Archives for : March2016

Crowned Heads Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle

Crowned Heads Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle

Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Price: Box of 10: $71.99/5 Pack $35.99

Size: 5 5/8 x 46 Corona Gorda


Acquired: Samples courtesy of Famous Smoke Shop

Cigars Smoked: 3

Smoking Conditions: Breezy approximately 65 degrees.

One of the newest sticks to be released from Nashville based Crowned Heads is the Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle which has been produced exclusively for Famous Smoke Shop. The Black Belt Buckle is a Corona Gorda size and is limited to 1000 boxes.  A big thanks to the guys over at Famous Smoke Shop for providing our samples.

Famous Smoke SHop Logo

First Thoughts: Crowned Heads produces some of my all time favorite cigars, I was super excited to try this release.

Looks: The Black Belt Buckle has a very impressive and classic cigar look. The wrapper leaf of the cigar is a dark and oily Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro. The wrapper leaf has some small veins running through it and a slight bit of toothiness. The cigar is finished off on the top with a triple cap. The Black Belt Buckle features the standard red and gold Four Kicks band with a second black and silver band below that reads, “Black Belt Buckle.” Overall, it is an attractive presentation.

Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle band

Taste: I have smoked three of these cigars so far and am smoking a forth while I am writing this review, the one thing I can say is that they have consistency down in the Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle. Upon first puffs, I notice definite pepper and spice notes on my lips. The initial flavors I am picking up on are that of mild pepper, nuttiness, and a slight salt flavor. As I continue to smoke the cigar the notes of leather and creaminess really begin to come into play. At the mid way point the leather and creaminess are the prominent flavor notes with the slightest bit of pepper on the back end and retrohale. There is also a mild taste of bakers chocolate present. These flavors hold true and prominent throughout the remainder of the smoke giving this cigar a tremendous finish.

Strength: Medium

Burn: Pretty much perfect, three of four so far have burned perfectly requiring no relights or touch ups. The one that did require a couple touch ups was being smoked outside on a pretty windy day. I am going to blame wind for that one.

Buy it? Look, I am not one to ever need convincing to buy a Crowned Heads product. Should you buy it? Absolutely! The Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle is a consistent full flavor cigar that produces a highly enjoyable smoke. Hop on over to Famous Smoke Shop and pick some up to try for yourself.  Don’t forget, Famous Smoke Shop offers a 15% discount to Keeping Your Man Card readers.

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Hoyo_monterrey_toro_left open

General Cigar will launch a new version of Hoyo de Monterrey exclusively for brick and mortar retailers. The new collection called Hoyo will be available in four sizes ranging in price from $5.49 to $6.99 and begins shipping to all retailers on April 1.

According to Alan Willner, vice president of marketing, “We’re taking the legendary brand Hoyo de Monterrey and moving it into the future. The new Hoyo is about keeping the brand’s rich history of Honduran craftsmanship and infusing it with new ideas, new tobacco and new packaging.”

Hoyo was inspired by Hoyo Edición de Cumpleaños 150, a successful, limited edition cigar released last year. Hoyo 150th anniversary took the first step toward breaking the conventions of the brand by featuring a new variety of Nicaraguan tobacco, a shade-grown wrapper never used before in any other cigar. With sleek new packaging and a contemporary logo, Hoyo Edición de Cumpleaños 150 represented a new wave of the brand.

Continuing along the path carved by Edición de Cumpleaños 150, Hoyo is an artisanal line featuring special tobaccos, proprietary aging techniques and old world craftsmanship. Hoyo takes the same Esteli-grown Habano shade wrapper used in “150” and adds extended fermentation to deepen the flavor. The blend was also updated to complement the wrapper and features longer aging on the filler and binder to deliver a deep, rich smoking experience.

Hoyo begins with a proprietary wrapper called Esteli Habano Shade. Cultivated by the Plasencia Group exclusively for Hoyo, it is the first Cuban-seed, shade-grown wrapper, and is also one of the heaviest wrappers used in premium cigars. The Plasencias use special cultural practices to deliver a thick, pliable leaf with bold, peppery flavor. Given the power of the leaf, the Hoyo blending team chose to apply increased fermentation, taking place over two years, to bring deeper dimension to its taste.

