Ok, so we made it to New Orleans in one piece. Hopefully we will get out of here the same way but if we don’t I’m certain it will probably be worth it. What better way to spend a week than with all the people who make all of our beloved cigars possible.
We started things off on Friday night with a great dinner at AVO. We were joined by our good friends from General Cigar and the food was as outstanding as our dinner conversations. After dinner we enjoyed a few cigars on the sidewalk outside the colorful bar Lucy’s.
We began Saturday with our first cigar at My Father Cigars. Everyone is familiar with their mega award winning Flor de Las Antilles line. We decided to expand things a bit with Jaime Garcia. We will also bring in to a limited number of stores their newest creation the El Centurion H2K-CT.
We continued our Saturday with another early morning cigar with our friends at Rocky Patel. Our guests will be happy to know that we have added some excellent cigars to our already stout Patel portfolio. You will soon be able to purchase Prohibition, Royale, and the newly introduced Sungrown Maduro at your neighborhood ABC.
Our third visit of the day was with Davidoff. We are very excited about their new Camacho America Barrel-Aged cigar and they should hit our stores soon. You can also expect a few more sizes of the Camacho Connecticut series.
Our next stop had us visiting the wild guys at Drew Estate. I can honesty tell you that no one rocks out at their booth like these folks. The masters of innovation have managed to do it again with some new brands, new sizes, and wider distribution of some small production items. For all of you Drew fans you will soon be able to buy the new Undercrown Shade, two additional sizes of Nica Rustica, and the hard to find Unico series Ratzilla. Yes, you heard it right. We will be adding Ratzilla to all of our Drew Diplomat stores!
Our fifth stop of the day was with Ashton. It is amazing at how well this brand has grown for us in such a short time. This time last year we picked up our first items from them and after just over six months of sales we are expanding the line. In addition to more sizes of the Ashton Sungrown, Ashton Classics, and La Aroma de Cuba, we will also be stocking the La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor in our humidors.
Our final stop of the day was with another new partner CLE. We added Asylum 13 just one year ago and after much success we are adding the Ogre along with their amazingly priced Schizo’s.
It was a great first day and I can’t remember ever kicking off a cigar show any better. With so many great new items coming things are only getting better at ABC. Check back with us tomorrow and see what Sunday brings.
Chris Gwaltney, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits category manager: premium cigars and craft beer
Follow me on Twitter @abccigarChris