We got off to a great start with Christian Eiroa in the CLE booth at IPCPR 2017 when I reminded him of an advertising campaign he’d rather forget. Moving on, we take a look at the new Eiroa The First 20 Years Colorado, a cigar Christian has wanted to make his entire career thus far. Named for the color of the wrapper leaf, which was a key factor in the cigar’s production, comes in four sizes, all of them box pressed. Much attention was given to the details, Christian started setting aside tobacco for it at least five years ago, and the cedar for the boxes goes through a special process to retain a beautiful aroma. (I can attest to the aroma, it was delightful.) The quality of the cedar is why the cigars aren’t cellophaned, they want that aroma to infuse the cigar. The cigars are medium bodied, and they actually started shipping well before the trade show. This is one you don’t have to wait on.
The CLE lines have been repackaged as well. They’re still the same cigars as before, Christian just wanted to switch to cabinet boxes because they’re more shelf-friendly. We also take a quick look at the box-pressed CLE Prieto and Chele, CLE’s first foray into Nicaraguan tobacco. Sensing a theme, we then check out the box-pressed CLE Azabache which formerly was at TAA 2016 exclusive, but is now regular production. Christian mentions that he thinks box-pressed cigars taste different, and I agree. I ask if he has to slightly under-fill his box pressed cigars and he says they don’t do that.
That leads us to a discussion about the tight ship in Honduras that Christian Eiroa runs. His small factory has been adhering to Bayer Cropscience Better Growing Practices, the factory is 99% hygienic, and their Bayer-approved farms are certified to have zero impact on the environment. That means using less water than anyone else uses to grow tobacco, and no chemicals. He tells us the next step is making a positive impact on the environment, which will be a goal of the CLE Foundation when it kicks of sometime in 2018.
Back to cigars, we take a look at the CLE Signature, which Christian says is his favorite cigar produced by CLE, but admits that it isn’t yet marketed properly. And then it’s off to check out the Asylum 13 Medulla Oblongata. It’s made in Honduras and comes in 50-count boxes, with 25 of them round, and 25 of them box-pressed. All of them the same Honduran puro blend. Here again, the unlaquered boxes are made by CLE. Christian is curious to see what people say about the cigars, if they favor one over the other.
And last but not least, a fidget spinner with punch cutters in the arms. You read that right. As of yet, no one has successfully cut a cigar with the spinner while it is spinning.