The blend consists of three different tobaccos – a Pennsylvania Ligero, plus Nicaraguan Esteli and Nicaraguan Ometepe leaves. Each of the filler leaves was aged for more than 18 months. The Pennsylvania ligero is a powerhouse, balanced by aged Ometepe leaves. The Esteli leaves lend a familiar earthy flavor that increases the cigar’s complexity.

An aged Ecuadoran Sumatra binder lends great combustibility and ensures an even burn.

Each of the four vitolas will be packaged in sleek, 20-count black boxes with silver branding elements. They are:

Gigante (6” x 60) – SRP per cigar is $6.99

Toro (6” x 50) – SRP per cigar is $6.79

Robusto (5” x 54) – SRP per cigar is $6.59

Rothschild (4.5” x 50) – SRP per cigar is $5.49.

Future new releases will be branded under the name of Hoyo. In keeping with the brand’s artisanal approach, new products from Hoyo will showcase the craftsmanship and expertise of our Honduran factory.

“Small batch cigars, collaborations and other exciting special projects are all possibilities under the new Hoyo,” noted Willner.


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Pfeffikon/LU, March 15, 2016 –Heinrich Villiger, Chairman of the Board of the Villiger Soehne AG hands over his function as CEO of the Villiger Group after 65 years in charge. The new CEO of the Villiger Group is Robert Suter ( Swiss Instiute of Technology) who has extensive experiences in international Swiss industries. In his last position he successfully acted as Group CEO of Conzzeta AG a Swiss holding company.

“We are very pleased that we were able to hire with Robert Suter a renowned and experiences Swiss manager as CEO for the Villiger Group. Robert Suter has a long and exceptional career as top executive in industrial groups. Among other positions he acted successfully as Group CEO and Chairmen of the Executive Committee at Conzzeta Ltd.” Heinrich Villiger said who will remain Chairman of Villiger Soehne AG and the Villiger Holding.


“It is the right time” emphasizes Heinrich Villiger. For 65 years tobacco was his life as being in charge as entrepreneur of the tobacco group. Heinrich Villiger hands over his responsibility with immediate effect. Starting from March 2016 Robert Suter will take over his new role as CEO. The board of Villiger Soehne Holding AG and Villiger Soehne AG remains unchanged.


This news comes on the heels of Rene Castaneda being named President of Villiger Cigars North America. Robert Suter will work together in tandem with Castaneda as Villiger Cigars North America continues to make big strides in 2016.

The Villiger Group is a Swiss family company in the international tobacco industry in the fourth generation. The group has 1500 employees globally and has sales of about 200 Million Swiss Francs a year. Production locations are Europe, Americas and Asia.


Villiger Sons Limited was established in 1888 by Jean Villiger in the small town of Pfeffikon, Switzerland, where Villiger remains headquartered to this day. The company manufactures and sells more than 1.5 billion cigars annually, world-wide. Today, under the leadership of Heinrich Villiger, the company prides itself in its commitment to quality, in all their products made in many countries around the globe.

Villiger Cigars North America was established to service the premium cigar enthusiast primarily in the United States. With production from some of the most respected manufacturers in Dominican Republic, Central America and elsewhere, it is the goal of the company, to introduce the finest smoking experience a premium handmade cigar has to offer. Today, and in the future, one can rest assured that when they choose a Villiger cigar, the quality of the leaf, the manufacturing, and even the packaging will be second to none.

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CAO Steel Horse To Come In Two New Vitolas

We’re pleased to let you know that CAO Steel Horse Will Welcome Two New Vitolas.

 CAO Steel Horse is launching two smaller-format smokes — Handbrake (4.5” x 50 – SRP per cigar is $6.99) and Roadkill (5.5 x 54 – SRP per cigar is $7.00) will be available at retail beginning next week.

