Te-Amo Adds Box Pressed Cabinet Selection
Altadis USA has introduced a new extension to the Te-Amo cigar line, the Te-Amo Cabinet Selection, a box pressed cigar handmade by Nueva Matacapan Tabacos, S.A. de C.V. in San Andres, Mexico.

The line is available with either a natural Sumatra or Habana 2000 maduro wrapper. Binder leaf is Habana 2000, and filler leaf is a blend of Mexican, Brazilian, and Dominican Republic tobaccos. Six frontmarks are offered: Toro (6 x 50), Petit Belicoso (5 x 52), Robusto (5 x 52), Belicoso (6 1/8 x 52), and Double Corona (7 x 54). Suggested retail prices before local taxes range from $4.50 for the Robusto to $6 for the Belicoso and Double Corona. Each cigar in cellophane wrapped and packaged in 20-count varnished cedar boxes.

Altadis usa, 5900 North Andrews Ave., Suite 700, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309, Toll-free: (800) 446-5797.

U.S. Cigar to Resume Shipments of Don Tomas Dominican Selection U.S. Cigar Sales, Inc. expects to resume shipments of its Don Tomas Dominican Selection by late February. The company's newest premium cigar was forced into a backorder situation not long after its launch at the RTDA show in August, due to overwhelming demand.

"We knew we had a winner on our hands with Don Tomas Dominican Selection, but we weren't prepared for the sheer number of orders. It was truly an overnight success," remarked Pepe Gutierrez, president, c.e.o., U.S. Cigar Sales.

Key to the brand's success has been the new Talanga Cuban wrapper, grown on the company's farm. "We could have used a lesser quality wrapper to keep the brand in supply, but we chose to maintain the flavor and overall integrity of the product that earned the success in the first place," noted Gutierrez.

Fulfillment of Don Tomas Dominican Selection is expected to resume in "relatively good quantities," said Gutierrez, noting "good things come to those who are willing to wait."

U.S. Cigar Sales, 6904 Park East Blvd, Tampa, FL 33610, Tel: (813) (626) 6663.

Latest Yumuri Cigar Features Corojo Wrapper
Brown Leaf Co. has expanded its Yumuri premium hand rolled cigar line with the Yumuri Colorado, a true Dominican puro featuring all Dominican-grown tobaccos.

"Yumuri cigars are one of a very few - if not the only - line of cigars using 100% virgin Cuban seed," said Mark Ginzo, president, Brown Leaf Co. "Virtually all the Cuban-seed tobacco planted in other countries has now lost its genetic purity through years of cross-pollination. All our tobacco is from first generation plants, grown from seed brought directly from Cuba."

All tobacco used in Yumuri Colorado is grown in the Dominican Republic's Cibao Valley, making it a true puro - rare since most attempts to grow Dominican wrapper have been disappointing. Yumuri Colorado's wrapper and binder leaf is Dominican-grown Corojo 200 seed, developed on the Finca de Corojo in central Cuba forty years ago. Virtually unseen off the island, it was long a popular strain among Cuban growers. The owners of Yumuri say their Corojo seed was initially obtained in 1997, and the first crop is just now appearing on this new cigar.

The cigars are available in Churchill, Toro, Robusto, Corona, Lonsdale, and Pyramid. Boxed in quantities of 25, each cigar is cellophane wrapped, with suggested retail prices ranging from $4.75 for the Corona, to $7.00 for the Pyramid.

"Yumuri cigars are named after the Yumur River in central Cuba, where I grew up on my grandfather's farm," says Ginzo. The company also offers the Yumuri and Yumuri 1492 Dominican-rolled lines.

Brown Leaf Company, 382 Gunter Ave., Guntersville, AL 35976, Tel: (256) 582-0210, Web: www.yumuri.com.

Altadis Debuts Miniature Cigars
Altadis U.S.A. is introducing a line of new miniature cigars based on six of its most noted brands. Made at Tabacalera de Garcia in La Romana, Dominican Republic, the miniatures are packed in 8-count, full-color pocket-size flat packs. The line consists of: Montecristo Joyitas, Romeo y Julieta 1875 Petit Julietas, Caba - as Joyitas, Santa Damiana Cigarritos, H. Upmann 200 Mini Cigars, and Henry Clay Miniatures. Each 8-pack retails for $6.25, with the exception of the Montecristo Joyitas, which bear a recommended prices of $7.99.

Altadis USA, 5900 North Andrews Ave., Suite 700, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309-7098, Toll-free: (800) 446-5797, Fax: (954) 938-7811

Mystic Knight First Box-Pressed Felipe Gregorio
Felipe Gregorio, Inc., has expanded its line of Felipe Gregorio (blue band) cigars with the Mystic Knight, so named to honor an elite cigar fraternity.

