Presenting the Top 10 Cigars of 2014

We smoked a lot of cigars in 2014 and now it’s time to announce our top 10 cigars of the year. Just a quick bit of information on how these are selected is below. Since we have always prided ourselves on the notion of the “everyday man (or woman)” style of review, our Top 10 is not going to be limited to just cigars that were released in 2014, but that we tried for the first time in 2014. We smoked just over 100 different cigars for review in 2014 and we are pleased to present to you our Top 10 of the year as well as 5 Honorable Mentions, click here or below to see who made the list, watch the reviews see our ratings.

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SINDICATO SHIPS ITS NEWEST CIGAR, THE SINDICATO MADURO

Boca Raton, Florida – October 28th, 2014 – Sindicato Cigars has shipped its newest cigar, the Sindicato Maduro, which debuted at the 2014 IPCPR. The Sindicato Maduro will be arriving at hundreds of retailers across the United States within the week.

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The new Sindicato Maduro is a square-pressed cigar with an unfinished foot and is crafted with a beautiful, San Andrés Morrón wrapper from Alberto and Alejandro Turrent. Master blender Arsenio Ramos has combined this wrapper with the finest tobaccos from the farms of Eduardo Fernandez in Estelí and Jalapa, Nicaragua. The combination of this magnificent dark wrapper with
a rich, bold Estelí double leaf binder, encompasses a blend of strong, flavorful Estelí and Jalapa leaves, which deliver a three quarter-full strength cigar with a unique taste.

BLACK FRIDAY SALES EVENT
On November 28th, 2014, Sindicato and hundreds of participating retailers will kickoff the holiday shopping season with a Black Friday Sales Event.

Consumers will be able to:
Buy 2 Sindicato Maduros and Get 1 of any Sindicato brand for FREE
(Hex, Affinity, or Sindicato)
or
Buy 3 Sindicato Maduros and Get 2 of any Sindicato brand for FREE.
(Hex, Affinity, or Sindicato)

*Limit 2 deals per customer.

SINDICATO MADURO INFORMATION
The cigar is being released in four vitolas ranging in price between $11-14.

VITOLAS, SIZE,  SRP
Robusto: 5 x 54, $11.50
Toro:  6 x 54, $11.95
Churchill: 7 x 52, $12.95
Magnum: 6 x 60, $13.95

DETAILS
Release Date: October 20, 2014
Wrapper: Mexican Marrón
Binder: Double Binder from Estelí, Nicaragua
Filler: Estelí & Jalapa, Nicaragua
Color: Oscuro
Strength: 4 of 5
Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacos Vallé de Jalapa, S.A.
Blended: By Arsenio Ramos
Quantity Per Box: 16

About Sindicato Cigars
Sindicato is a cigar company that creates unique brands and premium handmade blends catering to the evolving tastes of our consumers. The company is led by a group of experts who have multiple decades of experience and are among the top minds in the cigar industry. They have come together to put tobacco retailers and consumers first, and to create brands and blends they know people will love. The company produces premium brands such as Sindicato, Sindicato Maduro, Affinity, Hex, Casa Bella, and Casa Bella Maduro. Based in Boca Raton, FL, Sindicato sells through hundreds of tobacco retailers throughout the United States.

For more information, please visit www.sindicatocigars.com or join our social scene:
www.twitter.com/SindicatoCigars
www.facebook.com/SindicatoCigars
www.instagram.com/SindicatoCigars

JR Cigar Black Abyss

Fans of premium-quality San Andrés wrapper leaf are gonna want to check out, Black Abyss, a brand-new handrolled premium cigar crafted by José “Jochy” Blanco, the guy who grows the leaf for a bunch of Boutique Blends cigar brands, including Aging Room and Swag, both of which have collected tons of high ratings in cigar magazines (the Aging Room Quattro F55 Concerto took second place in Cigar Aficionado’s top 25 of 2013). Anyway…

Black Abyss is handmade at Tabacalera Palma in the Dominican Republic and, while it is full bodied, it’s cleverly designed for not just smokers of super-strong cigars. It’s got that big, rich, bold flavor often associated with a San Andrés wrapper and it does contain some potent ligero leaf, but along with the blend’s hearty, zesty notes of dark coffee, this cigar begins and ends with a sweetness while a smooth creaminess remains throughout, making it a great choice for medium-bodied cigar fans who want to step it up in strength.

Black Abyss’s construction is top-notch, as evidenced by its extremely even burn and draw, which are made even better by an exceptionally appealing aroma.

Jochy Blanco’s Black Abyss is made in four sizes (each featuring a somewhat sinister name: Banshee, Cerberus, Hydra, and Wraith) packed in boxes of 20 cigars. If all that’s piqued your interest, you’ll be glad to know that Black Abyss cigars are also pretty reasonably priced. Starting in July, you’ll find them exclusively at JR Cigar.

