Written by Puff Staff

Monday, 26 July 2004

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clubs and organizationsrtda 2004
special events
A short update on our first day at the 2004 RTDA in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas!  We are here at the Venetian Hotel & Sands Expo Center for the RTDA 72nd Annual Convention and International Trade Show.  Tough work, but someone has to do it.

The main feature of the convention is the 200,000 square feet of exhibit space filled with 285 exhibitors filing 1,155 booths.  Cigar personalities abound on every aisle in addition to all the brands you know.  Many of the companies use the RTDA to kick off new products or offer special promotions.  

We arrived shortly before the show opened and were smoking our first cigars by 10 AM.  Here’s some of our first days work.

La Tradicion Cubana

La Tradicion Cubana has released a new line of cigars, the Deluxe Anniversary Series.  The Deluxe Anniversary comes in four shapes: Churchill, corona, robusto, and torpedo.  The filler tobacco is a Nicaraguan-Dominican blend.  The binder is Honduran and the wrapper is Ecuadorian grown Colorado.  The cigar is a shade more robust than La Tradicion’s regular line and has a different taste.  

We smoked the Churchill which had a good draw and construction.  The taste was stronger and different from the regular line as owner, Luis Sanchez stated.  A good everyday smoke.

Tabacalera Perdomo

Perdomo usually has something new cooking at the show and this show was no exception.  The Edicion de Silvio has released the Salamone Incedro indicating the cigar’s shape and cedar sleeve.  The Salamone will be limited production as with the rest of the line.

Salamone Incedro indicating the cigar’s shape and cedar sleeve.  The Salamone will be limited production as with the rest of the line.  

Also new is an extension of the reserve line called Champagne.  

Champagne is a seasonal release, and will come in sizes familiar with the Perdomo Reserve line.  While we have not had a chance to try our sample yet, we'll be giving it the once over later this evening.  The Champagne line is beautiful to look at, with a light Connecticut shade wrapper and Nicaraguan filler and binder.

Not forgetting about those price conscious smokers, a new value line of long filler cigars has been released called Campay.  Marketing manager Al Argenti says the Campay line should retail in the $4-$5 range.  

Lastly, through a subsidiary company named PA Tobacco Trading, Perdomo sells a flavored line of cigars.  They think the cigars will be a monster hit judging by the new ads featuring Godzilla.

Progressing towards vertical integration, we met Gonzalo Puentes, the general manager of the Perdomo farms.  Puentes formerly worked for Habanos SA in the production area.

Graycliff Cigar Co.

Crocadiles were featured at the Graycliff Cigar Co.  Crocadile skin to be specific.  The new super strong Espresso line comes packaged in designer Croc skin boxes.  No Kidding!  As a companion to your Espresso order, you can also order from a new line Alligator skin purses from Sharon Garzaroli.  Sharon, as you remember, has made the designer line of cigar box purses for Graycliff.  

General Cigar Co.

Just walking through the General’s booth, we saw a new brand named Diablo, but will have to get more details later.  General Cigar, owned by Swedish Match Corp, is also due to pull the Cohiba Red Dot brand off shelves because of a trademark ruling in favor of Cubatabaco.  We hope to speak with someone from Gereral Cigar about the matter later in the show.

Drew Estates

I always walk up to the Drew Estate display expecting them to be selling one-hitters.  Drew Estates continues to march to the beat of their own drum, and has another wild booth this year.  Jonathan Drew had two new cigars released at the show.  The first is an addition to the Acid line called Ming.  Ming is supposed to be on the spicier side to add some zip to the already popular line.  The second cigar is a limited production smoke infused with Suaza tequila.  We were doubtful, but smoked a sample on the spot and found the cigars to be rather enjoyable.  Perhaps not an everyday cigar, but worth trying.  We’ll have to wait to try one while sipping tequila.

It's off to CAO's "Decadence in the Desert" Party at the Palms...more tomorrow.

Paul Shoberg
Rob Shibata

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