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J.C. Newman – PCA 2023

July 24, 2023 By Matthew Tabacco

 

 

J.C. Newman isn’t too hard to find, just look for the giant cardboard replica of their factory that they began using in 2021 almost always situated next to Arturo Fuente. The booth itself is made from over 2,000 pieces of recycled cardboard. It’s always refreshing and impressive to see the scaled model of El Reloj, and in my mind one of the best booths at the show every year. Last year, J.C. Newman brought their in-house historian to the trade show to engage with retailers and educate them further.

We caught up with Sydney from the marketing team and Drew Newman at the show who showed us some of the exciting stuff that the company is debuting at the show. First and foremost, on a fun note, they have their own LEGO set of the El Reloj factory now available. Each set includes 201 authentic LEGO bricks which build the west façade and famous clocktower of J.C. Newman’s iconic El Reloj cigar factory in Tampa, Florida.  The backside reveals the factory’s 113-year-old clock movement on the first floor and bales of tobacco in the basement.

 

El Reloj LEGO set

 

“When I was a little kid, I spent lots of time in our historic El Reloj cigar factory in Tampa, including countless hours on the floor of my dad’s office playing with LEGOs,” said fourth-generation owner Drew Newman. “I loved LEGOs, and I love our iconic building. I am very excited to bring both of these loves together with our new El Reloj LEGO set.”

The suggested retail price of the El Reloj LEGO set is $100. Sets are available in the J.C. Newman Factory Store and on J.C. Newman’s website at the end of July.

The next thing we saw that got me wide-eyed and excited was a humidor that was being showcased and only a small production of which will be made. The American All-Star humidor was debuting for all to see. It is made using the actual court floor used at the Staples Center in Los Angeles from the 2011 NBA All-Star Game. J.C. Newman had acquired an 8′ x 8′ section of the floor and decided to make it into humidors. There will be a total of 40 humidors made. While we weren’t given a price, it is believed to be somewhere around $3,000 and is expected to hit retailers in November.

 

The American All-Star humidor

 

J.C. Newman also paid homage to artist LeRoy Neiman who was an avid cigar smoker. They were showcasing the LeRoy Neiman 2023 Collector’s Edition that celebrates LeRoy’s legacy but also helps raise money for Arts Education for the public schools of Tampa, Florida. The cigar will come in boxes of twenty cigars, and only 500 boxes were made. Each box and cigar band with feature a lithograph of LeRoy’s 1978 painting called the Irish-American Bar. It is made at the El Reloj factory in Tampa in the third floor rolling room where The American and Angel Cuesta are also made. It uses Ecuador Habano wrapper over a Florida Sun Grown binder and fillers from the US and Nicaragua. This is a project that Drew Newman has been working on with the LeRoy Neiman Foundation that he expects to start shipping in November.

 

LeRoy Neiman 2023 Collector’s Edition

 

We also saw the second iteration of the collaboration between J.C. Newman and Brizard & Co. for a limited-edition leather cigar case. This case also comes with three of The American robusto cigars inside with three years of age and uses real Bison leather from Ted Turner’s Bison Exchange. There will be 350 numbered cases and they each carry an MSRP of $350. These should be available this month.

The American Cigar Case

In addition, we also saw that The American also got a slight packaging upgrade and will soon feature a secondary band. Drew told us that the technology has been upgraded at the printer where The American bands are printed allowing for better quality results.

Check out our interview with Drew Newman below.


Matt Tabacco

Born and raised in New England, Matthew Tabacco began smoking cigars and living up to his unique namesake in 2017. What began as just a social indulgence became a world of everything premium cigars- learning from some of the biggest and best in the business. From casual smoking to lighting up on the hit podcast The Smokin Tabacco Show, Matthew can usually be found in some of the largest smoke shops in the Northeast enjoying a cigar, talking business, or preparing for a show.

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