So it was my 4th time at the trade fair, but it felt so good to be back after a 3 year hiatus due to the pandemic. And I shared that same feeling with everyone there that returning back to a normal was needed for the cigar industry, but may we not forget we still have a row of problems still facing us.
For the new readers or novice people to the cigar industry asking themselves what is Intertabac? Let me explain. InterTabac is the biggest tobacco trade fair in the world, it not only houses the cigar industry that we know and love but also, the pipe industry, cigarette industry, shisha industry, tobacco free industry as vape, nicotine pouches, tobacco pouches like snus & CBD in all different types of forms. The there’s also InterSupply that’s more geared towards the manufacturing part of the different industries. Both InterTabac and InterSupply is a fair for the international market so you got people from all over the world traveling there to make business.
If you are a reader of cigar media you probably are more commonly known of the US markets two trade fairs of PCA (formerly known as IPCPR) or TPE but those trade fairs are only geared towards the US markets alone. In recent years there have also emerged a new trade fair for the Asian market in China called International Cigar Expo. But InterTabac is still the main trade fair for the world market.
Arrival to Dortmund, Germany, my flight was 4h delayed to Düsseldorf but finally after a long taxi ride I arrived at my hosts HENK Pre InterTabac party, many notable people of the cigar industry was there or had been there before I arrived late, but I still managed to get some well needed food and good conversations in over a cigar before it was time to head to the hotel and sleep before the big day.
I was picked up at the hotel by my host and we headed to his home for breakfast, after a lovely breakfast chat we headed to the trade fair. Well at the front desk we got our badges and went in, I was lovely to be back in those halls again after 3 years. So at InterTabac the halls designated for cigars is hall 4 and 7 so that was the goal to get there as soon as possible, but before that you have to pass through a lot of disgusting vape and shisha booths that smell of the most artificial chemicals out there. First thing on the agenda was of course to get to my colleagues at the Cigar Journal booth, a safe place to start and of course to meet familiar faces once more. Then it was time to get the lay of the land, since this year some of the biggest brands weren’t attending the show so everything had been shuffled around, so I needed to get my baring’s of where all the different brands had their booths.
Once I had a rough idea where everything was, it was time to visit the people I knew so I headed to the Kleinlagel (German distributor of many boutique brands) booth, where I sat down with Darren Cioffi owner of Principle cigars and just had a chat and a cigar, I smoked a Principle Aviator Series Patrie with a couple of years age on it. But I had no time to waste around sitting there all day, I headed of to talk to all kinds of brands after that.
The day went on fast and suddenly the time had hit 6 pm and the fair was closing down, so it was time for the Cigar Journal Cigar Trophy Awards Ceremony so we gathered a team and walked there. Well there we were handed a glas of wine (red for me), and an wide array of cigars that all were nominated for the Best Cigar in their respective categories. I grabbed a CLE 25th Anniversary Toro as I thought it would match lovely with the red wine I was having, and it did, then finally they came out with some tapas style food and the mingling began. After some time we where invited in to the gala hall and I sat down at a table with some familiar faces, we sat at the table behind Rocky Patel and the Plasencia team, I would say most of the tables around was famous owners of cigar brands or people from the industry. The only problem that occurred was that way to many people had showed up to the event that hadn’t RSVP to the invitation so there were a plethora of people without seating.
Then finally the award ceremony began and here are the winners:
BEST BRAND 2022
Best Brand Cuba 2022: Partagás Serie D
Best Brand Dom. Rep. 2022: Davidoff Dominicana
Best Brand Honduras 2022: Rocky Patel Number 6
Best Brand Nicaragua 2022: Oliva Serie V Maduro
Best Brand USA 2022: The American
BEST CIGAR 2022
Best Cigar Cuba 2022: Partagás Serie D No.4
Best Cigar Dom. Rep. 2022: A. Fuente Don Carlos Presidente
Best Cigar Honduras 2022: Plasencia Cosecha 149 Azacualpa
Best Cigar Nicaragua 2022: Undercrown 10 by Drew Estate Toro
Best Cigar Italy 2022: Toscano Antico
BEST VALUE 2022
Best Value Dom. Rep. 2022: La Aurora 107 Nicaragua
Best Value Honduras 2022: C.L.E. Corojo
Best Value Nicaragua 2022: Padrón Classic Series
BEST CIGAR ACCESSORY 2022
Les Fines Lames Le Petit
BEST LOUNGE 2022
Grand Cathedral Cigars, Tampa | USA
CHARITY & COMMUNITY 2022
Escuela Oliva Estelí
The last three categories of Charity & Community award, Amabassador award and Lifetime Achievement are decided by Cigar Journal themselves but all other categories are nominated by the community and then the winners are based on the votes of the top 5 nominated cigars or brands. So this award is a community driven event that is thanks to all the cigar smokers out there that participate, so if you haven’t participated before I highly recommend you to do so for next years nominations, it usually starts in June.
