A traditional 6.5″ x 42 Lonsdale vitola with a slightly green tinged claro wrapper and a simple triple cap. The wrapper appears “dry” and mildly toothy.
TL Johnson and La Tradicion Cubana have – from all outward appearances – parted ways amicably. This was announced by posts to both companies’ social media accounts. TL Johnson will additionally be opening a factory in the Dominican Republic to manufacture their own cigars and the Counsellor line that was announced this past year. They will also be providing manufacturing capacity for custom cigar production as the need arises.
Casa Fernandez and relative newcomer Warped have announced a new cigar to be released at this year’s IPCPR. The Futuro is being promoted as something “different” from what the two companies might normally offer…although with a Nicaraguan puro using most or all criollo and corojo from the late 90’s I’m not sure how much of a departure this will actually be for Casa Fernandez. I love AGANORSA, but it’s not exactly the most diverse profile in tobaccodom. It will be available in 2 vitolas – a 6×52 Futuro Seleccion 109 and Seleccion Suprema (5-⅝”x46). 400 boxes of 20 for each vitola will be made available at the show, with future production possible as well.
The numbers are in. The Cigar Association of America’s annual report (via Cigar Aficionado) for cigar importation into the US shows a pretty flat year in 2014. Both Dominican and Nicaraguan imports dropped, with a slightly larger Dominican reduction…but neither are significant. What’s interesting is the slowed import flattening for Nicaragua. You may remember a mere two years ago that Nicaragua was poised – at its then-current rate – to overtake the DR within a couple years. They’re holding strong at second place, only separated by a few million sticks…but the growth has stalled for the past year.
The L’Atelier Cote D’Or has begun shipping. It debuted to a soft launch a few months ago, but has begun showing up nationwide now. It’s a 7×47 soft pressed churchill (the only vitola), and has a production run of 2100 boxes of 10. It uses the Ecuadoran Sancti Spiritus wrapper (Same as the Seleccion Speciale from L’Atelier), over Nicaraguan internals. I picked up a few of these this week, and we’ll feature it soon on the show. It’s a bit of a step out for L’Atelier with its $15-ish price tag, as most of their lines fall in the typical “sweetspot” we so often talk about.
Erik Espinosa will be relaunching the Murcielago blend. Originally, this was an EO Brands line, produced by My Father. Through all the splits, Espinosa retained the rights to the name, and says he thinks he has reverse engineering the blend to be the original. The only blend details are a Mexican San Andres wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and fillers. Pricing has not yet been announced…and I’m more than a little piqued at how this blend will be and how it will compare to the original….since it was made by My Father at a time when they used AGANORSA tobacco. I’d like to know the details of how they have reconstructed it. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be a dead match. It just seems bold to declare an exact match.
What Else We’ve Been Smoking
CAO Midnight Ride
Asylum Insidious – Ec CT over Honduran fillers; made at CLE’s El Aladino factory. Might not have tried this one had I known its makeup…but I’m glad I did. The sweetness provided a nice surprise, with only some bitter notes toward the very end. With a 6”x52 going for about $4, it’s a win in my book. I’d not resist having a few around, but it wouldn’t be a frequently smoked stick for me.
On Dale’s recommendation, I gave the Camacho Triple Maduro another try. Why do I keep doing that?!? Tight draw, wonky burn – which, in unison, created a weird “solvent” kind of flavor I didn’t care for. Made it about ⅓ of the way through the robusto. Still not my cup o’ tea…although it once was.
In the next episode (115), we will have special guest Bob McDuffee. Kip and Bob will be smoking the Ashton Symmetry. 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.
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 [email protected] if you have something you’d like to send in. I will provide an address to send them. Thanks!