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Are Lighters Perishable?

Essential Lighter Maintenance Tips - from Prometheus

Lighters are perishable items. You must maintain them properly in order to prevent them from malfunctioning. Periodically (every 3 months), drain butane gas from all your lighters, refill them and check whether they ignite properly. Also, adjust the flame setting so that the flame height is not too high or low. 

Are lighters really perishable?  If you do not maintain your lighter properly, eventually it will no longer function correctly.

First, if a lighter is unused for a long period of time, the Rubber O-Ring around the refill inlet Valve will start to degrade. The rubber o-ring hardens and the gas tank will leak from the refill inlet valve.

Furthermore, the Molt Pran, that controls the flame height, will also lose its effectiveness. The Molt Pran is made out of a material similar to sponge and is inserted between the flame height adjuster and gas nozzle, which is connected to the burner cylinder. Depending on the setting of the flame height Adjuster, the Molt Pran is squeezed with different levels of pressure and controls how much gas goes up through the gas nozzle.

If the lighter is not used for a long period of time, the molt pran hardens. If this happens, you can no longer adjust the flame height. Furthermore, the hardened molt pran blocks the gas from going up through the gas nozzle. If the lighter is used regularly, all the lighter parts will maintain their effectiveness.

In order to prevent the above from happening, we strongly recommend you to periodically (once every three months) perform the following, simple maintenance:
1) Drain and refill the gas tank to prevent the rubber o-ring from hardening.
2) After draining and refilling the gas tank, ignite the flame several times at the different settings of the flame height adjuster. This will prevent the molt pran from hardening.

These instructions are provided by Prometheus International, Inc. For more information, visit their blog site, Prometheus Lounge (www.prometheuslounge.com), and to view the latest product news and information.

Prometheus International, Inc.
6231 Bandini Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90040

Tel: 323-869-9200

Winston Churchill's $3,000 Camacho Lonsdale

Except from Perelman's Heard in the Humidor - October 1, 2010

Los Angeles – Winston Churchill, perhaps the most famous cigar smoker of all time, was well known as a devotee of Havana cigars and especially of the Romeo y Julieta brand. But he was also a fan of Camachos, almost from the moment that Simon Camacho set up shop in Miami in 1961.

The connection between the two was a man named Antonio Giraudier, the owner of one of the most popular beer brands in Cuba - Polar Beer - in the 1940s. When Churchill visited Cuba in 1946, he made sure he met the man he considered the greatest of the 20th Century. Not only did he meet Churchill, but offered him the use of his private beach house outside of Havana (which Churchill gratefully accepted), and then began sending a lifelong supply of cigars to the then-former British Prime Minister.

According to Stephen McGinty's entertaining work, Churchill's Cigar, Giraudier sent cases of 500 Por Larranaga cigars to Churchill - at his own expense - every three months beginning in late 1946 and continued the practice until his brewery was nationalized and Giraudier had to flee with his family in 1961, first to Miami, then to the Bahamas and later to Florida for good.

But even in his reduced circumstances, Giraudier was not going to let his friend go without cigars from him, and he found a new source, according to McGinty: "Camacho Cigars Inc., who had obtained a stock of Cuban tobacco and had put their best men on the task of making 50 cigars for Churchill at a cost of just $62, the equivalent of £20." The cigars arrived on July 4, 1962, as Churchill was recovering from hip surgery at The Middlesex Hospital and his personal secretary, Anthony Montague Browne, wrote to Giraudier that "I find that Sir Winston has tried both the green and mature cigars, and is enjoying them both very much. If anything, he has a slight preference for the green leaf." Imagine . . . Churchill a candela smoker!

Churchill left the hospital with an adoring throng on hand to witness the scene, smoking what might well be a Camacho, although he was known to also have a supply of both Ramon Allones and Romeo y Julieta cigars with him in his hospital suite! Upon hearing of Churchill's satisfaction, Giraudier immediately ordered 100 more cigars from Camacho: 75 of the candela and 25 in colorado claro shade. They were shipped by sea to lengthen the aging time and Churchill was quite pleased. He wrote to Giraudier on December 12 that "I am most grateful to you for sending me more of those excellent cigars."

