New Products from XIKAR!


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.

"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

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!

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