April 2013 Newsletter


April 30, 2013


Kurt's Corner


     Tim, one of my partners, compares marketing to a diamond – many facets that must each have polish, almost to perfection, to create the ulitmate value of the whole.  A single flawed element (in marketing that could be pricing, product or promotion, for example) can wipe out the value of other elements done very well. I view “Management” similarly. 
     Certainly few business activities have more value than the finding of the right people.  At XIKAR, we use interviews, resumes and a “work culture” survey to indicate work style and inherent traits, making sure they fit both the company culture and the job activity – “getting the right people in the right seats” to paraphrase Disney and others. Getting this right, getting high performers who emulate, even live the culture, prevents most problems and facilitates the other facets of management.
     Once at XIKAR, our associates deserve to understand our goals, and should be able to guide themselves by them. We accomplish this by setting overall objectives and then by including them in defining the specifics.  We then leave strive to provide the right amount of autonomy,  with the authority,  to achieve that responsibility.
     Associates also deserve recognition and reward.  We often hear that recognition is the more important of the two.  In my experience, both are required, but of the two, recognition is the harder to give. That’s not because we don’t give it or don’t want to, but because it includes and means much more than congratulating them on a job well done.  It also means recognizing their value to the organization and the value of their input by including them in the ideation and strategy process.  As a result, many of our ideas,  such as our best selling lighter, the Element, come from inside the team.
     And perhaps in our most important facet of management, we strive every day to treat our associates as we expect to be treated.  At XIKAR, we try to create a meritocracy of ideas.  At the trade show this year in July, we will introduce a new era of humidification technology that results from brainstorming, deep study and the outcome of many people synthesizing each others ideas.
     Finally, I view safety as the glue that binds the facets.  As long as we each are focused on innovation and extraordinary customer experience, then team members don’t risk when they take a chance on ideas.
     Hopefully, our diamond of Management creates XIKAR for Life among our team. And when you call, we hope you hear that in our voices and see that in our actions – and make XIKAR for Life your mantra too!

Kurt Van Keppel


New Look for PUROFINE Premium Butane!
     New look, same high quality! XIKAR introduces a new look to our PUROFINE Premium Butane! With less than 15 parts per million of impurities, PUROFINE is the cleanest fuel available to keep your lighter running like new. The new design has a updated logo along with extra nozzle adapters that will fit the fill valve of any lighter. Available in 1.9oz (100ml) and 8oz (400ml) cans.


XIKAR U: Shapes of Cigars

By Tobacconist University



The shape of a cigar will affect how it smokes.  Thinner cigars will provide less smoke per toke, and therefore will taste lighter if smoked at the proper pace.  If a cigar, regardless of ring gauge (rg), is smoked too quickly, it will burn “hot” and the flavors will not be pronounced properly.   Thinner cigars may tend to smoke hot, either because they are rolled too tight, or because they are smoked too quickly.  When properly rolled and smoked, thinner cigars can be light and subtle delicacies which emphasize the flavor of the wrapper.  Thicker cigars will contain more fillers, and the potential for a broader range of flavor.  Thicker cigars will also tend to smoke cooler and produce a greater volume of smoke per toke.  A thick cigar can have a fuller body and more complexity than its thinner siblings.
     In the American market, the length of a cigar is measured in inches (") and the diameter (rg) is measured in 64ths of an inch ("). The Robusto format/vitola generally measures 5" x 50rg, the standard Churchill size is 7" x 48rg, and a Corona is 5 1/4" x 44rg; but all of these generalizations vary from one manufacturer to another. 


Featured Product:
Ashtray Can

          Our Ashtray Can is the perfect cigar accessory for the smoker on the go. Its stainless steel construction fits into cup holders and consoles of most cars, motorcycles, boats, RVs, golf carts, etc. The ring and spiral secure cigars and cigarettes with a deep reservoir for ashes. This handy accessory is complete with an easy slide-on lid keeping all ashes and odors contained. 

Upcoming XIKAR Events

     There are a lot of great events across the country year round for you to check out. To hear about all of the latest events/news, visit our tab for Events on Facebook. Here are a few coming up from our XIKAR retailers:
5/1 Big Burn Chicago

in St. Charles, IL

5/3 Cigars & More

in Birmingham, AL 4-8 p.m.

5/3 El Cubano Cigars

in Texas City, TX 3-7 p.m.