KUUTS, LLC TO RELEASE KUUTS NICARAGUAN BLEND AT IPCPR 2014

Kuuts, LLC is slated to release its 4th brand into the US market at this year’s IPCPR Convention in Las Vegas, NV in mid-July. The Kuuts Nicaraguan Blend is a solid medium bodied cigar that is sure to please the masses. It features a Nicaraguan filler and binder with an Ecuadorian wrapper. This new release will be available in 5 vitolas for the US Market and comes in 20 count Cabinet Style Boxes.

4 X 48 – Momentos

4.5 X 58 – Pequeños

5 X 52 – Robustos

6 X 52 – Toro

7 X 60 – Gordo Especial

Kuuts, LLC is the US Distribution arm for Compañia Hondureña de Tabacos located in Jacaleapa, Honduras. Compañia Hondureña de Tabacos also manufactures Placeres Reserva, Miró and Tabacalera Zapata brands of premium cigars. Shipping of the Kuuts Nicaraguan Blend is set to commence in August 2014.

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Drew Estate Names Willy Herrera as “Master Blender”

Drew Estate announced today that Willy Herrera will become the “Master Blender” of Drew Estate, effective immediately. Herrera was originally recruited by Drew Estate
to create a signature brand illustrating his Cuban heritage and “Cubanesque” blending style. After working with him over the past three years in Nicaragua, Drew Estate determined he was suited to lead their blending team. This represents a major change for Drew Estate, marking the first occasion where someone of Cuban descent has held a top-level position at the company.

Herrera’s new responsibilities will place him at the front and center of Drew Estate’s blending team, which will allow him to channel his passion and energy into creating new blends and maintaining Drew Estate’s current signature blends.

Herrera’s talents were honed over the eight years of “on-the-job training”, running the El Titan de Bronze factory in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, Florida. His responsibilities at El Titan de Bronze included tobacco purchasing, production, blending and quality control.

Jonathan Drew, company co-founder, had this to say about Herrera:

“Authenticity is the key factor that originally attracted the DE shareholders to Willy. I personally know the challenges and skill set necessary to lead a premium cigar factory at all stages of development, fifteen employees to fifteen hundred. Willy has the main ingredients, passion, humility and confidence to achieve great results. It is important for me to clarify that Willy is not in charge of running La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate. His position is a newly created, specific role – built around his greatest talent, Master
Blender. We intend to challenge Willy in expanding his blending universe, from Liga Privada to Kentucky Fire Cured. This will not be easy for him. Willy will report directly to me, and I am not an easy person to work for. I am very demanding and require absolute excellence when it comes to creativity.”

LA SIRENA Acquires Old School Cigars

NEW YORK, NY – April 28th, 2014 – The newly independent La Sirena Cigars announced today the acquisition of New York based cigar brand, Old School Cigars. The acquisition was a strategic move for La Sirena to increase their portfolio and gain immediate market share. Old School Cigars is best known for its 3 Lines: Stixx, Jaxx and Jaxx LT.

“La Sirena’s acquisition of Old School Cigars represents a natural fit. Both companies are New York based premium cigar brands featuring unique blends and a high level of cigar expertise,” said Arielle Ditkowich, President and Founder of La Sirena Cigars. “It just made sense to me, as we [La Sirena] continue to grow quickly. I was looking to blend a mild cigar and, during my research, I came across the sweet Connecticut wrapper on the Jaxx LT.”

Beginning immediately, the distribution of Old School Cigars will be handled by the La Sirena Sales team. All orders may be placed through the La Sirena Cigars website, by telephone or email, or by contacting La Sirena regional sales managers. La Sirena Cigars will continue to produce the La Sirena Original and Merlion by La Sirena blends.

“La Sirena continues to gain momentum since our independence in January. Arielle realized we needed to produce a mild, yet full flavored cigar to even out our portfolio. We liked the Jaxx LT so much, we made an offer to buy the company,” said Max Mogil, Vice President of National Sales & Marketing. “This is just the first of many exciting announcements for La Sirena. In addition to the Stixx, Jaxx and Jaxx LT, we’re looking
forward to the 2014 IPCPR where we will debut our third line under the La Sirena brand.”

Daniel Ditkowich and the Holman Family founded Old School Cigars 7 years ago producing a number of blends over the lifespan of the company. La Sirena will continue to produce the “Jaxx” made by Tavicusa S.A. in Nicaragua, the “Jaxx LT” made by Plasencia in Honduras and the “Stixx” made by the Quesada Family in the Dominican Republic.

The acquisition will be effective as of April 25th, 2014. As part of the transition, existing Old School stock will be sold with original Old School labels with future production to be labeled “Jaxx by La Sirena”, “Jaxx LT by La Sirena” and “Stixx by La Sirena”.