Churchill continued to enjoy Camachos, and he gave a Camacho Lonsdale - unsmoked - as a souvenir to a friend at a 1963 luncheon at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo that was later acquired by Forbes publisher Steve Forbes. It was sold at auction on June 2 of this year at Christie's of London for $3,069.

Churchill died in January 1965 at age 90, smoking his final cigar on January 9 before suffering a massive stroke that evening and finally passing on January 24. No one knows if it was a Camacho.

Cuban Coffee Harvest Lowest in History of Cuba

From Havana Journal:

Will Weissert from AP is reporting that Cuba had its worst Cuban coffee harvest in history in 2009 with production yielding only 5,500 tons. Pretty sad considering how much farm land there is in Cuba. Let’s not forget that the Communist government produced the lowest sugar harvest since 1905 last year.

Leave it to the Castros to kill something as basic as farming.

The AP story continues… a full-page article in the Communist Party newspaper Granma on Wednesday warned that authorities will no longer fill the shortfall with imports. It said the government cannot afford to spend a projected $40 million this year and $47 million next just to keep islanders in high-octane caffeine.

In 1962 Cuba produced 60,000 tons Cuban coffee.

The newspaper cited inefficiency and negligence as reasons for the drop in production, but did not go into detail.

New Release Alert: Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary Cigars

Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary Cigars

From Rocky Patel Rocky Patel Premium Cigars, comes the Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary cigar. Scheduled for launch on July 30, 2010, this super-premium handmade cigar has been produced to celebrate Rocky's 15th year in the cigar business.  A journey that has taken Rocky from a cigar lover, but industry outsider - to now one of the driving forces of the premium cigar industry, and certainly one of the most recognizable characters in the cigar world.

The Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary Cigar is handmade in Rocky's new Tabacalera Villa Cuba factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.  An entire field dedicated to growing on the Ecuadorian-grown, Habano-seed wrapper.  The Nicaraguan-grown binder and filler leaves for this line combined to create an absolutely fantastic rich, complex full-flavored blend which is medium-to-full bodied.

The Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary cigars will be available at select retailers in the following sizes: Corona Gorda, Robusto, Toro and Torpedo.

Habanos 2010 Cigar Release Anouncements

Originally Posted:February 2010

Here are the anticipated cigar releases from Habanos for the year 2010. This list will no doubt change in announcements at the 2010 Habanos Festival, and throughout the year.

Habanos Limited Editions (Edicion Limitadas):
Montecristo Grand Edmundo, Canonazo - Size: 52 x 150
Partagas Serie D Especial, Gordito - Size: 50 x 141
Trinidad Short Robusto T, Petit Robusto - Size: 50 x 102
Habanos Standard Cigar Lines: Cohiba Behike 52 Petit Robusto 52 x 112
Cohiba Behike 54, Robusto Extra 54 x 144
Cohiba Behike 56, Double Robusto 56 x 166
Romeo y Julieta Julieta Small Panatela 33 x 120
Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill Robusto 55 x 133

Habanos Regional Editions
Bolivar 108, Coronas Gordas - Size: 46 x 143. Region: Spain
Bolivar B-2, Piramides - Size: 52 x 156. Region: Canada
Bolivar Emiratos Sublimes - Size: 54 x 164. Region: United Arab Emirates
El Rey del Mundo Elegantes, Gordito - Size: 50 x 141. Region: Switzerland
Fonseca Fonseca No.4, Hermosos No.4 - Size: 48 x 127. Region: Benelux
Juan Lopez "Unnamed", Perlas - Size: 40 x 102. Region: Andorra
Juan Lopez Seleccion No.3, Petit Edmundo - Size: 52 x 110. Region: Benelux
Juan Lopez Seleccion No.4, Piramides - Size: 52 x 156. Region: Asia Pacific
La Flor De Cano Short Robusto - Size: 50 x 102. Region: United Kingdom
La Gloria Cubana Triunfos Magnum 50 - Size: 50 x 160. Region: Switzerland
Por Larrañaga Encantos Dalias - Size: 43 x 170. Region: Asia Pacific
Por Larrañaga Regalias de Londres, Gordito - Size: 50 x 141. Region: United Kingdom
Por Larrañaga Robustos - Size: 50 x 124 Region: Germany
Punch World Champion, Petit Piramides - Size: 50 x 127. Region: South Africa
Ramon Allones Belicosos Campanas - Size: 52 x 140. Region: Germany
Ramon Allones Gladiator Torre Iznagas - Size: 52 x 170. Region: TBA
Ramon Allones Gordito De Allones, Gordito - Size: 50 x 141. Region: Canada
Ramon Allones Lusitanos Petit Edmundo - Size: 52 x 110. Region: Portugal
Ramon Allones Phoenicios 32, Piramides - Size: 52 x 156. Region: Lebanon
Sancho Panza Quijote, Prominentes - Size: 49 x 194. Region: Spain
Vegas Robaina Petit Robustos - Size: 50 x 102 Region: France

