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PCA 2023 Day 1 Recap

We have wrapped up Day 1 of the PCA Trade Show. Technically not the Trade Show as that all begins tomorrow, but today was full of seminars and a fantastic opening party. As always, it is amazing to get to see everyone again for the annual "family reunion". There was quite a bit going on for Day 1 so we will jump right in!

Upon checking in for our badges we were given a pretty spectacular welcome bag with some cigars from Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust, Aganorsa Leaf, Kristoff, Compadres Cigars, Martinez Cigars, and Black Works Studio. Also in the welcome bag was a PCA Exclusive Les Fines Lames Punch Bracelet as well as a few other goodies. Now that we were checked in, it's time to check out the seminars.

First up was the world premier of the new docuseries Hand-Rolled: JC Newman. The Hand-Rolled movie came out a few years ago and now the team has started a new docuseries focusing on different brands, families, and stories in the cigar industry. The first episode premiered all about the Newman family and the rich history of JC Newman. As soon as these come out, make sure to watch as it was extremely well produced with a ton of great information and stories about the family.

Next we got the opportunity to check out the blending seminar of Toscano Cigars. For those that do not know, Toscano cigars have only a Wrapper and Filler with zero binder. We got to hear about that process while enjoying a Toscano Master Aged Serie 1. We also were able to see one of their rollers making some Toscano cigars on site.

Now it was time for another blending seminar, this time as a panel. Michael Herklots (Ferio Tego) moderated this discussion with Nestor Plasencia (Plasencia Cigars), Christian Eiroa (CLE, Asylum), and filling in for Ernesto Perez Carrillo was Manuel Quesada (Quesada Cigars). This was an absolute master class with some of the best blenders in the business. One quote that stuck was from Christian Eiroa when he said "You need to be consistently good or consistently bad. But either way, consumers need to trust your product." The thought here was that consistency is just as important as the blend itself. If you make one great cigar but they are never consistent, consumers will not buy that product.

After the seminars was the Annual PCA Meeting where they discussed all the wins on the legislative side over the last year, which there was a ton. From stopping flavor bans and tax increases to getting some states to allow cigar bars once again, this was a great year for the PCA. Then we rolled in to a fun Keynote Speaker with Oz Pearlman who is a world-class mentalist and completely blew everyone's minds.

We wrapped up the day with the opening night party where we got to connect with old friends and make some new ones. We will wrap this up with Jason and Rebecca's highlight of the day!

Jason's Highlight: The Hand-Rolled docuseries was an absolute highlight for me. The production value and information contained in the episode we saw was Hollywood quality and definitely not something you would see someone throw together on YouTube. Consumers will absolutely love this new venture from the Hand-Rolled team!

Rebecca's Highlight: For me it was the blending seminar hosted by Michael Herklots. Besides being a big fan of Michael, this was extremely informative and really showed the amount of work these cigar makers do day in and day out.

We will be back with the Day 2 Recap tomorrow!

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