xikar's blog

October 2012 Newsletter

 

 

October 2012
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Kurt's Corner

 
     I wonder why Merriam-Webster struggled to define excellence:  “A quality of being excellent, eminently good, first-class, great worth, of exalted merit, a virtue.” Perhaps Webster didn’t play sports as a boy.
 
Sports act as life’s coach, teaching by example and training such important qualities as discipline, hard work, team work, persistence and of course success and failure.  We so celebrate sports teams and heroes for their excellence – that almost any fan could tell Webster what excellence looks like.
 
Sports also conditions and prepares us for the much harder work of the mind.  Excellence isn’t easy.  It isn’t lazy or complacent.  It isn’t “good enough”.  It requires all of the same attributes of the sports hero, but on the fields of our thoughts.  Excellence demands a high level of mastery over our minds -- that may be attuned to entertainment rather than prone to action.
 
I find it rewarding that like sports, life rewards effort, or the attempt at excellence.  “I've always tried to do my best on the ball field. I can't do any more than that. I always try to give one hundred percent; and if my team loses, I come back and give one hundred percent the next day.” Excellence in life is like that: “There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that lost by not trying.”   
 
Here at XIKAR, we strive for and reward excellence.  I’ve just rewritten our Mission Statement to memorialize this: “XIKAR is an innovation company whose mission is to create innovative and excellent product combined with exceptional customer experience.  Our goal is to be great at our mission, and achieve our potential through the highest capabilities of our people, enhancing and developing those along the way.”  Thank you for supporting us in that!

 
Kurt Van Keppel
President & Founder
XIKAR, Inc.
New Room101 OSOK Xi1 cutter and EXII lighter!
     Room101 is the luxury lifestyle brand for those who demand quality with an edge. Together, XIKAR and Matt Booth demand quality and design and Matt’s Room101 Brand is now captured in an inspired collection with both style and Asian influence.

     OSOK which is short for “One Shot, One Kill”, is a collaboration between Matt Booth and photographer Edgar Hoill, who gets his nickname “One Shot One Kill” from his ability to capture breathtaking photographs with one “shot”. The OSOK EXII lighter is a single windproof flame design that makes this lighter the perfect cigar tool for any cigar enthusiast. The OSOK design gives this lighter the final creative touch, making it the perfect lighter to complement your classic OSOK Xi1 cutter.

 

XIKAR U: How to light your cigar with a Triple Jet Flame

     Sit down with XIKAR President and Co Founder, Kurt Van Keppel as he demonstrates how to properly light your cigar with a triple jet flame lighter without damaging your cigar.

If you are new to this hobby, you can visit TobacconistUniversity.com to learn how to properly cut, light, smoke or store your cigars. 
Read more at
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 this fall for you to check out. Here are a few coming up from our XIKAR retailers.  
10/25 Havana Jim in Allen, TX 5-8 p.m.

10/26 Cigar Time in Missouri, TX 6-9 p.m.
11/1 Club Humidor in San Antonio, TX 4-8 p.m.

11/3 Sabor-Havana Doral in Doral, FL 12 p.m.

11/3 CI- Hamburg new store opening
10 a.m.-10 p.m.


11/3 Gatlin-Burlier in Gatlinburg, TN 1-4 p.m.

11/7 Indy Cigar Bar in Indianapolis, IN
5-10 p.m.


11/10 Outlaw Cigar in Overland Park, KS
10 a.m.-10 p.m.
*|END:IF|* 
*|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*
11/13 Royal 10 Cigar & Tobacco in N. Royalton, OH 4-8 p.m.

11/16 Heroes and Legacies in Austin, TX 12- close

11/16 Allegheny Smoke Works in Blawnox, PA 4-8 p.m.

11/17 PJ’s Plus in Oxford, MS 5-10 p.m.

11/17 Finck Cigar Company in San Antonio, TX 9 a.m.- 7 p.m.

