Altadis USA will be teaming up with Pete Johnson of Tatuaje Cigars for a new take on an old brand. The two have collaborated to revitalize the Henry Clay brand with the Henry Clay Tattoo. The project will make its debut at the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas.
In details provided to Cigar Aficionado, Johnson worked closely with Altadis’ Grupo de Maestros team to not only put a modern spin on the Henry Clay brand, but also capture the essence of the original blend. The Grupo de Maestros team represents some of Altadis’ most skilled cigar makers and have been involved on many of Altadis’ high profile releases.
The combination of Altadis and Pete Johnson might be shocking, but when you scratch the surface, it isn’t totally a surprise.
In terms of the Henry Clay brand, those who know Johnson, know he has had an affinity for the brand for many years. When I was at an event in West Palm Beach, the topic of the Henry Clay cigar came up in a conversation I had with Johnson and I learned it was a cigar he had enjoyed smoking.
From Altadis’ point of view, the idea of collaborating with others in the industry is not new. We first saw this last year when the company teamed up with Placencia to produce the Espada by Montecristo. Earlier this year, Altadis announced it was collaborating with Boutique Blends to produce the Romeo by Romeo y Julieta Aging Room Small Batch F25. At the time the Romeo Aging Room cigar was launched, we did an interview with Altadis Vice President Brad Winstead who told us that more collaborations with other manufacturers and Altadis were forthcoming. While he didn’t get specific, Winstead told us on “you are going to see a couple of more of these in future – with some names when they come out, ‘oh wow’ is going to be what a lot of people say.”
The Henry Clay brand is named after United States Senator and Congressman Henry Clay of Kentucky. The brand was created in Cuba in the 1840s by a Spanish emigrant named Julian Alvarez. The company was sold to a company that would become known Henry Clay and Bock & Co. Ltd, and then later to American Tobacco Company who moved the production of the brand to Trenton, New Jersey. Eventually Consolidated Cigar Company (which became Altadis) acquired the rights to the Henry Clay brand. Altadis would then produce the Henry Clay cigar at Tabacalera de Garcia in the Dominican Republic.
The original Altadis Henry Clay cigar is a Connecticut Broadleaf blend with Dominican binder and filler. The new Henry Clay Tattoo will be a different blend, but still feature a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper with a Dominican Piloto Cubano binder and a combination of Dominican and Ometepe tobacco This marks the first significant project being done by Johnson outside Nicaragua. Johnson isn’t known for working with Dominican tobaccos, so this project is probably the most significant such effort to blend.
Henry Clay Tattoo will be available in one size – a 6 x 52 Toro. The cigars will be packaged in 20 count boxes feature an image of the original Cuban factory that made the Henry Clay cigars. The project is slated to be a limited production – with only 50,000 cigars being made.
Wrapper: Hand-selected Dark Connecticut Broadleaf Vintage 2010
Binder: Dominican Piloto Vintage 2010
Filler: Dominican Olor Vintage 2012, Dominican Piloto Vintage 2012 and Nicaraguan Criollo Ometepe Vintage 2013
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
The Henry Clay Tattoo is available in one size – a 6 x 52 Toro.