J.C. Newman’s New Cigars: The Yagua and The American

J.C. Newman’s New Cigars: The Yagua and The American

J.C. Newman New Releases and the Company Legacy

Cigars produced by J.C. Newman, carry a legacy of dedication to quality, and history. Through two world wars, a great depression, and the cigar boom, many of our cigars have stood the test of time. As we approach our 125th company anniversary, we reflect on the cigars we’ve produced that have made an impact on the industry, all while looking ahead to what we can contribute to the future.

Innovation is key to growth but taking a moment to look into the past has allowed us to make decisions about the future. Two of the newest cigar additions to our catalog, the Yagua and The American, are taking us back to the roots of cigar making, while forging forward into the ever-changing palates of the cigar smoker.

Yagua from PENSA: The Imperfect Nicaraguan Cigar

This cigar will be far from the blemish free cigars that the industry has come to know and love. This cigar is birthed from a romantic story, told to Drew Newman by the J.C. Newman PENSA factory manager, Lazaro Lopez.

Lazaro recounted tales of his grandfather, working out in the remote tobacco fields of Cuba, far from the cigar factories in the cities. After harvesting the tobacco and allowing it to ferment, Lazaro’s grandfather would roll up a few cigars by hand to smoke for himself. Without any of the modern factory tools, Lazaro’s grandfather had to be resourceful. He took a few fronds from the Yagua tree – a royal palm that is native to Cuba – and tied them around a bundle of his hand rolled cigars to help give them a firm shape. While the unique binding technique worked, because the cigars were pressed together while still wet, they took the form of the other cigars they were tied to, resulting in cigars that were anything but round. Some cigars had five sides, others were more triangular, but none were the same.

Inspired by Lazaro’s childhood memory, we challenged our factory to make a cigar using the same process. The tobaccos were hand selected and fermented to mimic the boldness of his Grandfather’s freshly picked tobacco and the cigars are rolled wet, ensuring each cigar is uniquely shaped.  Named Yagua, after the palm leaves which bound the cigars, this new concept is sure to appeal to the seasoned cigar lover looking for something unconventional in the modern humidor.

The American: Back to Tampa Cigar Factory Roots

By now you’ve probably heard of our project, The American. After much anticipation, this cigar has recently shipped to select retailers nation-wide.

The brand was initially created by E. Regensburg and Sons – which originally owned the El Reloj factory J.C. Newman currently operates in Tampa, Florida. Though, at that time, the cigar was not 100% American made like today’s version, the original label has been enhanced, and elevated, while keeping the original symbolism in a nod to the history of the cigar.

The entire American production is only rolled by two hand-rollers here in Tampa, making the cigar very limited. When the factory re-opens in 2020 for our 125th company anniversary, we will have a significant portion of the 3rd floor dedicated to the tradition of hand-rolling cigars. With room for 14 rollers, and even a lector, El Reloj will look and feel like taking a step back in time; back to the early 1900’s of cigar making in Tampa. At that time more cigars will be rolled, and you will even be able to purchase limited edition cigars right here at the factory.

The Future of Cigars is Now

We’re so looking forward to sharing these cigars, and our factory with you next year, and for many years to come. Mark your calendars for the factory opening in Spring of 2020, and don’t forget to look at your local retailer for the Yagua, and The American, available soon!

The American Cigar

The American Cigar

Not only is The American hand rolled in the United States with American heirloom tobaccos, but all of the materials used to make and package The American come from the United States as well.

The American Cigar

The American Cigar

Not only is The American hand rolled in the United States with American heirloom tobaccos, but all of the materials used to make and package The American come from the United States as well.

