Monday, December 5, 2011


My Uzi Weighs A Ton is a collaboration between Drew Estate Tobacco Company's Subculture Studios and the Joya de Nicaragua factory.

Made at the JDN factory, this much anticipated blend was officially rolled out at the 2011 IPCPR where I had a chance to sit down with Jonathan Drew. After some brainstorming about doing some business with each other, Jonathan mentioned the infamous "Bait Fish" size of MUWAT, a 4x44 that was announced but still in the process. After early feedback from the 60 ring gauge releases of MUWAT, many customers wanted something with some more strength to it. Jonathan felt that Bait Fish might be the perfect outlet for a tweaked blend, and a great smaller project that New Havana Cigars would be a great fit for. Humbled by the offer, I immediately said "Let's make it happen!"

So he sent some blends to compare and we decided on the EF blend (the stronger blend). An initial factory order was placed and we are very proud to have the exclusive on Bait Fish!

Wrapped in paper packs of 5 sticks and bundled in sets of 5 packs for a total of 25 in a bundle, this is a much anticipated release and I think everyone will be quite impressed with the tweak in the blend and especially at this size.

MUWAT is in such high demand that it won't be until January that we will be able to bring the original sizes in. Bait Fish has arrived, though, and will be a great addition to the lineup. Smaller and stronger and available only at!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Wolfman from Tatuaje is arriving today.

In the past it has always been a struggle to determine a time to open up orders for these special releases. They are gone in a matter of minutes and there isn't a time that is good for everyone.

So I decided to try something different and post half of them at 13:00 EDT on the 13th, the now traditional and expected time for many customers - and post the other half on Saturday, the 15th at 08:00 EDT for the early risers who couldn't hunt during the afternoon on a weekday.

I'm sure there are plenty of people for whom neither time is convenient, but at least we are trying!

For those who don't already know, The Wolfman is the 4th Halloween release from Tatuaje, and in addition to the 666 coffins, most of which went to the 13 'unlucky' retailers chosen this year - there are approx. 1500 10-count boxes being distributed to the rest of us. After all - it's about having the cigar in your hand on Halloween and saving some for future special smoking times.

This year's selection is a 7.5 x 52 vitola based on the Cojonu 2009 blend with a Sumatra wrapper - and it is fantastic!

It will be fun! And there should be plenty available throughout the country if NHC sells out before you get a chance at them.

We will post the 10 count boxes as well as singles.

Monday, October 3, 2011

October in Columbus

This Friday, October 7th, our friends at Cigar Explorer, are hosting a charity event for the CRA here in Columbus. Details are on their homepage.

Pete Johnson from Tatuaje Cigars is going to be in town for the event, so we are going to do one of our NHC Online Events with him on Saturday, the 8th.

For those who have been customers for a while, you will remember the other events we have done. On Saturday, there will be a chat room open online (hours and details to follow) and all orders placed on Saturday, the 8th, will qualify for the event promotions. You will have a chance to 'chat' with Pete and other customers online, and place an order for in-stock Tatuaje family products.

All Tatuaje boxes will have a special sale price and qualify for extra swag promotions, including the NHC Seleccion Limitada by Tatuaje. It's a great chance to stock up on your favorites and take advantage of special pricing and promotions.

We have an order coming in this week so we will have everything that is currently in stock at Tatuaje on hand, as well as others that we have in stock now.

On Saturday, we will open up a category that will list all of the qualifying boxes to choose from. If you have seen this before, you know that early in the day, supplies diminish quickly and the list shrinks to the remaining in stock boxes, so order early to get your favorites.

We will post exact details later this week.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

NHC Surrogates

NHC Surrogates has been in the works this year, but I haven't leaked much info about it until recently. I somehow managed to walk the floors of the trade show and keep quiet about it. But they are coming sooner than expected, which is great - so it's time.

Have you ever wished that you could get more of a special stick that you purchased as a limited release because you are down to your last few, and you are torn between smoking them and saving them? What about the times when funds are low, and you can't manage to pick up a special stick before they are gone? Well, that's the dilemma that spawned the idea for Surrogates.

