Altadis was one of the “Big Four” companies that was not planning on attending the 2020 PCA Trade Show. For the most part, Altadis has been gradually rolling out new products throughout 2020 as opposed to putting all of its energy into the summer months. Altadis also seemed quite prepared handling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has done an excellent job at using virtual technology to handle its product launches. On top of that, earlier this spring the company hosted a series of “Cigar Break” podcasts that helped the company stay engaged with consumers.
While our “Summer of 20” series focused on the June to September timeframe for product releases, it’s important to know that, as we said earlier, there have been plenty of product launches throughout the year.
This summer saw Altadis release a new offering under its Onyx brand with the Onyx Bold Nicaragua. A couple of years ago, the Onyx got a boost when the Onyx Reserve received a packaging upgrade. Now Altadis adds a second offering into the Onyx brand with the Onyx Bold Nicaragua. It’s also the latest Altadis brand where AJ Fernandez gets to put his impression on it. The blend for the Onyx Bold Nicaragua features a San Andres Wrapper over a blend of all Nicaraguan tobaccos. It will be presented in three sizes: Robusto (50 x 5), Toro (54 x 6), and Magnum (60 x 6). Each will be presented in 20-count boxes. The line was showcased virtually in August when the product was launched.
Altadis also launched the VegaFina 1998. VegaFina 1998 was a cigar that was released a year ago to the European market to commemorate 20 years of the VegaFina brand. It will now come to the U.S. as a part of the Tabacalera USA portfolio. VegaFina 1998 features tobaccos aged for three years. Components of the blend include an Ecuadorian wrapper, Indonesian binder and fillers from Nicaragua, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic. The cigars are available in three sizes: VF 50: (50 x 4 1/2); VF 52 (52 x 5 1/4); and VF 54 (54 x 6 1/8)- each packaged in ten-count boxes. Like the Onyx Bold Nicaragua, the VF 1998 had a virtual launch in September.
2019 saw Altadis release the highly successful Henry Clay War Hawk. This year, Altadis unveiled the limited edition Henry Clay War Hawk Rebellious. The cigar is the first Henry Clay to be be made in Nicaragua – and it’s produced at AJ Fernandez’s factory. The Henry Clay War Hawk Rebellious features a well-aged Habano wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler. Henry Clay has been a line known to use Connecticut Broadleaf in the blend. With the case of the War Hawk Rebellious, it’s the fist Henry Clay to not use this leaf. Instead, the cigar features Nicaraguan Broadleaf for the binder. It comes in one size – a 6 x 54 Toro. It will be presented in 20-count boxes. Pricing has been set at $9.60 per cigar and production will be limited to 1,200 boxes.
Finally, the Romeo by Romeo y Julieta line received a line extension with the 60 x 6 Magnum. The Romeo by Romeo y Julieta Magnum features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over Dominican binder and fillers. The Magnum is presented in 20-count boxes. Pricing is set at $10.85 per cigar.
Other releases that Altadis has rolled out in 2020 include the Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real Nicaragua, H. Upmann 1844 Añejo, revamped packaging for H. Upmann 1844 Reserve and 1844 Vintage Cameroon, the Harvester & Co. Connecticut, and the soon to be released Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Nicaragua (to commemorate Montecristo’s 85th Anniversary).
Finally, Boutique Blends, the company co-owned by Rafael Nodal and distributed by Altadis USA had several releases that we covered in a previous Summer of ’20 installment.