AFGL: Viaje, Snoop & Chuck

January 22, 2012 · Posted in AFGL, Cigar Industry, Entertainment 

A Few Good Links for this week includes a cigar company that’s transitioning into limited edition cigars only, a rapper (Or is he a hip hop artist? I’m too white to know for sure.) and the end of a favorite TV show of mine.

1. Viaje has announced that they’re only going to do limited editions of their cigars from this point on. From Cigar Aficionado: “Viaje recently announced that, from this point on, the company will only be producing small-batch production runs. Lines like the Oro and Platino that were previously regular-production brands will now be made in limited quantities only.” Honestly, I think this is a dangerous move for the company. If you don’t have regular production lines then you aren’t going to have regular customers.

Take Tatuaje as an example. They have a number of production lines that people like and smoke regularly, thus keeping the brand on their customers’ minds. With this entrenched customer base they have the ability to do a lot of limited edition cigars and, since there are already a good number of people smoking their production line cigars, there are more people who will take a chance on a limited edition cigar that costs more than twice as much as a decent premium cigar.

On the other hand, producing a handful of limited edition cigar brands is an exciting proposition. For starters, Viaje will have more control over the taste of their cigars. Instead of having to worry about producing a ton of cigars they can use what little leaf is available to make exactly what they want. Another plus about this approach is that the fact that every cigar is a “limited edition” may end up creating more demand than otherwise would be there just because of the customers’ perceived quality of these cigars. “Well, it’s a limited edition cigar so that means it’s rare and that must mean that it is better than this tawdry regular production cigar that I was going to smoke so I’m going to buy the Viaje,” or something like that line of reasoning may go on in a number of BOTL’s heads when buying their cigars.

Anyways, it’s an interesting gambit and I hope it works out for them.

2. Snoop Dogg (I remember when I was younger, probably over a decade ago, my local sports guy, Fred Roggin, tried to say Snoop’s name and it came out “Snoopy Dog Doggy.” Just a funny anecdote, that’s all.) has decided to take the cigar industry by storm! He’s created a cigar brand (read this if you want to waste a minute of your time) that will sell for about $0.50 a cigar… and he claims they’ll taste great. Sure.

Seriously, I just don’t get it. There have to be hordes of liquor companies, clothing companies, alternative lifestyle concerns and others clamoring to get him to affix his name onto their product; so why cheap cigars? Cheap flavored cigars at that. Well, I guess if Congress or the socialists in CA decide to ban flavored cigars the fact that Snoop will no longer be the new dogg in the cigar industry would be a slight silver lining.

3. Chuck, which I’ll admit isn’t an amazing show, is a show that I love to watch. It’s hokey and has some awfully dumb story lines but it also has this irresistible quality to it that isn’t hard to explain. Lots of action, a couple of pretty girls, bad guys that have to be defeated (and always are) and the geeky, down-on-his-luck lead character, Chuck, has blossomed into the hero with the girl of his dreams. I guess the main reason I like this show so much is because it is escapism at its nerdy best. I usually gravitate to shows that have a darkness about them (Dexter, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Nip/Tuck, Deadwood, Hell on Wheels and, holy crap, I watch too much television) but Chuck has carved out a position on my personal favorite TV show list of all time. I’ll miss it when it’s gone in a week.

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