11/17 Tobacco World in Marietta, GA 12-8 p.m.

11/23 Emerson’s Cigars in Virginia Beach, VA 11 a.m.- 3 p.m.

11/28 Goodfellas Cigar Lounge in Mahtomedi, MN 5-8 p.m.
*|END:IF|*
XIKAR &
En Fuego Tobacco Shop raise Autism Awareness!
      Autism affects one out of every 88 children and continues to increase.  More children this year will be diagnosed with Autism than AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined. Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases. These shocking statistics show that autism is an epidemic and needs continual awareness and support.

     En Fuego Tobacco Shop's Annual Golf Tournament raised over $24,000 for the nonPareil institute in 2011 and this year was also a huge success. "Though, there are still many questions not answered about this disability, our partnership with nonPareil has helped make great strides in taking kids that the world has written off and turning them into contributing members of society," Lee Moore, owner of En Fuego Tobacco Shop said.
      This year's tournament was held October 22, 2012 at El Dorado Country Club in McKinney, TX. A dinner was held Sunday night with a live auction and Dallas Mavericks GM Donnie Nelson as a special guest speaker. nonPareil put on an awesome presentation showcasing their students' outstanding work in game/video making. XIKAR was the title sponsor and also raised $700 with a "Beat the XIKAR Girl" promotion on hole 5 with Marketing Coordinator, Kaitlyn hitting shots against all of the guys. This organization is very close to XIKAR's heart so we ask that you join in the fight to help support, autism education, awareness, advocacy, research and most importantly, enable us to assist children and families living with autism. Check out Autism Speaks or Autism Society to get involved.



XIKAR Product Reviews

Ultra Lighter/Cutter Combo
by CI
Watch the review here

 


VX V-Cutter by Cigarapolis
Read review here

VX V-Cutter Thread on Cigar Geeks
Read thread here



Travel Case by Hemingway’s Foyer
Read review here

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.

XIKAR FOR LIFE HALL OF FAME MEMBERS
Carolee Martin
Fraser Monk
Jeff McDowell
Robbie Morton
Daniel Dwyer
Michael “Moe” O’Donovan
 

Each year, four individuals are inducted into the XIKAR Hall of Fame. The next inductee will be announced in December. All retailers and consumers can submit their nominees to XIKAR at info@xikar.com

To see all of the pictures from the En Fuego Golf Tournament benefitting the nonPareil Institute, go to our Facebook page. 
Oktoberfest Contest Winner: Congratulations to the winner of a Ultra lighter/cutter combo, Dave Richards! He had the best picture showing his Oktoberfest celebration incorporating XIKAR!  

Here are a couple other great entries...

     November has two very important holidays that need to be recognized—National Men Make Dinner Day on the 1st and National Sandwich Day on the 3rd (we did not make these up, people). Send us a picture of the ultimate manly sandwich/meal to info@xikar.com. Put on that masculine apron and smother everything in bacon!  Always remember, it doesn’t hurt to incorporate XIKAR into your entry (hint, hint). Our favorite entry will receive the X8 Carbon Fiber Cutter—tough enough to handle your 64 ring gauge sticks! All entries must be submitted by November 19th 11:59 p.m. CST. The winner will be announced November 20th in our next newsletter and on Facebook/Twitter.

     Be a part of XIKAR Nation! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to see daily updates of events, pictures and even weekly contests to win XIKAR swag! 

 

 
 





 

 
Copyright © 2012 reserved.

Our mailing address is:

PO Box 025757, Kansas City, MO 64102
info@xikar.com
866-676-7380

How to Light with a Triple Jet Flame Lighter

Do you prefer a single, double or triple jet flame when lighting up a stick? XIKAR President and Co-Founder Kurt Van Keppel demonstrates how to properly light a cigar with a triple jet flame lighter.