CAO_Flathead_Handbrake_left_open CAO_Flathead_RoadKill_left_open

A spin-off of CAO’s wildly-popular Flathead line, Steel Horse is wrapped in a proprietary Connecticut Habano Grueso leaf and features a four-country blend. Made with a signature flat-head top, Steel Horse was released in 2015 and is known for its easy-smoking flavors of leather and spice.

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March 3, 2016 – Foundry Tobacco Company (FTC) is expanding. The maverick cigar company has added two sales brokers and a brand manager to drive growth of its innovative portfolio of cigars.

FTC has hired Taven Johnson and Stephan Mayer of C.H.I.M.P., a broker agency, to represent the company’s brands in AL, DC, GA, MS, KY, MD, NC, SC, TN, VA and WV, effective today. As two of the nation’s leading cigar sales brokers, Taven and Stephan have built some of the most successful boutique cigar brands in the market today, and are poised to deliver increased distribution of the Foundry Tobacco Company brands. Over time, the plan is to increase Johnson and Mayer’s territories to additional geographies across the U.S.

In addition, Justin Andrews has recently been hired to support Michael Giannini, FTC’s creative director, in leading the day-to-day operations of the company. Prior to joining Foundry Tobacco Company, Justin served as vice president of Lou Rodriguez cigars.

“This is an exciting step in the development of Foundry Tobacco Company,” said Giannini. “The addition of these players to our team will allow us to deliver increased flexibility in tailoring programs to retailer needs and the ability to deepen the support of our brands on both the retailer and consumer level.”

To mark its expansion, Foundry Tobacco Company is offering retailers a special discount on its popular Bolivar, Ramon Allones, Compounds/Elements and Musings and value-priced Chillin’ Moose lines for the month of March. Retailers who purchase five boxes will receive a sixth box free.

chillinmoose FTC_Bolivar FTC_Ramon Allones

For more information on the Foundry Tobacco Company portfolio, please visit

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Drew Estate Announces New Herrera Estelí TAA Exclusive Vitola

Drew Estate Announces New Herrera Estelí TAA Exclusive Vitola

Herrera Esteli

Miami, FL – Today, Drew Estate announced a new line extension within their Herrera Estelí line. This new cigar, called the Herrera Estelí TAA Exclusive, will be launched at the TAA Convention and Tradeshow, held March 6 – 10, 2016 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and will begin shipping to TAA members in April 2016.


The new Herrera Estelí TAA Exclusive is a 6×52 vitola, packaged in 12-ct boxes, and will retail for $144.00 per box or $12.00 per cigar. The blend features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, Brazilian Mata Fina binder, and Nicaraguan fillers and is blended by Drew Estate Master Blender Willy Herrera.


When asked about the new blend, Willy Herrera stated, “This is my first blend since joining Drew Estate that utilizes Connecticut Broadleaf tobacco. Drew Estate fans know that we’re famous for our use of Connecticut Broadleaf tobaccos, especially in our Liga Privada No. 9 and Nica Rustica lines. I’ve been experimenting with blends that incorporate this incredible wrapper since coming on board and finally have a blend I’m really excited about. I think anyone who’s a fan of my blends will definitely appreciate this cigar. Spicy, meaty, and rich – get ready!”


For a chance to try a box of the new Herrera Estelí TAA Exclusive before they hit store shelves, enter the sweepstakes at


About Drew Estate


Founded in New York City in 1996, Drew Estate has become one of the fastest growing tobacco companies in the world. Under their mantra “The Rebirth of Cigars”TM, Drew Estate has led the “Boutique Cigar” movement by innovating new elements to the tobacco industry with their unique tobaccos and blending styles that have attracted new and traditional cigar enthusiasts. In their Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, the Nicaraguan headquarters, Drew Estate produces a variety of brands such as ACID, Herrera Estelí, Herrera Estelí Norteño, Kentucky Fired Cured, Liga Privada, MUWAT, Natural by Drew Estate, Nica Rustica, Nirvana, Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Cigars, Tabak Especial, Undercrown, and Java by Drew Estate.

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