Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Jonathan Drew returns as president of Drew Estate

Orlando, Florida – Drew Estate announces that Company Founder, Jonathan Drew will return to an executive operating role, following a two-year period since the sale of the company. In a multi-year agreement, Drew Estate has named the entrepreneur, market disrupter, and art curator as “President and Founder” with oversight for the entire portfolio of brands.

The deal is important for the boutique cigar company, as it looks to return to its iconic roots and core values. The objective is to unleash the entire team’s creative power under the leadership of JD who will also continue with his new venture into the spirits industry as CEO of John Drew Brands, a start up initially focused on bourbon, rye, and rum.

“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,” explained Drew Estate’s CEO Glenn Wolfson. “Jonathan Drew will reduce his travel and event schedule, instead focusing on the Rebirth of Drew Estate with a conceptual lens toward brand building and team building.”

 “I'm a student of graffiti ... and philosophically I look at tobacco the same way.  There is an evolution to the painted walls in the streets, just like there was on the subways back in the day. Change is natural and accepted. You just have to bomb harder and stay true to your technique and style - and always keep loyal to your crew.  There's a lot to learn from areas outside of our main canvas at DE. We will return to high-level curation, mixed media platforms, and true collaboration. We have lost our way a bit, but DE will bubble back 1,000 times stronger. Believe me,” stated Jonathan Drew.

Jonathan Drew, and his business partner Marvin Samel founded Drew Estate in 1996 first as a small shop in the World Trade Center, and later in 1998 JD moved to Estelí, Nicaragua with the vision to blend the urban walls of New York City with the art of premium hand-made cigars. In 1999, JD released the ACID Infused Cigar Brand, and built a small production facility where he could manage the company’s cigar manufacturing, which later turned into many small factories scattered across the city. In 2006, JD broke ground on La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate overlooking a majestic valley. At over 174,000 square feet it is one of the largest hand made cigar factories on the planet. In 2014 Jonathan Drew, and Co-Founder Marvin Samel sold Drew Estate for an undisclosed sum to Swisher International.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Gotham Heroes Alec Bradley Robusto

Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Sun Grown Nicaraguan
Filler / Binder: Nicaragua
Length: 5
Ring: 50
Cost: $6.00

Background: There isnt a ton of background information out there on this cigar so lets just recap what we do know about it. The cigar is a line that is exclusive to Gotham Cigars, which was done in collaboration with Alec Bradley. It is a Nicaraguan puro that uses a sun grown wrapper and it only comes in one size, the 5x50 (robusto).

Appearance (0-20):  The sun grown Nicaraguan wrapper has a light coffee coloration to it, but the sort where a little bit of cream has been added. It still looks rich and inviting, with only small visible veins. The seams are well set, showing a quality wrap. At the foot you will find a nice mixture of tobacco colors, with some extremely deep brown and others veering toward the same coloration as the wrapper. A black, gold, and orange band sets finishes off the look, with a decent contrast to the stick itself. The band is a black backdrop, rounded off in orange, with Gotham Cigars written in gold.
Score: 18

Construction (0-20): I could tell when picking this up that it had been well cared for. The cigar was firm but not overly stuffed, resulting in just the right amount of give / springiness. With no major veins of note, there are only minor ones that are noted. The initial cut was mainly clean, with minimal debris. Pre-cut there was nearly the perfect amount of resistance, which ended up continuing throughout the smoke. The ash tended to hold for an inch to an inch and a half at a time, with a relatively clean line. Overall, no major knocks in this section, just some minor items.
Score: 17

Strength (0-20): Medium to full is where is has typically been listed and it definitely follows that mold. I personally found it to begin at a medium and slowly ramped up into the medium to full range by the end.
Score: 19

Flavor (0-20): Remember the initial view of the smoke, which it looked like a coffee with some cream? Well, the first puffs of this cigar definitely carry that exact flavor. It’s slightly bitter, with just the right amount of creaminess and some pepper mixed in. On the retrohale there is a bit more of the pepper, but its not overpowering. You can also locate a bit of earthiness and some woodsy flavors, though they are more just the supporting characters to the coffee being the star here. As it progressed further, the flavors remained relatively unchanged… though the pepper flavor amps up and is balanced with some natural sweetness, something of a slightly sweet cocoa.
Score: 16

Value (0-20): Dropping in at the $6.00 price range puts this a little above the “cheaper” variety of smokes, but still a bit below the high range. Meaning it has some decent competition. However it seems to be in the right range for what you’re getting.  
Score: 17

Additional Notes: Paired with water, provided by Gotham Cigars

Overall (0-100): Most cigar shops out there will have a house blend that’s a shade or two below the mediocre line in terms of overall performance. In fact, I’ve found it semi-rare to stumble upon one that is better than mediocre. The Gotham Heroes Alec Bradley is one of those in the later category.

