Monday, January 31, 2011


For Immediate Release
January 31, 2011
Contact: Victoria McKee Jaworski
General Cigar Co. Inc.
732 721 0317 or 732 580 5215


Richmond, VA—General Cigar announced today that with completion of the integration of CAO® International and General Cigar Company, Gary Hyams will step down from his role as chairman of CAO International, effective today.
Along with Dan Carr, president of General Cigar, Mr. Hyams led the integration of the two companies as part of the recent joint venture with Scandinavian Tobacco Group, which was announced in October.

Gary Hyams commented, “Being at the helm of CAO for the past four years has meant a lot to me and I am proud of what my colleagues and I have accomplished. I have great faith in Dan Carr and his team, and I leave CAO fully confident that they will continue to enhance and grow the brand.”

Dan Carr, president of General Cigar said, “Gary is a strong leader who is responsible for bringing international prominence to CAO. I am grateful to him for his dedication to the company and to all that he contributed toward the integration of General Cigar and CAO into the new Scandinavian Tobacco Group. Gary has done an exceptional job of preparing my staff and me for the future and we remain committed to continuing the momentum that he and his colleagues have built with CAO.”
In 2007, Hyams was highly instrumental in the acquisition of CAO International and was appointed Chairman. Under his leadership, CAO has grown to become a highly successful company in the competitive premium cigar category. He retained the culture of the company and implemented many successful new brand launches including America®, Lx2® and La Traviata®, which has received the highest acclaim of all CAO brands to date. Mr. Hyams was also heavily involved in the 2009 acquisition of the ToraƱo and Olivas cigar factories in Nicaragua and Honduras.

Mr. Hyams has been an advocate for the cigar industry, having been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Cigar Association of America (CAA) and having served as Chairman of the Imported Tobacco Products Advisory Council (ITPAC) in the U.K.

His distinguished career in the industry began in the U.K. at “Loretta Cigars London LTD,” which Mr. Hyams later came to co-own. Loretta Cigars was noted for building the Henri Wintermans, King Edward and Ritmeester brands, and was also an agent for Macanudo®, Don Tomas®, CAO and the cigarette brand “Natural American Spirit.”

Upon the sale of Loretta Cigars to Henri Wintermans, Mr. Hyams became managing director in the new company, Henri Wintermans U.K. Upon the Acquisition of CAO, Mr. Hyams held the distinction of being the only general manager/managing director in Scandinavian Tobacco Group to hold that position in two different countries.

About General Cigar
General Cigar Co. Inc., a division of Scandinavian Tobacco Group, manufactures and markets handcrafted cigars for the premium market. Committed to delivering cigars of the finest quality, General Cigar’s skilled artisans produce Macanudo, Cohiba®, La Gloria Cubana®, Punch®, CAO®, Partagas®, Hoyo de Monterrey®, Excalibur® and several other leading premium brands in the company’s Dominican, Honduran and Nicaraguan factories. In addition, the company cultivates proprietary tobacco which is used exclusively in its blends. General Cigar also operates Club Macanudo®, a cigar bar in New York City. Based in Richmond, VA, General Cigar sells through tobacconists nationwide and also exports select products to 62 countries. For more information, please visit

® CAO, America, LX2, La Traviata, Macanudo, Don Tomas, Cohiba, La Gloria Cubana, Punch, Partagas, Hoyo de Monterrey, Excalibur and Club Macanudo are registered trademarks of General Cigar Co. Inc.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Forcade Toro Review

Forcade Toro - 6 X 52. Wrapper - Ecuador Habano, Binder - Nicaragua, Filler - Nicaragua. Made by Don Pepin Cigars and blended by Jaime Garcia. Medium bodied.

Initial taste - Cedar & cinnamon

First third - Cedar, spice and cinnamon notes.

Second Third - Cedar and spice with a leathery flavor emerging. Notes of cinnamon as well. Very good balance and complexity.

Last third - Continuation of the cedar/wood, spice, leather and cinnamon notes. Long finish of cedar & spice.

Construction was perfect, burn was a bit crooked which required a couple of touch ups and the ash was a solid salt and pepper color that held on. Draw was perfect.