September 2012 Newsletter

 

September 2012
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Kurt's Corner
Lifetime Warranty

     Recently I have been asked some about the meaning behind our lifetime guarantee. We sum it here by saying, "XIKAR For Life" (#X4L for you hashtag junkies). In fact, our mission statement, which I wrote in 1999, states:

As The Best Thing to Happen to Cigars Since Fire™, XIKAR, Inc. is dedicated to providing value to cigar consumers through unique, artful and functional cigar tools sold at a fair price. XIKAR will provide these products through honest and ergonomic design to achieve superior form, feel and function. XIKAR stands behind its products through a lifetime total satisfaction warranty. 

As our business grew, many asked me to further define "Lifetime Guarantee":
"Does it mean we can exchange over the counter?" "Yes."
"Does it mean we can return hassle-free?" "Yes."
"At no cost?" "Yes!"

     In fact, it means what it has always meant, that at XIKAR we guarantee everything we say, sell and do, unconditionally, for life. Anything less is not a lifetime guarantee. Anything less would not be "Lifetime" nor be a "Guarantee". Anything less would be a sales pitch!
     Why do we do this? We do this because we are concerned about our customers and consumers. We do this because we care about your experience with our products and our company. We do this because we want a lifetime relationship with you, and we believe that, like a marriage, it takes a commitment with a lot of work behind it. Ultimately, we do this because it's just who we are.
     I can't change who I am any more than I can change my height! And since Lifetime Guarantee is who I am, it is also who XIKAR is. I can't change it, I won't change it.
      This month we continue to show our new introductions from the August trade show. Enjoy them with full faith in their quality, and function, backed by a lifetime warranty!
 

Kurt Van Keppel
President & Founder
XIKAR, Inc.

XIKAR U: How to Cut with a V-Cut

August 2012 Newsletter


August 2012

Read more below about a chance to win $1,000 in cigars/merchandise in our first
XIKAR FOR LIFE Fantasy Football League! 
 
Kurt's Corner
Labor Day Message

     I like to say that a 'cigar makes a plumber and a president friends!'  That's because we have the relaxing enjoyment of a cigar in common - something to share and compare.  We all have something else in common - a job, which after food, shelter and security, may be our highest need, according to a new book by Gallup's CEO, Jim Clifton, called The Coming Jobs War.



     Clifton points to Gallup polling data to back his premise that the addition of good new jobs within the world's economic powers will be the battleground for economic gain vs. marginalization.  He suggests that Small Business, because of its capacity for entrepreneurship (and intrepreneurship) drives job growth worldwide.  (And, did you know that Small Business includes every cigar outlet, distributor and creator in the entire premium cigar industry?!) In sum, Clifton argues that through persistent pursuit of innovation, entrepreneurs and intrepreneurs will guarantee our future economic viability.



     And within entre(intra)preneurship, persistence pays off.  Of course I love Clifton's quote of Calvin Coolidge, "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence...talent will not...genius will not...education alone will not...Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."



     However, persistence alone won't suffice today.  That's because all business has a partner - the government, who can impede or foment business growth. Business needs our government's help, through proper regulation and taxation.  We also need our government to stand aside to allow this economic engine to rev to its maximum potential.




     So, on this Labor Day, relax with a good cigar and celebrate your job. Then celebrate your cigar, by joining the CRA to protect it from over-regulation and taxation.  Finally, protect your company, or the one you work for - and write your local, state and federal Congressman! Tell him to vote against excess regulation and taxation that hurts small business.

 
Kurt Van Keppel
President & Founder
XIKAR, Inc.
New Vitara, double flame lighter!
     Love our Element lighter? Then you have to check out our new double jet flame lighter, the Vitara. With a unique slide-action trigger, it features a built-in side 7mm punch, an oversized fuel adjustment wheel and an easy-view fuel window. Its body is slightly smaller than the Element and comes in 5 finishes including our new Pearl and G2 (gunmetal on gunmetal). 
  

 

New Habano² added to the HC Series!

