Much like attending a concert in the year 2022, last year’s PCA seemed like only a ‘partial’ return to form.

Sure, there was a “vibe” to the show, but it still wasn’t exactly like it had been in the years leading up to Covid, with reduced numbers of attendees, as well as a few prominent exhibitors that were also MIA.

If 2022 was a partial return to form, then PCA 2023 was much more like old times again.

The Saturday and Sunday in particular were quite bustling, with large clouds of trademark smoke wafting at every turn. Safe within the air conditioned luxury of the Venetian Conference and Trade Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, thousands of attendees happily puffed away on cigars as mid-July Vegas temperature soared up to a scorching 45 degrees celsius outside (113 degrees fahrenheit).

Of course, evening revelers knew to get themselves to the Palazzo’s Bar Luca to continue smoking cigars on the casino floor. Each and every night of the show the bar is a hotbed for post-expo activity.

If you know, then you know: Palazzo’s Bar Luca

Over the course of the show – which spanned from Thursday July 7th to Tuesday 12th 2023 – we paid the following exhibitors a visit to see what was on display, as well as what’s new in their world of premium cigars.

Oliva Cigar Co.

When you look at the Oliva core lineup, there are no weak spots. Through the decorated Serie V is the one that really put the company on the map, the 95-rated Serie G and the 92-rated Serie O both consistently deliver their own variation of that trademark Oliva taste that is satisfying cigar lovers the world over.

What’s New

On Friday at 1 pm, Fredrick Vandermarliere (parent company J. Cortès CEO) presented an unveiling of an Elie Bleu collaboration featuring a collectible humidor that contained 123 Serie V cigars, comprised of 41 Serie V Melanio Figurados, 41 Serie V Torpedos, and 41 Serie V Maduro Double Robustos. The elegant humidor is designed to look like the exterior of the Oliva Tabolisa cigar factory in Nicaragua.

Also new and very noteworthy (for those with pockets that run deep enough) is the Oliva Roaring Twenties Super Limited Edition.

Featuring 10 Double Perfecto cigars that sell for a whopping $300 each, they come wrapped in foil within a box designed by Daniel Marshall. The good news is that all proceeds are being donated to the company’s Helping Hands Foundation, which helps provide schooling to Nicaraguan children.

Arturo Fuente

Though the premium cigar company has had multiple relocations and has experienced it’s fair share of tragedies for over the past 100+ years, Tabacalera A. Fuente has essentially been making cigars since 1912, when Arturo Fuente – a Cuban immigrant to the US – established his company in West Tampa, Florida.

Today the critically-acclaimed company is headed by Arturo’s grandson Carlos Fuente Jr. (aka ‘Carlito’),  is situated in the Dominican Republic (and soon to be in Nicaragua), and is unquestionably one of the most awarded and most highly sought after brand of cigars the world over.

There’s always a magical quality to the large, well decorated structure and well-adorned display cases that make up the Arturo Fuente booth. It is typically peppered with big industry faces that are linked to the brand, and Carlito seems to magically appear and disappear throughout the course of the day. Whenever he’s around there is an undeniable buzz in the air, as he likes to take time to chat and flash his trademark mustachioed smile for pictures with adoring fans.

What’s New

The Fuente Don Carlos Eye of the Bull was a PCA exclusive release, and caused quite a stir. Though the public was made aware of it and the limited Fuente-Padron ‘Legends’ collaboration last year, it was at this show that it was announced that both would become more readily accessible to the public.

My Father Cigar Co.

Known for making “uncompromisingly robust cigars”, cigarmaker Jose ‘Pepin’ Garcia was recently inducted into the Cigar Aficionado Hall of Fame in 2022. Alongside his son Jaime, the two are responsible for making an acclaimed line of cigars that typically utilize the tobaccos which are grown on their farm in Esteli, Nicaragua.

When stepping into the booth, it quickly becomes apparent that it’s a ‘family affair’ when it comes to all things My Father, as the entire Garcia family are frequently found seated together on the booth’s white couches whilst enjoying their award-winning cigars.

Don Pepin and Jaime are routinely approached for pictures and conversation, but with very limited English, one quickly realizes that conversation with Don Pepin won’t run very deep. Thankfully, one of the many employees at the booth often quickly appear to bridge the language gap for adoring fans.

What’s New

2023 was a milestone year for the Garcias, as they released the Don Pepin Garcia 20th Anniversary to commemorate 20 years for the brand, as well as the company.

Sunday evening, we were treated to a special celebratory dinner and cigars at Lavo in the Palazzo Hotel to commemorate this major milestone, as well as 20 years for Pete Johnson’s Tatuaje brand.

Pete is married to Pepin’s daughter Janny – the first Garcia to come to America.

For the occasion, Tatuaje and My Father each released a La Union cigar for each other, almost like the Padrons and Fuentes did. It features 20 limited edition cigars within a gorgeous black humidor, complete with limited edition cutter.

E.P. Carrillo

Today, world renown Master Blender Ernesto Perez-Carrillo is responsible for creating some of the world’s highest rated cigars, including Cigar Aficionado magazine’s highest ever awarded cigar; the Pledge Prequel. Among his key releases are La Historia, Encore and The INCH.