.• Wrapper tobacco grown in Florida
• Binder tobacco grown in Connecticut
• Filler tobacco grown in Connecticut and Pennsylvania
• Cigar molds made Florida
• Cellophane tubes made in Pennsylvania
• Boxes designed and made in Florida with wood from Ohio, ink from Illinois, and hinges from Massachusetts
• Labels and bands design in New York and printed in Florida on paper from Wisconsin and ink from North Carolina
• Inside booklet designed and printed in Florida with sketches drawn in Massachusetts on paper from Wisconsin and inks from Florida

 

Introducing The All-American Cigar

In 1895, my great-grandfather, Julius Caeser Newman, founded our family business. Four generations later, the J.C. Newman Cigar Company is the oldest family-owned cigar company in the United States of America. There are many old, multi-generational family businesses in the premium cigar industry. What sets us apart is
that J.C. Newman Cigar Co. is the oldest family-owned premium cigar maker in the United States.

As we began approaching our company’s 125th anniversary, my wife, Ariel, had the idea to create an all-American, handcrafted cigar – something that had not been done for decades. Her vision led to this project. The American was the first cigar rolled in our “El Reloj” factory in Tampa, Florida when it opened in 1910. To celebrate
our company’s 125th anniversary, we have relaunched this historic cigar brand.

What makes The American unique is that it is the first 100% all- American cigar. From the tobaccos to the cigar molds to the boxes, labels, and cigar bands, everything about this very special cigar is made in America.

This project speaks to the heart of who we are: a four-generation American family business still owned and operated by the founding family. When you light up The American, you are celebrating the centuries-old tradition of handcrafting premium cigars in America.

 

About Ybor City and El Reloj 

 

Traditionally, each Tampa cigar factory had a nickname. Our factory is known as “El Reloj,” which means “the watch” in Spanish, because of the factory’s six story clock tower. Neighbors used the clock tower and its large bell to tell time and as a signal for when to go to work or school, to return home, and to go to sleep.

In 1951, the Regensburg company that built El Reloj went out of business. Two years later, my great-grandfather fell in love with the building and bought it and decided to relocate his family and cigar business from Cleveland, Ohio.

Today, we roll two types of cigars in El Reloj. First, skilled cigar rollers use hand-operated, antique cigar machines from the 1930s to roll value-priced cigars. Additionally, we roll The American and other cigars entirely by hand.

In the middle of the 19th Century, cigar makers fled Cuba and settled 90 miles to the north in Key West, Florida. In 1885, Vicente Martinez Ybor moved his cigar factory from Key West to what was then an undeveloped area north of the small town of Tampa. Soon, others followed
and the new community became known as “Ybor City.”

Within a few years, the cigar industry transformed Tampa into the largest city in Florida. At its peak in the early 20th Century, Tampa had more than 150 cigar factories and 10,000 cigar workers who rolled more than 500 million cigars a year by hand. Tampa was internationally known as the “Fine Cigar Capital of the World.”

When El Reloj opened in 1910, it was heralded as the largest and finest cigar factory in the world. It was designed for 1,000 cigar workers and built at a cost of $75,000. It has a red brick exterior with wooden beams, a sloped slate roof, and a distinctive clock tower. Like most cigar
factories in Tampa, the factory has three floors and a basement, runs east and west, and is 50 feet wide. It has tall ceilings and large windows to maximize the amount of natural light.

 

History of The American

The American cigar brand was created in the 1880s by E. Regensburg & Sons, a well known cigar company in New York City. These cigars were first rolled at Regensburg’s cigar factory on Canal Street in Lower Manhattan. By the end of the nineteenth century, The American had become very famous.

In the early 1900s, the Regensburgs decided to move their operations from New York to
Tampa, Florida because Tampa had become internationally known as the “Fine Cigar Capital of the World.” They built the “El Reloj” cigar factory in Tampa’s Ybor City cigar district. When El Reloj opened in 1910, The American was the first brand of cigars rolled in our factory. More than a century later, we have recreated The American’s original shield and cigar band from the late 1800s.

About the Flag in the Shield

With The American, we have recreated the original shield and cigar band from the late 1800s. Many have asked why The American’s shield includes the Puerto Rican flag. Like Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and other Caribbean islands, Puerto Rico has a rich tobacco heritage. Puerto Rican revolutionaries exiled in New York City created a flag similar to Cuba’s to support their campaign to liberate the island from Spanish rule. In support of this fight for independence, this flag design was incorporated into The American shield and cigar band when the brand was created in the late 1800s. Puerto Rico adopted this design as its official flag many decades later in 1952.

