You can tell from the quiet introduction that our interview with Oliver Nivaud of United Cigar Group began the third day of IPCPR 2017 for us. Oliver gives the full tour of the product in the United booth, starting off with the Dos Hombres Cabinet. The Dos Hombres Cabinet is being relaunched with a Dominican and a Honduran blend. He tells us that United Cigar Group is bringing back the five dollar cigar with an innovating scheme that involves reimbursing state tobacco taxes in additional product. Accordingly, the box design includes the price for a single cigar ($5, of course), and the price for the entire box. You can expect these to be easy-going everyday smokes.
Next we talk about at La Gianna, which features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and Honduran filler. Then the Garofalo line which has Nicaraguan filler and binder, and one of three different wrappers: Ecuadorian Connecticut, Nicaraguan Maduro or Nicaraguan Sun Grown. Both lines will retail from $6 to $9, plus applicable taxes.
It’s not new, but one of the cigars we talked about the most off camera is what Oliver calls “the commuter”. It’s a 4 3/4 x 50 short smoke called the Firecracker and its cap has a fuse. In keeping with the name and the fuse, the cigar boasts of a spicy blend, including ligeros from Pennsylvania, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. The wrapper on this little guy is an Ecadorian Habano.
Up next is the United Line. It’s made with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and is available in both natural and maduro. The filler includes Brazilian Mata Fina tobacco in addition to several Dominican leaves. It’s available in three standard sizes, Robusto, Toro and Churchill, as well as a 6 x 28 vitola called Pencil. In the same case we also see Fleur De La Reine, a cigar with Honduran and Nicaraguan filler, a Dominican binder and either an Ecuadorian Sumatra or Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper. Oliver started his day with that cigar and an espresso and is a ran of the rich, woody flavor it has to offer. Both the United and Fleur De La Reine lines retail in the $5 to $9 range.
The Hombre Ashtray was one of the more amusing cigar accessories I saw at this year’s trade show. Explained simply, you rest one or two cigars on the Hombre’s feet, and he blows smoke. (Watch to the end of the video for a moment of zen with Lil Smokey.)
Oliver also shows the budget-friendly Classic line, which is available in four blends: Connecticut, Cuban, Maduro and Cameroon. These will run you around $3 a stick.
On the other end of the spectrum (and other half of the booth) are the Selected Tobacco products, created by Nelson Alfonso but distributed by United Cigar Group. You’ll recoginze these ultra premiums by the names Atabey, Byron and Bandolero. We get started talking about the three centuries (or blends) of Byron, 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries. All the Byron blends feature and Ecuadorian wrapper, but much of the blends are undisclosed. The 19th Century does include some Nicaraguan ligero and Peruvian tobacco. The 20th retains the Peruvian tobacco but loses the Nicaraguan Ligero. The 21st drops the Peruvian component and adds Dominican tobacco. You can expect to spend from $20 for the smallest vitola in the 19th Century up to about $33, plus applicable taxes.
There are five new sizes of Atabey: Místicos, Duendes, Delirios, Benditos, Spiritus (which is a lancero). As before the filler and binder tobaccos are undisclosed and the cigars feature and Ecuadorian wrapper. And all cigars are aged for a minimum of five years.
Unfortunately, technical problems caused the video to end before we could take a look at Bandolero and discuss the innovative dual-chamber Humitube cigar tube, but we covered a lot of ground.