      The Habano² is the fourth blend added to the HC Series collection of cigars produced by XIKAR. The Habano2 is a medium to full body cigar made utilizing Sumatran, Nicaraguan and Honduran tobacco, all pulled together with a rich Habano2000 wrapper. It’s a rich, thick, deep, cigar with the flavor of roasted almonds, hints of spices, wood and nutmeg.  Additionally, this cigar is box-pressed which provides a fresh look and comfortable feel for a more enjoyable smoke.  This new blend will be offered in Robusto, Toro, Belicoso and Grande sizes.
      This new cigar blend was born from the travels and life experiences of XIKAR founders Kurt Van Keppel and Scott Almsberger.  As a part of building XIKAR, they have visited many countries and made many friends in the tobacco industry.  Among these journeys and friends they find treasures, and sometimes that treasure is planted not buried in the ground.  This Habano² is one of those treasures which they have brought back to share with the XIKAR Nation.
      “We are always hunting for treasures that we can share with our consumers,” said Kurt Van Keppel, XIKAR Founder and CEO.  He added “think of this as a souvenir that’s a lot more enjoyable than a T-shirt!” 

XIKAR U: How to Light with a Torch Flame

    Sit down with XIKAR President and Co-Founder Kurt Van Keppel as he demonstrates how to properly light a cigar with a torch flame. Watch Video

Featured Product: 744 Cigar Cut Knife
    Part knife, part cutter, all precision. A pocket knife, money clip and cigar cutter all in one! This unique knife is made with a long lasting AUS-8 stainless blade. The 744 Cigar Cut Knife very sharp and handy for the moment you forgot your cigar cutter.

Cigar Cutter- 48 ring gauge
Clip- Stainless
Lock- Frame lock

Upcoming XIKAR Events

     There are a lot of great events across the country this summer for you to check out. Here are a few coming up from our XIKAR retailers.  
8/21 City Place Cigars in Lynchburg, VA
8/22 
Havana Connections in Richmond, VA
8/23 Tobaccology in Manassa, VA
8/23 Heroes and Legacies in Lubbock, TX
8/24 
Outman Cigar and Martini Bar in Greenville, SC
8/24 Don’s Cigars in Phoenix, AZ
8/30 Stogies World Class Cigars in Houston, TX
8/31 Havana Alley in Galveston, TX

9/6 Fidel’s in Kansas City, MO
9/6 Top Shelf Cigar & Tobacoo Shoppe in Martinez, GA
9/7 La Casa del Tobacco in Atlanta, GA
9/14 Peaceful Henry in Blufton, SC
9/14 Absolute Tobacco in Katy, TX
9/15 Outlaw Cigar South in Overland Park, KS

9/15 Club Humidor’s CIGARS and PARS Golf Tournament in San Antonio, TX
9/17 Cigars and Fine Spirits in Auburn, AL
9/20 Smoke Ring Cigars in Webster, TX
9/21 Humidour Cigar Shop in Cockeysville, MD
9/22 Cigar.com Gala and Fundraiser in Bethlehem, PA
9/22 R and R Cigars in Tuscaloosa, AL
9/22 Briar Shoppe in Houston, TX
9/28 Draper’s Little Puff in Washington DC
9/29 WiseAsh Cigars in Smyrna, GA
9/29 Monte’s Big Smoke in Albuquerque, NM
 

Tips for Lighting a Cigar

     Some basics do's and dont's of lighting a cigar from Tobacconist University if you are new to the hobby.
Do:
- Remove the cellophane and any cedar or ribbons around the foot of the cigar
- Cut the cigar properly
- If using a match, allow the sulfur/chemicals to burn off the match head before taking the flame to the tobacco.
- Hold the flame slightly off of the tobacco. Flame = 1/8 of an inch, Torch = ½ inch.
- Rotate the cigar to evenly light the foot.
- Puff on the cigar in order to draw the flame to the foot.
 