The American Cigar

The American Cigar

Not only is The American hand rolled in the United States with American heirloom tobaccos, but all of the materials used to make and package The American come from the United States as well.

J.C. Newman Introduces Limited-Edition Brick House Cigar

J.C. Newman Introduces Limited-Edition Brick House Cigar

J.C. Newman Introduces Limited-Edition Brick House Cigar 

J.C. Newman Cigar Company will release its first Tobacconist Association of America (TAA) exclusive brand, Brick House Ciento por Ciento. 

Brick House Ciento por Ciento offered as TAA exclusive

Handcrafted in J.C. Newman’s Nicaraguan factory, Puros de Estelí Nicaragua, S.A. (J.C. Newman PENSA), Ciento por Ciento only uses tobaccos grown in the rich, volcanic soils of Nicaragua. It is the first Nicaraguan puro blend in the Brick House line, hence the name, which means 100% in Spanish. The wrapper is a Habana-seed, corojo leaf grown in the Jalapa Valley which encloses binder and filler from three of Nicaragua’s mountainous regions. 

Production has been limited to 500 boxes and is only available for purchase by TAA members. The cigars will only be available for purchase at the 2019 conference and will ship by the end of May. At that time, a list of retailers where the cigar is available for purchase will be released.

Brand: Brick House Ciento por Ciento

  • Size: 6 1/4 X 54
  • Box Count: 25

About J.C. Newman Cigar Co.

Founded in 1895 by Julius Caeser Newman, J.C. Newman Cigar Company is the oldest family-owned premium cigar maker in America.  J.C. Newman rolls its El Reloj, Factory Throwouts, and Trader Jacks cigars by hand-operated, vintage cigar machines at its historic cigar factory in Tampa, Florida.  It also hand rolls its Brick House, Perla del Mar, El Baton, and Quorum cigars at the J.C. Newman PENSA cigar factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.  J.C. Newman’s Diamond Crown, MAXIMUS, Julius Caeser, and Black Diamond cigars are handmade by Tabacalera A. Fuente in the Dominican Republic.  With its longtime partners the Fuente family, the Newmans founded the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation, which supports low-income families in the Dominican Republic with education, health care, vocational training, and clean water. 

Ciento Por Ciento Retailers

The American Cigar

The American Cigar

Not only is The American hand rolled in the United States with American heirloom tobaccos, but all of the materials used to make and package The American come from the United States as well.

The Brick House Double Connecticut

The Brick House Double Connecticut

Our Hottest-Selling New Cigar in 100 Years

Without a doubt, Brick House Double Connecticut is our family’s fastest-selling new cigar in more than 100 years. With a unique blend of Connecticut and Nicaraguan tobaccos and a smooth, rich taste, Brick House Double Connecticut has taken the American cigar market by storm and earned accolades from cigar reviewers around the world. The secret to Brick House Double Connecticut’s success is its tobacco,
construction, and price.

The Double Connecticut Tobacco

What I love about Brick House Double Connecticut is that it marries classic “Old World” premium cigar tobaccos from Connecticut with bold and flavorful “New World” tobaccos from Nicaragua.

For nearly 400 years, farmers have grown premium cigar tobaccos in the Connecticut River Valley outside of Hartford. William Thrall was one of the first settlers in Connecticut shortly after it became a British colony. In the 1640s, he started growing tobacco on his plot of land and began a legacy that has now spanned more than 10 generations. In 1911, his descendant, O.J. Thrall, helped develop the method for growing tobacco under the cloth – what we know as Connecticut Shade – to produce fine, smooth wrapper leaves. We proudly wrap Brick House Double Connecticut with Connecticut Shade grown by the Thrall family, the authentic pioneers of Connecticut Shade.

The binder in Brick House Double Connecticut is Connecticut Broadleaf – the most famous premium cigar tobacco grown in Connecticut. Our Broadleaf binders have an equally impressive pedigree. John Foster’s ancestors began farming in Northwestern Connecticut in 1790. More than two centuries later, they are still cultivating the same land. John and his family grow Brick House Double Connecticut’s Broadleaf binder.

