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

Are you a part of XIKAR Nation?

     XIKAR Nation is more than just a group of our consumers. This is a group of aficionados dedicated to a lifestyle with extraordinary experience in every smoke. XIKAR Nation has become an elite assembly of cigar enthusiasts that we are extremely proud to have represent our company all around the world. Through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and our newsletter, we use events, contest and award to highlight our community of enthusiasts throughout the year. 

     XIKAR Nation consumers use XIKAR For Life! Consider signing up now to stay updated on contests, events, new products, The XIKAR For Life Hall of Fame and more! 


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XIKAR U: How to Light with a Soft Flame

To light a cigar with a soft flame, you have to romance it a little. Sit down to a romantic dinner with XIKAR founder and CDO, Scott Almsberger to learn a little bit about lighting with a soft flame.

Craving a Cigar NOW?

Well you're in luck because Cigar Places has now released an iPhone v1.4 app! No matter where you are, you can locate the nearest cigar store when you are in the mood for a good smoke.

Go check it out XIKAR Nation!  

May 2012 Newsletter

Kurt's Corner
Dear XIKAR Customers and Friends:

     Happy Memorial Day XIKAR Nation! This month, we salute all of the men and women of the US Armed Forces. Whether retired, stateside, or abroad, nothing can fully express our gratitude to all of you brave men and women. 
To show our appreciation and support of the troops, XIKAR sends out care packages to US troops all across the world. Our care packages consist of cutters, punches, lighters, travel cases, etc. that are donated from our retailers and sent overseas at no cost. We ask nothing in return from the troops but to use the XIKAR products proudly and send us a picture enjoying our products if possible. As if it wasn’t enough that they defend our freedom, some soldiers have sent us unnecessary but extremely honorable gifts as a thank you. These gifts mean the world to XIKAR and are displayed in our corporate office as a daily reminder of how blessed we are to live in this great nation.
      One of our XIKAR For Life Hall of Fame inductees, Capt. Dan “Dozer” Dwyer honored me with an unbelievable gift this past month. He presented me with an American flag that was proudly flown onboard of the U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet Aircraft 104. This aircraft launched off the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN77) and flew into the skies over Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom for 6.7 hours. This flag represents every sailor, soldier, airman and marine who has defended our great nation and made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. XIKAR is absolutely honored to receive Capt. Dwyer’s gift and many others over the years. 
      Help XIKAR in supporting our troops by donating to The Fisher House Foundation. Because members of the military and their families are stationed worldwide and must often travel great distances for specialized medical care, Fisher House Foundation donates "comfort homes," built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times - during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury. 
Have a wonderful month XIKAR Nation and God Bless the USA!
Kurt Van Keppel
President & Founder

April 2012 Newsletter

XIKAR April 2012
Kurt's CornerKurtsCorner

Dear XIKAR Customers and Friends:
        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. April is Autism Awareness month so what better time to spread the word of how to help.

        Autism Awareness  holds a special place in my heart as my best friend from college has an autistic son that is now 20 years old. I have seen first hand the difficulties and challenges she has had to endure and continues to face with this disorder. Her situation sparked a fire in me years ago to do all I can to help raise awareness.

        XIKAR has been teaming up with En Fuego Tobacco Shop in Rockwell, TX to host an Annual Golf Tournament benefiting Autism. This annual tournament is held to raise awareness and funding for nonPareil ("no two are alike") Institute in Plano, TX. This is a nonprofit corporation that is dedicated to providing technical training to students who have been diagnosed with autism. The programs are technology based and prepare individuals for the possibility to enter into employment at some point in their future. They learn teamwork, create a sense of community, and achieve fulfilled lives. En Fuego Tobacco Shop's Annual Golf Tournament raised over $24,000 for the nonPareil institute last year. "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.


       Your support is needed NOW. 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.





Kurt Van Keppel

President & Founder

XIKAR, Inc. 

March 2012 Newsletter

XIKAR March 2012
Kurt's CornerKurtsCorner

Dear XIKAR Customers and Friends:

            H.R. 1639 / S. 1461 is the Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act. This is a proposed amendment to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act clarifies the Food and Drug Administration's jurisdiction over certain tobacco products, which currently affects the manufacturing and distribution of traditional and premium cigars.

            This is a serious issue that could dramatically affect the cigar community in many negative ways.  Some possible examples are: no more walk in humidors (Canadian model); limits on advertising and promotions; bans on the very word cigar or tobacco; Manufacturer submission of blends to FDA for "testing." Before heading to your local shop - imagine the impact on premium cigar makers including limited new product introductions; price increases and possible end to boutique manufacturing.


         As a member of the advisory board of IPCPR, our industry's trade association, I have taken action. Along with other members of the board of the IPCPR, I traveled to Washington D.C. on February 10th to stump the hill. We split into squads of four and visited our representatives and senators at the Capitol. In our effort, my squad visited California Rep. Sam Far, New York Rep. Peter King, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, Michigan Rep. Dave Camp, North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan, Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Rep. Ander Crenshaw and many more. I even had the privilege to smoke a cigar with our Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder while overlooking the beautiful National Mall lit up at night. What an unforgettable experience!

XIKAR Ashtray Can Featured On Cigar Aficionado Homepage

Screen shot of Cigar Aficionado.com Ashtray can featureTrying to keep your cigar burning evenly while rolling down the highway is not easy. Holding it out the window has a horrible effect on the burn, and everyone knows that the second you bring it inside the cabin, that’s when the ash is going to fall, right in your lap. But Xikar has come up with a quick fix for your automotive smoking needs with a cupholder-sized mini ashtray.

>> Read full story at Cigar Aficionado.com

HC Series Salomon Limitado Reviewed by Seth's Humidor

I am going to skip formal introductions with this cigar and get right to it. For the past couple months I have been smoking my way through the XIKAR HC Series Salomon Limitado cigars that I have, and I have been finding that I am enjoying the cigar more and more. Does this have to with how I have stored these cigars? Maybe, maybe not, but I will say that they have been getting better and better.
HC Series Salomon Limitado
>> Read the full review here

February 2012 Newsletter

XIKAR February 2012
Kurt's CornerKurtsCorner

Dear XIKAR Customers and Friends:

      We are thrilled for 2012 to be a celebration of XIKAR Nation! Events, contests and awards will highlight our community of enthusiasts

 throughout the year and in this month's newsletter, you can learn about becoming a part of it.


      XIKAR Nation is more than just a group of our consumers. This is a group of aficionados dedicated to a lifestyle with extraordinary experience in every smoke. XIKAR Nation has become an elite assembly of cigar enthusiasts that we are extremely proud to have represent our company all around the world.

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