Don’t:
- Light or char the outside of the wrapper.
- Use a candle to light the cigar.
- Light the head. (Really?! Cut and draw from the head and light the foot.)
- Lick the cigar: that is disgusting to watch and unnecessary if the cigar is properly humidified. The habit of licking a cigar was popular in the early 1900’s when proper humidity was more uncommon: low humidity may cause a wrapper to unravel. This habit is especially unsanitary for someone who’s cutter you may by using. 

Read more at
XIKAR releases New Products at IPCPR!
     We are proud to introduce our newest product innovations that were released at the 80th Annual IPCPR Trade Show. XIKAR drives innovation through our  focus on form, feel and function, all at a fair price. Read more here

Will you make the CUT?

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?!

     That’s right XIKAR Nation, you’re not dreaming-- XIKAR is going to have its first XIKAR FOR LIFE Fantasy Football league this season! This league will be run by our Chief Strategy Officer, Tim Webster, a 20 year veteran of Fantasy Football and determined to take home the title. And of course, XIKAR account manager Mike Stous will be assisting him as his assistant GM, Waterboy, Cigar Fetcher, etc.
     To be a part of our exclusive 12 team league, you must apply by sending your clever team name and verifiable profile of your Fantasy Football street-cred to
info@xikar.com by Thursday August 30th 11:59 p.m. CST. The brave teams that make the cut will be notified and announced across our social media on Friday, August 31st. (Note: Only those with thick skin should apply as mockery, banter and trash talking will be taking place with no mercy.)
 
The final winner of the XIKAR FOR LIFE league will win bragging rights, a spot in the XIKAR FOR LIFE Hall of Fame, a virtual high five and a mere $1,000 in cigars and merchandise. The first loser (2nd place) will win $500, while the 3rd place team receives $250. For the other 9 teams… well, better luck next year. 

Brief Overview of the X4L League

The league will be run on the ESPN Fantasy Football online software. Here are some highlights of the league rules/setup:
- Points per reception league
- 6 points for all Touchdowns
- Rosters include 16 players with no restrictions as to make up by position
- Starters will include: 1 quarterback, 2 running backs, 2 wide receivers, 1 tight end, 1 flex (WR or TE), 1 kicker, 1 defense/special teams
- The draft will be held September 4th or 5th online. If you are unable to attend the draft, your team will be auto-selected by the ESPN software.
Once you have been selected as a member, we will give you access to the league on ESPN to get familiar with all of the rules/details. 

 

XIKAR Product Reviews
Habano² by Tiny Tim 
After cutting the cap, the test draw was effortless. Sometimes with box pressed cigars the draw can be tight but this cigar had a great draw.

Read full review


Watch the review

Habano² by Halfwheel
XIKAR says that the cigar was born as the result of the travels and life experiences of co-founders Kurt Van Keppel and Scott Almsberger.


Read full review

Habano² by The Cigar Crook
This beautiful box pressed cigar had a smooth dark chocolate wrapper with no tooth and nearly invisible veins.


Read full review

Habano² by Seth's Humidor
As I begin the cigar, it starts off at a solid medium body level, and it is producing tons of smoke.


Read full review

Habano² by Scott Smyth
Initial lighting taste- A woody mineral taste with spice.


Read full review
Habano² by The Cigar Inspector
On all three samples, both the draw and the burn were as close to perfection as you can get.

Read full review
Habano² by The Ash Report
The initial taste is a woodsy spice with hints of nutmeg at the back of the pallet.

Read full review

EX Lighter, Xi3 Carbon Fiber Cutter & Habano Colorado by The Smoking Greek
Read the reviews

Tech Lighter by The Cigar Crook

Watch the review
 
Dog Days of Summer Winner: Hope you’re staying cool in these dog days of summer and we enjoyed all of the entries in our dog picture contest! Congratulations to the winner of a Stratosphere lighter and Ashtray Can, Jeremy Bloom and Charlie! He had the best picture of his canine friend incorporating XIKAR!