I wanted to create a brand for NHC that would bring new customers and service our loyal customers. Looking at our business over the last 4 years, it was obvious that our clients demanded something special. One thing that was missing was constant availability. What would the cigar geek do if something was available that was as special as a limited run stick, rivaling it's quality and flavor, but was available all the time? Would he smoke it? What if the price point was more in line with the 'everyday sticks' that he smoked? Would it lessen it's value? Would it's availability lessen the expectation or it's perceived value? Maybe it would simply be smoked and thoroughly enjoyed! YES - that's what I got into this business for in the first place!

Well, welcome to the Experiment! Surrogates was created to solve the problem of choosing whether to save or smoke that special vitola. The answer, is BOTH. Why not save them, age them AND smoke them!

So I searched and found what I was looking for. Utilizing a new source, we finalized a blend that answered some other requests that we had been hearing - full bodied and full of flavor , yet balanced. Larger ring gauge but not too big. I'm a big fan of small ring gauges, but I also reach for those 52's and 54's when I want power. So, the first Surrogates offerings were born to fill that niche. Power.

Bone Crusher is a 5 1/4 x 54 vitola that packs a crushing punch. Skull Breaker is 5 1/4 x 52 in a belicoso shape that happens to be one of my favorite sizes. Both are the same blend, with a Broadleaf wrapper and retail will be $7.50/stick in boxes of 20, with a box price of $135.

First mission accomplished. Sourced a powerful, balanced stick at an amazing price point and made it's availability ongoing!

We stamped the bottom of the boxes "Made in Central America - for those who can't get enough". Everyone wants to know where, by who, etc. But this has become part of the Experiment. Smoke it and decide if you like it. Skip the hype and preconceived expectations. There are more. I think everyone will be more than pleasantly surprised.

Our customers have come to trust my smoking preferences, as everything we sell revolves around whether or not it's something I personally want to smoke. There are MANY great cigars out there that aren't in my wheel house. But if you are like me, and like what NHC has offered in the past - then Surrogates is for you because it's based on what I like in a cigar.

These first two offerings are answering what I like in strength, namely a balance between strength and flavor. Maybe the next vitola will be what I appreciate in another profile, such as refreshing and complex. It won't be another size of this blend. But it will be a Surrogate for another part of your smoking rotation.

Keep your eyes peeled - they are on the way!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

NHC SL Repackaging

We just received a lot of empty 20 count boxes from the factory - the same kind used to package the NHC SL Capas last month. We will use them to repackage some of the 40 count NHC SL boxes into 20 count boxes of NHC SL Natural or Reservas. Products are online now!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Update on NHC Seleccion Limitada by Tatuaje

NHC Seleccion Limitada by Tatuaje

So here's the scoop on the NHC SL project. We recently used the rest of the NHC bands we had printed for the project to produce a small run (70 boxes) of NHC Capa Especial using the wonderful Sumatra wrapper at the My Father Cigars factory. They sold out extremely fast and now everyone is asking 'Will there be more?'.

I hope that we can get bands made again and produce all 3 versions of the NHC SL again, in 20 count boxes - but that is probably going to be on hold until we sell through more of the original NHC SL Natural and Reserva.

Having a year and a half of age on them now, these sticks are smoking phenomenally. I continue to smoke them daily even with all of the new arrivals entering into my daily rotations. Many of you have them in your humidor, and I think a lot of people are holding on to them as they were a limited release by Tatuaje, etc. But, at the price point they are at, I continue to convince folks that they are meant to be smoked as well as aged. Given the blend, these sticks age extremely well.

I am smoking a Reserva right now and had a Natural this morning. Both show characteristics that were hidden a year ago. The Broadleaf wrapper has backed off and accents the blend in a completely different way than before and the Habano wrapper does the same.

So, smoke them! Tell your friends about them and get them smoking them in their daily rotation. They are all 10% off right now so you can get them for box discount in any combination, which makes them $7.10 a stick in samplers or half boxes.

When we get to a stock level that makes sense to order again, I will approach Pete and ask in the nicest way if we can make more of all 3 wrappers, and get them boxed in 20 count boxes. I think he will respond positively, as I know that he too, loves this size.