The point here is that Brick House Double Connecticut contains two of the finest cigar tobaccos in the world. Unlike some other cigars that save money by using so-called “Connecticut” tobaccos that actually are grown in other countries, Brick House Double Connecticut features real, genuine Connecticut Shade and Broadleaf, grown by two long-established American families who have demonstrated a commitment to quality for hundreds of years.

We pair these two outstanding Connecticut tobaccos with a complex and flavorful blend of Nicaraguan filler tobaccos. In contrast to the “Old World” tobaccos grown in Connecticut for centuries, farmers first started planting cigar tobacco in Nicaragua after the Cuban Revolution in the 1960s. This newness can be seen in the bright, bold flavors that make Nicaraguan tobaccos world famous.

For Brick House Double Connecticut, we selected a blend of long filler tobaccos grown in three different valleys in northern Nicaragua by three of the finest tobacco-growing family companies: Aganorsa, Oliva, and Perez. We chose this unique blend because these filler leaves compliment each other to create a vibrant bouquet of flavors. To enhance the cigar’s construction, we wrap the filler with a secondary binder from Nicaragua. Unlike others, we age our filler tobaccos, which enhances the taste of the leaves but removes any harshness.

The Construction of the Cigar

My grandfather, Stanford J. Newman, believed that every cigar had to be perfect because if a consumer smoked a flawed one, he may never try that cigar again. Although it is very difficult to make a handmade product like Brick House Double Connecticut perfect every time, perfection is our obsession.

As our J.C. Newman PENSA cigar factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, we have a very rigorous quality control process to ensure that each cigar meets my grandfather’s very high standards:

First, an immediate supervisor in our rolling room physically inspects every Brick House cigar before itis allowed to leave the cigarmaker’s table.

Next, Brick House cigars move to our inspection room where our trained inspectors closely examine each cigar, one by one, again before allowing them to enter our aging rooms.

Last, after completing the aging process, a quality control inspector in our packing department re-inspects every Brick House a final time and sorts them by color to ensure a uniform presentation in each box.

Handcrafting cigars is a slow and labor-intensive process. We do not take any shortcuts and strive for perfection. The end result is that Brick House Double Connecticut is an outstanding cigar.

An Amazing Stick at a Competitive Price

There are countless cigar brands from Nicaragua.

The truth is that our Brick House cigars are of the same quality and caliber as the average $10 Nicaraguan cigar. We just happen to sell our Brick House cigars for a lot less so they retail for around $6 instead of $10.

How do we do it? It is pretty simple:

First, we own our own factory. Brick House cigars are rolled in our J.C. Newman PENSA factory in Esteli. This means that there is no factory owner, importer, distributor, or other middlemen who have to be paid and make a profit.

Second, J.C. Newman PENSA is the second largest cigar factory in Nicaragua. It is very clean, efficient, and well run. Our economies of scale allow us to have lower operating costs than the many smaller Nicaraguan factories.

Third, we are an old, long-established family company. Because we have been handcrafting cigars for four generations and 123 years, we have lower profit margins than most of our competitors.

Together, this allows us to sell Brick House for a fraction of the cost of its Nicaraguan peers, making Brick House an outstanding value for your customers.

From the highest quality tobaccos to its superior construction to its affordable price, it is no secret why Brick House Double Connecticut is our family’s hottest-selling new cigar brand in 100 years. If you are not featuring Brick House Double Connecticut in your humidor, you are missing out on one of the finest and most successful new cigars in the world.

The American Cigar

The American Cigar

Not only is The American hand rolled in the United States with American heirloom tobaccos, but all of the materials used to make and package The American come from the United States as well.

Handcrafted Accessories

Handcrafted Accessories

We all know that premium cigars are entirely handcrafted: A skilled artisan takes naturally fermented and aged tobacco leaves and rolls them into beautiful, luxurious premium cigars. Hand cigar making is an old-world tradition that has not changed. Today, we hand roll our cigars just like my great-grandfather did a century ago.

