August 2011 Newsletter

XIKAR News - August  2011

Kurt's Cornerkurtscorner


Dear XIKAR Customers and Friends:   


Innovation Inspires Demand 

XIKAR President: Kurt Van Keppel

Our approach to new product development aligns with our long-standing product philosophy of top-function, beautiful form, ergonomic feel and a fair price.  In today's economy, a development plan is not enough - it must also translate viable products into positive business results through consumer demand. Innovation at XIKAR must have central features of attractiveness, ease of use, a good value and immediate desirability to the marketplace.  Last year, XIKAR R&D and Marketing teams joined to map out a "product strategy plan" well ahead of the production planning cycle.  The output of this initiative enabled XIKAR to launch new and targeted high-demand products into distribution at the 79th annual IPCPR (retail tobacco show).  We had our best show ever, in the history of the company!  "What's new?" is a key question in every tobacco shop, and XIKAR's innovation answers that question with category and industry-leading products!  For more detail and product descriptions, please visit    

ipcpr 1 short ipcpripcpr 2

Social Media 

I remember the days when voice mail, emails and printed materials were the primary instruments of communication (OK, in truth, I remember when my major consumer products company employer got its first fax machine!).  I recall when regular media was a one-way street. We read a newspaper or listened to a report on television, but with no ability to share thoughts on the matter.  Today, social media is a two-way street that gives us the ability to communicate and interact while giving information.  About a year ago, we launched our first Facebook page under XIKAR For Life.  At the same time, we launched XIKAR HC Series Fan Club.  After a lot of learning experiences, XIKAR's Facebook presence is firing on all cylinders.  If you're a friend on Kurt XIKAR or any of our other pages, stay tuned for more development, contests, education, interaction and fun.  I wonder if Mark Zuckerberg smokes cigars?   

  facebook image1  fb 3fan page 



Reviewing my travel schedule, I noticed XIKAR has 26 HC Series Cigar events in the month of August.  Great job and thanks to the sales reps!   I will attend many of these, and I thoroughly enjoy the camaraderie, spending time in the shops smoking a great cigar with friends. I want to acknowledge all retailers who sponsor events. Events today are first rate, especially with entertainment, food, music and occasional drink.  I applaud all retailers who take pride in their businesses and reinvest in our industry's future. Thank you for making XIKAR part of your event calendar.  To view our event calendar, please visit  If you are a retailer and would like to do a XIKAR event, please contact your sales representative.. 

Thank you and enjoy this month's newsletter.   




Kurt Van Keppel

President & Founder





Find me on Facebook Follow me on Twitter


News & Featuresnews  

XIKAR's New HC Series Salomon Cigar Wins Big in Vegas 

At this year's IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas, XIKAR introduced a new Habano Colorado Salomon Cigar.  The official launch of XIKAR's new Salomon will be November 15, 2011.  The 7x58 salomon is Limited Edition and XIKAR will only make 1,000 boxes.  "This unique size and blend has been in the making for over a year, and now we're ready to share the flavor of a great smoke", Jerry Dear, EVP.  Each Limted Edition box will include a personal note from Kurt Van Keppel and Scott Almsberger.     



news2XIKAR's New Gift Pack Catalog  

XIKAR's new Fall Gift Pack Catalog will be available gift pack catalog online at in late August.  The new catalog features eight dynamic gift packs for every occasion and every cigar smoker's budget.  Our latest gift packs include an array of cigar accessories, travel humidors, and your favorite HC Series cigars.  One of the hottest gift packs available is Matt Booth's Room 101 collection.  We combined our most popular accessories into unique gift packs that include among others the Mayan Collection, HC Series, ACID and Room 101.    


Great gift ideas for all occasions.    

  • Mayan X Gift Pack 
  • Matt Booth's Room 101 Gift Pack
  • ACID Gift Pack
  • X8 Gift Pack 
  • 5-HC Series Robusto Gift Pack
  • 5-HC Series Churchill Gift Pack
  • 2-HC Series Churchill Gift Pack
  • HC Series Ashtray & Tabletop Gift Pack 

XIKAR gift packs will be available at local retailers starting November 15th, 2011. 


