Higher Fees Mean Higher Prices

In yet another offensive in their all-out War on Tobacco, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has re-calculated its user fee schedule for fiscal year 2018. The Center for Tobacco Products — the FDA’s tobacco regulation arm — plans to charge the industry $37 million more than its original assessment, bringing the total industry-wide yearly fees to a whopping $672 million.

Pass It On

As with any business, cigar retailers and manufacturers aren’t going to just eat that added cost. Instead, prices are expected to steadily increase, possibly beginning with your next purchase of smokes.

Once again, lawmakers have chosen to single out and demonize one substance (cigars), whilst turning a blind eye to another (alcohol) and increasingly embracing one more (marijuana). Taxes and fees are inevitable, but cigar enthusiasts should demand a fair and equal playing field.


Thieves Steal Cigars… Again

They say lightning never strikes twice, but for cigar retailers, the bad luck certainly has. For the second time in less than a year, Florida crooks have stolen a shipment of cigars en route to distributors.

This time, it was Drew Estate that took the hit. The truck containing smokes was hijacked in Miami. A similar scene played out in April, when a truck containing Fuente cigars was robbed in the same area. That theft remains under investigation.

(Potentially) Good News for Cigar Lovers

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill preventing the FDA from using Federal funds to regulate the premium cigar industry. The bill must now pass the Senate before it can become law.

If passed, the measure would only cover fiscal year 2018. In order for any legislation to go into effect, Congress must pass an exemption bill by December 8, 2017.

Review: Signature by Duran

Signature by Duran

This marks my third lackluster experience with this brand. Once again, an odd flavor profile was selected, to include notes of citrus, cedar, sour cherry, vanilla, and black pepper. Where on earth does this particular mix of flavors actually work?!

From there, the smoke devolved into an overall ashy taste. The ash hold left much to be desired.

Signature by Duran6” x 56
Medium to Full Bodied
Ecuador Habano Criollo wrapper

Review: Argentum by Ave Maria

Argentum by Ave Maria
If you’ve not smoked a perfecto before, be careful not to mistake the head from the foot. Owing to their unique shape, perfectos also take a few minutes to “open up.”

This stick features notes of toasted almond, nougat, milk chocolate, coffee, and leather.

The pre-light taste was slightly off-putting, but that passed soon after lighting. The ash hold was superb and the burn steady, however the wrapper was seemed piecemeal.

Argentum by Ave Maria5” x 58
Medium to Full Bodied
Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper

Review: Captiva by Carlos Toraño

Capitva by Carlos Toraño
Discerning smokers will notice the name ‘Charlie’ on the label. This is not a typo or a knock-off, but rather the first offering by the junior Toraño.

So named after the Florida island, this stick features notes of sweet cedar, black pepper, coffee, and milk chocolate.

Capitva by Carlos Toraño6” x 50
Honduras, Nicaragua
Full Bodied
Ecuador Habano wrapper