A very enjoyable cigar that you can tell has that "Pepinesque" flavor profile. Balance and complexity were excellent as you come to expect with Pepin made cigars. MSRP on this vitola is $7.25 which is a very good price point. A definite recommend to try.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Adrian's Cigars Havana Toro Review

Adrian's Cigars Havana Toro - 6 X 52. Wrapper - Ecuadorian Havana 2000 Criollo, Binder - Ecuador, Filler - Costa Rica. Medium Bodied. Guillotine cut.

Initial taste - Cedar spice.

First third - Cedar and spice with notes of orange peel and cinnamon.

Second third - Cedar, spice and cinnamon increasing with the orange peel in the background. Good balance so far.

Last third - Cedar, spice, Cinnamon and notes of orange peel. Medium finish on the palate of cedar wood.

Construction, burn and draw were good with a solid light gray ash.

An enjoyable, interesting and somewhat unique flavor profile with this cigar. It had good balance and a decent amount of complexity. MSRP for this vitola is $6.90 which I feel is a good price point for this cigar. If your looking for something a bit different and that will fit nicely into your cigar budget, I recommend trying this cigar.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

La Aurora Corojo Robusto Review

La Aurora Corojo Robusto - 5 X 50. Wrapper - Ecuadorian Corojo, Binder - Ecuador, Filler - Dominican and Nicaragua. Full bodied.

Initial taste - Dry wood, nuts & spice

First Third - Spice, leather, citrus roasted nuts and some sweetness.

Second Third - Tangy spice, sweet leather, roasted nuts and some underlying woodiness. Excellent balance and amazing complexity.

Last Third - Continuation of the tangy/citrus spice, sweet leather, roasted nuts and wood. Very long finish of citrus spice and leather.

Construction, burn and draw were perfect.

I absolutely love this cigar. It has an excellent flavor profile with incredible complexity and great balance. I have not gotten any nutty flavor in a lot of cigars lately, but this cigar had it. A nubber! I just might have my new favorite cigar from La Aurora - right up there with the 107. MSRP on this vitola is $6.00 which is a great value for a cigar that delivers so much. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Alec Bradley New York "Empire" Toro Review

Alec Bradley New York "Empire" (Toro) - 6 X 54. Wrapper - Honduras Criollo '98, Binder - Honduras Criollo '98, Filler - Nicaragua & Honduras. Medium - full bodied.

Initial taste - Dry wood and a slight pepper.

First Third - An earthiness accompanied by cedar and mild spice.

Second Third - An earthy sweetness with increased spice and a cedar background. Very good balance.

Last Third - Spice is in the forefront now followed by the earthy sweetness and underlying cedar. Long finish of earthiness and spice.

Construction, burn (dark gray ash) and draw were perfect as with all Alec Bradley products.

I found this cigar to be very well balanced with enough complexity to keep it interesting and very enjoyable to smoke. This cigar is only available for New York State retail tobacconists. MSRP on this vitola is $12.75 (includes New York State taxes) which this cigar is definitely worth. A definite recommend.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Swag "Fierce" Torpedo Review

Swag "Fierce" Torpedo - 6.5 X 52. Wrapper - Dominican (Ligero Habano), Binder - Dominican (Ligero Habano), Filler - Dominican (Ligero Habano). Medium - Full bodied.

Initial taste - Wood and spice

First Third - Spice, citrus and woodiness

Second Third - Spice amps up, citrus, wood and some notes of leather. Good balance up to this point.

Last Third - Strong spice, citrus, wood and leather notes. A slight sweetness is also present. Continued good balance. Very nice long finish of citrus and spice.

Construction was very good, as was the draw. Burn was razor sharp producing a light gray ash that holds on.

The flavor profile was very good and I really enjoyed it. Very well balanced with good complexity. MSRP is $6.20 for this size which I feel makes this an excellent value and one that can be enjoyed on a daily basis without hurting your wallet. Definite recommend.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Flor De Gonzalez "The Qban" Robusto Review

Flor De Gonzalez "The Qban" Robusto - 5 X 50. Wrapper - Ecuadorian Habano Maduro, Binder - Nicaragua, Filler - Nicaragua. Full bodied.

Initial lighting taste - Cinnamon and cedar.