Big congratulations to all winners and we heard a lot of good speeches up on stage. If you want to re-watch the livestreamed award ceremony you can watch it on Cigar Journals Facebook page here.
After the Cigar Journal Cigar Trophy Awards Ceremony was finished it was time to head to the Maya Selva Cigars Fiesta at the IQOS Lounge at BVB Stadion Dortmund, and what a party it was, live latin music, tapas like food, Flor de Selva Colección No. 20 Toro cigars and an open bar, I went for the Billecart-Salmon champagne they had on the ready and it matched beautifully with the cigar.
It started as the day before breakfast at the hosts house and heading of to the trade fair. The day went on with a lot of walking around and talking to different brands, smoking Lampert 1675 Edicion Azul Short Robusto, Principle Aviator Series Envoi, Saga Short Tales Tomo V, Cavalier Inner Circle Robusto and other great cigars. It was a great time but a lot of walking around which was heavy on my not so fully healed body after an bike accident I had this summer, so it was especially heavy on my knees. But we prevailed because I feel this trade fair is what I needed to stay active in the cigar industry that I sadly lost a connection to last year as the cigar shop I worked at for 7 years sadly ceased to exist. I now am only connected to this lovely industry by my participation of the Cigar Journal Tasting Panel and my reviews I do. But my goal is to somehow get back in, stronger than before and this trade fair has opened up some opportunity’s of that happening.
Toward the end of the fair closing down we headed to DHB Boutique cigars booth were Didier Houvenaghel the winner of the Cigar Journal’s Ambassador award had been doing signings of his “From soil to soul” second edition book, was now handing out great Belgian dark beers and giving out Furia Tisiphone cigars for us all to enjoy. It was a great time we all had together.
But eventually we had to get out of there not only because the fair had closed but also because we were so hungry and had dinner waiting for us at home. After a delicious dinner me, Heiko (owner of HENK) and Marc André (Humidor maker) sat down for cigars and discussing the show we had just attended. Heiko wanted me to do a taste test of a testblend of a upcoming product he had in development so I had a HENK MAORI Willy Edicion Limitada 2020 to compare with this new blend and I must say it was a delicious cigar I had. I put forward my thoughts about the blend and we kept on discussing the state of reviews in general, a very interesting topic among people with differing opinions.
How can one be as unbiased and objective when doing a review not only for cigars but reviews in general. We all have to stick to a set of parameters but at some point our own opinions take over as it’s based on our own experience and view of what’s good. For it to be a truly objective all preparations and steps have to be followed to an exact point each and every time, the room temp and humidity level cant change and our Ph level in our mouths have to be the same, then of course all samples have to be from the exact same batch and harvest. It get’s very clinical, and boring quite frankly, we are all humans with different experiences, from all over the world in different ages and some are women and some are men. I for example don’t like to smoke heavier cigars during my leisure time, but when I do a review I have to put my own opinions to the side, I can note down my opinions in taste and in my conclusion but in all other steps of overlooking the smoking experience I have to put on my objective hat.
After our heated at some times discussion was getting to the end, Heiko came with a full stack of cigars asking me if I had smoked any of them, which of course I had to say no, as the majority I had never seen in my life or even heard of. So he implied I should try them for reviews, so I packed them in bags to bring with me back to Sweden the next day. I of course thanked him for this generous gifts and for having me as a guest for this years InterTabac as it ment a lot to me.
Gift from HENK
So I was the guest of HENK during my time at Intertabac and I’m immensely grateful for getting invited as I see Heiko as a very close friend. After spending time together in his home eating delicious food cooked by his wife, spending loving time with his dog Finchen and smoking a plettera of delicious HENK cigars together with Marc André (Humidor maker) I got a bunch of well aged cigars I’ve never seen before that he wanted me to review but also a prototype S.W.A.T travel humidor bag that you can hang over your shoulder for eas to lugg around. The bag was based on the HENK IPACK®XP but branded for the brand S.W.A.T (Special Wrapper and Tobacco) that he also makes. So this was made with more rugged materials leather & ballistic nylon as the brand is more geared towards people who own guns and likes to be out and about in terrain.