Where I won’t call this one a home run, it definitely checks off all of the boxes to point to this being a solid buy. It doesn’t really have any major visual flaws, is well made (with most notably one of the best pulls I have had), and definitely is the strength that its marketed to be. The flavors are solid and smooth, and if you like something with a coffee base that mingles in pepper, earth, wood, some roasted nuts, etc… this one will be for you. And at $6.00 per stick, it also wont break the bank.

Bottom line – it’s a solid stick for the price, and impressive for being a house blend. I would absolutely recommend this one.

Score: 87

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Black Label Trading Company announces JW Marshall

January 24th, 2017 — Black Label Trading Company (BLTC) is pleased to announce the upcoming release of J. W. MARSHALL: Hand crafted in Esteli, Nicaragua at Fabrica Oveja Negra. 

Black Label Trading Co. is releasing the J.W. Marshall, a cigar exclusive for Cigar Federation, today on January 24, 2017.

Logan Lawler, of Cigar Federation said “I am really excited the Vintage II of the JW Marshall is releasing today. January 24th is more than just the date J.W. Marshall discovered gold in California; it is the date my mom was born and the date this project was conceptualized. To honor this date; the cigar is being released on January 24th.” 

JW Marshall features an aged Ecuador habano wrapper with Nicaraguan fillers & Nicaraguan habano binder. “The JW Marshall is big and bold but very refined. It has three ligeros and was blended to highlight the subtle attributes of each. The cigar is very balanced with the key flavors being malt, leather, cedar & subtle spice. We are big fans of Cigar Federation and were excited to work with Logan on this project.” said James Brown, owner of BLTC & Fabrica Oveja Negra.

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan
Robusto – 5 ½ x 52
Production – 75 - 10 count boxes.
Price: $89.95 per box
Black Label Trading Company is re-defining the standards for cigar making. Using each project as a showcase for the technique and tobacco behind their boutique cigar factory; Fabrica Oveja Negra. 

The J.W. MARSHALL is available exclusively through the Cigar Federation website. If you wish to purchase the product you can do so here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Famous Smoke Shop releases The Judge Volume 2 by J. Fuego

EASTON, PA – Famous Smoke Shop, the largest American-owned distributor of discounted premium cigars online, has announced a new cigar release: The Judge Volume 2. In a collaboration with Jesus Fuego, this new premium cigar is in production at a boutique factory in Nicaragua and is now available exclusively at Famous Smoke Shop.

Jesus Fuego began The Judge saga with a savory 4-nation tobacco blend, which was clad in unique Brazilian Mata Fina wrappers. Now he’s continued the story of this well-received and highly-rated series by applying his trademark full flavor profile to a milder and more mellow cigar. The unique mellow touch owes thanks to the dedicated following of J. Fuego Cigars, who requested a Judge that was lenient on the palate; counter to the traditional peppery spice of a premium Nicaraguan cigar. In the first edition, we saw a hard-lined, no-nonsense Judge. He came, saw, and conquered; now, The Judge is back - and he’s brought some friends with him.

The epic tale of The Judge moves on with a shiny Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper applied to a mix of Nicaraguan binder and fillers. “It may look intimidating, but this cigar is one sweet smoke,” said Fred Lunt, writer at CigarAdvisor.com, who was among the first to sample this new Fuego cigar upon its arrival at Famous Smoke Shop. Three of the original 5 vitolas are making a return appearance, the Retribution (6x50 toro), deemed guilty and sentenced to a staggeringly competitive price. The Contempt and Blind Justice will be making cameos as well, with Contempt making a blood and guts comeback in a 7 x 48 Churchill. As Blind Justice makes its presence known as a force to be reckoned with in a bold, yet smooth 5 x 50 robusto.

“The Judge Volume 2 is truly a unique Connecticut that’s affordable, full-flavored, and definitely not boring”, says John Lamberti, Director of Marketing at Famous Smoke Shop. “The verdict is, its exceeding quality and flavor has won our approval at Famous Smoke.”