Habanos Collection Series
The Collection Series are packaged n book style boxes, known as "Habanos Books". The 2010 Collection Series release is anticpiated to be the Bolivar Grand Belicoso - Size: 57 x 160.

Casa del Habanos Exclusivos
These vitolas are planned for release exclusivey in Habanos' retail locations, Casa del Habanos worldwide.
La Gloria Cubana Inmensos, Sublime - Size: 54 x 164
Ramon Allones Allones Superiores, Corona Gorda - Size: 46 x 146

Habanos Travel Retail Series (Duty Free Retail Locations Worldwide):
Scheduled for release in Fall 2010: Hoyo de Monterrey Double Epicure, Double Robusto - Size: 50 x 155.

For further updates and release news visit www.habanos.com.

Partagas Celebrates 150 Years at the Same Address

From Cigar World - 1995

In 1845 Don Jaime Paratagas's dream came true. He declared open the factory which he had spent two years building at No. 520 Industria Street right in the heart of Havana's booming business centre. Eighteen years had passed since, as a young immigrant from Catalonia, he had started his first venture in tobacco. It was a chinchal, literally a small, back-street workshop where, with a few skilled cigar makers, he had begun producing unnamed cigars form the best leaf he could buy on the open market. His initiative coincided with the lifting in January 1827 of all the taxes on cigar production previously imposed by the Spanish Superintendent of Finances. Cigar manufacturing boomed

Soon Don Jaime's talent as a manager became apparent but he felt constrained by the quality of tobaccos he could obtain. So he decided to start buying as much prime tobacco land in the famous Vuelta Abajo region as he could afford from his hard-earned profits. Thus it was that the building at No 520 Industria Street came into existence and it is now as much a landmark in the centre of Havana as the Capitol erected right opposite many years later. This policy was pursued by his successors who by the early years of this century owned nearly 25,000 precious acres in Pinar del Rio. The quality and consistency of his cigars improved as did his wealth, so before long he was able to plan the factory of his dreams. It was to be a palace of cigar production, four storeys high and in the style of the best colonial architecture. It would be built to last because he had confidence in the future and in his product which, in 1843, he christened with his own name.

That it should have remained as the Partagas factory or Real Fabrica de Tabacos Partagas (Royal Partagas Cigar Factory, to give it its fill title, for a century and a half would no doubt have delighted Don Jaime. He could take pride in the foresight of his investment which today enables 12 million Havanas to be produced, many still bearing his name. Sadly he did not have long to enjoy the fruits of his labour as, sixteen years later in 1861, he died whilst on a visit on a visit to his estates in the Vuelta Abajo. Members of his family continued to own and manage the business until the turn of the century when it was sold to Cifuentes & Co., who diversified into cigarettes and extended the range of cigar brands. Over the years the rich, earthy flavours which characterise Partagas cigars have found many fans. Rudyard Kipling in his poem which includes the notorious line "And a woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke" admits: "I have been a priest of Partagas a matter of seven years."