5/4 Briar Shoppe

in Houston, TX 12-6 p.m.

5/4 Cigar! Cigar!

in Evansville, IN 2:30-7 p.m.

5/9 Silo Cigars

in Knoxville, TN 6-10 p.m.
5/10 Stogie's Ales & Fine Cigars

in Franklin, TN 5-9 p.m.
5/11 Barrister- NJ Cigar Fesitval

in Florham Park, NJ 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.
5/14 TinderBox

in Memphis, TN 4-8 p.m.

5/16 Smoke on the Water

in Baltimore, MD 5:30-9:30 p.m.
5/18 Honolulu Cigar Company

in Kaneohe, HI 6-9 p.m.

5/23 Andrea's

in Kenosha, WI 4-7 p.m.
5/24 Heroes & Legacies

in Austin, TX 5-10 p.m.
5/29 Outland Cigars

in Charlotte, NC 6-9 p.m.

XIKAR For Life Hall of Fame Inductee: 

James Truxillo

   We are proud to announce our next member of the XIKAR For Life Hall of Fame is James Truxillo of Marietta, Georgia nominated by XIKAR Rep, Kelly Enter. James currently has a 14 year old business working as a handyman but he has always had a passion for cigars. James first started smoking cigars the week of The Masters in 1997 when introduced by a friend and also began playing golf at this time. So his affection for the game and his affinity for fine handmade cigars has grown immensely to what it is now 16 years later.
   James was first introduced to XIKAR by his good friend, Rick Davis. After showing him his HC Series Collection EXII lighter and matching Xi3 cutter, James had to have a set of his own. "I prefer XIKAR over other brands simply because the fit and finish cannot be matched," 
James said. The first XIKAR products he purchased were a matching blue HC Series Collection set engraved with his name that he still uses today. After 6-7 years of collecting now, James owns around one hundred XIKAR pieces from Xi cutters to the MTX Multi-Tool and Ashtray Can, to the limited edition Mayan Xi3. "I am constantly putting a XIKAR product in someones hand to use like Rick did to me years ago and they are immediately hooked," James said. 
    James is a regular at WishAsh Cigar in Smyrna, Georgia spending at least 5 days a week hanging out in the lounge. WishAsh Cigar owner, John Allen has helped guide James on his cigar journey and helps him acquire the latest XIKAR accessories as soon as they are released.  
    "I'm just a big fan of the XIKAR brand and really like the Lifetime Warranty. For the money and the warranty, XIKAR is hard to beat. I'm definitely a customer for life and the Hall of Fame induction is just icing on the cake. A huge milestone in my continued cigar journey." James said. 



Ultra Lighter/Cutter by Lighters Direct
Watch the Review


Habano² by The Examiner
Read the Review

Axia by Cigar Lighter Reviews
Read the Review

Liga Privada Tabletop by Cigar Crook

Watch the Review


VX V-Cutter & Mayan Tabletop by Stogie Review
Read the Review

XIKAR For Life Hall of Fame

     The XIKAR For Life Hall of Fame Award is designed to recognize an individual who has demonstrated exceptional support and commitment of the XIKAR organization. Nominees are selected based on their affiliation with XIKAR plus their passion and commitment for the cigar industry.


Carolee Martin
Fraser Monk
Jeff McDowell
Robbie Morton
Daniel Kruse
Daniel Dwyer
Jay Bitzer
Michael “Moe” O’Donovan
Alberto Alfonso
James Truxillo
 Honor a Soldier!

     May 18th is Armed Forces Day so let's all honor our troops! Share with us a story of a soldier that you are proud of (that is currently stationed abroad) and we will send them a care package of XIKAR products. EVERY entry will be sent a care package to enjoy and share with fellow soldiers while protecting our country. We will pick our favorite story and feature it in our next newsletter as well as send the solider and you a personalized XIKAR gift.  
    Please send your entry to info@xikar.com by May 18th 12:00 a.m. CST and t
he winner announced/featured on May 20th in our next newsletter! 

Kurt in Cigar Advisor!

   Kurt is featured in the latest Cigar Advisor issue! Read his article, "The Why of Buy, A Problem for Problem Solvers." check it out here! 

Each year, four individuals are inducted into the XIKAR Hall of Fame. The next inductee will be announced in April. Submit nominees to XIKAR at info@xikar.com
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updates of events, pictures and even weekly contests to win XIKAR swag! 



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