Drew Estate Inc. has announced that co-founder Jonathan Drew is returning to the helm of his eponymous company in an executive operating role.
As part of a multi-year agreement, Drew, who founded Drew Estate with partner Marvin Samel in 1996, has been named its new president, charged with overseeing the company’s entire portfolio of brands. This includes award-winning premium cigar brands such as Herrera Esteli, Norteño and Liga Privada as well as ACID, one of the company’s popular infused products.
“Jonathan Drew is a dynamic entrepreneur, respected tobacco man and a tenacious brand evangelist. He is the original disruptor, and I am excited to help build a team around JD that is raw, provocative and unafraid to challenge the mainstream and take risks,” said Drew Estate’s Glenn Wolfson, who was named the company’s CEO last July.
Since Drew Estate was acquired by Swisher International back in 2014, Drew has largely been on the road as the face of company, engaging consumers at cigar events throughout the world, including the company’s annual Kentucky Barn Smoker.
In his new role, however, Drew expects to be spending much more time at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, the company’s 174,000-square-foot cigar factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. The company looks to tap into Drew’s “creative energy” in an attempt to recapture the roots and core values on which Drew Estate was founded.
“There’s a lot to learn from areas outside of our main canvas at Drew Estate,” said Drew in a press release. “We will return to high-level curation, mixed media platforms and true collaboration. We have lost our way a bit, but Drew Estate will bubble back 1,000 times stronger. Believe me.”
Additionally, Drew will continue with his venture into the premium spirits industry as the CEO of John Drew Brands, which debuted three brands last year.
Carlos Fuente Sr. died on Friday night surrounded by his family after a battle with stomach cancer. He was 81 years old. The entire staff here who had the pleasure of meeting Carlos many times at events offer our condolences to the Fuetnte Family. He was, and will forever be considered a legend of the cigar industry.
Carlos Fuente Sr. with Staff Reviewer Neil
Minneapolis, MN – July 14, 2016 – Boveda Inc., the global leader in 2-way humidity control, and XIKAR, Inc., a leading cigar accessory brand, today announced a long-term agreement pursuant to which Boveda will supply XIKAR with private label custom printed patented 2-way humidity control products for use in the premium cigar market.
The agreement is part of Boveda’s new initiative to expand the availability of its patented 2-way humidity control technology by providing Xikar with custom printed Boveda packets. Boveda will continue to manufacture and distribute its own branded products to the cigar industry.
Boveda’s innovative technology and manufacturing expertise expands XIKAR’s current line of full-service cigar accessories. XIKAR will provide retailers with inventory management and merchandising services, as well as education and training on the 2-way humidity control products.
Tim Swail, Boveda’s Executive Vice President, stated “We believe retailers and consumers will benefit significantly from this new supply agreement, and it adds an exciting new product line to Xikar’s already formidable accessories lineup.” According to XIKAR President Kurt Van Keppel, “Our agreement with Boveda is a natural step in our pursuit to be the turn-key supplier of all cigar accessories, to all cigar retailers.”
Drew Estate announced today that they would be releasing a new blend within their Herrera Estelí line. The new cigar will be available exclusively for Small Batch Cigar, also known as Maxamar Ultimate Cigars.
The new Herrera Estelí Inktome will be presented in a 6 x 46 box-pressed Corona Gorda vitola and will be packaged in 10-count boxes. The blend showcases extensively aged tobaccos from the Estelí and Jalapa growing regions of Nicaragua, with a spicy Honduran Binder and a higher priming Ecuadorian Habano Wrapper than the core Herrera Estelí line. The result is a darker, richer wrapper. The MSRP will be $12.00, and the cigars will be released at tonight’s event at Maxamar Ultimate Cigars with Willy Herrera present.
When asked about the new cigar, Drew Estate Master Blender Willy Herrera stated that, “I like to read cigar forums and blogs for inspiration on new sizes. Adjusting blends based on new sizes is something that I enjoy doing at the factory because it challenges my palette to keep the blends balanced and aligned within the portfolio. I was reading on Reddit that consumers wanted to see a Herrera Estelí in a Norteño format. Something that was simple, yet different.”
