IPCPR is just around the corner once again, I can’t believe how fast time has gone by this year. Before we know it, we will be headed off to Las Vegas to see what new goodies our manufacturers have coming to the market. For those who don’t know, IPCPR stands for International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers, our industry trade and watchdog group. They support our rights to enjoy a good pipe or cigar much like the CRA does and also host the annual trade show where we see what new goodies are on the horizon. This year the show is back in Las Vegas after having its turn in Orlando for 2012, and it is going to be HUGE. They are expecting a record number of both manufacturer booths and retailer attendees at the Sand’s Convention Center. As always there are some very hyped releases we can expect this year and below we will discuss some of those in a little more detail.
Based on early estimates, I would suspect the most talked about and hyped blend of the show will be the new Kentucky Fire Cured (KFC for short) Uzi from Drew Estate. It is something new to the industry that hasn’t really been done before. Fire cured tobacco is usually reserved for pipes but Drew Estate likes to be different so they are giving this a shot. It has taken about 2 years of work to get the tobacco to burn properly for a cigar, learning how to properly fire cure the tobacco and finding a blend that provided complimentary flavors to the new tobacco’s. I would expect a more woodsy and smoky profile with this release based on the fire curing process. Using woods like cedar, oak, and mesquite to heat and cure the tobacco should allow the leaves to pick up a heavier smoked aroma, providing a whole new experience for cigar smokers.
2013 also brings us to the 10th Anniversary of My Father and Tatuaje cigars. This means a special release 10th Anniversary cigar for both companies to be launched in Las Vegas. Not much is known about the cigars at this point but I would suspect them to be full bodied, full flavor sticks as we have come to expect from both Pepin Garcia and Pete Johnson. As we get closer to the show I am sure more details will be released and the hype will only build between now and then.
Davidoff has some big plans for the show this year as well, launching their first Nicaraguan cigar, aptly named Davidoff Nicaragua. Having long been a company using Dominican tobaccos and know for quality and full flavor without big power, Davidoff Nicaragua is sure to start a whole new chapter in their long and storied history. We spotted some of the tobacco on our trip in January, though none of the cigars were yet being rolled while we were there. The tobacco we did see was very dark and very oily, though I am not sure it was wrapper tobacco. Either way, I would expect the Davidoff Nicaragua to be a hit, especially in regards to providing something different to the regular Davidoff crowd.
Those are the big 3 that we’ve seen the most buzz for thus far, but you can be sure there are more that will pop up between now and July 14th, the opening day of the show. Arturo Fuente always has a great showing and I would expect this year to be no different. Oliva has already stated that the Serie V Melanio will be receiving a Maduro edition to be launched at the show this year. Ashton, Joya de Nicaragua, Padron, Rocky Patel and Alec Bradley are sure to pull in a crowd as well, expectation for all of them are always high going into the IPCPR.
One thing we know for sure, there will be plenty to look at and smoke, not to mention bring into the store. Every year we attend, we try to find a small company that makes a great cigar. 2 years ago it was Curivari, last year it was RoMa Craft and this year, who knows? What we do know is we will be doing our best to find the products our customers will love. Some will make the cut, many will not, and at the end of the show, we will have plenty of news to share with all of you. It is an exciting time of year for the cigar industry, one that we can’t wait to bring home for all of you to experience with us!