The E.P. Carrillo booth appeared to feature a red, black and gold color scheme which is in line with their traditional logo and branding. Though Ernesto appeared to be unavailable, his daughter Lisette and son Ernie were typically present to greet visitors.

What’s New

The EPC Short Run 2023 and the revamped INCH Nicaragua 70 were prominently displayed throughout the booth. Available in 3 sizes, the 2023 Short Run features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and fillers from Nicaragua and Honduras.

Ernesto Perez-Carrillo is known as somewhat of a pioneer when it comes to large ring gauge cigars. The INCH Nicaragua 70 is 7 inches in length with a 70 ring gauge and is a ‘Nica puro’ cigar.


Based out of Santiago, Dominican Republic, Quesada is responsible for not only the Quesada line, but also the popular Casa Magna series of cigars.

Quesada patriarch Manolo and daughter Raquel were often available at the booth. The Quesada family and team are always incredibly friendly and full of love. The Casa Magna Colorado Robusto was Cigar Aficionado Cigar of the Year in 2008.

What’s New

Debuting at the Quesada booth was the Casa Magna XV (15), released to celebrate 15 years of Casa Magna. It is a 6 x 54 toro with an Ecuadorian Habano 2000 wrapper on top of Nicaraguan binder and fillers.

Joya de Nicaragua

Joya de Nicaragua are often referred to as “the most Nicaraguan cigar”. Having been established in the 1960s, they are the oldest cigar company in the country.

The Joya booth at PCA was perpetually busy and very smokey, largely because it was a shared space with Drew Estate and Swisher International.

Juan Ignacio Martinez (son to Dr. Alejandro Martinez Cuenca – aka, “the brand’s savior” following the period of Nicaraguan political upheaval) was typically present to take care of business and offer bro hugs to industry friends.

What’s New

Joya entire line was on display in a unique layout that profiled all the boxes as well as individual cigars from each line. the newest Joya release was the Cinco de Cinco, which was created to honor the company’s 55th (Cinco de Cinco) Anniversary.

Within a Mexican San Andrés wrapper, and Nicaraguan binder and fillers, it contains “extremely aged tobaccos” as the company puts it.


Ashton were established in Philadelphia, PA in the year 1985 by Robert Levin, and are today operated by Levin alongside his two children, Sathya and Meera. Initially made by Henrik Kelner (of Davidoff fame), today they are made by Carlos Fuente Jr. in the Dominican Republic.

Ashton are also responsible for the popular La Aroma de Cuba.

The Ashton booth has a feel of luxury to it that makes you feel as if you are window shopping at a high end department store.

Though ever so slightly different than it was in 2022, the Ashton booth has a highly colorful and alluring display of Ashton, la Aroma de Cuba and San Cristobal cigars and accessories. Though founder Robert Levin wasn’t at the event this year, Sathya, Meera and Brand Ambassador Andy Green could be easily found.

What’s New

It’s often not public knowledge that La Aroma de Cuba is a brand that exists under the Ashton umbrella. It is also often not public knowledge that it is made for Ashton by the Garcia family (of My Father fame).

New for 2023 for Ashton is the la Aroma de Cuba Connecticut. Available in seven sizes, the cigar features the same binder and filler that can be found in other LADC offerings, but with an attractive Connecticut broadleaf wrapper.

La Galera

La Galera cigars are made at the Tabacalera Palma factory and are the brainchild of revered Dominican Cigarmaker Jose “Jochy” Blanco.

Since Jochy assumed the role of CEO, the company has developed numerous private labels for some of the leading cigar companies in the world, and has created its critically-acclaimed, flagship brand, La Galera.

the La Galera booth was undoubtedly intimate, as it was relatively small. It is rumored that next year their booth will see a much needed bump in terms of size.

What’s New

New for PCA 2023 was the La Galera Toro Sampler Pack, which contains 10 cigars comprised of the Connecticut, Habano, Maduro, Imperial Jade, Anemoi and the 1936 Box Press. The each core line cigar (Conn/Hab/Mad/1936) have 2 cigars included.

Also new for La Galera is new branding of the Connecticut series, which now have their cigar bands looking more similar to the 1936 Box Press, but with a white instead of a black theme.

La Aurora

Within the Dominican Republic, there are many cigar factories, but none are as old as La Aurora which was established in 1903.

The La Aurora pavilion was a colossal structure. In our opinion, it was the most attractive booth in the entire show. In typical Dominican manner, it was a busy booth full of smiling people who were often seen hugging each other. in other words, there was a lot of love at la Aurora. There was also coffee and la Aurora’s Anniversario rum.

What’s New

When people think of a premium Dominican puro cigar (all-Dominican tobaccos), they often think of the Opus X. Little do they know that in their 120th Anniversary cigar, La Aurora have released a Dominican puro cigar that is extremely flavorful and garnering solid attention.

At the La Aurora booth, CEO Guillermo Leon was often on hand, but the real delight (for particularly North American visitors) was seeing legendary NBA hall of famer Karl Malone, who has his own cigar release through La Aurora, and is one of many retired athletes who has become known for his love of cigars and the cigar lifestyle.

Lucky me! I was able to snap a picture and enjoy a La Aurora cigar with the Mailman himself.