Anniversaries Everywhere!

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Anniversaries Everywhere!

RTDA news from Rich Perelman at

Las Vegas, NV, July 18 “Anniversaries are important celebrations, whether for a birthday, wedding or a special event in one’s life.”

Three cigars being showcased at the Retail Tobacco Dealers of America (RTDA) convention and trade show in Las Vegas celebrate significant milestones of some of the biggest names in cigars.

The Stanford’s 90th Diamond Crown Maximus cigar honors Stanford Newman, chairman of the J.C. Newman Cigar Company and a pivotal figure in the history of cigars in the United States.

It was Newman who introduced the use of Cameroon wrapper on U.S.-made cigars in the early 1960s on his Cuesta-Rey line. It was Newman who in 1986 asked a small cigar maker, the Arturo Fuente Cigar Company, to make a handmade, premium cigar for him “La Unica” that would be sold in bundles instead of boxes. And it was Newman who agreed to distribute the little-known Arturo Fuente line to U.S. smokeshops nationwide in 1990. The rest is history.

As a tribute to Stanford, said Carlos Fuente, Jr., I wanted to make an exceptionally flavorful cigar for this celebration. Beginning with the much-respected Diamond Crown Maximus interior blend, Fuente saluted Newman by using Cameroon wrapper for the first time with the Diamond Crown Maximus blend. The result is a smooth, medium-bodied smoke made in just one size, a 7-inch by 50-ring double corona.

Even the boxes are special, clothed in tan leather. Only 850 boxes of 20 cigars (1,700 total) were made and if you can find them, will have a suggested retail price of $20 each.

Ramon Cifuentes was the legendary owner and protector of the Partagas brand in Cuba until the company was ripped away from him and his family when the Cuban cigar factory was nationalized in 1960.

General Cigar, which owns the rights to the Partagas trademark in the U.S. having purchased it from Cifuentes himself in 1975 honored the 150th anniversary of the brand in 1995 with the Partagas 150 Signature Series. Ten years later, they are at it again.

The Partagas 160 Signature Series is a five-shape line with uses the same Cameroon wrapper employed in 1995, but instead of being 18 years old, the remaining wrapper is now 28 years aged.

Combined with a Mexican binder and Dominican and Mexican filler leaves, the 160s are rich and well balanced . . . and quite limited.

The sizes include a Robusto (5 x 50), Robusto Minor (4 1/2 x 48), Robusto Major (5 1/2 x 52), Crystal 160 (6 3/4 x 43) and the Cifuentes Especial (7 x 48). The Robusto trio will be offered in boxes of 25 at suggested retail prices of $18-22 each or $450-550 per box.

The Crystal 160 and Cifuentes Especial will be offered in boxes of 10 at suggested retail prices of $26 and $30 respectively, or $260-300 the box. The cigars will likely begin appearing in stores in late August.

The Torano family was one of Cuba’s best-known tobacco growers until their lands were seized by the Castro government in 1960. The family’s work in Cuba began in 1916 when Santiago Tornao emigrated from Spain and decided his future would be in tobacco.

Now the fourth generation of Torano’s is creating outstanding cigars, but in the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua. The Carlos Torano Noventa celebrates this 90-year journey with an all-Nicaraguan blend.

The tobaccos are all aged at least five years and are blended to offer a cigar of medium body, but with a balanced, exceptionally smooth flavor in three sizes: La Esperanza (6 x 52), Latin (6 1/2 x 54 torpedo) and, of course, Santiago (5 x 50). All sizes are expected to ship soon.

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