Thoughts on Re-Blending

Stogie Talk16 Comments on Thoughts on Re-Blending

Thoughts on Re-Blending

Just the other morning I was checking up on my twitter account and what people had to say while I slept the night away. I came across a tweet from our good friend Carlos from New Jersey. Carlos directed me to a Cigar Aficionado article that he thought I might find interesting.

Boy was he right, I read the article and would up printing it to take to my local shop. The reason for taking it to the shop was due to a conversation I had with the owner, Kurt, not terribly long ago about a re-blended product he received.

That product was the new Legend-Ario by Camacho. It seems that Christian Eiroa felt that revamping the packaging and changing the blend would make the cigar a better seller. The new cigar sports a redesigned foot band and now has a band in the standard location. They will also be available in smaller count boxes to make them more appealing to consumers (They were only available in high count retailer boxes).

Kurt and I got to talking about the potential impact on sales. Being one of his customers that enjoyed the old blend, would I follow through and buy the news ones? Turns out that I don’t care for the new Legend Arios nearly as much as the old El Legend-Arios.

The Cigar Aficionado article that Carlos pointed me to had nothing to do with Camacho, but did have everything to do with the re-blending of another cigar on the market. David Savona ,Senior Editor of Cigar Aficionado, tells us in a recent post that Don Pepin Garcia will be taking over the blending of the Nestor Miranda Special Selection.

Nestor Miranda Special Selection - 1

Pepin Making Nestor Miranda Cigar
by David Sovona of Cigar Aficionado

Jose “Pepin” Garcia is taking on a new cigar project. The talented cigarmaker is the new manufacturer of the Nestor Miranda Signature Selection brand.

Now I didn’t think the Special Selection was all that special, and Don Pepin Garcia can probably take it from being “nothing special” to something near and dear to the hearts of those in the dedicated Pepin following.

What made this so interesting to me was, what about all the people who are buying this cigar right now, the people who enjoy it for exactly what it is? This cigar hasn’t been on the market for terribly long and now it is being revamped. It is very possible I may think that the new blend is fantastic, but what about the guys at my local smoke shop that buy it like crazy because they like it the way it is?

What do you think about a manufacturer re-blending
cigars not soon after leaving the gate?





enjoying cigars since 2005

16 thoughts on “Thoughts on Re-Blending

  1. I didn’t realize that they reblended the El Legend-ario. I knew that they were getting rid of the maduro and adding a corojo wrapped one. Which wrapper was the one you had Walt? Well, I’m glad I got about 20 of the old pre-foot band ones left. Bummer.

  2. Steve,
    So far I’ve only had two and they aren’t bad, just like the old ones better. Not sure what the wrapper was.

    When I hit the shop on Friday I’ll pick up a couple more and find out what the wrapper is.

    -Walt

  3. The LegendArio was not reblended, it is the same exact cigar as before with the updated packaging and same great price point! Whoever said it was a re-blend was not informing you correctly.

  4. I remember when I was going through a CAO phase and jumped all over the CAO Mx2. I smoked a few singles and really enjoyed them so much that I bought a box. Every single cigar was a carbon copy of one another. A few months later, I hit up the shop and their supply of the Mx2 was dwindling down to a few singles. He then told me that CAO had a problem with the crop that went into making the Mx2 and it would be awhile before he’d be getting stock in. Well, after a very long time, the Mx2 were back. I bought a box..big mistake. I’m not sure if my palate is what changed or the blend was different…whatever it was, the cigar tasted completely differnt. The Mx2’s are now given away as mooch sticks.

  5. I think of re-blending as putting a new model of a car out. Each year we see new cars that are slightly different than their predecessors in the line with the intention of being better. Some are, some aren’t. It boils down to a matter of taste. Sure some may miss an old blend, but either by choice of the manufacturer, or by necesessity, it has changed, not much we can do about it.

    However, I have a more cynical view when a company enlists someone else to do their blends….ie Pepin Garcia.