First Third - Spice, cedar and cinnamon. Near the end of the first third, a nice leather flavor begins to emerge.

Second Third - Spice increases, cinnamon, leather and a fruit-like sweetness begins. So far balance is good.

Last Third - Strong spice continues, leather, cinnamon and the fruity sweetness. Very good complexity. Medium finish of spice and leather.

Construction - here is where one of the issues arise. The wrapper began to split and come apart in a couple of areas. Draw was somewhat tight but I was still able to smoke. Burn was good - a slight crooked white ash that held on.

I did enjoy the complexity and flavor profile of this cigar. I particularly liked the fruity sweetness complemented by the spice and leather. The only downfall was the issue of the draw and the wrapper. I have smoked a bunch of Flor De Gonzalez cigars in the past, and have never had any issues with the construction or draw so I will chalk this up to just this one stick. MSRP on the robusto is $7.00 which makes this a very good deal. A recommend.





MIAMI, FL – January 24, 2010 - Studio Tobac’s Executive Board voted unanimously to begin production of a new cigar: The Cain F Lancero. This Nicaraguan puro is a classic lancero size (7x38) with a finished three-seam cap instead of the traditional pig-tail cap. The blend is based on the the popular Cain F line of cigars, but adapted to fit the lancero format. As with all Cain F cigars, the lancero will be extremely full-bodied but smooth. Cain F achieves this delicate balance in two ways: First, the cigars are composed almost entirely of 3 types of ligero leaf from the three major growing regions in Nicaragua: Jalapa, Condega, and Esteli. These ligeros give the cigar incredible strength. Second, the tobaccos in Cain F are all triple fermented. Triple fermentation tempers the harshness and bite of the ligero leaves; leaving nothing but rich flavor and spice.

“I really don’t care if anyone else likes this cigar. I love lanceros so I’ll smoke every one of them myself. The blend on this cigar is fantastic. They nailed it at the factory.” says Executive Board member John Gazerro. “Seriously, lanceros are the perfect size for something limited like this. It’s not a size that sells well, but it’s probably the most respected size in the super-elite cigar community.” Gazerro continued “This cigar isn’t for novices. It’s definitely strong; but the real aficionados will appreciate the huge flavor and lack of harshness.”

The lancero will not be in regular production and therefore will not be for sale to the general public. The Cain F Lancero will only be available in The Limited Edition Studio Tobac Cigar Sampler. Expect to see The Cain F Lancero packaged in an aluminum tube, making it one of the only lanceros ever available in the “tubo” format. The Cain F Lancero, and the entire Studio Tobac Cigar Sampler, will be available as a “gift with purchase” at Studio Tobac World Tour events in 2011. Locations and details of these events are forthcoming.

Studio Tobac is the research and design group within The Oliva Family Of Cigars. Studio Tobac’s goal is to provide excitement and innovation to premium cigar smokers worldwide.
All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.


For more information please go to:

Or contact:
John Gazerro
Oliva Family Of Cigars

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sneak Peak at some new cigars coming from Studio Tobac

Here are some sneak peak picture of some upcoming releases from Studio Tobac/Oliva Cigars:

Cain F Torpedo

Habana Perfecto


Sampler Individual

January 2011 Cigar Wishlist

It's the beginning of a new year and I already have a new wishlist. These are a few cigars that I am looking forward to trying in no particular order:

1. Perdomo "Conmemorativo"
2. Drew Estates "T-52 Flying Pig"
3. Tatajue "La Casita"
4. La Aurora "107 Maduro Lancero"
5. Illusione 88 "Candela"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

El Primer Mundo Liga Miami Toro Review

El Primer Mundo Liga Miami Toro - 6 X 52. Wrapper - Ecuadorian Habano Sun grown, Binder - Nicaragua, Filler - Nicaragua & Dominican. Medium - Full bodied, closer to Full.

Initial taste - Oak wood

First Third - Spice picks up, sweet leather, citrus and oak wood.

Second Third - Continuation of the same flavors - spice, sweet leather, citrus and oak.

Final Third - Spicy Citrus, sweet leather and notes of the oak wood. Very nice long finish of spice and sweet leather.

Construction, burn and draw were perfect - burn was razor sharp producing a salt and pepper colored ash that held on.