XIKAR Hits a Jackpot at IPCPR Shownews3       

Last month, XIKAR and hundreds of manufacturers, retailers and associates invaded Las Vegas for the 79th Annual IPCPR Trade Show at the Sands Convention Center.  The folks at IPCPR deserve a big round of applause for organizing and coordinating a fantastic trade show.  
       ipcpr dinner ipcpr kvk short

      K. Enter, S. Davis, J. Allen, J. Luftman & D. Waddell      Kurt and Shorty at IPCPR  

     ipcpr jd1 ipcpr 4

Jerry Dear & Jim Harrison w/Mike Peacock,       Scott & Mike Stous w/customers Town & Country 



XIKAR Uxikaru

How to Fill and Bleed Your Butane Lighter

Kurt Van Keppel demonstrates the proper procedures for filling and bleeding your butane lighter in a new You Tube instructional videoKurt explains how to properly care for your XIKAR lighter and the steps you should follow for the best results.  Click on the image below.                                            

To see more educational videos, visit and click on XIKAR Blog. 

How to Fill and Bleed Your Butane Lighter 

How to Fill and Bleed Your Butane Lighter



Consumer & Retailer 

Smoke'em and Strum'em to Havana Music  smokem

When we first saw these pictures, we immediately thought photoshop guru.  After some quick investigative work and careful research, we determined the guitar artist was for real!  If we're not mistaken, Jerry or Kurt are lining up for ukelele lessons.  We will share the artists name and information later in the newsletter.  Please read on... 

box guitar guitar 2  guitar 3


XIKAR Friends and Fans Help Launch Fall Catalog and Websitewebsite

In June & July, XIKAR friends, fans and customers participated in a reward contest and the task was to help us wordsmith our Fall Catalog and upcoming website.  To create a little buzz around the contest, XIKAR offered an array of accessories for the best edits and feedback.  We would like to give a special thanks to our friends and fans who submitted dubious recommendations and suggestions.  Jeremy Bloom, Jake Payne, Rudy Regehr, Shyam Gadhia, James Miller, John Amann, and George Krichbaum did an exceptional job!  The Fall Catalog looks and feels like a Mona Lisa.  The website is about to launch any day.  Again, big thanks to everyone for their participation and support.




               XIKAR'S Fall Catalog 2011                                      XIKAR's New Home Page  


Read & Reward Contest!!!!! contest

The idea of a Read & Reward Contest came from a recent interview featured in Cigar Press Magazine.  The interview with Kurt and Scott is a must read, and we hope everyone will peruse the article (see below).  Here are the contest guidelines:  Take a photograph of yourself or a friend reading any industry related magazine, publication or better yet... XIKAR August Newsletter.  The best 20 photos will receive a XIKAR cutter, and the two most creative photos will win a new  Stratosphere High Altitude Lighter.  Read it, click it and submit it.   Please send your photo, name, and address to: Be sure to include "Read and Reward Contest" on the subject line.  Thank you and enjoy the rest of the newsletter. 




What's New!       

XIKAR's Cigar Bar Humidificationwhatsnew 

XIKAR's new Cigar Bar is perfect for any travel case or humidor.  The new cigar bar has a steady release of a constant humidity of 70%.  It regulates humidity for up to 50 cigars or more depending on other factors.  Like other XIKAR humidifiers, just add XIKAR PG Solution and place in your travel case or humidor.  Check with your local tobacconist for availability. 

ciga bar 1

XIKAR's Cigar Bar  MSRP $9.99

Room 101 Collectionwhatsnew2                                                                       XIKAR and Matt Booth both possess a flair for luxury and inspired design.  Room 101 is the luxury lifestyle brand for those who demand quality with an edge.  Matt's new cutter collection features four unique designs:  JYA, The FU,  NIO and Bling-Tastic.  Available in-store by mid-August and exclusively from XIKAR.  