The travel humidor part holds 7 large cigars or 14 smaller ones, it has the cleaver lifters to lift up the cigars easier and space for 2 Boveda packs. On the sides of the bag there are also pockets for a lighter and cutter and a large pocket on the backside for a notepad or a like. All this holds true for the HENK IPACK ©XP too just with more luxurious materials used.
I also got a 10 pack of the beautiful HENK MAORI LA DOÑA Edicion Limitada 2018 a cigar I absolutely love and highly recommend to anyone who hasn’t tried it yet. I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t loved a HENK MAORI cigar yet.
Cigars I got from different brands at InterTabac
I was one of the lucky few that got bestowed with the honour of receiving the rare and highly spoken about new cigars from Meerapfel Cigars the brand is lead by my dearest of friends Reinhard Pohorec together with Jeremiah Meerapfel.
On the first photo you see MEERAPFEL “Meir” Master Blend Robusto 2022 & MEERAPFEL “Meir” Master Blend Double Robusto 2022.
Some of you might know that the Meerapfels not only produce Cameroon tobacco and supply it to most known cigar brands out there but they also have a cigar brand of themselves called Selection Meerapfel and on the second photo you’ll see the cigars I got from them.
Selection Meerapfel Maestranza MAE Marques
Selection Meerapfel Square Line SQ No. 3
Selection Meerapfel Machetero MACH Petit Corona
I’ll of course do reviews of these when I get time.
De Los Reyes Cigars
It’s always lovely to swing by the De Los Reyes Cigars booth at InterTabac, with comfy sofas and walls filled with Saga Short Tales book boxes and of course to meet the people. This time around I was greeted with open arms by my friend Jean-Michael a jolly good fellow. That treated me to my favourite of the line-up the Tomo V that I lit up immediately. But I also got to pick out the “new” Tomo VII out of a freshly opened book box. So I can complete my reviews of the Tomo line-up, but as he said “Complete, what do you mean? There might be more coming 😏 like Tomo VIII, IX and X” so we are hopeful for the future, and hopefully next time we get the lovely Nirka Reyes back to the fair, but I of course understand why she couldn’t be presented this time.
Saga Short Tales Tomo VII
In the booth of course they hosted the other brands made at De Los Reyes, like Debonaire Cigars which it was lovely to hug my dear friend Philip Zanghi and catch up since it’s been 3 years since.
But I also got to meet the guys behind Patoro Cigars a brand I’ve only tried one cigar from a while back, that I got from @domberga in a trade we did, the Patoro XO Salomones VA. So this time they handed me Patoro Serie P Methusalem (Robusto) which I look forward to trying.
We all know Casdagli Cigars make great cigars and I’m not afraid in admitting that I love most of what the brand puts out to the market and I have reviewed almost every release they have put out with exceptions to:
Basilica C No.1 Maduro (got the cigar will review)
D’Boiss DB52 (& the old version with the wax stamp band)
Daughters of the Wind Robusto (US Exclusive)
Daughters of the Wind Wide Churchill (US Exclusive)
Daughters of the Wind Diademas (old cigars brought back before Cypher 3311 Lorenz was released)
Daughters of the Wind Lonsdale (don’t know the origin behind those)
Old Daughters of the Wind line up of Dahman, Salomone & Pyramide.
Cypher 3311 Enigma
Cypher 3311 Needle
Cypher 3311 Lorenz
Cypher 3311 Colussus
Villa Casdagli Petit Exquisitos Nicarita (got the cigar will review)
But some are harder to come by, like the new Cypher 3311 with its 4 cigar lineup is out of my budget so it will be a while before I review them.
Then there are limited exclusive cigars they make only for one market or shop either you travel there to buy them or you figure out a way you can get a hold of them from elsewhere. This cigar is one of the hard to get a hold of as it was made for Club Mareva Zagreb in Croatia, luckily I know Marko Bilic and he wanted me to try this cigar so I was grateful to get the honour of doing so. It was made in dedication to his Father and the opening of Club Mareva Zagreb a sister club to Marko’s own Club Mareva Split which already has 5 cigars in the line-up.