An excellent cigar with the perfect balance, complexity and flavor profile that I really like. MSRP for this size is $9.50 which this cigar is definitely worth. I highly recommend trying this cigar for yourself.

Monday, January 17, 2011

La Aurora Broadway Series (New York Exclusive) Sumo Toro Review

La Aurora Broadway Series (New York Exclusive) Sumo Toro - 5.75 X 54. Dual Wrapper -Ecuadorian Sumatra & Nicaraguan Habano, Binder - Dominican Corojo, Filler - Dominican, Nicaraguan & Peru. Medium-Full Bodied.

Initial taste - Wood

First Third - Cedar wood, spice and a lemon tasting leather.

Second Third - Lemon/citrus leather, spice, sweet cedar and notes of cinnamon. I am surprised at how well balanced a cigar of this complexity is.

Last Third - Continuation of the tangy, leather and spice, sweet cedar with hints of cinnamon. Long finish of lemon, leather and spice.

Construction was perfect - beautiful brown smooth wrapper, draw was excellent and the burn was a razor sharp, light gray ash that holds on.

I found this cigar to be very complex and very well balanced. All of the flavors really complemented each other. MSRP is $12.50 for this vitola. Another hit by La Aurora Cigars that should really help out the New York retailers. Excellent cigar and definite recommend.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Torano Single Region Serie Jalapa Robusto Review

Torano Single Region Serie Jalapa Robusto - 5 X 52. Wrapper - Criollo '98, Jalapa Nicaragua, Binder - Jalapa, Nicaragua, Filler - El Estero Farm, Jalapa, Nicaragua. Full Bodied.

Initial taste - Peppery, sweet woody flavor.

First Third - Strong pepper spice, leather, citrus and some hints of sweetness.

Second Third - True Nicaraguan puro flavor profile - strong pepper, sweet, citrus leather and notes of wood.

Last Third - Continuation of the pepper, sweet citrus and leather flavors. Long tasty finish of strong spice and leather.

Construction was perfect, as was the draw. Burn was sharp and even, producing a solid dark gray ash.

I really enjoyed this cigar which is a powerhouse with a flavor profile that is among my favorite. Complexity was excellent and balance was good (pepper was a bit on the strong side). A cigar best enjoyed after a full meal. MSRP is $6.50 for this size. I think Torano has another winner with this cigar. I can see this cigar becoming part of my regular rotation.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Alec Bradley Tempus Maduro Robusto Review

Alec Bradley Tempus Maduro Terra Nova (Robusto) - 5 X 50. Wrapper - Mexican San Andreas Maduro wrapper, Binder - Trojes Honduras Criollo '98 Indonesia Embetunada, Filler - Trojes, Honduras & Nicaragua. Full bodied.

Initial Taste - Dry cedar and spice.

First Third - Spice, wood, chocolate mocha sweetness and leather. Hints of cinnamon as well.

Second Third - Increased spice, dark chocolate sweetness and leather. Very good balance and I am really enjoying the complex flavors.

Last Third - Strong spice, sweet, dark chocolate mocha and leather continue. Very nice long finish of chocolate and spice.

Construction and draw were very good. The cigar did burn a bit crooked with a somewhat flaky ash but it was correctable and did not take away from the smoking experience.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Tempus Maduro's flavor profile. It had very good balance and complexity. Definitely a cigar to be enjoyed after a substantial meal. MSRP is $8.50 for this vitola. I think I found my new favorite cigar from Alec Bradley! - highly recommended.

Friday, January 14, 2011

2011 Tobacco Plus Expo International


Contact: Susan Reuter
Reuter Exposition Services
(888) 737-3976

TPE 2011: Exceeding Expectations

The Tobacco Plus Expo International—opening in Las Vegas on March 2—brings together the broadest array of tobacco, tobacco products & accessories under one roof. Three full days packed with exciting activities and informative events.

Tobacco Plus Expo has the reputation of being the ultimate tobacco trade show experience for the tobacco industry. Bigger and better than ever, TPE 2011 promises to live up to that reputation.

The show features a fabulous array of more than 150 exhibitors and conference sessions that focus on building business. This year’s not-to-be-missed trade event features hundreds of show specials and networking opportunities. With nearly 90 percent of exhibitors offering exclusive show deals, the savings attendees realize will offset most travel costs.

