J.C. Newman Cigar Co., a renowned Tampa-based cigar manufacturer, is poised to release an exclusive cigar collection, the LeRoy Neiman 2023 Collectors’ Edition, in tribute to the legendary American painter LeRoy Neiman. This line is not only a nod to Neiman’s artistic legacy but also serves a charitable purpose, with proceeds earmarked to foster art education.
LeRoy Neiman, who lived from 1921 to 2012, achieved fame for his vibrant, expressionist depictions of athletes and entertainers, distinctive contributions to Playboy magazine, and easily recognizable handlebar mustache. His frequent on-screen appearances, including cameos in the Rocky movie series, and his penchant for cigars left an indelible mark on popular culture. This blend of artistry and cigar appreciation inspired J.C. Newman to develop a limited-edition cigar series in his honor.
The collection’s showcase piece, the toro-sized LeRoy Neiman 2023 Collectors’ Edition cigar, debuted at the PCA trade show this summer. Each cigar, measuring 6 inches by 52 ring gauge, has been meticulously crafted at the El Reloj factory, an integral part of J.C. Newman’s headquarters in Ybor City, Florida. The cigars have matured over the past few months, promising a refined smoking experience. The blend boasts a “Havana Rosado” wrapper from Ecuador, complemented by a Florida-grown binder courtesy of Jeff Borysiewicz and a rich mix of filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and America. This limited production run consists of only 550 boxes containing 20 cigars.
In a significant move to support the community, J.C. Newman has collaborated with the LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation. This partnership focuses on providing artistic opportunities to at-risk youth. All profits from the sale of these cigars will be donated to enhance arts education in Tampa’s public schools, fostering the next generation of creative minds.
The packaging of the LeRoy Neiman 2023 Collectors’ Edition is a tribute, encapsulating Neiman’s artistic flair. Each box’s interior lid and the band encircling each cigar feature a lithograph of Neiman’s famous “Irish-American Bar” painting, exemplifying his skill in transforming ordinary scenes into vivid expressions of color and detail. This piece reflects Neiman’s favorite New York City bar, where he resided for many years. The box’s bottom interior also showcases a print of Neiman’s paint-splattered studio floor in New York, immersing cigar enthusiasts in the artist’s creative world.
Priced at $20 per cigar or $400 per box, these cigars are more than a luxury product; they are a piece of cultural history. J.C. Newman envisions making this an annual, limited-edition release, with each year’s edition featuring different works of Neiman. Looking ahead to 2024, the company plans a Paris-themed release to align with the Summer Olympic Games in Paris, paying homage to Neiman’s long-standing role as the official painter of the Olympics.
This initiative by J.C. Newman honors a renowned artist and creatively intertwines the worlds of art and cigars, all while contributing to a noble cause. The LeRoy Neiman 2023 Collectors’ Edition is a testament to the enduring connection between artistic expression and the time-honored cigar-making tradition.
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