Earlier this year, Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG) spun several of its premium cigar brands under General Cigar Company into a new distribution company known as Forged Cigar Company. This year, what is still called General Cigar Company includes five very strong brands: Macanudo, CAO, Cohiba, Hoyo de Monterrey, and Punch. These brands have all seen releases this summer, and in some cases there have been release throughout 2021.

General Cigar Company (and now Forged)  is one of the “Big Four” that had opted to pass on the Trade Show.  At each year’s trade show, General always had what I called “a trade show within a trade show” with plenty of exciting product offerings being showcased. There certainly hasn’t been any loss of the exciting product offerings since then – with the one difference being they are spread throughout the calendar year and it gives you something to look forward to.


Earlier this year, Macanudo launched the Macanudo Inspirado Brazilian Shade, a Connecticut Shade offering from Brazil. The summer months turned to the M by Macanudo line where the third installment, M by Macanudo Espresso was released. M by Macanudo is a line under the Macanudo brand of infused offerings. The line was introduced in 2018 with the original M by Macanudo, a coffee-flavored offering. It was followed up by the M Bourbon offering in 2019 with was an Old-Fashioned cocktail offering. Now the M by Macanudo Espresso brings together flavors of café con leche and café macchiato. What is unique about this cigar is it’s Macanudo’s first barber-pole offering. The cigar features Indonesian Shade and Indonesian Maduro wrappers for the barber pole effect. The remainder of the blend features a Philippine binder and Nicaraguan fillers. The M Espresso is offered in two sizes – Belicoso (6 x 54) and Toro (6 x 50). The cigars are presented in 20-count boxes.


2021 has been a busy year for the CAO brand. Earlier this year the limited edition CAO Arcana Mortal Coil was released. At the same time, the CAO Zócalo returned as a regular production offering. This summer saw a new installment into the CAO Flathead pillar, the CAO Flathead V21 make its debut. The CAO Flathead V21 is a follow-up to the CAO Flathead V19. While the V19 used a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, the V21 features a Mexican San Andres wrapper. The Connecticut Broadleaf on the V21 can be found on the binder. As for the fillers, they are a combination of Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos. According to General Cigar, each of the filler leaves had an abbreviated fermentation to lock in the tobacco’s native characteristics. This was followed by a secondary aging process to the filler. Production is handled out of the STG Estelí factory in Nicaragua. The CAO Flathead V21 is available in two sizes – a 6 x 60 and 7 x 70 offering. Each is presented in 27-count boxes. A total of 2,000 boxes per size are used.


Like Macanudo and CAO, Cohiba had an early year release with the Miami-made Cohiba Serie M. The summer months saw the introduction of Weller by Cohiba. It’s a limited edition offering from General Cigar’s Cohiba brand that was blended especially to complement Weller Bourbon. Weller by Cohiba consists of a Honduran San Agustin Ligero wrapper with a Connecticut Havano Medio Tiempo and fillers from Estelí and Ometepe in Nicaragua. The cigar will be available in one size – a 5 1/2 x 50 Robusto. Each cigar will be presented in a glass tube. The cigars will be available in ten-count boxes. Total production numbers have not been disclosed.

Hoyo de Monterrey

This year Hoyo de Monterrey introduced a new regular production line known as Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur Black. This cigar continues the brand’s journey to return to its classic packaging roots. The name stems from the dark wrapper used on this cigar. In this case, it’s a Connecticut Broadleaf. The Excalibur Black features an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder and fillers featuring Honduran and Nicaragua ligeros. The cigars are presented in three sizes – each presented in 20-count boxes and each priced under $9.00 SRP. Production is handled at the HATSA factory in Honduras.


General doesn’t put out a lot of anniversary cigar releases, but in 2020 the Punch brand celebrated its 180th anniversary. While it turned out to be a little late, the Punch Aniversario cigar was released this summer. The blend is produced at the HATSA factory in Danlí, Honduras and features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper that was given additional cedar aging to enhance the tobacco and create a deeper, richer profile. The blend also uses Connecticut Broadleaf binder over proprietary filler leaves from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Honduras. The cigar is available in a single size – a 7 1/4 x 54 Double Corona. A total of 3,400 ten-count boxes were released exclusively to brick and mortar retailers.

Product Reports

Photo Credits: General Cigar Company