TPE 2011 marks the debut of the TPE Masters Charity Golf Tournament which will be held on March 1. Each registrant will enjoy a light breakfast when they arrive, practice play and 18 holes of golf at the Silverstone Golf Club. The day will be capped off with an Awards Cocktail Reception and Charity Auction; proceeds to benefit the Cigar Rights of America, an organization playing an increasingly vital role in fighting for cigar smokers’ rights.

This year’s lineup of Conference Sessions will address these topics:
•Turning Your Tobacco Business into a Profitable Brand
•Cigars – A Perspective Seldom Seen
•Hire the Best Employees
•Special Events for New Business and Building Customer Loyalty.

Internationally known cigar blender Jose Blanco of LaAurora will present a class each day about how various blends and fillers create a premium cigar recipe. His class is limited to ticket holders only.

More than 40 new exhibitors will be showcasing their products. TPE 2011 also welcomes exhibitors from across the world from these countries: China, The Netherlands, Spain, Egypt, Taiwan, Sweden, Jordan, and Canada. These and others will be highlighted in the Show Directory with their nation’s flag appearing next to their listing.

Tobacco Plus Expo International is the only tobacco trade show that doesn’t impose any qualifiers or restrictions on exhibitors or attendees. Participants just need to be in the tobacco business and over age 21 to attend or exhibit.

The Premium Cigar Bar & Lounge; a comfortable area where attendees can gather to enjoy a complimentary beverage and enjoy a fine cigar will again be a feature of the show. Also, back by popular demand is the Spin & Win Wheel which offers buyers the opportunity to try their luck at winning great prizes.

With all this and much more to offer, TPE 2011 is a not-to-be-missed opportunity for anyone in the tobacco industry. To register online go to or call toll free 888-737-3976.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Honduran Cigar Festival - Humo Jaguar



If you have a passion for fine, handcrafted cigars - whether you make them,
sell them or simply enjoy them - you’ll want to join fellow aficionados at
Humo Jaguar, the inaugural Honduran cigar festival, to be held next February
13th through 17th at historic sites throughout Honduras.
Named to honor Humor Jaguar, the legendary Mayan ruler of the city of
Copan, the festival is an exciting excursion into the art of creating fine cigars
as well as a fascinating journey into the pre-Columbian heritage and natural
treasures of this beautiful country.
Among the many highlights of the trip is a visit to La Flor de Copan. This
award-winning factory is acclaimed for turning out many of the world’s most
highly rated cigars including Saint Luis Rey, A. Turrent Triple Play, Gispert, Romeo y Julieta Habana Reserve, Trinidad
Habana Reserve, the new H.Upmann Sun Grown and many other superb smokes. Naturally, you’ll get to sample these
great cigars as well as the latest collections from many other fine Honduran cigar makers.
But factory tours and visits to Honduras’ historic tobacco plantations are just the beginning. The rich itinerary includes an
exotic adventure into history. Honduras is known as “The Cradle of Tobacco.” The ancient Mayans were the original
tobacco growers and cigar makers, and the word “cigar” is derived from the Mayan term “sicar.” You’ll visit the breathtaking
Mayan ruins, the important national museums and other magnificent historic sites.
And there’s still more. You’ll have the opportunity to attend seminars with
legendary cigar makers and industry experts as well as presentations on
investment opportunities. And you’ll enjoy festive evenings of fine dining, plus
concerts, fiestas and much more.
The Humo Jaguar Festival is hosted by APROTABACOH, the Honduran
Association of Tobacco Growers, and FIDE, an organization promoting
Honduran investment opportunities. The cost of attending is an extremely
reasonable $1,250 per person, which includes first-class hotels, all meals, all
excursions, events and festivities – virtually everything except airfare.
If you’re a connoisseur of fine cigars and have an appreciation for ancient history
and natural beauty, you’ll fine Humo Jaguar to be an unforgettable vacation
With openings filling up fast, anyone interested in attending is urged to visit now for further details and registration information.

Monday, January 10, 2011





MIAMI, FL – January 10th 2011 - Studio Tobac today announced the members of it’s Executive Board. The Executive Board are the leaders of Studio Tobac and all decision making must be approved by the this board.