The cigar is the first box-pressed offering in the entire line of Felipe Gregorio, Felipe II, and Felipe Dominicana cigars. The Mystic Knight also includes an extra leaf of ligero. This elevates its strength to a level that is even closer to the modern Havana taste than other Felipe Gregorio selections, which are known for their power.

"The namesake for the Mystic Knight is a smoking society that meets in Prince Philip's, a Denver tobacconist," reports Philip Wynne. Wynne, the president of Felipe Gregorio, Inc., was made an honorary member recently. "Several of the members at the ceremony asked for a larger, more robust Felipe Gregorio," says Wynne, "so I felt it fitting to reciprocate the honor." The Mystic Knight was created in one size, 6 1/2" x 55 ring gauge.

"The Mystic Knight is a quite strong cigar," reports Wynne. The wrapper is Havana 92 leaf, the binder is Honduran, and the filler is from Nicaragua's Jalapa Valley. "We are seeing smokers move to the more full-bodied cigars, and this will satisfy even the most experienced palate," says Wynne.

The cigar's suggested retail price is $8.70, and is available at keystone. The company will be shipping the new cigar to tobacconists in February.

Felipe Gregorio, Inc., 2385 South Dove St., Alexandria, VA 22314 Toll-free: (800) (336) 1181.

La Aurora Extends Leon Jimenes with Maduro
The Dominican Republic's oldest cigar maker, La Aurora S.A., began shipping its newest cigar - The Leon Jimenes Maduro - in November, following an August debut at the RTDA trade show.

The cigar utilizes a Brazilian-leaf wrapper that has been extensively cured to achieve its rich, dark shade, making the Leon Jimenes Maduro the darkest cigar ever released by La Aurora. Overall, the cigars are described as "medium to full bodied."

The line consists of four sizes: Robusto (5 x 50); Belicoso (6 1/4 x 52); Toro (6 3/8 x 48); and No. 2 (7 x 47). Suggested retail prices range from $5.65 for the robusto to $7.25 for the Belicoso. Supply is expected to been fairly limited, according to the manufacturer.

Miami Cigar Company, 2533 N.W. 74th Ave., Miami, FL 33122, Tel: (305) 599-3395, Toll-free: (800) 643-7209.

Pastora, New Nicaraguan Puros
Nicaragua's Finest Cigar Co. of Los Angeles has introduced Pastora cigars, long-filler hand made Nicaraguan puros made entirely of tobaccos grown in the Esteli Valley of Nicaragua.

Two lines are offered: a mild- to medium-bodied blend with a Connecticut wrapper, and a medium- to full-bodied blend with a maduro wrapper. Four shapes are available: Churchill (7 x 48); Robusto (5 x 50); Corona (5 1/2 x 42); and Torpedo (6 1/4 x 52). Suggested retail prices for the Connecticut shade line range from $6.40 for the corona ($6.67 for maduro) to $7.30 for the torpedo ($7.56, maduro). Cigars are packed in 25-count hinge-lid wood boxes, featuring a decorative white spider paper with a "P" red wax seal, and satin silk woven embroidered band.

Retailers may apply online for a seller's account, and will receive a free sample for evaluation.

Nicaragua's Finest Cigar Co., 3420 So. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90007, Tel: (323) 233-8031, Fax: (323) 233-7943, Web: www.nicaraguasfinest.com

Punch "Rare Corojo" Returns
Long before the cigar boom, Villazon & Co., would periodically release a special edition of the Punch cigar known as the Rare Corojo, featuring a special corojo wrapper.

In April, a new square-pressed Punch Rare Corojo, featuring a fuller-bodied blend and a dark-red, extra rich Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper - will hit the market with a full promotional campaign including consumer advertising and retail support of shelf talkers, easel cards, and posters.

The cigars are double-banded with a second red and gold "Rare Corojo" band below the Punch band, and packaged in full-color paper-wrapped boxes. Three frontmarks will be available: Rotchschild (4 1/2 x 50), Double Corona (6 3/4 x 48), and Pita (6 1/8 x 50). Binder leaf is a Connecticut broad leaf, and filler is Honduran, Nicaraguan, and Dominican.

"Retailers are always asking us when we're going to bring back the Rare Corojo," said Bill Roethel, vice president of marketing, General Cigar Co., who note that like the original, the Punch Rare Corojo will be a limited offering.

General Cigar Co., 355 Chestnut St., Norwood, NJ 07648, Tel: (800) 526-4653.

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