New Limited-Release Gurkha Premium Cigars

Kaizad Hansotia, president and CEO of Beach Cigar Group, has announced two new Gurkha premium cigars, available this summer. Hansotia reports, "These super-premium cigars will be available to a very limited number of cigar connoisseurs worldwide. We will release only 3,000 boxes in each size of these cigars this year, assuring their quality and desirability." The finished cigars are aged a full two years in the company's humidor, enhancing the refinement and harmonizing of the tobaccos.

The first, Gurkha Symphony, will be available in three shapes: 6 x 50 Robusto, 7 1/2 x 52 Churchill, and 6 1/2 x 52 Torpedo. The wrapper is a tawny Connecticut shade leaf, with a Dominican binder and Nicaraguan filler. The Symphony's medium-to-full body and rich flavor is intended for experienced cigar smokers. The cigars are presented 13 to a box, at a suggested retail price of $144 (Robusto), $148 (Churchill), and $152 (Torpedo).

The second is Blend 101, a maduro in a 7 1/2 x 52 Churchill size only. Blend 101 consists of a naturally fermented Connecticut broadleaf wrapper, Costa Rican binder, and Dominican filer, for a medium body. Suggested retail pricing is $160 per box of 12.

Beach Cigar Group, Miami, Fla., Tel: (305) 593-2254, Fax: (305) 593-2256, Web: www.gurkhacigars.com.

New Camachos Feature Maduro Wrappers

Honduras-based cigar makers Julio and Christian Eiroa have developed new maduro wrappers for three of their existing lines of cigars - the Camacho SLR, Camacho Corojo, and Camacho Diploma.

The oily, dark, rich maduro wrappers - developed with the expertise of Camacho cigar connoisseurs, who attended the company's cigar seminars in Honduras his past winter - have reportedly exceeded the Eiroa family's expectations, enhancing the flavors and richness of these already full-bodied cigars, and giving each one a distinctive taste.

At this time, these Maduro cigars are only available in the robusto size: SLR Rothschild (4 1/2 x 50), Corojo Monarca (5 x 50), and the Diploma (5 x 50).

Caribe Imported Cigars Inc., Miami, Fla., Toll-free: (8oo) 367-0782, Web: www.caribeimportedcigars.com.

Connecticut Valley Deploys Foot Soldier

The "Foot Soldier" is the latest addition to the Battleground Cigar line from Connecticut Valley Tobacco. The cigar, described as a "solidly constructed, mild to medium-bodied cigar with a perfect draw and solid ash" is made in Honduras with Habano-seed tobacco as binder, filler, and wrapper. The Foot Soldier is available in four sizes: Robusto (5 x 50), Toro (6 x 50), Churchill (7 x 48), and Perfecto (5 x 42). The inexpensive, medium filler cigar is packaged in 50-count boxes and retails between $1.50 and $2.50 per individual stick.

Tobacco Valley Cigar Co., Hazardville, Conn., Toll-free: (888) 566-7879, Web: www.tvcigar.com.

Swedish Match's Longhorn Moist Snuff Debuts Nationally

Following a successful market test, Swedish Match North America is expanding distribution of its newest price-value moist snuff brand, called Longhorn, nationally. Longhorn is available in Fine Cut Natural, Long Cut Wintergreen, and Long Cut Straight, three of the most popular flavors/cuts in the moist snuff category.

Seeing the price-value segment as the key growth driver for the overall moist snuff category, Swedish Match is offering Longhorn at a low introductory price in order to generate trial and create brand awareness. With unique flavor profiles, tobacco blend, and a different price point from its flagship brand Timber Wolf, Swedish Match is using Longhorn to expand its moist snuff portfolio to reach a wider range of consumers. "All pre- and post-market test research of Longhorn, in addition to increasing repeat purchases in the test market, has validated the fact that we have a great product and proposition that has been embraced by the consumer," said David Price, vice president of Marketing for Swedish Match North America.

Swedish Match North America, Inc., Richmond, Va., Tel: (804) 287-3267, Fax: (804) 287-3208, Web: www.swedishmatch.com.

