Drew Newman, fourth-generation owner and general counsel at J.C. Newman Cigar Company, personally overviewed the company’s latest offerings with Cigar Dojo at IPCPR 2019.
Front and center was the highly anticipated The American cigar, which is said to be the first-ever truly all-American brand. The cigars not only use all-American tobaccos, but the boxes are built using American-grown wood, assembled in the USA, with American hinges, American-printed bands and artwork, American-made cigar molds, and cigar-rolling at the company’s own El Reloj factory in Tampa’s Ybor City National Historic Landmark District.
What wasn’t expected was a brand dubbed Yagua. These peculiar cigars arrive with intentionally imperfect shapes—some may be hexagonally pressed, others may be octagonally pressed, etc. This is due to the lack of molds, as the cigars are wrapped in palm leaves and strung tight, meaning no two cigars should arrive identical in appearance. The technique dates back to Cuban tobacco farms, where the style was employed by the farmers, who lacked the proper tools that the city-based factories used for the more uniform-looking cigars we know today.