                 Room 101 Xi1 Cutters Xi1 Room 101 Cutters

                                    Room 101 Collection SRP $69.99




xinationXIKAR Nation






XIKAR's Hall of Fame Nominees 

XIKAR Hall of Fame icon

XIKAR Hall of Fame Award is designed to recognize an individual or individuals who demonstrate exceptional passion and commitment to XIKAR.  Nominees are selected based on their affiliation with XIKAR plus their support and commitment for the cigar industry.  Nominees must meet XIKAR's eligibility guidelines, and  retailers/consumers can submit their HOF recommendations to XIKAR at   


XIKAR's 3rd Hall of Fame Inductee  

Mr. Jeff M. McDowellxination2 

Congratulations to XIKAR's Hall of Fame inductee, Mr. Jeff McDowell.  Jeff is a resident of Hacienda Heights, CA.  Jeff is a distinguished member of CRA and currently working as a Talent Manager and investing in real estate.  Jeff also worked at Ceniza Cigar Lounge in Pasadena, California while furthering his education.  Jeff was active in starting a cigar club on campus during his college days at Whittier College and is quite the photographer.  Jeff's passion for cigars and XIKAR products would be considered a hobby under normal circumstances, but Jeff has an

JEFF MC 2JEFF MC 1jeff mv d3

aspiration to open his own cigar shop.  Jeff wants to continue to educate customers on the pleasures of cigar smoking.  Today, Jeff is a frequent customer at a beautiful cigar shop in Rancho Cucamonga, CA., David's Gift & Tobacco.  We hope to hear the good news about Jeff's cigar shop in the very near future.  Please extend a warm welcome to our 3rd Hall of Fame inductee... Mr. Jeff M. McDowell.



 jeff mcd 4

                              Kurt Van Keppel, Jeff McDowell and XIKAR friends  


Future HOF Announcements!

New XIKAR Hall of Fame Inductees, Mr. Robbie Morton, Cordova Cigars and Capt. Daniel W. Dwyer, DCAG CVW-8




XIKAR Supports T6 Texan Team in Iraqtroop1troops 6 

The T6 Texan Team is deployed in Iraq training the Iraqi Air Force pilots to fly airplanes built by Hawker Beechcraft in Wichita, KS.  Smoking cigars helps pass the time over here and helps us get our minds off of the fact that we are in Iraq.  I got the box a couple days ago.  Thank you so much for the generous donation.  We will definitely put them to good use... thank you again.   

-Kevin Smira 

 T6 Texan Team  


xination3XIKAR Friend & Hero Completes 1,000 Career Trap 

USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH, At Sea -- Deputy Commander (DCAG), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, completed his 1,000th career trap July 18, landing an F/A-18 Hornet on the flight deck of USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77).


Hello Bob and Kurt,

I hope this finds you both well.  Well myself along with Air Wing Eight and the USS George HW Bush (CVN77) having sailed back in the spring, are now about halfway through with our deployment on station conducting maritime security operations in Southwest Asia supporting our soldiers, marines and sailors on the ground in Afghanistan.

   dan 1  dan 2

It seems like just the other day we were enjoying a cigar at Cigarfest.  What a great time that was!  There is something really cool about enjoying a great cigar on the weather deck above the bridge on an aircraft carrier (we call it on top of the "island", the tower on a carrier).  Please pass to Kurt and the rest of the XIKAR team, that my XIKAR lighter and cutter are always present.  Everyone is always impressed how sharp the cutter is and that they can always count on my lighter (fueled with XIKAR fuel) to burn hot and true.


Our deployment has been going great.  On July 18th, I logged my 1000th Carrier Landing, also called a "trap".  I logged my first trap in 1991, and after 20 years achieved this milestone very few reach.  It was a great day.  Air Wing Eight is unique in that we have 5 versions of the F-18 on board; Hornets F-18A+, F-18C, Super Hornets F-18E, F-18F, and Growler EA-18G.  I'm qualified to fly all 5 versions, something only a handful of aviators are qualified to do, and I flew my last five traps leading up to 1000 in each of the five squadrons.  Below is a link to the news release and attached is a photo of the landing.


I had planned to take a picture of me standing next to my jet with XIKAR written on the bombs I was carrying to support our troops in Afghanistan, but writing messages on ordnance is no longer allowed.  But rest assured, I'm carrying these for you and everyone else back home.  Well I hope your summer is going well, look forward to seeing you at Cigarfest 2012.