Casdagli Club Mareva Zagreb Jura
So the Club Mareva Zagreb Jure got a printing error on the bands that state Jura, but I got the info they accept either or. It’s a Wide Churchill format so it will please all the Cuban cigar lovers out there!
Bocock Brothers Cigars
There are always new brands you encounter at trade fairs and Bocock Bros Cigars was such a brand, I knew I had tried their Connecticut Robusto before in a blindtasting for Cigar Journal but I hadn’t seen the cigars in person before really as they have mainly been focused on the US market.
So to meet and speak to Bryant Bocock was a pleasure, very friendly guy and he went through the line up of:
Bocock Brother’s World Traveler Maduro Robusto, Bocock Brother’s World Traveler Habano Robusto & Bocock Brother’s World Traveler Connecticut Robusto and spoke about them dearly, as it was their first time at InterTabac they didn’t have a foothold in the International market as of yet but where eager to be there.
I wish them the best of luck out there and I look forward to trying their cigars in reviews you’ll see here before long.
Casa 1910 Cigars
As a devoted cigar lover I’m open to try new cigar brands at an blink of an eye, but it’s helpful to be guided sometimes by people who already have a connection to a brand to recommend new stuff to try, like Vlada Stojanov (US cigar distributor) did with Casa 1910 a new cigar brand that was born during the pandemic. We spoke long with Manolo Santiago the Master Blender who described the passion they had for the Mexican heritage and how they wanted to celebrate their country in form of cigars. To bring forth the revolutionaries.
Casa1910 As de Oro Toro
When I worked at Mellgrens Fine Tobacco we had many different cigars but one of the constant favourites of our customers was the great valued El Brujito Robusto so boy was I surprised to see Alfambra Cigars at InterTabac, of course I told them about my previous encounters with the brand and that that specific cigar was very good so I was even more surprised they gave me their limited edition of that cigar. I know very little information as it was released at the fair and online I can’t even see any information about it. But the name is as follows:
El Brujito Serie Oro Pelo de Oro Edición Limitada 2022
I’ll review it and tell you about it, but if it’s any like the one we used to sell in the shop it should be deliciously chocolatey.
Drew Estate Cigars
I’ll be honest with you guys as I was with Pedro Gomez Rodriguez at the Drew Estate booth at InterTabac, I’m not the biggest of fans of the heavier type of cigars, like most of what Drew Estate puts out there. But I’ll never turn down to try anything, as it’s always good to try it before you knock it. Just like I did with Jonathan Drew in 2019 when I sat down and tried ACID Kuba Arte 20th Anniversary Limited Edition with him over a cup of coffee, even though it wasn’t to my liking I at least gave it a try.
So what about this time, I was in good company by @rayprodanoff & @zs_world_of_cigars great friends who most likely dig the heavier variety of cigars, so I stayed with them and it turned out to be a lovely chat with Pedro, such a good spirited man and very lovely to meet.
He even turned out to be a great speech giver as he and Jonathan accepted Best Cigar Nicaragua – Undercrown 10 from Cigar Journal Trophy Awards. So it was very fitting that he earlier that day had given us this cigar. And a bonus cigar rest.
Drew Estate Undercrown 10 Tuani Belicoso Event Exclusive
It’s never a dull day if you hang out with Darren even though his face might say otherwise 😅😜
It’s become a tradition to come hang out in the Kleinlagel booth as all the best people are there, so each day I got there I sat down to talk with my dear friend and others that cared to join us for a cigar.
As a horder of the best collectible stuff, something that Darren is, he whipped up some aged Aviator Series cigars for us to smoke, first up it was the Patrie and it was delicious of course. The next day I got a aged Envoi also delicious, but not to leave empty handed even though I just received the other week a massive amount of cigars from Principle Cigars to try I got handed a Principle White Gold Band Robusto (Unreleased Testblend) and of my own asking a Principle Aviator Series Cochon Volant as I still after 7 years of knowing each other never tried that cigar before and everyone seems to love it!
P.S. the Aviator cufflinks I got a few years back and is nothing Principle still stock, but I brought them because they look really cool and I wanted to rep my friend in a nice way at the fair.
Maya Selva Cigars
I’ve become very good friends with the people at Maya Selva Cigars over the years so in a way there aren’t any new things to say really, I love most of the cigars they put out, and it was no different with the launch party of the Flor de Selva Colección No. 20 Toro, great music we got delicious Billecart-Salmon champagne to drink which matches amazingly with the cigar but what other to expect from French people they know the good things in life.