Stick Review Rating: 96
“Smooth, pepper and a little spice. Construction and ash are amazing”
Size: 6 x 50
Binder: Ecuadorian Habano
Number Smoked for Review: 2
Cornelius is the first brand to be commercially launched by Cornelius & Anthony, and is owned by Stephen Bailey, a fifth-generation progeny of the Bailey family which has grown tobacco in Virginia for the last 150 years. (via www.cigaraficionado.com)
Thoughts and Notes:
This cigar was amazing, when the small package from CORNELIUS & ANTHONY arrived, I was not sure what to expect. I have not been doing as many reviews as I used to, but the last 5-6 cigars I received to review from other vendors so far have not been that great, but I had heard good things about the Cornelius so when I finally got to toast my first one, I was not disappointed.
I am trying to make my reviews mixed now, I’ve been told the video ones are a bit too long and I don’t want to bore you, so my written reviews will be formatted like this one. Info at the top, a few pics, my rating and my thoughts. Quick and easy to read. In this “Instagram/Facebook/Twitter” world, I feel like the older style of review is getting dated. When I am enjoying a smoke, I interact with my followers during the actual experience, which is awesome, but I also want to get back to posting those thoughts and images here again!
As soon as I sparked this up, I had notes of pepper and a little spice on my lip. Loved it. It burned clean and smooth. Construction was solid and the ash held on like a beast (as you will see below). The longer I smoked it, the more I enjoyed it. At around the 30 minute point I was getting notes of cocoa and a sweet candy like flavor, maybe like a red hot candy, it was great and lasted for about 10 minutes. What I really enjoyed about the Cornelius was that that it got better and better as I smoked it.
As I hit the one hour mark, the burn line was still razor sharp and the ash was still solid as a rock, the last 20 mins were filled with spice, pepper and more. It was a great cigar. It’s a little on the higher end at $13-$15 a stick, but I have never had a problem paying for quality and this one is pure quality.
Those who follow me on Instagram and I hear all the time “You only smoke the good s–t” and my answer is always the same, “I only have 1-2 hours every few days to just escape and enjoy a good cigar, usually at 1am alone on my deck – I need to make that count”
This one counts! This will now be in my rotation, I loved it, and it earned a Stick Review Rating of 96 (Excellent)
Click Here to Follow Mark on Instagram!
Once again, Gurkha Cigar raises the bar in the super premium luxury cigar market by opening the first ultra-exclusive cigar lounge in India.
The elegant Cigar Lounge at Artisan opened to stellar reviews inside the stylish Hotel Sofitel Mumbai BKC in the heart of Mumbai’s financial business district’s Bandra Kurla complex. The grand opening was hosted by Anish Trivedi, a prominent Indian radio and theatre personality as well as a cigar enthusiast himself in conjunction with Biswajit Chakraborty, general manager of Hotel Sofitel Mumbai BKC, and Danny Carroll, Brand Ambassador India for Gurkha Cigars. More than 300 guests that included heads of diplomatic missions, private equity fund managers and famous Mumbai personalities were treated to some of the finest Gurkha cigars in the world along with complementary glasses of Single Malt Scotch.
According to Kaizad Hansotia, Founder and CEO of Gurkha Cigars, “We have considered opening an ultra-luxurious Cigar Lounge for quite some time now. When we were approached by the Sofitel Hotel in Mumbai all the pieces fell into place. There are many high net worth individuals in India who know and seek out a great cigar smoking experience. We have been seeing sales of our super-premium cigars rise steadily in the Asian and Indian markets over the past few years so it just made sense to expand that experience by opening a Cigar Lounge where cigar aficionados can enjoy a more comprehensively elegant cigar smoking experience.”
“The Hotel Sofitel Mumbai BKC is a hub for unique luxury experiences. In keeping with that theme, it was the ideal choice for the Cigar Lounge at Artisan to open, allowing for the discerning customer to unwind with internationally acclaimed cigars in a sophisticated environment,” said Chakraborty. “Being a cigar aficionado myself, it is my privilege to bring a luxurious lounge for all cigar enthusiasts in the city” boasts Biswajit.
“We created the perfect environment for enjoying the world’s finest cigars,” said Hansotia. “Whether you prefer to be surrounded by a handsome interior design or you prefer the lush beauty of a garden, the Cigar Lounge at Artisan has you covered. It’s a truly unique amenity and the first in all of India in which to enjoy the Gurkha Cigar experience.”
