Trends of 2012 I have seen.

The Year of the the Dragon is now in our past. As I was waiting on 2013 to ring in, I was thinking about the trends that happened during 2012. The trends I mention didn’t necessarily start in 2012, but happened during the year.

 

Box Pressed Type Cigars: Box pressed cigars have been around for about as long as cigars in general. I saw quite a few companies making more and more box pressed cigars. Ortega Serie D, AJ Fernandez Oval, Iconic Recluse, 262 Paradigm, are just a few of cigar lines that are box pressed or have box press vitola. The one thing I have found with box pressed cigars; at times, they can have an off burn and need a good bit of attention to keep lit properly. The pros of a box press, you can sit in almost anywhere and not worry of it rolling off onto the ground.

 

Large Ring Gauged Cigars: A few years ago, a 54 ring gauge was your typical “big ring gauge” type of cigar. This year there have been plenty of 60, 64 and even 70 ring gauge cigars produced. From most of the Nub lines, MUWAT, EPC “Inch”, to the Berger & Argenti  74rg “Ultra Thick Fatso”. All are mostly ring gauges of 60+. I myself, don’t care for many cigars over a 54rg. But there is a niche group for everything. If you really like a large ring gauged cigar, check out Bazuka Cigars. They are home of some extremely large ring gauged cigars!! I haven’t found too many large ring gauged cigars that I particularly cared for. Either it didn’t feel good in the mouth or the blend seemed muted due to the size. Though there are a few I did like: MUWAT, Gran Habano Habano #5 to name a few.

 

Smaller Ring Gauged Cigars: This is quite the opposite of my previous comment, but there have been a good number of smaller ring gauged cigars popping up here and there. The MUWAT Baitfish, CyB Lonsdale, J Fuego Originals, and a handfull of lanceros were my favorites of the year. Some of them pack a flavor bomb punch (Baitfish), while others are just an overall enjoyable smoke (CyB). I think this year, I tried more smaller <50rg cigars over previous years. Mainly I like to get more wrapper flavors presented by the smaller Ring Gauges over the larger ones. The one con of a small rg cigar, you have to learn to smoke them slowly or you may end up with foul flavors from too much heat and may end up with a bad smoking experience.

 

Companies Diversifying: A hand full of companies have gone from outside their typical box of operations. Tatuaje released the L’atelier line at the 2012 IPCPR show. A more medium bodied cigar that is a few steps lower than there more fuller lines that they have been known to produce. Joya de Nicaragua released the CyB line which was a very tasty treat that made a lot of people’s 2012 favorite cigar lists. Many of the JdN lines are more medium-full bodied smokes. Yet, they do have the lesser full lines of Celebracion and Cabinetta lines, they didn’t see to have much of a fanfare when released as the CyB did. Emilio Cigars has added the Suave which is a milder cigar compared to their AF lines and Grimalkin cigars. Gary has also added numerous lines to his company’s distribution portfolio. 1502, Ezra Zion, Guayacan are just a few of the names added to their portfolio of lines distributed. Emilio cigar company is growing rapidly in cigars produced and distributed. General Cigars came out with their Foundry and Trunk Show “boutique” lines to their lines of cigars. Its interesting to see a large cigar company, such as General,  produce a hand full of limited run or “boutique” cigars.

So more and more companies are adding new cigar lines different from their “norm”. As well as adding smaller cigar companies to their distribution portfolios to gain more market share. A lot of companies are biting at the bit to cover the whole spectrum of cigars. Larger companies adding small batch lines and many companies adding milder or fuller cigars to cover the market better. I think this is a great idea to fact that it shows how diverse a company can be. In turn, producing more great cigars for us to enjoy. A con would be a company adding new lines and not keeping up with the quality or quantity of their original lines, thus the original lines suffering.

 

New Boutique Companies Emerging: Either I haven’t noticed as many in the past, or there have been a good number of newer smaller cigar companies coming about recently. From Romacraft, Curivari, Iconic, Ezra Zion, 1502 etc… A lot of new companies coming out are producing mighty fine cigars. Yet, some are not so good, but to each their own; everyone has their own likes and dislikes. I may like one line and the next person may not. So variety is the spice of life and cigars! So boutique companies definitely have their spot in cigar society. I am happy to see them come about and producing some nice cigars. The con of a new company is that quality and quantity. Some companies can’t afford an A+ factory to roll their cigars or afford the top quality of tobacco to produce a good cigar. So that’s the case as to why some new boutique cigars aren’t so good, but they do have potential to produce a great cigar given the chance to.

 

Social Media and Cigars: Through Twitter, Facebook, forums, review sites, etc.. more and more cigar smokers are showing their faces. I have met many great people in person via originally “meeting” on social media. Through social media, many people are able to introduced to new cigars or cigars they would have never thought to try. I have been turned on to a plethora of great cigars that I probably never would have tried if it wasn’t from a suggestion off someone on a form of social media. Many companies have a face in social media, though many aren’t much active, the ones who are do a great job at socializing with cigar people as well in between the other companies. On social media, its not all cigar talk among the cigar smokers. We share funny jokes, food, alcohol, news and trial & tribulations of life in general. So I think some form of social media is a definite must if you are interested in cigars. Think about it…. you are reading this, a form of social media!

 

These are just a few things that I had been thinking about here and there and thought I would share. What are some trends you saw in 2012 and what do you hope to be some of the trends for 2013?




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Comments

Great recap brother, and thank you for your support of this industry we all love

Thanks Gary! You had a pretty busy year in 2012, I hope 2013 is just as productive for you.

Great job and a very enjoyable read. You had some great points – especially on the box-press and diversifying portfolios. Have a great 2013!

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