La Sirena Cigars will be announcing more exciting updates soon. Find out first by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @lasirenacigars

La Sirena Cigars is a New York City based ultra premium cigar company owned by Arielle Ditkowich. The La Sirena Original blend, available in six vitolas debuted in 2009 and is rolled in Nicaragua at the My Father Cigar Factory. The brand followed up with its second release in 2012 with The Merlion, created by La Aurora in the Dominican Republic with the medium bodied, full flavored smoker in mind. La Sirena brand cigars are
distributed nationwide and are available at over 300 retail stores.

Drew Estate Announces Undercrown “Dogma” Commemorative Cigar

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Miami, FL – Drew Estate announced today their plans to release a new size within their Undercrown cigar line. The size will be called Undercrown “Dogma”, and has been created to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the online community Cigar Dojo. The blend of “Dogma” is based on the Undercrown Corona ¡Viva! and is comprised of Mexican San Andreas wrapper, Connecticut Stalk-Cut Habano binder, and Nicaraguan & Brazilian Mata Fina fillers. The “Dogma” will come in a 6 x 56 box-pressed vitola.

When asked about the “Dogma” project, Jonathan Drew said, “we have been major supporters of Cigar Dojo from the beginning. A handful of Drew Estate employees, myself included, are Dojo members, and we have always been floored by the support Drew Estate has received on the app and website. When Eric (owner of Cigar Dojo) approached us about coming up with this special commemorative cigar, it was a no-brainer. My dad, “Baitfish” Gary, came up with the name ‘Dogma’.”

The “Dogma” will be a limited run of 10-count bundles, and will be sold exclusively through Smoke Inn, a South Florida cigar retail chain, owned by Abe Debabneh. For those based outside of Florida, the cigars will be available through Smoke Inn’s web store. The “Dogma” will be priced at $9.95 MSRP per single and $99.50 MSRP per 10-count bundle.

The flavor profile of the “Dogma” aligns with that of the Corona ¡Viva!, featuring notes of cocoa, earth, and a rich spicy character. If you enjoy the Corona ¡Viva! but would like a longer, 56 ring gauge smoke, the “Dogma” will be a new favorite.

In tandem with the release of the new “Dogma” size, Drew Estate will be running a social campaign and giveaway through their website which will allow consumers to try the cigar before it hits the market. To enter, visithttp://drewestate.com/dojodogma. Unfortunately, the giveaway is not available in MA, MI, and VA due to anti-tobacco promotion laws within those states.

The Undercrown “Dogma” will be available for pre-order Friday, March 28th, 2014, through SmokeInn.com. In the meantime, make sure to enter Drew Estate’s “5 Days of ‘Dogma’” giveaway for your chance to try the cigar before anyone else in the country.

Miami Cigar to Serve as Exclusive US Distributor of Viva Republica

Viva República, Inc. and Miami Cigar Co. are pleased to announce an exclusive distribution agreement effective April 1st 2014. Miami Cigar will sell and distribute all Viva República lines in the United States.

 

In addition to the brand joining Miami Cigar’s premium product offerings, the brand creator, Jason Holly, is joining the Miami Cigar team. He will concentrate on developing existing brands and work on creating new projects, while visiting accounts nationally for events and sales support. When questioned about the acquisition Jason Wood, VP of Miami Cigar, had this to say, “We plan to increase our emphasis on traditional channels,” he said, “It is time for the cigar industry to see the new Miami Cigar, the addition of (Jason) Holly is exactly what we needed to get a jump start to our 25th Anniversary campaign.”

 

Founded by Nestor and Mariana Miranda in 1989 the Company is celebrating its 25th year in business. “We are proud to be adding a growing new brand in the same year we are celebrating our 25th Anniversary,” said Miranda, “Even after two-plus decades and millions upon millions of cigars, we’re not ready to slow down.”

 

“I was thoroughly impressed with the Miranda’s and Jason Wood,” said Holly, who attended Harvard University, “We share similar values, key relationships and both see enhanced growth potential resulting from our complementary skills and resources.”

 

“I am proud to have Viva República in the Miami Cigar family of lines we distribute.” said Wood. “In adding Holly we bring on another valuable team member, who has seen the industry from the traditional retailer’s eye. He is highly creative and can add to our strategy immensely.” When asked about future Viva República releases Holly said he would continue to rely solely on León’s factory. “It’s home. The factory is modern and well run, boasts a fantastic tobacco inventory and is owned by a great friend,” Holly said.

 

With the pending release of the Nestor Miranda Collection, the addition of Viva República and plans to enhance its sales mechanisms, Miami Cigar could be in for one of its most exciting years since its founding. “We have spent some serious time evaluating our practices and look forward to implementing positive changes that will enhance our brand identity,” said Wood.