I’ll be filtering out my IPCPR coverage over the next few months, mostly as I smoke relevant cigars. I’ve done this every year and am in no hurry, honestly. It’s what I do. There were several media outlets that knocked themselves out to provide in-depth coverage, check out Cigar Federation, Cigar-Coop/Smooth Draws, Developing Palates, The Cigar Authority, Blind Man’s Puff, Halfwheel, Cigar Weekly, and several others I can’t bring to mind at the moment. All these folks were killing it on the show floor and are great sources of information. I do things my way, and I’m good with that. I don’t see writing a blog as any kind of competition, not that I don’t take some pride in what I do (I must say that the Saka video was GOLD! I’m pretty pleased that I was able to present that unique piece of information). Everybody does their unique take on the show, which keeps things interesting.
The first stop for me at the show last Tuesday was the Island Lifestyle Importers booth, which won best in show at last year’s IPCPR. Obviously I’ve enjoyed a great relationship via e-mail with Ryan Frailing and his team, and was looking forward to finally meeting them face to face. I like the cigars they are producing under the Island Lifestyle brand, and the accessories they produce under the Tommy Bahama brand are of excellent quality. In addition to being available at Tommy Bahama stores (I LOVE seeing quality cigar products in mainstream stores!), they are available in various cigar stores around the country. The styles will vary by outlet, the Regatta and Cigar Club styles are really sharp, there’s a style that should appeal to everyone. There’s even a golf themed collection with a dimpled finish. The cigars are being rolled out in several new sizes, adding Robusto, Churchill and 6″ x 60 to the Toro in Connecticut, Sungrown and Maduro. I tried to get the factory out of Ryan, but he wasn’t disclosing anything. They are boxed and in ceramic humidor jars that are stunning. I somehow failed to get a photo of the jars (you can see them on their website), but they are awful nice, black for the Connecticut, Orange for the Sungrown and White for the Maduro. Collectors pieces and the cigars are very tasty! I smoked a Sungrown Toro at the booth, and I was still smoking it two hours later and it still tasted great. If it sounds like I’m pretty high on this companies brands, it’s because I am and I wasn’t alone as they reported later in the show that they were very busy and made a lot of sales. In addition to the time I spend talking to Ryan in the booth (video below), I had a great conversation with Rick and Phil at the hotel bar after hours on Wednesday. Great bunch of guys with a great selection of products. There were a couple highlights of the week for me personally, and meeting this crew was one of them. Check out the video, it’s raw and unedited, but full of information about the products.
That’s all for today, until the next time,