As far as the brands of Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG) go, we are covering them by their distribution arms focusing specifically on General Cigar Company and Forged Cigar Company. Today we turn our attention to the brands falling under General Cigar. As many know, STG was one of the “Big Four” that decided to withdraw from exhibiting at the annual Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade Show. This year, one might say STG returned to the Trade Show in a very limited fashion. Back in June, it was announced that STG had acquired Matt Booth’s Room101 Cigars which had been added to the Forged Cigar arm of STG. Room101 had already committed to exhibiting its products. At the same time, the opportunity was used to showcase several projects Booth had been working on with STG as a whole outside of Room101. Plus there was STG staff supporting Room101. At the same time, both General and Forged had many projects announced between Memorial Day and Labor Day that were not showcased at any trade show.
The project Booth worked on with the General Cigar side of the house was a relaunch of the Sancho Panza brand. This project was done by Matt Booth, Justin Andrews, and the team at Honduran American Tobacco S.A. (HATSA). There were three blends released.
The Sancho Panza Original (Blue) consists of a Honduran Connecticut wrapper over a Mexican San Andres binder and Dominican, Nicaraguan, and Brazilian Matafina fillers. The Sancho Panza Double Maduro (Black) consists of a Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, a Nicaraguan Estelí binder, and Dominican and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos. Finally, the Sancho Panza Extra Fuerte (Red) which is intended to be the boldest offering in the collection, features an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, a USA Connecticut Broadleaf binder, and Dominican and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos. All three blends are featured in Robusto, Toro, and Gigante formats with the specific dimensions varying by blend. The new Sancho Panza blends have already shipped to retailers.
Pricing for the Sancho Panza Original ranges from $6.69 to $7.59. The pricing for the Sancho Panza Double Maduro ranges from $6.69 to $9.49. Finally the Sancho Panza Extra ranges from $7.49 to $9.49.
While Matt Booth was a big story with STG, there was another cigar maker who teamed up with STG – and that was Dion Giolito of Illusione Cigars. While Dion didn’t join STG like Booth, he did work on a limited edition project under the Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur line known as Illusione of Excalibur.
One reason why Giolito chose to do a project around Excalibur is because, while he was in college, the Excalibur #1 Maduro was a “go-to” cigar for him. For this project, Giolito worked with Justin Andrews and the Agricola Ganadera Norteña S.A. (formerly TABSA) factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. The Illusione of Excalibur is a Nicaragua puro featuring a Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 wrapper from Jalapa, a 2012 Nicaraguan Corojo binder from Jalapa and a blend of Criollo and Corojo tobaccos from 1998, 1999 and 2006 grown in Estelí. The cigar is being produced in one size – a 7 1/4 x 54 known as “No. 1.” Illusione of Excalibur will be pressed in ten-count boxes. A total of 4,960 boxes are being released. Pricing is set at $19.99 per cigar. These cigars have shipped already.
Macanudo had a busy summer with two products. First up is the eighth release under Macanudo’s Inspirado line, the Macanudo Inspirado Jamao. The Macanudo Inspirado Series is a series of cigars under General Cigar Company’s Macanudo brand that brings a contemporary look and feel. It also serves as an innovation platform for the Macanudo brand – incorporating things the brand hasn’t seen before. In this case, it is using a unique proprietary Habano wrapper grown in the Mao region of the Dominican Republic from seed out of the Jamastran Valley of Honduras.
In addition, the Jamao also features a Honduran binder and fillers from Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. It has been released in two sizes: Toro (5 3/4 x 52, $10.49 SRP) and Churchill (7 x 49, $10.99 SRP) – each presented in 20-count boxes. A total of 2,300 boxes were made available for the U.S. market. Production comes from General Cigar Dominicana in Santiago, Dominican Republic. These cigars have arrived at U.S. retailers already.
Macanudo has added three new offerings under its M by Macanudo line.
There ar three new front marks: Dark Rum, French Vanilla, and Mint Cocoa being added, bringing the total number of front marks to six. These join the existing three offerings: M by Macanudo (Coffee), M Bourbon by Macanudo, and M by Macanudo Espresso
All three cigars feature an Indonesian wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and fillers. The cigars are infused with a proprietary infusion process to add the notes of rum, vanilla, and mint-cocoa into the cigar experience. All three cigars come in one size – a 6 x 50 Toro. Each size is presented in a 20-count box. Pricing is set at $8.49 per cigar. The cigars have shipped to retailers.
Finally from CAO comes the BX3. BX3 represents “three times the Brazilian tobaccos” with blends focusing on the tobaccos from the growing regions of Northeastern Brazil. The BX3 features a Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper, Brazilian Arapiraca binder, and fillers from Brazil, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua. It is a regular production line that will be available in three sizes Robusto (5 x 52, SRP $8.99), Toro (6 x 54, SRP $9.49), and Gordo: (6 x 60, SRP $10.49). Each is presented in 20-count boxes. The cigars have shipped to retailers.
The BX3 is currently the center of a trademark dispute between Arturo Fuente and Scandinavian Tobacco Group. Arturo Fuente filed a cease-and-desist letter stating the BX3 violated Fuente’s trademark of the use of “X”. General Cigar then filed a declaratory judgment trademark lawsuit against Fuente Cigar Ltd. and Fuente Marketing Ltd.
General Cigar Releases Revamped Sancho Panza Line
Dion Giolito Teams Up with General for Illusione of Excalibur
General Cigar Announces Macanudo Inspirado Jamao
General Cigar Expands M by Macanudo Line
CAO BX3 Coming in July
Photo Credits: Scandinavian Tobacco Group