CutLightSmoke

Press Release | ACE Prime Releases Dominique Wilkins Diamond Edition

Basketball legend and a cigar connoisseur, Dominique Wilkins released his special M.X.S. Signature Series cigar in 2019. The cigar has been a slam dunk with fans, retailers and aficionados alike, and has received wonderful reviews.

“Dominique Wilkins is a great friend, whose career and reputation for excellence and success is unparalleled. He is genuinely one of the
greatest NBA athletes of all-time, and we have thoroughly enjoyed the partnership in developing his M.X.S. Signature Series cigar”
said ACE PRIME co-founder Luciano Meirelles.

To celebrate Dominique Wilkins’s 60th Birthday (Jan 12), ACE PRIME is releasing a collectors edition limited release box. It features a beautiful 3D printed image of the NBA superstar in flight and contains the reserved, super-aged first batch of the M.X.S. Dominique Wilkins cigars.

Only 60 boxes of the M.X.S. Dominique Wilkins – Diamond Edition box will be released and available exclusively at:
• Davidoff Tampa (FL),
• The Clayton – Chicago (IL),
• Corona Cigars & Diamond Crown Lounge (FL),
• Casa de Montecristo – Lake Mary (FL),
• Stanley’s Cigar Bar (MO),
• Club Macanudo (N.Y.)
• Soho Cigar Bar (N.Y.)

“We are thrilled by the success of ACE PRIME, and we know this has a lot to do with the great reviews and media support. In 6 months, your support has allowed us to establish a great cigar brand and capture the imagination of cigar fans and experts. We’re passionate about creating the finest cigars for everybody to enjoy, and in 2020 we will be bringing our cigars to more communities across the country.”

The ACE PRIME family of cigars also includes M.X.S. (featuring a Special Signature Series with N.B.A. superstars, Dominique Wilkins, and Tiago Splitter), Luciano (The Traveler), and Pichardo Cigars. ACE PRIME will also be releasing a new blend, M.X.S. Signature Series Cigar, with the big-hitting baseball legend, Adrián González, in 2020.

ACE PRIME invites you to discover your cigar at WWW.ACEPRIME.COM

Press Release | Espinosa Announces Re-Release of @ZUCAR

Espinosa Premium Cigars is pleased to announce the re-release of @ZUCAR during the Tobacco Plus Expo (TPE), in Las Vegas, NV, January 29, 2020 through January 31, 2020. 

Originally released in 2016, @ZUCAR is a mild yet flavorful cigar with long filler Dominican tobacco and wrapper, rolled with a sweet vanilla tip. @ZUCAR has been re-blended and repackaged in more traditional cigar store-friendly boxes.  

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@ZUCAR is now available in four sizes, Cañita – 5 x 30, Lonsdale – 6 x 44, Robusto – 5 x 50, and Toro – 6 x 50, in 25 count boxes.                 

@ZUCAR production is being handled by the Aveja Cigar Factory in the Dominican Republic. 

Press Release | Jas Sum Kral Announces Nuggs Extentions

Jas Sum Kral has announced the extension to the popular Nuggs line of cigars. The original Nuggs line was the first truly-infused CBD cigar. Jas Sum Kral actually patented a process to infuse CBD without a negative impact on flavor.

Currently, Nuggs are only offered in a 4 x 48 Habano (20mg of CBD) and a 4 x 48 Maduro (100mg of CBD). The new size extensions to the Nuggs portfolio will add a 5 1/2 x 44 vitola for both the Habano (20mg – $8.50) and Maduro (100mg – $12) offerings packed in boxes of 25.

The company will also add a 7 x 44 vitola as an annual limited release. Pricing for the 7 x 44 Nuggs has not yet been announced.

All new additions to the Nuggs line will only be made available for customers currently carrying the original Nuggs cigars.

JSK also stated they have no plans to increase prices before or after TPE 2020. They will be exhibiting in booth 1035 at TPE.

You can find CutLightSmoke’s review of the original Nuggs Habano (20mg of CBD) here.

Press Release | Southern Draw Announces Cedrus Lancero, No 2020 Price Increases

The love of lanceros, those long, thin cigars is nothing new for the Southern Draw Cigars family as they are our true favorite smoking experience. The family never likes to show up empty handed to a trade show or event, so it is excited to share something new with TPE 2020 attendees.