To help make the launch a unique and special event, Gurkha displayed a box of His Majesty’s Reserve cigars. These are rare and special cigars that are famous not only for their exquisite taste, but as the world’s most expensive cigars! The HMR blend is comprised of a 15-year Connecticut Maduro wrapper with a 12-year Dominican binder and filler that’s aged with one bottle of the world’s finest cognac. The cigars are infused with a vintage Louis XIII Cognac that can cost from $1,500 to $40,000 a bottle, and a full bottle is used in a box of 20 cigars. The cigar is then placed in a glass tube. A drop of Louis XIII Cognac is put inside the tube and it is then sealed with a green wax seal. No humidor is required for these cigars. They stay fresh inside the wax sealed tube. Only 75 boxes are made a year and they retail for $35,000.00 a box. The amazing aroma as well as the taste of the cigar will be something that you will never forget.
To add to the exclusive experience of enjoying the world’s finest cigars in Mumbai, the Hotel Sofitel has also created a private members-only club for cigar aficionados that allows you to keep your own bottle of Single Malt Scotch in the cigar lounge. Guests are encouraged to bring prospective clients to the cigar lounge and share their own bottle of Single Malt accompanied by your Gurkha Cigar.
Gurkha Cigars are known throughout the world as the Rolls Royce of cigars, so it’s no surprise that they are the most sought-after cigars in this new market. Gurkha produces eight million cigars per year that are sold in more than 58 countries worldwide. And while Gurkha is known for its exclusivity, it has an impressive array of 105 brands of flawlessly handcrafted, premium cigars created in a variety of strengths, tasting profiles, and price-points. No matter what your taste, there’s a Gurkha cigar that’s perfect for your palate. For additional information, visit www.gurkhacigars.com.
Famous Smoke Shop, the leading online distributor of discounted premium cigars, specializing in offering the web’s widest selection of cigars at the lowest prices, has just added a new, affordably-priced line to its stable of Oliva cigars. Named “Baptiste by Oliva,” the line features a full-bodied blend of diverse Nicaraguan long-fillers rolled in a flawless Ecuadorian-grown Habano wrapper leaf.
The Baptiste line is presented in the following four shapes in boxes of 20 cigars:
Presidente (7″ x 52) MSRP- $5.81/cigar
Grand Robusto (6″ x 60) MSRP – $6.15/cigar
Toro (5½”x 54) MSRP – $5.63/cigar
Torpedo (5½” x 54) MSRP – $5.81/cigar
The name was reportedly inspired by the character, “Andre Baptiste,” the ruthless Liberian dictator played by Eamonn Walker in the 2005 film, Lord of War, starring Nicholas Cage, which may account for the knife-shaped “t” in Baptiste as seen on the label.
However, as Famous Smoke Shop Brand Manager, Tarah Sutter, points out: “The smoke may be ‘decadent,’ but it’s not wicked like the Baptiste character in the movie; although you could say that it’s ‘wicked-good.'”
Baptiste offers a well-balanced, full-flavored smoke imbued with an earthy-spicy character that reveals notes of cedar, black coffee, and a hint of pepper on the finish.
“Those who enjoy smoking cigars like the Oliva Serie O, Oliva Serie V, and Vindicator by Oliva will find the new Baptiste by Oliva cigars especially satisfying, as well as cigar smokers who are typically drawn to the best full-bodied Nicaraguan cigars,” added Ms. Sutter.
Stick Review Rating: 94 (Very Good)
Wednesday, March 2, 2016 — Miami, FL – Today, Drew Estate announced a new line extension within their Herrera Estelí line. This new cigar, called the Herrera Estelí TAA Exclusive, will be launched at the TAA Convention and Tradeshow, held March 6 – 10, 2016 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and will begin shipping to TAA members in April 2016.
The new Herrera Estelí TAA Exclusive is a 6×52 vitola, packaged in 12-ct boxes, and will retail for $144.00 per box or $12.00 per cigar. The blend features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, Brazilian Mata Fina binder, and Nicaraguan fillers and is blended by Drew Estate Master Blender Willy Herrera.
When asked about the new blend, Willy Herrera stated, “This is my first blend since joining Drew Estate that utilizes Connecticut Broadleaf tobacco. Drew Estate fans know that we’re famous for our use of Connecticut Broadleaf tobaccos, especially in our Liga Privada No. 9 and Nica Rustica lines. I’ve been experimenting with blends that incorporate this incredible wrapper since coming on board and finally have a blend I’m really excited about. I think anyone who’s a fan of my blends will definitely appreciate this cigar. Spicy, meaty, and rich – get ready!”
For a chance to try a box of the new Herrera Estelí TAA Exclusive before they hit store shelves, enter the sweepstakes at http://drewestate.com/herrerataa.