So get to work and help spread the word! Smoke some awesome, aged sticks now so we can continue the project soon.


Friday, July 29, 2011

New IPCPR Arrivals

I took this picture at the Illusione booth at IPCPR, and by chance, the first shipment to arrive from them contains 1 set of Illusione Maduro boxes and multiple boxes of -mkultra-.

New for 2011, the Illusione ULTRA is a different take on the Illusione Blend. The original -mk Ultra- that was released in small quantities a few years ago was a blend that was "a little too strong to sit alongside the Original Document line" according to Dion. To bring it back, he recreated the blend and will release a lineup of Illusione Ultra in multiple sizes, including the mk. Full bodied and strong, the flavors are rich and powerful and balanced, bringing out subtle flavors even with the added strength.

Here's the scoop on Illusione Maduro: The -hl- made an appearance last year as a short run, to rave reviews. That original -hl maduro- used a Corojo wrapper. When contemplating a release of multiple sizes, Dion revisited the wrapper and found the San Andreas Maduro more to his liking for the Illusione blend. So the Illusione Maduro vitolas are the original blend, with a San Andreas Maduro wrapper. Available in -hl-, -cg4-, -88-, -888- and -mj12-.

Since we received 1 set of Maduro boxes on this initial shipment, we thought we'd use them for a killer sampler that will allow you to compare them with their Original Document counterparts. Remember, all of this will be regular production, so we should start seeing them in the coming months, but this is a great preview!

Look for this full comparison sampler to appear at 9am EST on Saturday, July 29th, under the IPCPR2011 category. (Just look for the button on the left of the website) It's $99 (special price) and ships free.

We will list BOXES of -mkulta- as well as 5-PACKS of -mkultra- as well, since we have multiple boxes of that vitola.

I smoked 2 of them today after they arrived, and they are outstanding. Actually, I like it better than the original -mkultra- that appeared 2 years ago. The blend shows off the nuances better, yet it's still a strong stick.

Fausto, La Casita Criolla and Avion along with 7th Capa Especial will be restocked on Monday, August 1st, so you will see ALL of them listed in the IPCPR2011 category at 9AM Saturday as well! Here's your chance to grab a box or 5-pack of your favorite from the new lineup.

We have sent many Tatuaje 9 stick samplers out this past week featuring all of these sticks, and many of you have already been smoking them and asking when boxes and 5 packs will reappear. Well here's your chance! We will have everything listed and they will disappear as they sell out.

We'll have the special Tatuaje 9 stick sampler up as well, again.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

NHC Capa Especial

New NHC SL Capa Especial:

NHC Seleccion Limitada Capa Especial Box of 20! Only 70 boxes made.

Boxes of 20 Online now in the NHC Seleccion Limitada Category, as well as 5 packs.

In 2010, Pete Johnson produced the NHC Seleccion Limitada for us in both Natural (Habano) and Reserva (Broadleaf) wrappers. This year, on a factory trip, I was sampling the Tatuaje 7th Capa Especial and fell in love with the Sumatra wrapper. "Wonder what the NHC SL would be like with this wrapper?" I asked of Pete. "Let's find out" was the reply, and he had the rollers whip up some samples. We both LOVED it. "How many NHC bands you have left?" So we checked the stock and there were enough to produce around 70 boxes of 20. The factory made new boxes to house 20 cigars each and that was that.

If you are a fan of the Natural and Reserva, you will love this new one!

NHC Seleccion Limitada Capa Especial (Sumatra) (6 3/4 x 42)

Very Limited Availability

You will find special prices on NHC SL Naturals and Reservas in the NHC SELECCION LIMITADA Category, all at 10% off to celebrate the new stick! Even 5 packs and 20 count half boxes. Add some to your order and compare all 3!



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

EPC Edicion Limitada 2011

Also coming up is the Edicion Limitada 2011. This year called Dark Rituals it will feature an Oscuro Maduro wrapper at 6.5 x 56. Boxes of 10 will again be $150.