Here are a couple other great entries...
     
     He could... go... all... the... way! Send us a picture showing your team pride to info@xikar.com. Whether it’s a tailgate party or body paint, always remember, it doesn’t hurt to incorporate XIKAR into your entry (hint, hint). Our favorite entry will receive a 5ct Travel Humidor and an Xi1 in one of your team’s colors. All entries must be submitted by September 19th 11:59 p.m. CST. The winner will be announced September 20th in our next newsletter and on Facebook/Twitter.
Are you connected? Get your daily dose of XIKAR on our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blog. Be sure to check out our new Facebook tabs, "Kurt's Corner" and "Smoking with Scott" to get the latest news and innovations straight from XIKAR's two founders. 
 
 
 
 

New HC Habano² Cigar!

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Chris Geisert

Office: 888-266-1193

816.994-7154

XIKAR Introduces the New HC Habano2 Cigar

A medium/full bodied cigar with a rich Habano2000 wrapper

Kansas City, MO July 23, 2012 – XIKAR, Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of cigar accessories and distributor of HC Series premium cigars is proud to announce the arrival of the new HC Habano2 (Habano-Squared),an addition to their HC Series line of cigars. 

Following the success of HC Series line, XIKAR introduces a new blend that delivers a great smoking experience with the quality you expect from XIKAR.  This new cigar is specifically blended with a flavorful introduction that grabs your attention, which then mellows to a smooth rich smoking experience. The box-press shape provides a comfortable draw and feel of the cigar in your mouth. 

This new cigar blend was born from the travels and life experiences of XIKAR founders Kurt Van Keppel and Scott Almsberger.  As a part of building XIKAR, they have visited many countries and made many friends in the tobacco industry.  Among these journeys and friends they find treasures, and sometimes that treasure is planted not buried in the ground.  This Habano² is one of those treasures which they have brought back to share with the XIKAR Nation.

“We are always hunting for treasures that we can share with our consumers,” said Kurt Van Keppel, XIKAR Founder and CEO.  He added “think of this as a souvenir that’s a lot more enjoyable than a T-shirt!”

The Habano2 is amedium to full body cigar made utilizing Sumatran, Nicaraguan and Honduran tobacco, all pulled together with a rich Habano2000 wrapper.It’s a rich, thick, deep, cigar with the flavor of roasted almonds, hints of spices, wood and nutmeg.  Additionally, this cigar is box-pressed which provides a fresh look and comfortable feel for a more enjoyable smoke.  This new blend will be offered in Robusto, Toro, Belicoso and Grande sizes.  The cigars will be priced from $6.75 to $8.50 plus local taxes.

XIKAR, Inc., founded in 1996 and headquartered in Kansas City, MO, 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.

###

New Products from XIKAR!

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Chris Geisert
Office: 888-266-1193

XIKAR Introduces New Products

Form, Feel, Function drive XIKAR innovation

KansasCity, MO August 1, 2012 – XIKAR, Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of cigar accessories, is proud to introduce their newest product innovations at the 80th Annual IPCPR Trade Show. XIKAR drives innovation through their focus on form, feel and function, all at a fair price.

As you would expect from XIKAR, new cutters are being introduced. First, to accompany its 7 and 9mm punches, XIKAR now has an 11mm punch, their biggest yet.  

The new 11mm Twist Punch has a modern, minimalistic style combined with a sharp 11mm blade.  XIKAR is also expanding its popular Room101 line of Xi1 cutters with an OSOK design meaning “One Shot, One Kill” and a Sakura design, meaning cherry blossom in Japanese. Both of these designs fuse Matt Booth’s Asian influence and Sunset Strip vibe with XIKAR’s quality and precision to deliver functional cigar accessories that are also conversation pieces.  Both of these cutters are available with matching EXII windproof lighters.