All the best,


CAPT Daniel W. Dwyer

Deputy Commander

Carrier Air Wing EIGHT

Deployed USS George HW Bush (CVN-77)

At Sea


"Capt. Daniel Dwyer is a true hero and patriot, and XIKAR will induct Daniel into the XIKAR Hall of Fame in 2011.  It is my honor to know Capt. Daniel W. Dwyer and I look forward to our celebration cigar," Bob Moreno, Director of Marketing.           




xination4XIKAR Supports Burning Stick Foundation and Schwab's Pipes N Stuff    

"On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Burning Stick Foundation, I would like to thank you for the generous contribution of your products to our 4th annual fundraising event, STOKE IV.  The event, held April 15th, hosted over 180 cigar enthusiasts who enjoyed camaraderie, wonderful food, especially prepared libatios, outstanding jazz and of course a wide array of premium cigars.  This year's event allowed us to give a gift of $35,000 to local charities."  


Thank you again,

Lee C Hall   

President, Burning Stick Foundation

            burn stick 2   burn stick1

XIKAR Supports Riverside Fire/Police Athletic Leaguexination5

In July, the Riverside Fire/Police Athletic League held their 7th Annual Golf Tournament at the National II Golf Course in Parkville, MO.  XIKAR donated some accessories for the silent auction which helped raise funds for youth crime prevention programs. Special thanks to Greg Mills, Director of Public Safety.  

             riverside pal    pal 2

                  Riverside Mo Fire & Police Athletic League  




HC Series Cigar Newshcnews

California Retailers Roll Out the Red Carpet for XIKAR's HC Series Cigars 

Woody Brown, XIKAR's West Coast Sales Manager, invited Scott Almsberger, XIKAR VP to tour the west coast and attend a handful of customer events.  Thanks to Woody, we almost lost Scott to the gorgeous wine country, rolling hills of San Francisco and breath-taking scene off the Golden Gate bridge.  Woody and Scott hit the ground running, and here are a few pictures of some of their stops along the coast.   

         woody scott 1     woody scott 2

                 Woody Brown & Scott Almsberger         Woody, Scott and friends at Baker's Street

         scott ca1    scott woody 4 ca

               Scott enjoying the evening with friends      Scott & Woody enjoying the Napa area   


Brookelynn Cigars Hosts XIKAR HC Series Cigars hcnews2

Kelly Enter, XIKAR Sales Manager, and Brookelynn Cigars hosted a great two day event at their stores in Leland and Wilimington.  Thanks to a gracious host, both events were gang-busters with plenty of smokes to go around.


                    Brookelynn Cigars, Wilmington, NC                       New location in Leland, NC




hcnews3The Party Source in Bellevue, Kentucky Doesn't Horse Around When It Comes to XIKAR HC Series 

The folks at Party Source know how to throw a good party!  Alan Gold, XIKAR Sales Manager couldn't stop talking about the fantastic event at Party Source.  At first, we thought it was a ploy to attend the Kentucky Derby next year, but the sales and feedback from the event was awesome.  Great job to Party Source and big Al.

              alan party source 1 alan party sour 2

                Alan Gold & Party Source staff              Alan with Party Source Managers   







cigarpressThor Nielsen, Cigar Press Magazine Interviews XIKAR Founders  

About three months ago, Thor and Simon from Cigar Press Magazine traveled to Kansas City to learn about the two guys behind the XIKAR brand and understand how they evolved into the industry's leading accessory company.  Thor and Simon were our guests at the inaugural Michael Smith's Extra Virgin & XIKAR cigar dinner in downtown Kansas City.  I think the Show Me State (and XIKAR) rolled out the red carpet for them and 30 guests that evening. Compliments to the chef!   

We encourage our friends, fans, customers and strategic partners to read the Cigar Press interview.  Hopefully you'll feel the passion and commitment XIKAR has for this great industry.   