I was fortunate enough to be handed one of these by Ernie Carrillo at their booth after smoking a Maduro. I, and the others sitting around me, took a bunch of photos and then I looked at Ernie and said "Am I smoking this?". He nodded and I cut it, much to the dismay (or should I say envy) of the others around me. After 10 minutes, and thanking Ernie a million times, I headed out on the floor smoking this powerhouse. I shared puffs with some friends that I passed while walking around and they seemed to agree that this was one special stick. We probably won't see too many boxes of 10, but I will take as many as we can get. And I'll be buying a box or two for myself. Amazing. Complex. Very strong.

New from EPC at IPCPR

At the EPC booth with Ernie smoking the new EPC Core Maduro. Same sizes as the Core Line, which now has 2 new sizes for a total of 8, but with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.

Pricing will be the same as Core line. We will bring some in and get some new line samplers online that have all 8 sizes.

A new size will be available in New Wave Connecticut as well.

La Casita Criolla from Tatuaje

As I posted yesterday, La Casita is 100% Broadleaf. I smoked two of these yesterday and am looking forward to nabbing another one today while walking around.

A very different profile from other Tatuaje releases, everyone I've talked to is in love with this stick! Sweet and chewy on the palate, everyone is enjoying the blend.

I've only had 1 of the 3 sizes, so I can't wait to get back and try the others when our shipment arrives at the end of the week!

Viaje Late Harvest at IPCPR

There are two sizes of a new project, Late Harvest, on display in the Viaje booth. Very limited in numbers, I think 125 boxes of 35 in each size, this is a new blend and uses filler tobacco from the last primings of the plant.

A tribute to the Late Harvest wines, it is not intended to imply that the filler tobacco used was actually harvested late as in the wine world, as one cannot harvest tobacco late, but simply that it uses the last primings harvested from the plant.

Viaje Skull and Bones

Two new sizes of Skull and Bones Red label will be released soon. Remember Red is a stronger blend than the original White banded Skull and Bones.

I am dubbing this line a 'project line' meaning that although there are two blends that get released in small batches, the sizes change according to the current project. When a size is released, it may or may not be seen again, but others in the blend will continue to be released at different intervals.

Satori, on the other hand, is more of a 'limited line'. It is released every year in the same three sizes.

Viaje booth at IPCPR

There was a lot of activity at the Viaje booth yesterday as well. On display were two new Skull and Bones sizes that are coming soon, Satori (which is being released again like last year) and the Late Harvest which will be released in two sizes in very small numbers as well.

Once they return from the show we will have more info about availability.

Illusione Maduro

Here's a closeup of the 888 Maduro showing the new bands!

Illusione Maduro on display

There has been a ton of speculation about the Illusione Maduro since we first saw and fell in love with the hl Maduro last fall. On display were the 88, 888, mj12 and cg4 along with the hl.

They are not ready to ship yet, but are expected soon!

Illusione Ultra announced at IPCPR

Illusione also had the mk ultra on display. This limited edition corona (5 1/8 x 42) will be available soon and there will be 3 sizes following it in the Illusione Ultra line, a robusto, toro and double corona.

I had a chance to smoke the mk ultra yesterday at the booth and it did not disappoint. Those who remember the run from a few years ago will be impressed. It is a stronger blend than the Illusione line and has a beautiful dark wrapper.

New Epernay announced at IPCPR

A new Epernay Bench Press Torpedo - L'Alpinisto was on display in the Illusione booth. 6 3/4 x 56. $11.60

Not shipping yet, but expected soon. Looks like a great addition to the line!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tatuaje Releases at IPCPR 2011

The first morning of the trade show started off with a visit to the Tatuaje booth. Already very active, I took some shots of the new products coming now and later this year. Luckily, the majority of the new releases are available now.

We have already seen the new 7th Capa Especial at NHC and more will be on the way.

The much anticipated La Casita Criolla, Fausto and Avion are here as well and I've already had a chance to smoke them all! I can't wait for their arrival back home, which may be as soon as we get back this week!