Evelyn Waugh, novelist and confirmed Havana enthusiast, mentions the brand in Brideshead Revisited and more recent devotees include Greek shipping magnate Stavros Niarchos, Pierre Salinger, former press secretary to President Kennedy, and TV mogul Michael Green. Today the factory is fully responsible for the production of four main brands: Bolivar, Ramon Allones, La Gloria Cubana and, of course, Partagas. They also make some Montecristo under licence, so to speak, from the H. Upmann factory and certain sizes of Cohiba, notably Esplendidos, Robustos and the Siglo range.

On 20th September 1995 Ernesto Lopez, the factory's present Director threw open the doors to welcome hundreds of guests, who had come from all over the world to celebrate the venerable building's 150th anniversary.  A special tasting was held of cigars made to the Dalia size (6 5/8" x 43) which as the 8-9-8, is the flagship vitola of the Partagas range. The day's events culminated in a Magnificent dinner at the new Cohiha Hotel during which guests were invited to smoke the three star sizes of Partagas: the Lusitania, the 8-9-8 and the Series D No. 4. It was a night of glittering cigar awards too. Had there been an award for "Habanos Man of the 19th Century", few would have challenged Don Jaime's right to take it.

Winston Churchill's Cigar Airbrushed From Picture

From: www.telgraph.co.uk

winston churchill altered image

The original image (left) was taken in 1948 during the opening of a new military headquarters, and (right) the airbrushed image. In the well-known original image, Churchill makes a "V" shaped symbol with his fingers – while gripping a cigar in the corner of his mouth. But in a reproduction of the picture, hanging over the main entrance to a London museum celebrating the wartime leader, he has been made into a non-smoker through the use of image-altering techniques.

It is unclear who is responsible for doctoring the photograph, with the museum – The Winston Churchill's Britain at War Experience – claiming not to have noticed the cigar was missing. John Welsh, manager of the museum, admitted he was shocked to learn of the alteration, but declined to reveal who was responsible for the display and for enlarging the image. He said: "We've got all sorts of images in the museum, some with cigars and some without. We've even got wartime adverts for cigarettes in the lift down to the air-raid shelter, so we wouldn't have asked for there to be no cigar."

Don Robinson, who owned the museum before passing it to a charitable trust 20 years ago, added: "If we'd known we would have said: 'No, it stays as it is.' Everything we do we try to do accurately and the cigar symbolises Churchill." The alteration of the original image, taken in 1948 during the opening of a new military headquarters, was noticed by David McAdam, a visitor to the museum. He told the Daily Mail: "I pointed out this crude alteration to a museum steward who said she hadn't noticed the change before, nor had anyone else pointed it out. "So much for the notion that only communist tyrants airbrushed history."

Alan Packwood, of the Churchill Archives Centre, said he was not aware of any previous case where Churchill's cigar had been digitally removed from a picture.

New Handmade Value Line from Perdomo

Excerpt from Heard in the Humidor - May 14, 2010

The story is known well enough: Nick Perdomo was working as an air-traffic controller when he and his wife started organizing a cigar company in their garage in Miami.

What was originally called Nick’s Cigar Company is now the Tabacalera Perdomo behemoth, headquartered in Miami Lakes, Florida (where Perdomo is now an elected town council member) with a massive factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.

With all of the emphasis on new products in today’s cigar trade, perhaps it makes sense that Perdomo reached back to the early days of his company to bring out "Nick’s Sticks Little Havana Blend," a value-priced line of handmade cigars in three different wrapper styles:

=> "Connecticut:" a mild-to-medium-bodied cigar called "buttery smooth, with an elegant, satisfying finish" with a genuine Connecticut-grown wrapper.
=> "Maduro": featuring a Nicaraguan-grown leaf and a blend that’s medium-to-full body and "bursting with deep dark chocolate tones."
=> "Sun Grown:" utilizing a Nicaraguan-grown leaf for a medium-to-full-bodied blend with "a slight hint of cedar with a smooth spice on the finish."

All three use Nicaraguan-grown binder and filler leaves grown on Perdomo’s farms in Nicaragua and all styles come in four traditional shapes:

=> Churchill (7 inches by 50 ring), offered in boxes of 20;
=> Robusto (5 x 52), offered in 20s;
=> Toro (5 1/2 x 54), offered in 20s, and
=> Torpedo (6 1/2 x 54), offered in 20s.

