One of the big stories in the premium cigar industry over the past year was Imperial Tobacco selling off its premium cigar business to a private equity group. This sale included Altadis U.S.A and its associated brands. The transaction closed late in 2020. In terms of what this means to its customers, things have remained business-as-usual for Altadis U.S.A.

Even before the sale was completed, Altadis U.S.A. had made the decision to pull out of the Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade Show. Since that decision was made, Altadis has spread out the introduction of its new products throughout the calendar year (as opposed to Drew Estate which bunched up its product announcements for the year just before the start of summer). As we do with all of our Summer of ’21 coverage, we focus on the most recent products heading into the summer. These products were actually unveiled at Tobacco Plus Expo (TPE) 2021 back in May.

Montecristo remains one of the pillar brands in the Altadis U.S.A. portfolio. This year Altadis U.S.A. introduced the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12. The Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 is the third installment of the Epic series. This follows 2012’s Montecristo Epic Vintage 2007 release and the 2018 limited edition, the Montecristo Epic Craft Cured. The blend itself features an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, over a Dominican binder and Dominican and Nicaragua filler. The Epic Vintage 12 gets its name due to the fact that tobacco from a 2012 vintage crop is included as a part of the Dominican filler. The cigar is available in two sizes – Toro and the iconic No. 2 belicoso size.

Montecristo has been considered to be one of the most premium offerings in the Altadis U.S.A. portfolio. This year a collaboration was done with Bernard Richards Manufacture (B.R.M.). The project is known as Montecristo B.R.M. The project features a luxury humidor along with a custom-made watch by B.R.M – both incorporating Montecristo design elements. The humidor also features a built-in watch winder for the timepiece. In addition, the humidor comes with 40 Montecristo B.R.M. Edition cigars featuring a blend designed for this project. The cigar itself is a Nicaraguan puro available in a Toro size. A total of 32 humidors were produced. The unit – complete with the humidor, watch, watch-winder, and cigars has a price tag of $11,000.00.

Another brand that is a staple line of the Altadis U.S.A. is H. Upmann, and this year the H. Upmann 1844 line will have a new Connecticut Shade wrapped offering known as the H. Upmann 1844 Classic. This is a blend made out of Flor de Copan in Honduras and it features an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper over Honduran binder and filler. It’s available in four sizes (Corona, Robusto, Toro Churchill). This is the second H. Upmann Connecticut Shade cigar in three years. Back in 2018, the company introduced the H. Upmann Connecticut Grupo de Maestros.

Product Reports

Photo Credits: Altadis U.S.A.