Cigars that I got was:
Cumpay Puro Nicaragua Lancero (Which I’ve reviewed recently)
Flor de Selva Colección No. 20 Toro
Villa Zamorano Robusto (Which I’ve surprisingly not reviewed yet).
Always lovely to meet the team and Maya Selva, I will always vibe with them.
Lampert didn’t have the best location of a booth at InterTabac, so I hope dearly that they got seen by as many people as they needed to, I had trouble finding them at first but once I did it was lovely finally getting to meet Dr. Stefan Lampert.
On display they had the entire portfolio of cigars and rum to all to see and I instantly saw my favourite of theirs the Lampert 1675 Edición Azul Short Robusto that I gave 92 points early in this year, what an amazing blended cigar that was.
So it was no surprise Stefan liked me for that, he told me to come back the next day to pick up their new releases which I of course did and they are these:
Lampert 1593 Edición Oscura Toro
Lampert 1593 Edición Blanca Toro
Xhaxhi Bobi Cigars
On my last day of the fair towards the end of the day I returned to my trusted spot to hang out at the Kleinlagel booth, where I meet the lovely Norwegians from Nordic Cigars (Norwegian cigar distributor) and crashed their meeting and got introduced to Uncle Bob de Goede owner of Xhaxhi Bobi a brand I’ve only encountered once before but I’ve seen a lot of love for on social media. So I stated that I really should try more of his great valued cigars so he handed me a sample of his portfolio.
Xhaxhi Bobi (Gray) Lancero Sexy Cuchi
Xhaxhi Bobi (Gray) Robusto
Xhaxhi Bobi (Red) Robusto
Xhaxhi Bobi Square 50
Vegas de Santiago Cigars
Vegas de Santiago that was a booth we @rayprodanoff & @zs_world_of_cigars returned to many times over and over again, not because we where so obsessed with the brand no but for how hard it was to get any cigars from them.
Eventually we got through and were introduced to the owner I guess, wasn’t really clear at that point. So we started to ask questions about the cigars about the blends and well we pretty much got an blank expression back, either they are super secretive about it or he clearly didn’t know.
Anyhow he asked us what we wanted to try, and he didn’t give me much to go on for the different cigars so I picked the Lancero as I know a Lancero is really hard of making right, so if they managed to make a perfect Lancero their rest of the portfolio should be a walk in the park.
Vegas de Santiago D8 Lancero Limited Edition 2020
A big talker lately has been the bold release of the Confidenciaal Cigars a unbanded bundle cigar out of Hong Kong. Of course it intrigued pretty much anyone as the blend is Undisclosed and so is the origin.
So we approached the booth and asked for a cigar, I asked for the Churchill as well it has great potential to be a delicious cigar so I’d want to cherish that for a long time. I’ll have to review it to know for certain, but my friend tried his and he said it reminded him greatly of a Cuban cigar but with great draw and great construction. And it wouldn’t be far of for Eric Piras to create something soothed for Cuban smokers as Hong Kong is where the newly decided Cuban market price is set for the world.
I didn’t get a sense for what the pricing will be for these but I’m guessing way lower than any standard Cuban cigar as it would be the smartest move on their part.
Before Intertabac CigarKings Cigars hinted that something big was coming and oh were they not kidding about this one, the new CigarKings Gigantes FT Sun Grown that comes in a 48 count cabinet box will please any cigar lovers dream of 50 cabs. A little birdy told me we might be seeing these soon in other markets than Germany 🙄😏
Was great seeing Philipp again and the colour happy booth.
Also I got handed a CigarKings Coronita FT Maduro to enjoy on the go.
Global Premium Cigars
I had just had a long and well needed conversation with my friend and fellow blindtasting panellist Merja Juselius owner of Cigarrummet in the Cigar Journal booth when I turn around and get greeted by my friend Peter Gaudenzi (European Distributor of Global Premium Cigars) a great writer for the magazine and distributor for 1502 cigars in Europe and he hands me their new 1502 Aniversario 10 Toro and tells me to enjoy it and leaves. I of course thank him and later own walk up to their booth to talk to the owner of the brand Global Premium Cigars since it’s been a long time since and it’s always great to catch up with friends.