XIKAR is expanding its lighter collection with the sleek double flame Vitara and the powerful Pulsar triple flame lighter. The Vitara is a solid double jet flame with a slide action trigger and built-in 7mm punch.  The Pulsar is a sophisticated triple jet flame lighter with a side squeeze ignition and a built-in 7mm punch. Both new lighters are available in a wide array of finishes including the new G2. G2 is XIKAR’s new finish that is dark, sleek and completely gunmetal.

Following the success of the single flame Tech lighter, featuring a clear body, large fuel tank and oversized adjustment wheel, XIKAR is expanding this collection and will now offer this lighter in double and triple jet flame styles.  Now cigar aficionados can get the same dependable performance in multiple flames.

XIKAR is also introducing their re-designed HC Series Collection of accessories.  This collection features an Xi3 HC cutter with artisan lacquered handles and a new HC Celebration Ceramic Ashtray.  This ashtray will compliment any smoking den and is available in festive red, yellow and black.

Along with new accessories, XIKAR will introduce a new blend to the HC Series line of cigars. The Habano2 is amedium to full body cigar made utilizing Sumatran, Nicaraguan and Honduran tobacco, all pulled together with a rich Habano2000 wrapper.It’s a rich, thick, deep, cigar with the flavor of roasted almonds, hints of spices, wood and nutmeg.  Additionally, this cigar is box-pressed which provides a fresh look and comfortable feel for a more enjoyable smoke.  This new blend will be offered in Robusto, Toro, Belicoso and Grande sizes.

“I am proud to introduce a large variety of new products this year at IPCPR. With a dedication to form, feel and function all at a fair price, XIKAR plans on exceeding your expectations in 2012,” said Kurt Van Keppel, President and CEO of XIKAR.

“Things are very exciting at XIKAR right now. I'm excited about the new accessories and blends that will be shown at IPCPR this year,” said Scott Almsberger, Co-Founder and CDO of XIKAR.

XIKAR, Inc., founded in 1996 and headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., 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.

 ###

July 2012 Newsletter

 

July 20, 2012
 
Kurt's Corner
 
Sacrifice and Freedom: Independence Day Message

Several reporters have suggested to me that entrepreneurs are risk takers.  In my experience

 and observation, I must disagree.  Entrepreneurs are risk assessors, not risk takers. We are very good at assessing whether the potential reward of a decision outweighs the risk inherent in it.  In order to achieve this, the "risk taker" must have a sober and thorough understanding of the risk - and be willing to accept that as a potential outcome.  Thus, I say to start a business from scratch, you don't have to give everything up; you have to be ready and willing to do so.
 
 

Sacrifice
"Giving everything up" is better stated as sacrifice. Sacrifice requires faith that the outcome is worth the "risk".  In fact, only in faith that our choice is good, can sacrifice happen (unwilling sacrifice is called "loss" which carries the burden of regret).  Sacrifice frees us from those bonds.

American Exceptionalism
I believe that sacrifice is part of the American ethos. When we speak of our "rugged individualism" I envision the sacrifices made to achieve a greater good - in most cases freedom (either individual or collective).  Our Founding Fathers risked their lives in signing the Declaration of Independence, a document of treason against the king of England.  The civil war was fought over freedom - racial and economic. World Wars I and II were fought for freedom over totalitarianism.  In fact, throughout our history, we Americans have been willing to make this ultimate sacrifice, at home and abroad. This makes us exceptional.
In man's history, no other nation has been as willing as ours to make individual and collective sacrifices, and that willingness continues. Just last week I had the honor of meeting Nikki Altmann, widow of SSG Joseph Altmann, who was killed in Afghanistan on Christmas Day 2011 just weeks after reenlisting. Nikki and her friends (and XIKAR fans) Todd and Jill Pistor approached me in Cleveland airport to say hello.  They were on their way to the New Hamphsire NASCAR race on July 15th to witness Kurt Busch driving with Joseph Altmann's name on the side of his car. This was made possible by the Armed Forces Foundation. The AFF provides healing for families who have lost loved ones due to military service, as well as helping wounded warriors with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder including events such as bringing troops to the NASCAR track. If you wish to get involved and help out families like Nikki, please donate to AFF