"Big shout-out and thanks to Thor Nielsen, Simon Muchnik and their staff for spending time with us and sharing our thoughts with everyone."



cigar press capone Cigar Press Mag. Interviews XIKAR


KVK SCOTT PG 2-3cigar press capone


cigar press caponeKVK SCOTT 7 - 8

 KVK SCOTT 5 - 6cigar press capone

cigar press caponeKVK SCOTT PG 3-4



xinews1Cigar Clan Magazine Extends a Warm Welcome to Russian Consumers

XIKAR brand has universal appeal thanks to our distributors around the world and the millions of consumers using XIKAR products.  Big shout-out to our gracious friends in Russia for featuring XIKAR humidification products in their recent publication.  

            cigar clan mag 1  cigar clan ad pn


Cigar Magazine Brings XIKAR Accessories to Israelxinews2  

Our good friend J. Bomze, Bon D. LTD, helped position XIKAR accessories in the May and June issues.   

       ISRAEL MAG 1 amit israel       

               isrea, mag 3 isreal mag 2




Eurotab Features Ultra Slim Cutterxinews3  eurotab

Eurotab 2012 International Tobacco Products and Accessories Fair.  Eurotab returns to Krakw, Poland, April 16 - 18, 2012. Eurotab is the only distribution and retail fair for tobacco-related products in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Baltic Republics, all of Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, former Soviet Republic and the Middle East.   


Visit online at









bill senate

We have our Senate Bill! Keep pressing your U.S. Senators, Congressmen, and Congresswomen to Protect the Premium Cigar Industry from FDA Regulation!


Retail Tobacconists and Consumers! U.S. Senate Bill Introduced!


Senate Bill 1461 Companion Bill to HR 1639!


Take Action!  


Congress is listening! We now have S 1461, the companion bill to HR 1639 in the U.S. Senate (we have 45 co-sponsors for HR 1639--critical legislation to protect small business retail cigar shop owners from FDA regulation).


We need your continuing vigiliance and advocacy NOW! Contact your U.S. Senators and urge them to co-sponsor S 1461! The introduction of S 1461 is a tremendous step forward and to ultimately succeed, we need your Senators' support and co-sponsorship.

Do Not wait for the FDA to come to us and tell us how we may display or advertise cigars! Do not let the FDA tell you when and how you will shop and purchase your favorite premium cigars! DO NOT WAIT! Keep those emails and phone calls going to your Members of Congress and your U.S Senators for H.R. 1639 and S. 1461!



Our Commitmentxikarforlife
We never waiver in our commitment to offering you top quality leisure toolsXIKAR for Life logo that enhance your lifestyle. So you can buy with confidence, we back all our products for life and welcome any suggestions and concerns. If you feel that a XIKAR product fails to live up to our promise of fit, finish or function, simply return it to us and we will immediately and cheerfully repair or replace your product under our Lifetime Guarantee.

About XIKAR, Inc. 

From its Kansas City headquarters, XIKAR is the world's leading manufacturer of cigar cutters, including the well-recognized Xi cigar cutter, along with a full line of cigar accessories, lighters and humidification devices and containers.


XIKAR cigar cutters and accessories are sold through more than 3,000 dealers worldwide. With even more product and service introductions planned, XIKAR strives to lead the market in providing quality and innovative cigar accessories now, and in the years to come.



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In this Issue

Kurt's Corner


News & Features

Salomon Cigars   

Gift Pack Catalog 



How to Fill & Bleed  Your Butane Lighter    


Consumer & Retailer Smoke'em & Strum'em

Catalog & Web Update 

Read & Reward Contest  


What's New 2011

Cigar Bar    

 Matt Booth Rm 101


XIKAR Nation  

Hall of Fame 

Jeff McDowell

T6 Texans

Capt. Dwyer 1000 Trap  Burning Stick

Riverside PAL

XIKAR HC Series 
Calif Visits

Brookelynn Cigars

Party Source

Cigar Press Interview    



Cigar Clan

Cigar Magazine


Senate Bill


 rating banner

Quick Links
Cigar Cutters
HC Series Cigars
More About Us

XIKAR Media Contact 
Bob Moreno

Director Marketing
Phone: 888-266-1193

XIKAR Sales Contact
Customer Service
Phone: 866-676-7380  

XIKAR, Inc. | P.O. Box 025757 | Kansas City | MO | 64102