Premium cigars, however, are not our only handcrafted product. All of our Diamond Crown and Craftsman’s Bench humidors and cigar accessories are also handmade as well. Each one is constructed individually, one at a time, by hand, with the same care and dedication as a premium, handmade cigar.

My uncle, Bobby Newman, and I recently visited the factories that hand craft our Diamond Crown and Craftsman’s Bench humidors and cigar accessories. As a four-generation, family business, we are personally invested in our products and are regularly present in all of our factories to ensure that our products consistently meet our family’s high standards of quality.

Diamond Crown Humidors

From start to finish, each Diamond Crown luxury humidor is handcrafted. The process is elegantly simple:

  1. First, craftsmen assemble natural wood to form a six-sided box. There is no lid yet – the humidor is simply a box that is fully enclosed on all six sides.
  2. After passing the first of four quality control inspections, the humidor receives its first coat of varnish. It is then left to rest and dry for 24 hours. This process is repeated, again and again, 14 times. In total, it takes two weeks just to apply the gorgeous and luxurious high gloss finish to a single humidor.
  3. After the second inspector carefully inspects the finish, a craftsman carefully cuts the lid is into the humidor, installs top quality brass hardware, and lines the humidor with genuine Spanish cedar.
  4. The third inspector checks the alignment of each lid and each humidor’s seal before a craftsman carefully cleans and hand polishes its exterior. He then stamps the Diamond Crown logo on the humidor.
  5. Lastly, the humidor is wrapped in a felt bag for protection and placed in a luxurious presentation box before the fourth inspector examines the package one final time and allows it to leave the factory.

Other companies make humidor lids and bottoms separately in an assembly-line fashion in order to save money. We do not do this. Instead, we fully finish a six-sided box before cutting the lid in order to ensure that the wood grains of the top and bottom of each humidor match and that each humidor’s seal is perfect. Working slowly and meticulously, it takes nearly a month to make a Diamond Crown humidor. Because of the natural variations in wood grains, no two Diamond Crown humidors are the same.

Diamond Crown Leather

Our Diamond Crown luxury leather cigar cases are handcrafted by master artisans on the northern coast of Spain near the French border. These craftsmen are continuing a centuries-old tradition of hand-making high-quality leather goods.

The process starts with calfskins that are hand-selected for our Diamond Crown leather cigar cases. We use hides from young cows because they are softer and more supple. They are also lighter while still very durable.

We naturally tan the leather using vegetable dyes. This is an organic, environmentally friendly process that dates back to 6000 BCE. Artisans use bark and other vegetable tannins to naturally color the leather. Vegetable tanning highlights the natural grains of the leather and allows it to develop a natural patina over time.

A craftsman next cuts the necessary pieces for each cigar case from the same hide in a way that accentuates the natural grain of the leather. All of the pieces for each case are cut from the same hide to ensure that everything matches. Using old-world tools, the craftsman then hand assembles the cigar case and adds a soft lining.

Once assembled, the case is soaked in water so that it becomes pliable. Then, the craftsman uses molds from ash wood and hand tools to form each case into the proper shape to protect handmade cigars. This is a very slow and complex process, requiring tremendous skill and experience.

After each case is dried, it is finally hand polished and finished to give it a bright shine before being carefully inspected and placed in felt bags and a luxurious gift box. This commitment to quality and old-world tradition is why there are no finer leather cigar cases on the market than our Diamond Crown.

Craftsman’s Bench Accessories

Similarly, each of our Craftsman’s Bench cigar accessories is handcrafted. Our all natural wood humidors are built by hand, piece by piece. Our cigar cases are made from genuine leather and are cut and assembled by hand. Even with our cigar cutters, each blade is hand polished and then hand assembled, and inspected by hand before being branded with our logo. The main difference with our Craftsman’s Bench humidors and cigar accessories is that we use value-priced components and employ economies of scale to deliver more affordable products than our Diamond Crown luxury humidors and cigar accessories.