    Pepin is on a huge boom right now, and undoubtedly makes some of the best sticks in the world, but to me, many companies are capitalizing on his name. We all know the frenzy that happens when a new “Pepin” stick hits the market, and companies just want to take advantage of it. A part of me wants to believe that the cigar company really wants to make an award winning “classic” cigar, but my gut tells me, its for marketing. They just want to put Pepin’s name on a stick because they know they can charge more for it, and people will buy it.

    but for me, I lose a lot of respect for a company that so openly sells out a family business, to a free-lance blender, just to make a buck.

  6. I wonder what it was like fifty years ago when cigar smokers found a cigar brand they really liked and smoked it for the rest of their lives… today there are so many brands, brand extensions, and blend changes that it’s hard to keep up. I went into a cigar shop a couple weeks ago and asked about the new Aroma de Cuba blended by Pepin and the shop owner wanted to have me committed.

    New blends are great, but I wish the manufacturers would at least give them new names instead of recycling the old ones.

  7. Look at Fuente, how many new cigars do they put out each year. None that I can think of other than the annual cigars like God of Fire.

  8. This is an interesting topic Walt. I was speaking with a Padilla rep. and he complained in the reverse. Basically Padilla was upset with Don Pepin over what Padilla rep claimed was an unauthorized reblending of the Miami 8&11. So that soured the relationship so they got their own rollers for more quality control and created the Miami blend, no more 8&11 DP shop address. Hmmm, sounded to me more like someone wanted a bigger part of the profit and wanted to find justification but who cares. I told the rep that I like the DP blends so hopefully they don’t mess up the Miami blend.

    But the 68 is a good cigar and the new Habano is a nice price cigar but not what I’d expect compared to previous Padilla cigars.

    So there you go, one reblending causing a bad relationship and a brand owner wanting to get the original blend back hah.

    Dave

  9. I have one big problem with re-blending, how do you know which ones are re-blended? If your cigar blend isn’t selling well discontinue it and come out with a new one with a different name, that way you don’t have confusion over the name. Or use years (or nerdier, version numbers). I don’t want to have to remember that cigar X is the original blend and cigar X with the extra band around the foot is the re-blend, and cigar X is the re-re-blend and it has a blue halo around the X on the band instead of a red halo on the 2nd blend.

    Anyway while frustrating if it isn’t selling well enough to justify making it, then the company should feel free to get rid of it. It happens all the time in other businesses. They are after all trying to make a living. With cigars you have crop issues too. Maybe they can’t get the tobacco they needed for the old blend anymore because a hurricane wiped out the entire farm where it was grown. There are so many variables, I can’t blame them. Just name them differently!

  10. Another cigar than came to mind is the Diablo. I thought they were a really good cigar but they went out of production before I could grab a box. Famous has brought them back but they aren’t the same, not even close.

  11. I imagine that manufacturers feel pressure to constantly put out new things for smokers to try/buy. Many people say they don’t like novelty but the sales figures that manufacturers undoubtedly pour over tell a different story. In the long run the manufacturers will do what’s best for their business. When we stop purchasing new brand extensions or re-blends, the manufacturers will change their strategy. I think things have gotten too complicated. Much of marketing/advertising is just pure human manipulation, I would hope that at least a portion of the cigar biz does not completely buy into it. (I laugh at CAO, their flavorettes, and their pseudo-slick ads. I can’t take them seriously as a cigar company.) The industry needs to be careful…if they want to portray blending a cigar as difficult and requiring great skill, then they need to cool it on the new cigars coming out. It gives the impression that it’s easy to do.

  12. I would think that every cigar line that has been around for more than a couple of years has been re-blended to create the same flavor profile with different leaves. There is no way that Rockey Patel for example have enough tobacco to produce the #’s he does with the same tobacco from the first release, thus re-blending.

    I think it is odd that Pepin is taking over a line so soon, but I did not enjoy the Lancero so I’m glad something is being done with it.

  13. Brent brings up a good point. I’m ok with re-blending to achieve the same flavor profile, but when they re-blend to make the cigar taste different (as it sounds like they did with the El Legend-ario), they should rename the cigar. Dang. I loved the original.

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