In an unbelievable introductory offer, Famous Smoke Shop has made discounts of up to 25% off the suggested retail price. Additionally, J. Fuego’s The Judge Volume 2 cigars are packaged with earth friendliness in mind, being made available in reusable and easily maintained humidor jars of 20, which would normally retail alone for $29.99; this new Judge is also offered in 5-packs and singles.
Blind Justice (5” x 50 Robusto) $4.75/cigar SRP
Contempt (7” x 48 Churchill) $5.20/cigar SRP
Retribution (6" x 50 Toro) $5.20/cigar SRP

About Famous Smoke Shop
Famous Smoke Shop is the nation’s #1 discount retailer of premium cigars online, offering one of the largest selections of handmade cigars, machine-made cigars, cigar humidors and accessories. Famous offers the web’s lowest prices on a wide selection of cigar brands including Acid, Davidoff, Macanudo, Romeo y Julieta, Ashton, Padron, Oliva and Perdomo cigars, and many more. Famous offers their customers the best prices on all premium cigars as well as friendly and knowledgeable customer service.

Famous Smoke Shop
90 Mort Drive
Easton, PA 18040


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

VUDU "Damballa" now available at Famous Smoke Shop

EASTON, PA – 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 announced the fifth release in their exclusive Vudu cigars series, Vudu Damballa.  Like its four predecessors, Vudu Damballa comes to retail with very attractive price point, averaging just under $4.50 (MSRP) per cigar. Keeping with the mystical Haitian Voodoo theme that runs through the entire series, Damballa – the serpent spirit Sky Father and primordial creator of all life who rules the mind, intellect, and cosmic equilibrium – is illustrated on the humidor jar packaging with a jet black, snakeskin-like appearance accented by splashes of red and white. In Voodoo culture, Damballa is "The Great Master" who created the cosmos by using his 7,000 coils to form the stars and the planets in the heavens and shaped the hills and valleys on earth.
Keeping the series consistent from a blending perspective, Jesus Fuego created Vudu Damballa using equal parts Nicaraguan, Honduran Criollo, and Brazilian Mata Fina long-fillers, bound them in a Brazilian Corojo leaf, and rolled them in a savory, Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. The result is a medium-bodied, full-flavored smoke with a well-balanced, earthy-spicy baseline.
After sampling the new blend, CigarAdvisor.com editor, Gary Korb said, "The Vudu Damballa went through some impressive changes, starting off smooth and earthy, as some peppery spice crept in, then faded-out as some roasted coffee notes entered the fray. The pepper returned at several intervals, interchanging with additional flavors along the way, which really held my interest."

Vudu Damballa is presented in collectable and refillable vacuum sealed humidor jars of 19 cigars, with the exception of the No.13, as well as 5-packs and singles.
No.3 (4¾" x 50 Robusto) $4.25/cigar MSRP
No.7 (5¾" x 50 Toro) $4.70/cigar MSRP
No.9 (6¾" x 50 Churchill) $5.15/cigar MSRP
No.13 (5½" x 46 Corona Extra) $3.80/cigar MSRP (Bundle of 13 cigars)
"Cigar smokers looking for a great value in a well-made, complex smoke with a medium-full character will find the Vudu Damballa very satisfying," added Korb.

About Famous Smoke Shop 
Famous Smoke Shop is the nation’s #1 discount retailer of premium cigars online, offering one of the largest selections of handmade cigars, machine-made cigars, cigar humidors and accessories. Famous offers the web’s lowest prices on a wide selection of cigar brands including Acid, Davidoff, Macanudo, Romeo y Julieta, Ashton, Padron, Oliva and Perdomo cigars, and many more. Famous offers their customers the best prices on all premium cigars as well as friendly and knowledgeable customer service.

Famous Smoke Shop
90 Mort Drive
Easton, PA 18069

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Black Works Studio announces the Sindustry

January 5, 2017— Black Works Studio (BLK WKS) is pleased to announce the upcoming release of SINDUSTRY: Hand crafted in Esteli, Nicaragaua at Fabrica Oveja Negra.

SINDUSTRY will be available at select BLK WKS retailers for a limited time.  This will add to the BLK WKS portfolio consisting of the Killer Bee, Green Hornet, NBK and Rorschach.

“I’m very excited about our first Limited Edition at BLK WKS.  SINDUSTRY is a big, bold, badass smoke. The flavor profile is very unique with flavors of black currant, clove and coco paired with the rich earthiness of the San Andrés wrapper,” said James Brown, creator of BLK WKS and partner at Fabrica Oveja Negra.

SINDUSTRY will be available in limited quantities at select BLK WKS retailers in February, 2017.
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro - rabito cap & closed foot
  • Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Robusto – 5 x 50 (20 count) MSRP $9.50
  • Toro – 6.25 x 48 (20 count) MSRP $10.00
  • Lancero – 7 x 38 (16 count) MSRP $9.50

BLK WKS cigars are an expression of art showcasing the talent, technique and tobacco behind boutique cigar factory; Fabrica Oveja Negra. 

BLK WKS cigars are available for purchase through Boutiques Unified.  For more information contact info@BlackLabelTrading.com.