Our Changing Culture
In the past three and a half years, much has been discussed about the end of American exceptionalism, as if this is a worthy goal - to become equal citizens of the world. Yet I believe this is a cultural decline, for the loss of our exceptional nature is the loss of our freedom, and the hope it represents to the world.
 I see evidence of this decline in small and large choices we make.  Individuals, companies and our government are now burdened with insurmountable debt for our unwillingness to sacrifice today's reward for tomorrow's freedom. Entitlement creates debts which limit freedom.

Examples of moral decay abound.  Perhaps the most visible is the recent Sandusky affair at Penn State, where none involved was willing to risk his job or the university reputation to protect those children from a known predator.  The tragedy is in the crime. But sad additional damage to our society will result from new laws and regulations written to substitute where men and women fail to take a risk for what we all know to be right, to protect those children, and each others' freedom.

This new form of equality leads us to a national character that will lose its willingness to sacrifice or risk anything.   "Those willing to give up their freedom for security deserve neither and will lose both." Heed Ben Franklin's warning, and understand his indictment.  We have a responsibility to ourselves and one another to take a risk and make a sacrifice.  Men and women of honor must be ready to sacrifice material possession for the thing that most matters: freedom. The outcome is worth the risk!
 

 
Kurt Van Keppel
President & Founder
XIKAR, Inc.

June 2012 Newsletter


June 20, 2012
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Kurt's Corner

 
Dear XIKAR Customers and Friends:
 
      In honor of Father’s Day, I want to take a minute to thank my father for helping make me the man that I am today. In my childhood, Papa (as I still call him) was very strict about work, but liberal regarding life’s adventures and experiences.  His goal: to create in us a sense of adventure, with independence and responsibility.  I think he succeeded greatly!  He succeeded the old fashioned way, by sharing, and by engaging us in his passions for art, history, travel, cars (racing and collecting) and reading.  
 

      By the end of high school, he had taken each of us on several art and history tours, to China, Ethiopia, Russia, Egypt, Europe and Central America, where he drug us in and out of museums and churches (which was even a regular excursion at home in Kansas City.  By the way, as an "expert" in the world's museums, I can tell you that the Centro Leon in Santiago, Dominican Republic, created and donated to the Dominican people by the Leon Jimenez cigar family, is one of the worlds great museums, right in the heart of cigar country,  it's a must see visit!)
      I share all Papa's passions except cars (reliability is good enough for me), but particularly history, travel and reading.  I also share his love for cigars!  For as long as I can remember, my dad always smoked two cigars a week, one Saturday afternoon and another on Sunday. On Saturday mornings, he would take me in to see Fred Diebel and get a couple of cigars. I loved the smell and the easy warmth of the place and the people - we now call that camaraderie.
      When Cigar Aficionado first came out, I decided to get him the inaugural issue as a birthday gift - that’s what really got me to start smoking cigars. I remember looking at the magazine and thinking, “Wow, there is really something to this.”  Is there ever!
      After retiring, my dad has worked at XIKAR since 2003. He inspects returns and “tests" cigars. We all love having him around for his help, and his stories and "observations".  (I think people of a certain age have earned the right to have those comments kindly dubbed "observations"!)
      I have my dad to thank for my sense of adventure, austerity, curiosity, and of course, my work ethic. These traits have all had a great impact on my life and reflect the essence of XIKAR. Without the values my dad has instilled in me, XIKAR wouldn’t be where it is today. I hope that after this Father’s Day, you can reflect on your father and how he shaped your life. As you smoke a cigar, I hope you do it with him, in person or in spirit!   

 
Kurt Van Keppel
President & Founder
XIKAR, Inc.
 
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