“Southern Draw Cigars has been quietly enjoying this size for several years (in fact I am smoking one as I draft this PR) and plans to reveal the CEDRUS Lancero 7.5×40 in celebration of our first ever attendance at the Tobacco Plus Expo in Las Vegas, NV. From January 29th – 31st, the family and the CEDRUS lancero may be found in a quaint little corner of Booth #4059. We have previously offered a lancero size in each of our core blends including the popular Rose of Sharon, Firethorn, Kudzu and Jacobs Ladder, and this new addition will complement the CEDRUS line nicely.”

Southern Draw Cedrus Lancero

“Although lanceros reportedly do not make up a large portion of sales for most brands, Southern Draw Cigars has been blessed with solid sales over the previous five years, sales that are on par with our more traditional robusto and toro sizes. We will have a limited number of samples on hand and will be taking pre-orders for April and July 2020 deliveries,” per Robert Holt.

No 2020 Price Increases

Southern Draw Cigars is also pleased to announce that it has NO plan for a price increase for 2020. Sharon Holt a.k.a. The Rose of Sharon shared the company’s thought process, “We wish to avoid spending too much time on
price increase (and justification) discussions with our staff and current valued retailer partners. The family believes this is time that should be spent on value increasing discussions instead. Southern Draw has been blessed by the patience and loyalty of our partners and consumers, which more than warrants this important decision.”

The company would like to share some of the reasons that a 2020 price increase on current products wouldn’t be productive:

  1. SDC would like to hold on to our retailers and customers during this time of gloom and uncertainty in the industry by providing quality products at fair prices and an incentive for consumers not to turn to bargain or overall cheaper products.
  2. A price increase would likely increase churn in the essential life blood of brick and mortar shops operating in states with higher than average tobaccos related taxes.
  3. SDC has been blessed with a growth rate of >100% per year over the last 6 years, a 4% – 5% price increase now won’t really matter over the next 5 – 10 years, however the churn and the loss of referrals and
    consumer support will adversely impact our growth rate.
  4. A price increase on current products and with existing partners will take a lot of time and energy away from family, sales representatives and brokers, if sales are soft or growth declines, the opinion will likely
    be that it was due to the price increase.
  5. A one-time price increase may solve immediate increased labor, legal and logistical costs but when it is done, it hasn’t fixed any real issues. We need to support the industry more and proactively work together
    on long term solutions that benefit the industry.

Southern Draw Cigars plans to introduce more expensive product offerings in 2020 and when it has been determined a price increase is necessary, the company will make every effort to telegraph it well in advance and then apply it equally to all products in an attempt to mitigate any issues.

Southern Draw Cedrus Lancero

CEDRUS Lancero

  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: AJ Fernandez Cigar Co., Estelí, Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Besuki, Indonesia
  • Binder: Habano 2000- Estelí, Nicaragua
  • Viso:
    • Piloto Cubano – Dominican Republic
    • Criollo 98 – Estelí, Nicaragua
  • Seco: Habana 92 – Quilali, Nicaragua
  • Ligero: Corojo 99 – Jalapa, Nicaragua
  • Size: Lancero 7.5×40 (box pressed)
  • Number of Cigars – 50,000 per size to be released for 2020
  • Packaging: 20 count boxes (standard SDC boxes) and a limited number of 20 count refill bundles
  • Price – $10.20 MSRP (same price as the robusto size of all core blend cigars)
  • Ship Date – April 15, July 15, & October 15, 2020

Soli Deo Gloria –

Press Release | Crowned Heads Partners with Drew Estate for Hawaii Exclusive Cigar

For the second consecutive year, Crowned Heads has partnered with Drew Estate to produce the annual “Paniolo Especiale” Limited Edition cigar, exclusive to the state of Hawaii.

Crowned Heads Paniolo Especiale


Manufactured at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Esteli, Nicaragua, the Paniolo 2020 is a 5 3/4 x 46 Corona Gorda parejo cigar. Once again, the blend features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, a Mexican (San Andres) binder, and a combination of filler tobaccos from Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, and Brazil.

The Paniolo Especiale 2020 will be packaged in 10-count packs and retain last year’s MSRP of $9.80, despite total production being reduced from 2019’s 5,000 cigars to only 4,000 cigars.

Crowned Heads Paniolo Especiale

“It’s always a kick to work with Willy (Herrera) and the Drew Estate crew,” commented Crowned Heads co-owner/founder, Jon Huber. “We began the blending process on Paniolo 2020 last Summer immediately after the PCA show. Last year’s blend which featured a Broadleaf wrapper was a hit and we wanted to riff off of that, so ‘Chef Herrera’ sprinkled in a dash of Brazilian Mata Fina in the filler. The end result is a flavor profile that is rich, balanced, and layered while retaining that muscular structure and intensity that the (Paniolo) 2015 OR and last year’s 2019 release have become renowned for.”

