PCA 2021 Through The Lens of A First Timer

Nate Simonds
Nate Simonds PCA Impressions

A whirlwind weekend in Vegas has come to a close. Coming from the trade show industry, I have been to Vegas many times and this was by far the busiest I have ever seen it. The airports, restaurants and hotels were all packed to the brim.

After a bit of a bumpy start (we were delayed almost 10 hours on our way out due to an earthquake and the heat in Vegas) it was fantastic to meet and do business face-to-face again. We had exciting discussions about how to move the cigar industry forward, new products coming, and upcoming events.

A Few Major Takeaways: 

There was a lot of talk about how small the booths were this year. Because this was my first year I cannot compare it to previous years. I can add some perspective coming from a trade show background. Bigger isn’t alway better. I think there could have been some value in more thoughtful design but the size of the booths didn’t bother me. I believe some companies enjoyed the cost savings of a smaller footprint, while others scaled back as to not look gaudy coming out of a challenging year. I was impressed with the Padron, J.C Newman, and Warped booths. While the sizing of these booths were varied, there was an attention to detail that I appreciated.

While there might not have been as many deals this year (or cigars ready for immediate shipping) there were several new cigars that caught my attention. While most of these releases are slated for the fall, some will be here sooner. I am likely biased, but upcoming releases from Eiroa, ADVentura, Caldwell, Rocky Patel, Room101, Tatujae, Padron, and Warped have me excited.

A Few Additional Random Thoughts: 

Matt Booth and Henderson Ventura seemed to be getting a lot of well deserved attention. 

Davidoff, General, Altadas and Drew Estate did not exhibit this year.

Keeping up with Brandon in Vegas was no small task. Despite others doubts (and my own) I went toe to toe with Brandon, he actually called it a night before me on the last night. I have to say, Brandon is connected in the nightlife scene in Vegas. While we accomplished a lot of work on this trip, we also had plenty of fun.

While I only smoked one, the upcoming Renegade Anniversary XI cigar was absolutely fantastic. I smoked it on a fresh pallet and from the first puff it wowed me. This is no small praise: I liked it better then the VIII. If it can taste that good in Vegas, I can only imagine how good it will be here in Dallas.

Rocky Patel and Perdomo seemed to have the most ready to ship inventory in the industry.

New cigars are difficult to evaluate on the trade show floor (humidity mostly to blame).

The industry is full of really kind people - who are super passionate about what they do. As a first timer, I felt very welcomed.

It was very clear that despite great sales right now, the focus is still on the future.

Below are a few of the new notable limited / new releases. 

Tatuaje Advent Calendar

Production: 5,000 Samplers of 24 Cigars

Release Date: Fall 2021

Tatuaje Monster Mash Sampler

Production: 13,000 Samplers of 14 Cigars

Release Date: Fall 2021

Padrón Family Reserve No. 95 Natural

Production: Not Disclosed 

Release Date: Late 2021

ADVentura Queens Pearls Lancero 

Production: 10,000 Cigars 

Release Date: Late 2021

CLE Signature THT-EKE PCA Exclusive

Production: PCA Attendees Release 

Release Date: Summer 2021

Rocky Patel Sixty 

Production: PCA Attendees Release 

Release Date: Summer 2021

Room101 12th Anniversary

Production: 1,001 Boxes of 20

Release Date: Fall 2021

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