Here's the scoop:

Based on the T110 (Thermonuclear) blend, Fausto is a much anticipated new lineup from Pete Johnson. Fausto features an Ecuador Habano Maduro wrapper and a very strong blend of Nicaraguan filler that includes mostly ligero from Jalapa and Esteli. As strong as the blend is, this full bodied smoke is filled with flavor and will be a daily staple for many who love a bigger smoke.

The number in the name refers to the approximate length in mm. (ex. 127mm = 5 inches)

FT127 - Robusto - 5 x 54. $8.00
FT140 - Robusto Extra - 5 1/2 x 52. $8.25
FT153 - Toro - 6 x 50. $8.50
FT166 - Short Churchill - 6 1/2 x 48. $8.75

Avion - Fausto Special Selection

Based on the T110 (Thermonuclear) blend, Fausto is a much anticipated new lineup from Pete Johnson. Fausto features an Ecuador Habano Maduro wrapper and a very strong blend of Nicaraguan filler that includes mostly ligero from Jalapa and Esteli. As strong as the blend is, this full bodied smoke is filled with flavor and will be a daily staple for many who love a bigger smoke.

Avion is an extension of the Fausto line that will release a new size each year for 3 years and remain in full production! For 2011, the 11's size is a Perfecto Grande, box pressed. ($10.00)

La Casita Criolla by Tatuaje

This new line from Pete Johnson features 100% Broadleaf tobacco. An homage to the broadleaf cigars made in the U.S. many years ago, this is a departure from the other Tatuaje lines.

I was fortunate enough to smoke these on a factory trip to Nicaragua this year when they were being produced. In fact, we smoked a ton of them. One would expect 100% broadleaf to be sweet and chewy in flavor, and that it is. While the factory buys a ton of great broadleaf to be used for wrapper leaf, there are filler leaves from the plant as well - seco and viso - and these are used in the blend. They are not as dark in color as the wrapper leaves that you are used to on broadleaf wrapped vitolas, but don't be fooled by the normal looking filler - it is all broadleaf and it is unlike anything in the Tatuaje family to date.

La Casita Criolla falls in the medium range, with a distinctly pleasant taste profile of sweetness. An everyday, or multiples per day, smoke.

HCB - Corona - 5 1/8 x 42. $6.00
HCBC - Corona Gorda - 5 5/8 x 46. $6.50
HCBF - Short Churchill - 6 1/2 x 48. $7.00

El Triunfador "Old Man and the C" (Lancero and Culebra)

The original El Triunfador Lancero alongside a Culebra made from 3 El Triunfador Lanceros! That's 4 lanceros for $30. Each set comes packaged in it's own box. Smoke the original and share the Culebra with your friends.

"Old Man and the C". $30
El Triunfador Lancero - 7 1/2 x 38
El Triunfador Culebra - 3 Lanceros twisted together

I also ordered some new Area Fumado lighters and cutters. Don't be surprised to see them showing up in your orders.
There was a sneak peek for October on display as well - the Wolfman, the 4th of the Monster Series.

Much more to share so keep checking back.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

IPCPR 2011

Just a quick update to let everyone know that we will be attending the
IPCPR trade show from July 16 - July 20th, 2011. All orders placed
after 12PM on July 15th will be shipped on July 21st.

There should be quite a few new arrivals coming when we get back and
we will keep you updated here.

Fausto, Avion and La Casita Criolla, all from Tatuaje will be on
display at the show and having had a chance to smoke them all at the
factory this year, I can tell you that there isn't an average stick
among them! Very excited to see these in house and get pictures up
for everyone before they are gone. Believe the hype!

Illusione will be featuring some sticks in addition to the -hl- with
maduro wrappers. We had the -hl- maduro in last fall and it was a
huge hit. Unfortunately, we haven't seen them since, so we are
excited to get them again, along with some other sizes! We shall see
what else Dion has up his long sleeves!

EPC has a few new vitolas as well as some maduro sticks coming.

Kurt from 7-20-4 has a new line, the 1874 Series. We had a sample a
few months ago and it is entirely different than the 7-20-4 line.
Looking forward to seeing those soon. Maybe even this week.