General Cigar Debuts Macanudo Gold Label

An unusually golden wrapper has inspired the creation of General Cigar’s new Macanudo Gold Label, a one-time release which debuted in select tobacco stores in November.

Macanudo Gold Label is a limited edition line of Macanudo Café cigars featuring rare Connecticut Shade wrapper leaves. Exposed to less sunlight allowing more natural sugars to remain, each leaf is extremely thin and particularly supple with barely visible veins. The result is a texture that is especially smooth without a hint of graininess.

“Each year, our Connecticut Shade tobacco crop yields a finite number of light golden brown tobacco leaves from the first and second primings,” explains Macanudo Cigar Master Daniel Nuñez. “Abundant natural sugar prevails, giving the wrapper a natural sweetness.”

This special wrapper (“capa especial”) has been combined with the first and second primings of the 1998 Macanudo San Andreas binder, 1998 Piloto Cubano, and 1998 Mexican filler tobaccos. “The result is a unique cigar with the traditional smoothness of Macanudo and an amazing natural sweetness found in no other cigar in the marketplace,” adds Nuñez.

Handcrafted in the Dominican Republic, Macanudo Gold Label cigars are packaged in 25-count, full-color boxes, and are available in four sizes: Shakespeare, 61/2” x 45, $5.20 suggested retail; Lord Nelson, 7” x 49, $6.15 retail; Tudor, 6” x 52, $5.90 retail; and Duke of York 51/4” x 54, $5.60 retail.

General Cigar Company, Norwood, N.J., Tel: (800) 526-4653, Fax: (201) 660-6095, Web: www.cigarworld.com.

La Aurora Preferido Goes Maduro

La Aurora S.A., of Santiago, Dominican Republic, has extended its top-of-the-line La Aurora Preferido line with a new frontmark featuring a dark Brazilian maduro wrapper. The La Aurora Preferido No. 2 Maduro De Luxe is a perfecto measuring 5 in. x 54 ring gauge and is rolled from a blend of Brazilian and Dominican Republic tobaccos, including Dominican corojo leaf that is grown by La Aurora, and a Dominican binder leaf.

Each cigar is packaged in a precision-made tube crafted from heavy-gauge aluminum. For the Maduro De Luxe Edition, the La Aurora’s exclusive perfecto-shaped tube has been given a glossy, ruby red finish to differentiate it from the silver tube of the Preferido Platinum version. The cigars are packed in 25-count cedar boxes. Suggested retail price is $17 per stick.

Miami Cigar & Co., Miami, Fla., Tel: (800) 643-7209, Fax: (305) 599-9114.

Sierra Sweets Flavored Handmade Cigars

Sierra Sweets are flavored, handmade cigars targeted for the smoker who wants an inexpensive flavored cigar but who doesn’t want to compromise quality. Unlike competing brands, they are a 100% long filler product made from premium Dominican Republic Olor tobacco.

“Never before has this much smoking pleasure come in such a small package,” notes Phillips & King International, the brand’s distributor. Sierra Sweets are available in Rum, Vanilla, and Cherry flavors, packed in individual containers which are mounted on a handy lucite display.

Phillips & King International / Kretek International, Inc., Moorpark, Calif., Tel: (805) 531-8888, Fax: (805) 531-8899, Web: www.kretek.com.

Skoal Berry Blend from U.S. Smokeless Tobacco

U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, the principal subsidiary of UST Inc., has introduced Skoal Berry Blend, a new berry-flavored long cut product.

Combining a distinctive berry aroma with the smooth, long-lasting flavors of rich, premium, aged tobaccos, Skoal Berry Blend represents the brand’s first line extension since 1993.

“Skoal Berry Blend is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the growth in the flavored moist smokeless tobacco segment,” said Michael Terry, brand director, Skoal. “This strategic new product launch is designed to broaden Skoal’s appeal among adult tobacco consumers.”

The new product is being supported by a print advertising campaign, direct mail, and point-of-sale delivering more than 60 million adult impressions. The product launch features eye-catching retail displays to encourage both awareness and trial. The print advertising campaign includes a presence in men’s lifestyle magazines. The product is available nationally in all classes of trade. As part of the national roll-out, Skoal is offering consumers $1.00 off per can on the new blend.

Other Skoal flavors include Wintergreen, Straight, Mint, Cherry, Classic, Spearmint, and Berry Blend. Skoal comes in easy-to-carry fine and long cut cans, and in pouch forms.

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

Pyramid by Agio, Mild Short-fill Cigars

Dutch cigar maker Agio has launched Pyramid by Agio, a mild and uniquely tapered short-fill cigar, measuring 41/2 x 24-36. The cigars are rolled with an aromatic blend of Java, Sumatra, and Brazilian tobaccos and a Java binder and wrapper, delivering a mild and soft smoke.

Each cigar is individually packaged in a striking, silver-colored plastic tube which is tapered to match the shape of the cigar and features a lid with pocket clip. Each tube is packaged in a full-color box and presented in 25-count counter displays.

Agio is also offering Pyramid by Agio in pocket packs containing five untubed cigars in a fan-shaped hard-shell case. A counter display contains 10 of the five-packs and 25 of the special tubes.

Ashton Distributors, Inc., Philadelphia, Penn., Tel: (215) 676-8778, Fax: (215) 676-9085, Web: www.ashtoncigar.com.

Mayorga Coffee-Infused Cigars from Drew Estate

Drew Estate has teamed up with gourmet coffee grower and premium cigar namesake Martin Mayorga to develop the ultimate line of coffee flavored cigars, ones that are actually infused with ground coffee beans.

These 4 x 32 handmade Nicaraguan cigars incorporate one of four different varieties of gourmet coffees: Kenya AA Serengeti, Nicaraguan Estate, Colombian Supremo, or Jamaican Blue Mountain.

The cigars are offered in either 10-count, full color tins ($5.00 suggested retail), or as single sticks, individually boxed and packaged in 20-count displays ($.60 per stick retail). Also available is the Inter-Continental sampler tin that contains one Jamaican Blue Mountain cigar, and three each of the remaining styles.

Drew Estate, Inc., Newark, N.J., Tel: (973) 353-9590, Fax: (973) 353-9490, Web: www.drewestate.com.

Djarum Extends Kretek Line With New Djarum Cherry and Djarum Vanilla Clove Cigarettes

Indonesian clove cigarette maker Djarum has extended its product line with the introduction of Djarum Cherry and Djarum Vanilla kreteks. The essences of flavorful cherry and sweet vanilla compliment the fragrant clove of the classic Djarum kretek - the best selling clove cigarette in the U.S. New Djarum Cherry and Djarum Vanilla are offered in stylish hard-packs of 20 cigarettes.

Phillips & King International / Kretek International, Inc., Moorpark, Calif., Tel: (805) 531-8888, Fax: (805) 531-8899, Web: www.kretek.com.

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