The Chairman of the Executive Board is Oliva Cigar CEO Jose R. Oliva. Oliva commented “I’m thrilled with the talent we have on our E-Board. The members of this board have time and again proven that they are among the most knowledgeable, creative, and visionary people in our industry. I’m expecting a lot out of this board but I know they will exceed even my high expectations.”

The Studio Tobac Executive Board is comprised of:

Dave Wagner- Proud Army veteran and cigar smoker for over 20 years. Dave states“I am the luckiest man in the world in that my family, passion, and career, are all extremely supportive of each other.  The premium cigar industry is built on heritage, relationships, hard work, and pride. These factors drive and inspire me daily.”  He continues “Working with the Oliva family has given me the opportunity to do what I love with people who share the same passion for premium handmade cigars.  I can’t imagine doing anything else.” Dave Wagner was one of Oliva’s “Original Five” Sales Representatives when Oliva started their in-house sales force in 2005.  In 2007 he moved from Regional Representative to National Sales Manager of the greatest cigar sales force in the industry.  In 2010 Dave was again promoted to Vice President Of Sales. He is most proud to be a part of the Oliva family, Studio Tobac, and both their incredible successes in the premium cigar industry.

Cory Bappert- A St.Louis, MO native, began smoking cigars in his late teens while going on fishing trips with his uncle in Missouri. It quickly became a passion that he brought with him when hired in 2002 with an online cigar retailer based in Chicago. In 2005, Cory became Oliva Cigar’s first sales representative for the upper Midwest. Bappert quickly rose through the ranks; earning accolades such as Salesman of the Year and the “Oliva Familia” award (for outstanding service). As Senior Account Executive, he currently handles Oliva’s national accounts as well as in store promotional programs. He was heavily involved in the creation of Cain as well as upcoming Studio Tobac projects.

Fadi Kerio- Fadi joined the Oliva family in September of 2005 as one of the first five sales representatives covering The West Coast. Recently, Fadi accepted a new position based in Miami as an Oliva account manager. Fadi has been around the cigar industry for 18 years experiencing the changes and challenges to stay on top. His previous background is in the jewelry business, particularly in designing and product development to suit the fashion industry.
Fadi says “I am honored to be a board mem ber of the innovative Studio Tobac, a team responsible for making the smoking experience for our fans more special, different and exciting.”

John Gazerro- John began smoking premium cigars in 1990 while still a student.  He is a 1992 graduate  (BA in Political Science) from Providence College.  John’s professional career began as an undergrad when he became a College Marketing Representative for CBS Records/Sony Music Distribution.  After graduating, John became a Field Marketing Representative for Sony Music and had the privilege of working with artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and many others.  After the record business, John transitioned to broadcasting and was a marketing/promotions director for various radio stations in Providence RI, Greensboro NC, Boston MA, and New York City.  John’s first step in the cigar industry came in 2004 by doing freelance promotional work for The Oliva Family of Cigars.  In 2005, John became the Northeast Representative for Drew Estate Cigars.  2007 saw John return to Oliva Cigar as their Account Executive in New England.  In 2010 he was promoted to Regional Manager covering the East Coast from Maine down through The Carolinas. John presently lives in Providence with his girlfriend.  John has no hobbies worth listing here; except, of course, smoking really good cigars.

Ian Hummel- In January of 2008, Ian was hired as Oliva Cigar’s 10th Sales Representative and started his career covering the states of Michigan and Indiana. In mid-year 2009, Oliva expanded their sales force and Ian switched territories to take over Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Southern Indiana. Ian was recently named Oliva’s “Salesman Of The Year” for 2010 and he was subsequently promoted to Mid-West Regional Manager. He has always been extremely interested in new product development and in the process of bringing new products to market. This side of the business has intrigued him to get more involved in every aspect of the process - from starting out with an idea, building upon it, and eventually seeing it come to life in the market place. Recently, Ian was asked to be a member of the Executive Board for Studio Tobac and he is excited to be a part of something that he is passionate about in so many ways. Ian states “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to work so closely with the greatest family in the cigar industry.”

