now and the July IPCPR trade show.
Congrats to Skip Martin and Michael Rosales for the opening of their new RoMaCraft headquarters in Austin, TX. The new site will house offices, packing for distribution, and a lounge area. Don’t get too excited for a visit, though. Unless you’re a retail account, I don’t believe it’s open to the public.
What Else We’ve Been Smoking
Ashton VSG Tres Mystique – I used to love these. The VSGs were my go to “luxury” cigar in the early aughts. Something has changed in them though. They’re good, but they’re not the unique, bold expression they once were. This is a little too run of the mill. It was my first cigar in 4 weeks, other than our last CotW. My palate was fresh, though I have been medicated…
Suriel – (made at Kelner Boutique Factory; Brazilian wrapper over DR/Nica/Peru…a slightly tweaked version will be hitting American shores soon).
AF SG 858 – Please, sir, I want some more…
Next episode (140), we will be smoking the Arturo Fuente Añejo 888. So come by Friday night and hang out with us in the chatroom during the show. If you would like to contact us in the meantime, you can reach us via the Contact Page or 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.