"I remember our early years when we offered Nick’s Sticks locally," said Perdomo in the announcement. The brand featured part of our company’s original name and logo . . . Over the years, customers have asked me to offer this brand nationally" and it will begin shipping this month (May 2010). 

Famed El Credito Cigar Factory To Be Opened as Cigar Lounge

Excerpt from Heard in the Humidor - May 7, 2010:

la gloria cubana cigars image





The famed El Credito cigar factory in the Little Havana section of Miami is being "re-formatted," but will not close.

Made famous by its production of the wildly-popular La Gloria Cubana line, the facility at 1100 Southwest 8th Street was whispered to be closing yesterday, but in fact will be renewed as primarily a cigar lounge and retail boutique, each about 700 sq.ft., in the coming weeks.

General Cigar owns the facility and decided to de-emphasize production of the La Gloria Cubana cigar line there in 2008; most La Gloria sizes were being produced concurrently in Miami – primarily for local sale – and in the Dominican Republic. The La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Miami line, a limited-production program in five sizes made by just ten rollers, was introduced that year with the expectation of manufacturing just 250,000 cigars annually. That line will continue, but in an even more limited capacity, making it a rarity just two years after its introduction.

The new concept for the El Credito facility is to make it a place to enjoy the cigar-smoking experience, rather than as a factory. Only a handful of rollers will remain, less than the ten who now work on the Artesanos de Miami line.

"The Artesanos line is a tribute to those who came to Miami and made a new tradition there," said an insider who asked not to be identified. "Both Artesanos lines will continue, but the new Artesanos brand will honor the rolling team in the Dominican Republic."

That would be the La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Tabaqueros, announced on March 19. It will be a standard-production line of limited quantity, made by an 18-roller squad in three sizes at the El Credito factory in the Dominican.

"The new look inside the space should be ready pretty quickly, in a few weeks," said our insider. "It’s not even being closed in the meantime, but things will be moving around there."

Rocky Patel and Miami Cigar & Co Announce Distribution Agreement

Excerpt from Heard in the Humidor - May 7, 2010:

rocky patel cigars image



On May 4, 2010 Rocky Patel Premium Cigars of Naples, Florida announced a distribution agreement for the three United brands formerly distributed by Miami Cigar & Co. of Miami: 601, Cubao and Murcielago, plus all of their other, lower-profile lines such as EO No. 21 and Panama Red Blend No. 5. It’s believed to be the first time that Patel has taken on distribution of cigars other than his own lines.

In a note to the trade, Patel wrote that "Although Rocky Patel Premium Cigars and EO Brands have separate, if not unique, histories, they have always shared a common objective: to produce the best possible cigar and supreme customer support. We remain dedicated to this objective now that we will begin operation in unison. "Effective May 10th, 2010, all EO Brands (e.g., 601, Cubao, Murcielago, etc.) will only be available via the Rocky Patel Premium Cigars distribution system. That is, directly and or through our approved sales representatives. All marketing for EO Brands will also be handled by Rocky Patel Premium Cigars." These cigars will continue to be made by Garcia at the My Father factory in Nicaragua, but Patel’s energetic distribution group will be in charge of promoting them and placing them on store shelves nationwide. It’s a good move for Espinosa and Ortega in partnering with one of the hottest cigar sellers in the nation; for Patel, it extends the long-time working relationship he’s had with both men and strengthens his own distribution with three excellent lines of cigars made by another white-hot producer in Garcia.

The move fueled speculation in some quarters that with Miami Cigar now having pared its distribution efforts – for now – an agreement for distribution might be forthcoming with Garcia for his owned-and-distributed lines. Miami Cigar chief Nestor Miranda and La Aurora head Guillermo Leon worked together to create a new cigar to be made by Garcia and launched later this year. Such an alliance would strengthen both groups considerably as they compete with larger entities such as General Cigar, Altadis U.S.A., Davidoff of Geneva, J.C. Newman and others.