Brian Shapiro- Brian has been around the cigar business almost his entire life. His grandfather, Morris opened Shapiro’s Smoke Shop in New York City in 1932. His father Ron Shapiro took over the family business in 1960 and is still a partner in the family retail store The Cigar Factory Outlet in Norwalk, Connecticut which is also an Oliva Store and Lounge. Brian joined the Oliva Family after a chance meeting with Jose Oliva in 2004. He began the first year by assembling the first in-house U.S. Sales Force, which has now grown to 19 strong.  Brian started moving Oliva into International markets in 2005 exporting cigars into The Netherlands. In 2010 as International Sales Manager, Brian, along with a great international team expanded Oliva exports into nearly 30 countries with a main European office and distribution center in Sliedrecht, Holland. Recently Brian and Jose Oliva celebrated the opening of the 2nd European Oliva Cigar Lounge in Berlin,Germany. The first lounge opened in Den Bosch, Holland nearly 2 years ago. More lounges are planned this coming year in Zurich and Basel Switzerland, Moscow Russia and London, England. Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife Gail and his sons Aaron and Eric.

Bryan “The Show” Scholle - Bryan has been enjoying fine cigars since 2006, which started as an occasional hobby but quickly formed into a very strong passion. Bryan started with Oliva family in February 2010 as an account executive covering the West Florida Territory. Bryan began his sales career for Coca-cola, following in his grandfather’s footsteps. He was inducted into the Top Performers Club in 2004 for being Salesman of the year for Florida. Then in 2008 Bryan followed his passion and went to work for Tampa based cigar shop Tampa Humidor, which also has one of two Oliva Lounges in the USA. Bryan’s passion and knowledge for cigars grew exponentially while at Tampa Humidor. Bryan grew up with a very supportive family and group of friends that always told him to “aim for the stars.” With this support he has been able to accomplish many great things in his short life. Bryan is currently the Studio Ambassador for Studio Tobac, in charge of The Studio’s day-to-day operations and promotions. “I can’t wait to get on the road and start doing Studio Tobac promotions” says Scholle. “I want to deliver Studio Tobac’s message to as many cigar smokers as I can.”

Sasja Van Horssen - Sasja’s company is the importer and distributor for all Oliva Cigars in The Netherlands. “It’s important that Studio Tobac be a truly international organization” says Oliva International Sales Manager Brian Shapiro. ”Sasja’s input is more than welcome so we can shape our ideas not only for The United States; but also for Europe, The Far East, and the many other countries where Oliva Cigars are sold.”

Studio Tobac is the research and design group within The Oliva Family Of Cigars. Studio Tobac’s goal is to provide excitement and innovation to premium cigar smokers worldwide.
All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.


For more information please go to:

Or contact:
John Gazerro
Oliva Family Of Cigars

Friday, January 7, 2011

La Sirena "The Prince" Robusto Review

La Sirena "The Prince" - 5 X 52. Wrapper - Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro, Binder - Nicaraguan Criollo '99, Filler - Nicaraguan Corojo '99 Viso & Criollo '98 Ligero. Full bodied.

Initial Taste - Wood.

First Third - Flavors of spice, wood and coffee.

Second Third - Same flavors continue - Spice, coffee - but now the coffee flavor is more predominent overtaking the woodiness and a sweetness begins to emerge. Very good balance.

Last Third - Now the cigar is really intensifying and evolving with the spice increasing, the coffee flavor is now a dark coffee flavor, and I get a nice leather taste as well. Sweetness is very slight but still there. Very nicely balanced. Long finish of spicey coffee and leather.

Construction was excellent - beautiful dark brown, smooth wrapper. Burn was razor sharp producing a razor-sharp, white ash that would not fall off and the draw was perfect.

This cigar, as with all Pepin Garcia cigars, had very good balance and complexity MSRP is $8.00 for this size. I definitely recommend giving this cigar a try, I think that you will really enjoy it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011



MIAMI, FL – January 3rd, 2010 – Oliva Family Of Cigars CEO Jose Oliva today announced that National Sales Manager Dave Wagner has immediately been promoted to Vice President Of Sales. Additionally, four Oliva Account Executives were promoted to the newly created positions of Regional Managers. Oliva’s Regional Management Team will be: John Gazerro (East), Ian Hummel (Midwest), Jack Sandlin (South), and Jeff Nolen (West).

