If you smoked cigars in the early to mid-2000s like me, you probably remember a cigar company called OneOff. There were a true boutique cigar that was hard to find with a peace symbol on a simple band. OneOff made some amazing cigars back then, but were quite pricey coming in at around $14 on average. The company was originally started by Andrea Molinari in 2001, who an the La Casa del Habano SA in Milan, Italy and was the CEO of Lauda Air. He wanted to make his own cigar line and tried to originally have it made in Cuba. When that didn’t pan out, he turn to the Plasencia family in Nicaragua.
The first OneOff cigars were made in a limited quantity which mostly sold in Europe and Asia. In 2002, OneOff cigars were being distributed in the US by Felipe Gregorio, then distribution was transferred to Paul Giacalone in 2004 who created OneOff Cigars USA. By 2009, OneOff was no longer owned by Andrea Molinari nor being made by the Plasencia family, but by Cuban Crafters, known for their budget friendly cigars.
Last year, Dion Giolito, owner of Illusione Cigars, was able to purchase the brand from Cuban Crafters and bring it back to its roots. OneOff fits well into the Illusione portfolio with their traditional sizes and restoring its cult like following which Illusione has as well. Dion credits OneOff cigars as being an inspiration for Illusione and its influence is seen in many other cigar companies. OneOff was a true craft cigar where they used limited amount of tobaccos and, once sold, was done until the next crop, a true “one off” cigar line. You see this as several companies are now producing cigar lines that have limited release or come around once every blue moon or once a rare tobacco is available again.
The new OneOff is being true to the original OneOffs using only the original sizes, 8 of the original 16 sizes, and making the blend as close to the original as possible. The cigar will be made at the TABSA factory in Nicaragua where Illusione cigars are being made. The best part is that this is a brand that was around before the FDA’s predicate date which qualifies it as a grandfathered brand. I can’t find any blend information on the new OneOff, but Dion said he was going to keep the blend and package as close to the original as possible to comply with FDA guidelines.
Vitola: Corona Gorda
Purchased at Cigar Federation
The OneOff look very nicely made with a beautiful wrapper and a well applied cap. The cigar doesn’t have any soft or hard spots and has a russet brown color. The draw is perfect with notes of cedar, hay, and earth.
The OneOff has notes of black pepper, nutmeg, cedar, slightly creamy on retrohale with more black pepper. A nice sweet caramel note near the end of the first third. The cigar has a medium body and is smoking beautifully.
I get mostly cedar, a peanut note and slight nutmeg note. The sweetness as faded away and now its has a small bitterness that is quite nice. The body is still medium body and is burning well. The construction is excellent.
When I heard the OneOff was making a comeback, I was ecstatic. I was a big fan of the original. The perfect person to revive OneOff is Dion Giolito and fits perfectly in the Illusione house. OneOff was brand back in the day that was almost secretive. It had a cult following and, if you knew about it, you were one of the rare few cigar smokers that actually heard of it, let alone smoked one. They got a little more available later on before Cuban Crafters acquired the brand, but the Cuban Crafter version wasn’t the same. I’m glad these are back on the market and they taste amazing. These are totally box worthy. My only dilemma now is what size to buy a full box. I bought the corona gorda and canonazo and I prefer the corona gorda over the canonazo. I want to try all the others to find that perfect OneOff for me. The corona gorda is off to a great start. I’m excited to see what the future holds for OneOff cigars.