1502 Aniversario 10 Toro
DH Boutique Cigars
There are many knowledgeable people out there but not all of them cherish that knowledge to sharing it to others. Like Didier Houvenaghel has done with his book “The Cigar From Soil to Soul” that he released in 2005 and the second edition that got released this year.
And the biggest of congratulations to Didier for receiving the Cigar Journal Trophy Award for the Ambassador of the year, a very proud friend I am of that as he promotes knowledge and teaching about the cigar world to people who otherwise are non the wiser.
On Friday close to the fair closing down they had a book signing and beer party in their booth with great Belgian beers like Chimay Blue & other Trappist 😍 and of course the cigars DH Boutique Cigars makes:
Nicarao Especial Gordo
La Ley Robusto
La Preferida 452
Oh and did you know Didier is behind the blend of HENK MAORI Cigars that’s why they are so delicious!
J.C. Newman Cigars
I’ve known J.C. Newman Cigars for many years now and I always love to stop by their booth and talk, but this year was different as I had to stop by and tell them that the Swedish distributor couldn’t attend due to family matters and I was the messenger of bad news.
But it was great seeing Bobby Newman and Aldo Puncioni all though I would have loved to seeing Drew Newman but I totally understand why he couldn’t come as he had a baby to take care of at home, the biggest of congratulations my friend 🥳👏
And it was great seeing Bobby and J.C. Newman up on stage receiving the Cigar Journal Trophy for Best Brand Other Country – The American.
Sadly they didn’t have any extras of the new Black Diamond, El Baton or Perla del Mar I could bring home to try but I got the trusted Brick House Mighty Mighty pair as I’ve gotten for the 4th time 🤣👏 these must be a popular size. At least I haven’t had the classic in this size before so that’s new for me.
Brick House Maduro Mighty Mighty
Brick House Classic Mighty Mighty
Met many wonderful people at InterTabac 2022 but these two were special as I am going to be featured on their Meet the Professor: show soon, so to meet Carlos Carlito Fuente Jr. & Jeremiah Meerapfel for the first time in person was a true honour and to thank is of course Jose Blanco for pushing me to start writing about cigars, so that I would eventually get well known enough to stand proud next to these legends.
All though it was nice meeting them I left with no cigars from Arturo Fuente, seems like they are still as strict on who can be blessed with their cigars, because I still can’t afford to buy them even if I wanted to review them, guess I’ll have to stick to trading for them with friends for now 🙄
A.J. Fernandez Cigars
I’m not super familiar with A.J. Fernandez Cigars portfolio in general more known to the private labels he makes cigars for, so to have been gifted this A.J. Fernandez New World Dorado Toro was a positive surprise I look forward to trying. Thanks @zs_world_of_cigars for bringing me to the German importers booth so I could get this cigar. 🙏
Escobar Cigars was a brand I’ve only seen on social media from US consumers before, so it was great to speak with Michael McNaughton for a long time about their assortment, I got their Escobar Natural Robusto but they also had a Maduro line. I look forward to trying it, any of my followers that have enjoyed these before?
Dos Jotas Cigars
Another interesting brand I stumbled upon was Dos Jotas Cigars a brand with good looking branding and Juan Ernesto Jiménez the owner was lovely to speak to! He even gave us a nice cigar rest (siestas) and showed us lovely blue leather cases they had. And he told us their cigars where blended by Chico Rivas a name well known in the boutique cigar scene.
I look forward to trying this Dos Jotas Infinity Robusto.
Black Star Line Cigars
It was getting to the end of day two and my last day so I wanted to take a final look around and I spoke to Cliff Nelson from Black Star Line Cigars and he gave me a quick rundown of his brand and what I gathered was that the War Witch was their most popular blends. He gifted me two ones to try and I look forward to sharing my experience with these.
Black Star Line War Witch Robusto
Black Star Line Dark War Witch Robusto
K by Karen Berger Cigars
I just had to stop my K by Karen Berger Cigars booth as Karen Berger was one of the earliest brands to believe in me when I started doing reviews in 2016. And in a blindtasting for Cigar Journal I found out I absolutely loved her K by Karen Berger Connecticut Toro so she graciously gifted one to me. Thank you Karen and it was lovely to meet you in person 🙏❤️
Rocky Patel Cigars
Rocky Patel Cigars is a brand I’ve known for many years now and I think we all know we all have a love and hate relationship to the brand, some releases are great and others okay.