Jose Oliva commented, “Over the last few years, our sales have grown exponentially. Much of that growth was due to the tireless efforts of Dave Wagner. Dave grew and molded one of the finest sales forces in the industry. Our numbers prove that.” Oliva continued, “Dave has more than earned the title of VP Sales and I look forward to his continued success at Oliva.”

Dave Wagner stated, “It’s an incredible honor to work for The Olivas and manage this team. From day one as an Oliva salesman this has been my dream job. It’s been hard work, but every day I still feel like the luckiest guy in the world.” Wagner also said, “I’m also extremely fortunate to have a very supportive family. My wife and children have made tremendous sacrifices for my career. None of this happens without them.”

Wagner also had this to say about the new Regional Manager positions: “We have incredible sales coverage across the US with one of the largest sales forces in the premium cigar industry. As we continue to grow, the addition of regional managers was an absolute necessity. Each manager brings a unique set of valuable strengths and skills that will ensure our continued success. “

“With this team in place, we’ll continue our pattern of growth,” Wagner continued. “Even in a down economy we’ve seen increased sales. There’s more to come. We’re not done. Not even close.”

The Oliva Family Of Cigars has produced their own cigars since 1995. Every process of cigar making (growing and manufacturing in Esteli, Nicaragua; sales and marketing in Miami, FL) is directly supervised by a member of the Oliva family. Oliva takes pride in crafting cigars with uncompromising quality and exceptional value. These cigars are some of the highest rated in the industry.


For more information please go to:

Or contact:
John Gazerro
Oliva Family Of Cigars



MIAMI, FL – January 4th 2011 - The Oliva Family Of Cigars today announced the formal creation of Studio Tobac, a collection of Oliva’s most creative minds. Studio Tobac is tasked with research and design within Oliva Cigar. The group’s primary goal is to create excitement and innovation in the tradition-heavy world of cigar smoking.

“Today we’re introducing cigar smokers worldwide to Studio Tobac” said Oliva Cigar CEO Jose R. Oliva. Oliva went on to say “Studio Tobac has worked for years behind the scenes on the highly successful Nub and Cain cigars. The time has come to bring down the curtain and get more cigar smokers involved with our creative process. As with all Oliva cigars, anything introduced by Studio Tobac will be of the highest quality and provide exceptional value to our customers.”

Oliva Vice-President of Sales Dave Wagner commented “We (Studio Tobac) would meet over cigars and maybe dinner, drinks, or coffee. We will continue these meetings but the time is right to formalize the group and also provide a mechanism to get more cigar enthusiasts involved. Look for big things from Studio Tobac in 2011 and beyond.”

ORGANIZATION: Studio Tobac will consist of an Executive Board of Directors, a Studio Ambassador, an advisory board, and general membership. The Exective Board is comprised of hand-picked Oliva Cigar employees and affilliates; chosen for their knowledge, creativity and vision. The Studio Ambassador is charged with the day-to-day operations of The Studio, including execution of any promotional activities. The advisory board is an invitation-only group of cigar ultra-enthusiasts; and the general membership consists of any independent cigar consumers who want to be updated with the latest Studio Tobac news. Anyone 18 years or older may join the general membership at HYPERLINK "" .

HISTORY: Studio Tobac was born in 2007 as informal meetings of Oliva Cigar’s most innovative thinkers. For the last 3 years The Studio has conceived ground-breaking projects like the renowned NUB Cigar (a short-format cigar that previously did not exist) and the CAIN Cigar (the world’s only straight-ligero cigar). These and many more projects exist within the portfolio of Studio Tobac.

FUTURE: Expect much more for Studio Tobac in 2011. There will be new cigars released to the general public, small-batch prototype cigars, exclusive Studio Tobac merchandise, and a world tour that will bring Studio Tobac to some of the finest cigar retailers in many different countries. Expect future press releases on these projects and much more.

Studio Tobac is the research and design group within The Oliva Family Of Cigars. Studio Tobac’s goal is to provide excitement and innovation to premium cigar smokers worldwide.
All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.


For more information please go to:

Or contact:
John Gazerro
Oliva Family Of Cigars