Nicholas Melillo  who served as a master blender and Executive Vice President of International Operations has announced he is leaving Drew Estate Tobacco Company.  Melillo announced he is now operating under his own company Melillo International.

As far as future plans with Melillo International. The company said in a press release, “Melillo has no formal plans but is looking forward to creating new blends and brands in the premium cigar industry.  Since the beginning of the year Melillo has been consulting on tobacco purchasing and cigar blending under his company Melillo International  (  He looks forward to new opportunities in the future.

Melillo had been with Drew Estate for the past 11 years.  His responsibilities included tobacco purchasing, overseeing production, quality control, shipment planning, and fermentation.  He has been involved with the blending around the Liga Privada Undercrown, Kahlua, and Nica Rustica lines.  At Drew Estate he has blended Rocky Patel’s Java and Royal Gold Cigars Nirvana cigars.  He also worked along side with Willy Herrera on Herrera Esteli.

“I am extremely grateful to Jonathan Drew for giving me the opportunity and believing in me back in 2003. I am also enormously proud of the Nicaraguan team. They have been like family to me and we have come a long way together,” said Melillo in the press release.

Melillo’s departure is the second major one from Drew Estate in less than a year.  Last year, CEO Steve Saka announced his retirement.