This one the White Label I tried in a blindtasting and I really liked it and I guess that’s why Kolja Kukuk (European Distributor of Rocky Patel) gave me one at Intertabac and I appreciate it a lot. Thanks my friend.
Rocky Patel White Label Robusto
Sample Cigars from Vlada Stojanov & Cavalier Genève Cigars
When you plan to meet your online friend for the first time in 3 years in real life, you get plenty sad to know they can’t show up when they day comes. That was my feelings when I got the news Vlada Stojanov (US cigar distributor) wasn’t coming to InterTabac ☹️ but I understand the reason why it was impossible at that time to travel.
We had planned a great show together, but instead I got the instructions to find Brian Motola (Sales Director of Cavalier Genève Cigars) at the Cavalier Genève Cigars booth, oh was I running around the halls looking for this impossible booth to no luck as Cavalier didn’t have a booth at this year’s show 🤣👏 but eventually on the second day I saw my dear friends Eylin Decoppet (COO of Cavalier Genève Cigars) & Sebastien Decoppet (CEO of Cavalier Genève Cigars) in a crowd of people and I was so happy to see them! After chatting for a bit Eylin sneakily put a Cavalier Genève White Series Elegantes in my breast pocket and handed me a Cavalier Genève Inner Circle Robusto to smoke as I liked it so much when I reviewed it for the first time the other week.
And who did I see amongst them but Brian of course, so I asked him if he had the cigars Vlada sent via him to bring and I got the message he had already given them away to Jeremy Casdagli (Owner of Casdagli Cigars) 🤣👏 so the hunt was on to find him. Also it was great seeing Brian, don’t get me wrong but I was on a mission to get those cigars that Vlada so much wanted me to try.
Eventually I made it to the Casdagli Cigars booth and asked Jeremy if I could get the 5 cigars Vlada had promised me, Jeremy of course looked at me with wide eyes “5 cigars! Did he say that?” So I had to pull up the message from Vlada to show him, lucky for me I had written confirmation on that.
Anyhow I got the 5 Testblends of Vladas creation of an upcoming release I can’t tell you the name of as of yet! But I’ll review them and tell you all about it when the time comes. These cigars are made at Fabrica Centroamericana de Tabaco S.A. F.C.T Cavalier Genève Cigars own cigar factory.
You know that feeling of seeing something that you aren’t really sure what it is, so you have to step closer and then they get you.
So I was wandering the halls of InterTabac looking for new brands to discover and a lovely lady at Ciccar steps up and greets me and start explaining their products, I’m no rude dude so I stay and listens and the majority of the stuff they say doesn’t really match with my experience with cigars as I’m kind of of a hardcore purist when it comes to tobacco and wanting to feel everything, but hey remember can’t knock it before you try it, so I got to try it.
And well it for sure gives you an different experience, from feeling some draw resistance to feeling no resistance at all. I’m sure some people will like this, but I’m still not 100% sure it’s for me, so they are seeing I’m doubtful but they still ask if I would recommend this to my customer’s and I explain I’m no distributor or retailer just a reviewer of cigars.
So I guess a lady at Ciccar felt I was the guy to trust in this, gave me a Yellow Tiger Eye Stone version of the cigar mouthpiece with washable silicone tip to try out and do an honest review of it, so I will do so. But I’ll tell you all right now, if you feel the need of a product like this to improve the draw of your cigars either the cigar is the problem and you should check with the place where you got the cigars from or you have been storing your cigars wrongly in way to high of a humidity.
But if you feel like you don’t want to touch your cigars with your lips because you got lipstick on or you god forbid want to try a friends cigar (hope you never ever do this), or as they explained you want to enjoy the cigar after that finger burning moment without burning your fingers I guess this is a product for you.
Les Fines Lames
I firstly want to congratulate my friends at Les Fine Lames for winning the Best Accessory by Cigar Journal Trophy Awards for the Le Petit cigar knife, and I was happy to help Pierre Jourdan (Owner of Les Fine Lames) find all the other winners at the fair to sign the box the trophy came in.
I just wanted to swing by the booth to congratulate both Pierre and Pablo one more time before I had to go, and they surprise me with the Les Fine Lames Punch Bracelet Black Onyx a gesture I was more than happy to accept but I had to tell them I am not a avid user of punch cutting method when cutting my cigars, but they just said “If you ever feel like it, you will now always have it handy on your wrist”.
I also got this lovely keychain pull-tab in red of Les Fines Lames written on it.