There perhaps isn’t a company that has undergone more of a transformation in the past two years than Favilli Cigars. Earlier this year, it was announced that Mombacho Cigars would be changing its name in the U.S. to Favilli Cigars. This was due to a dispute with Tabacalera Tropical over the use of the Mombacho trademark. However, the transformation of Favilli Cigars was not simply a name change that occurred at the beginning of 2022. The seeds for this transformation were planted about 18 months ago, bringing in new executive leadership, factory leadership, and planning for new brands.
The beginning of 2021 saw the departure of President and Master Blender Claudio Sgroi from then-Mombacho Cigars. At the time of Sgroi’s departure, Cameron Heaps, the founder of Mombacho Cigars, returned to a more active role. Around this time industry veteran Jared Michaeli Ingrisano joined Mombacho as the Director of Sales. In April, Indiana Ortez joined Mombacho as the General Manager of the Casa Favilli factory. When 2022 came around Michaeli was promoted by Heaps to President of the Company, which was rebranded Favilli Cigars for the U.S. market.
Meanwhile, Michaeli and his team were hard at work. As we approached the Memorial Day period in the U.S., the company released a completely revamped core line called the Granada Series. While most Nicaraguan cigar companies are based out of Estelí, Nicaragua, Favilli Cigars and their factory Casa Favilli are based in Granada, Nicaragua which is just outside the Nicaraguan capital of Managua.
The Granada Series consists of three blends each with a unique blend: Tierra (Nicaraguan Habano wrapper), Isletas (Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper), and Lava (Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper). The Tierra line basically is the old Tierra Volcan line, but the Isletas and Lava offerings are all new. At the time the Granada Series was announced, Michaeli commented, “the depth of having a core line with three wrappers was a necessary move in order to supply markets with a broader offering of our factories ability and different regions [sic] excellent tobaccos.”
The interesting thing is the incorporation of a new cigar profile classification system, “one-dot, two-dot, and three-dot.” This, the company says, “classifies brands and marks in total, including and not limited to the body, profile, strength, creating an easy avenue of selection for smokers.” Isletas is classified as one-dot, Tierra is classified as two-dot, and Lava is classified as three-dot.
Initially, the company shipped the cigars in limited edition 20-count “Forever Boxes” that feature a magnetic seal. Standard packaging and ten-count environmentally conscious boxes named “Enviro-Lux” will also be available.
Shortly after the Granada line was launched, an additional size was added to the Tierra line called the Tierra Small Cigar. This is a 4 1/2 x 26 small cigar that was previously known as the Mombachito when the Tierra line was known as Tierra Volcan. The Tierra Small Cigar will be offered in ten-count individual Enviro-Packs, but also sold in a 50-count offering that features five of the individual ten-count boxes bundled in a single display boat.
Toward the end of the summer, there was another regular production offering introduced known as Ladrillos. Ladrillos is Spanish for Tiles and it’s a brand that pays homage to the artisanal handmade concrete tiles of Mario Favilli, for whom the Favilli factory is named. Mario also owned a tile factory and when he completed his home in 1925, he adorned what is the Favilli cigar factory with his favorite tile designs.
Ladrillos is a 5 x 52 box-pressed cigar. The idea was the geometric square shape of the box press was meant to bring light to the square tiles. Each cigar has a band that represents a different tile design using a blend of colors from the Favilli Mansion’s architectural color palette. The first run Ladrillos will be released in six-count “Enviro-Packs” (soft boxes).
In addition to the new core line offerings, there is a new limited edition collaboration series with Fabien Ziegler known as Coffee & Cigars. As the name indicates, it is a packaged offering of coffee beans and cigars. Each release will be a limited production series released to coincide with the summer and winter solstices. The first release is called “Come Around Friends, Enjoy” (i.e. C.A.F.E.)
Each package will feature 227 grams (1/2 pound) of whole bean coffee and ten cigars. The duo is presented in environmentally friendly, collectible Enviro-Tubes where the cigars are nestled in loose coffee. The pairing goes a step further. The freshly roasted coffee is sealed with well-aged tobacco leaves from the released blend. This is timed around product packaging due to keep the coffee’s freshness. Meanwhile, the cigars rest in a specialty cedar outfit, which is packed with the pairing coffee & kept in a specific environment where the cigars are influenced by the ambiance, aromas & oils of the whole bean coffee. Each solstice release will display its collectible packaging when products are ready for shipping.
For the Come Around Friends, Enjoy! release, the coffee is a Nicaragua Single-Origin Segovia Whole Bean coffee paired with ten Nicaraguan puro Short Coronas (4 1/2 x 44). A total production run of 650 units is being done. The Come Around Friends, Enjoy! is priced at $155.00.
As for some of the other core lines, Favilli has announced it has ended production of Liga Maestro and Casa Favilli. In addition, the company has announced it has ended its Diplomático line, a cigar done in collaboration with Diplomático Rum.
Interview with Jared Michaeli, Favilli Cigars
This past summer we had the opportunity to interview Favilli Cigars President Jared Favilli.
Favilli/Mombacho Cigars S.A. to Release Granada Line
Favilli Releases Tierra Small Cigar
Favilli Cigars Announces Ladrillos
Fabien Ziegler and Favilli Announce Coffee & Cigars Line
Favilli Cigars and Diplomático Rum End Diplomático Cigars Project
Photo Credits: Favilli Cigars