New Year and New Cigars by Frank Seltzer
Happy New Year. 2013 is going to bring us a bunch of new stuff of course a lot of it is not released yet but there are a few things we can count on.
First of all starting January first, the Fuente family is marking the 101st year of operations. 2012 was the 100th anniversary of when Arturo Fuente began rolling cigars on his back porch in Tampa, but for various reasons the family did not want to mark the 100th anniversary. Instead, Carlito said he wants to look ahead and not back so therefore 2013 is being called year one time begins…or the first year of the company’s second century.
There will be three new brands for the Fuente portfolio. The Don Arturo Aniversario Destino Siglo will be debuting in the Spring. It will be a high end premium, according to Carlito, “with small production because of the kind of quality, the special tobacco we are using. The cigar itself it is all entubado and the runs will be very small like the Opus X. It is going to help the retailers and help us. These are products for retailers and there are only so many Opus X we can make but the tobaccos on these will be different so they are going to have another product that they can depend upon like the Arturo Fuente Anejo Fuente Opus X. There are going to be as hot and as sought after as the Opus X. Ongoing but it won’t be available very day.”
Another new line will be the Angel’s Share which is an Opus X special edition. The third new line will be the Casa Cuba. This is an old brand the family had and one that Carlos Fuente, Sr. –Carlito’s father—wanted to bring back. Carlos did the blend himself in 2012 and the cigars have been sitting for many months. Says Carlito, “I have held them back. People say this is the best cigar I have ever smoked. I said don’t tell my dad that. He is pissed at me for holding it back. He says ‘I don’t make brands to keep it in the bakery, ya gotta sell it.’ Remember my dad was a baker for a while before he joined his father making cigars.“ The cigars will use an Ecuadorian wrapper with Dominican fillers and binder. They will most likely be released in the summer or fall.
10 Years On
For Jose “Pepin” Garcia 2013 marks a special time as well. It is the 10th anniversary of when he began rolling the line bearing his name—Don Pepin—in Miami. It also marks the beginning of the collaboration between Pepin and Pete Johnson with his Tatuaje cigars…also initially rolled in Miami. There will be a celebration this year to mark both anniversaries and as for Don Pepin, he will be releasing a special commemorative smoke called the DPG-Limited Edition. According to Cigar Aficionado,
It will be a one-time run of 2,000 boxes, each containing 14 cigars. The smoke is going to be in one size, 6 1/2-inches long with a 52 ring gauge. Inside will be tobaccos from Nicaragua, grown in 2007 and 2008, wrapped in 2009 Ecuadoran wrapper grown from Habano seeds.
I’ll check with Pete Johnson about what he plans and will have that at a later date. (Hey it is the holidays after all.)
And while not a business milestone, turning 70 is kind of a big deal. Nestor Miranda of Miami Cigar & Company will reach that mark on Valentine’s Day. To commemorate the event, Nestor is releasing a special Nestor Miranda 70th LE. This will be a lancero coming from the two factories he has had a great relationship with over the years. The box of 12 cigars will contain 6 lanceros from the My Father factory in Nicaragua (Pepin’s factory) and 6 lanceros from La Aurora in the Dominican Republic.
The Nicaraguan cigar uses a bark Habano wrapper over Nicaraguan fillers and binder while the Dominican version has a Mexican San Andres wrapper. There will be only 1,000 individually numbered boxes, with 700 to be released initially and the remaining 300 boxes to sit in Miami Cigar & Company’s humidor for a later date. The box will look like a classic car Nestor has always admired and these cigars will retail for $14 each plus local taxes. Look for them around Nestor’s birthday, February 14th.