The American Cigar

The American Cigar

Not only is The American hand rolled in the United States with American heirloom tobaccos, but all of the materials used to make and package The American come from the United States as well.

What Makes Quorum Different from Other Bundle Cigars

What Makes Quorum Different from Other Bundle Cigars

Our J.C. Newman PENSA cigar factory in Estelí, Nicaragua is a beautiful, large, sprawling complex on a hill along the western edge of town. As the second largest cigar factory Nicaragua, we roll 100,000 cigars by hand there each day. J.C. Newman PENSA is large, clean, and efficient. I love visiting our factory and working alongside our wonderful and dedicated team.

My grandfather, Stanford J. Newman, taught me that “the good leaves take care of themselves.” What he meant was that it is very important to check on the quality of our tobacco and cigars to make sure that there are no “bad leaves.”

When I arrive at J.C. Newman PENSA, I think of my grandfather’s words and head to two places first: our tobacco warehouse and cigar inspection room. Because you cannot make quality cigars without quality tobacco, I am obsessed with checking on our tobacco inventory. I want to see the bales aging in our warehouse, and I want to know if our supervisor, Danilo Romero, has any concerns.

After seeing our premium cigar tobaccos, I then visit our inspection room. I want to see the cigars that our quality control inspectors are examining – not only the ones that have passed inspection, but also the cigars that have failed inspection. I talk with our inspectors about what they are looking for and any trends they are seeing. Spending time here is very important to me because I want to make sure that our very high quality control standards have not wavered.

As a handcrafted, natural product, we all know that cigars are not always perfect. Many of our competitors sell their cigar rejects in bundles. Those bundled cigars have failed inspection. Quorum is very different. Our Quorum cigar bundles only contain cigars that have passed our rigorous, four-step quality control process. Even a small cosmetic flaw that is barely noticeable will cause a Quorum to be rejected. While many of our competitors’ bundles are rejects, we want our Quorum cigars to be perfect.

The reason why Quorum is the top-selling cigar from Nicaragua is simple: its high quality and low price make it the best value of any cigar on the market.

Quorum’s Four-Step Quality Control Process

My great-grandfather preached that every cigar had to be perfect – no matter what its price. If a customer is paying for a cigar, he believed,

it needed to be flawless. We apply this mantra to Quorum by employing a rigorous, four-step, quality control process at J.C. Newman PENSA:

  1. First, we check Quorum bunches in a Drawmaster, which measures the draw using a magnehelic gauge. Any bunch that is exceeds 50% resistance is rejected.
  2. Second, an immediate supervisor in our rolling room physically inspects every Quroum cigar before he allows it to leave the cigar maker’s table.
  3. Next, Quorum cigars move to our inspection room where our dozen trained inspectors closely examine each cigar, one by one, again.
  4. Lastly, after completing the aging process, a final quality control inspector in our packing department inspects every Quorum again and sorts them by color to ensure a uniform presentation in each bundle.

At any point during this process, if an inspector discovers anything from a small tear in the wrapper, to a cap that is slightly off center, to a soft foot, the cigar is immediately rejected. Period. Throughout J.C. Newman PENSA, we track all cigars using barcodes and scanners, enabling us to hold the rollers, bunchers, and supervisors accountable for every deficient cigar. When you sell a Quorum cigar, we want you to have complete confidence that the cigar will be perfect – every time.

Why Show Off Our Quorum Rejects?

The featured image in this post shows 4 Quorum cigars, all of which failed inspection. The best way to sell a product is to talk about all of the things that make it wonderful and attractive. I want you and your customers to buy more Quorum cigars. So why I am showing you our Quorum rejects?

The reason is simple: because you will never see these bad cigars in your store. Our rigorous, four-step quality control process prevents them from reaching shelves. I am telling about our rejects because I want you to have full confidence in Quorum. As a 124-year old, four-generation family business, my family and I personally stand behind all of our products. We are obsessed with the quality of our Quorum cigars so that you and your customers never have to worry about them.

The American Cigar

The American Cigar

Not only is The American hand rolled in the United States with American heirloom tobaccos, but all of the materials used to make and package The American come from the United States as well.