Crowned Heads Paniolo Especiale


The Paniolo Especiale 2020 will be released on February 7, 2020 (6:00-9:30pm), at an exclusive dinner event hosted by R. Field Wine at the Prince Waikiki Hotel. Seating is limited. Please contact Marvin Chang to purchase tickets at machang@foodland.com, or call (808) 949-2998.

Cigar Review | Southern Draw Kudzu LUSTRUM Belicoso Fino

It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the Southern Draw Kudzu LUSTRUM in the Belicoso Fino size. This 5 ½ x 52 box-pressed cigar was created to celebrate Southern Draw’s fifth anniversary. This initial run is limited to 2,500 bundles of 10.

Southern Draw Kudzu LUSTRUM

Kudzu LUSTRUM features a Nicaraguan Medio Tiempo Habano wrapper covering a Nicaraguan Ometepe binder and Nicaraguan fillers. Retail price is set at $11.89, and the cigars are packed in camouflage paper bundles.

Southern Draw Kudzu LUSTRUM

Pre-Light

The wrapper produces a rich leather aroma, while I smell dried fruit out of the foot. The cold draw gives me flavors similar to the pre-light aroma. Once lit, there is rich leather and earth with saltiness on the draw. Leather and cocoa come through the nose. Heavy smoke output and a perfect draw are notable. The finish brings saltiness through with coffee and earth.

Southern Draw Kudzu LUSTRUM

First Third

Thirty-five minutes in, the first third comes to a close. On the draw, oak and leather coat my palate. Through the nose, I pick up nutty toast with black pepper. The finish offers up rich cocoa and coffee. Strength and body settle in at medium-to-full.

Southern Draw Kudzu LUSTRUM

Second Third

The second third gets me to one hour. Salty earth and citrus complements continued oak. On the retro-hale, I taste what I can only describe as a delicious spicy sourdough loaf. There is more cocoa on the finish with dried cherry and leather. Strength and body remain medium-to-full.

Southern Draw Kudzu LUSTRUM

Third…Third

An hour and a half into this gem, my final puffs wisp away. On the draw, there is buttery toast with black pepper and more citrus. Through the nose, more spicy sourdough notes pair well with dark coffee. I find no distinguishable changes to the finish, and strength and body finish out at medium-to-full.

Final Thoughts

The Southern Draw Kudzu LUSTRUM Belicoso Fino is a phenomenal cigar. The depth of flavors on this cigar are where it really shines. It’s not the most complex smoke, but the notes coming through are rich and full. It begs to keep being smoked, and it’s one of those cigars you simply itch to have again. I’m inclined to say this is now the crown jewel of the Southern Draw portfolio, and I highly recommend you get a bundle or two before they disappear.

The Southern Draw Kudzu LUSTRUM was my #4 cigar of 2019. Check out my entire top 25 list of the best cigars of the year here.

Smoke on!

-Noah (CutLightSmoke)

Press Release | Cubariqueño Announces Protocol Confidential Informant

Cubariqueño Cigar Co. announces the release of the Protocol Confidential Informant as a Cigars International Exclusive. The Protocol CI stays true to the company’s law enforcement theme. C.I. also happens to be the nickname for Cigars International as well as the abbreviation for a confidential informant in police jargon.

The La Zona Factory in Estelí, Nicaragua is rolling the cigar. Confidential Informant comes in one size – a 6 1/2 X 52 box press format packed in bundles of 10.

Protocol Confidential Informant

The blend consists of an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan fillers. The initial release is limited to 500 bundles.

Release Events

Cigars International is releasing the bundles nationally to all CI retail locations starting on Black Friday, November 29, 2019. Protocol owners, Juan Cancel and Bill Ives, are attending the kickoff events.

The events will run as follows:

  • Bethlehem Super-Store 10am-1pm
  • Downtown C.I. from 1:30pm – 3:30pm
  • Hamburg Super-Store 6pm-11pm.

Each location is raffling off a custom hand carved CI / Protocol Humidor from Nicaragua at the close of business on the 29th.

“Cigars International has been a great partner with Cubariqueño Cigar Co. and we are proud to work with them on this release” stated Kevin Keithan, National sales manager of Cubariqueño Cigar Company.