USSTC Launches Skoal Apple Blend

U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company (USSTC) has announced the launch of Skoal Apple Blend, which combines rich, premium tobacco with the crisp flavor of juicy apples. Like all Skoal smokeless tobacco products, Apple Blend is made with 100 percent hand-selected American tobaccos. It is the latest in a line of unique new flavors from Skoal and follows last year's successful launch of Skoal Vanilla Blend.

"Skoal continues to be the flavor innovator in the moist smokeless tobacco segment, giving adult consumers exciting options they can only get from Skoal," said Jill K. Galowitz, USSTC vice president, brand management. "The combination of apple flavor and smooth premium tobacco has a refreshing flavor that really lasts." Skoal Apple Blend is available in FreshSnap cans with a "guaranteed fresh until" date stamped on the bottom. The product will be available nationally in all classes of trade.

The new product will supported by a direct mail campaign beginning in August; by high-impact point-of-sale materials and pre-pack retail displays that will encourage both awareness and trial; and by a print advertising campaign in a full array of men's magazines. Skoal Apple Blend will be available at retail beginning June 21.

U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co., Greenwich, Conn., Tel: (203) 661-1100, Fax: (203) 622-3626.

Farmer's Gold Joins RYO/MYO Market

M & R Holdings, Inc., the manufacturer of the top-selling Farmer's Gold brand of Roll-Your-Own and Make-Your-Own tobaccos, has announced the addition of Farmer's Golden Leaf to the line. With Farmer's Golden Leaf, the company seeks to provide a premium blend of choice tobaccos at an affordable price. The new blend is available in seven varieties: Full Flavor, Menthol, Menthol Light, Light, Ultra light, Additive Free and Long Cut #2. Three package sizes are offered: 1-pound, 6-oz and .75-pound pouch.

M&R Holdings, Inc., Pine Hill, NC, Toll-free: (800) 451-5729, Fax: (252) 568-3996.

Toraņo Releases Family's Private Cigar

Toraņo Cigars has released a new premium cigar, revealing it has been the family's private cigar for years. Previously unnamed, the company has branded it "Casa Toraņo."

Since 2000, an unbanded promotional cigar sharing the same blend as the family's private cigar has been offered to smokers at events sponsored by Toraņo. Based on the response, the family finally decided to share the cigar with smokers everywhere.

"Casa Toraņo is a mild cigar with bold and enticing flavor," states Charlie Toraņo, company vice president. "For too long, mild cigars have represented both mild flavors and mild strength. Not anymore. Casa Toraņo will appeal to all smokers who give priority to the flavor of a cigar, as opposed to its strength. The response in our cigar rolling events shows that all cigar smokers will truly enjoy this blend."

The cigar comes in four classic shapes: Robusto, Corona, Toro, and Torpedo. The wrapper is Ecuadorian-grown Connecticut-seed tobacco, with a complex, balanced filler blend. Suggested retail pricing ranges from $3.95 to $4.95. The cigar will be available in the Toraņo booth at RTDA 2004.

Toraņo Cigars, Miami, Fla., Toll-free: (800) 7-CIGARS, Fax: (305) 661-9083, Web: www.torano.com.

Griffin's Celebrates 20 Years with New Humidor and Cigar

20 years ago, Bernard Grobet, a cigar connoisseur and club owner from Geneva, had the first Griffin's cigars made in the Dominican Republic for his nightclub of the same name. The prestigious brand, now produced by the Oettinger Davidoff Group, celebrates its anniversary year in 2004 with a special edition range of cigars and an exclusive fiberglass Griffin's humidor.

The first Griffin's cigars were made at Tabacos Dominicanos in 1984. The product was so well received by his guests that Grobet began to sell them in specialized Swiss outlets, and in 1989, introduced them in the USA.

Davidoff of Geneva was entrusted with the export business and bought the brand in 1992. Since then, Davidoff has taken The Griffin's brand worldwide, developing it further with new models, lines, and accessories.

The "Special XX Edition," the cigar developed for the brand's 20th anniversary, is a 5 1/4 x 52 robusto, individually wrapped in cellophane. The cigar is limited worldwide to an exclusive series of 3,000 specially designed boxes, each holding 20 cigars, and will be on sale in July 2004 for a suggested retail price $180.

Davidoff of Geneva, Stamford, Conn., Toll-free: (800) 232-8436.

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