It’s hard to believe that it’s been an entire decade since I first heard of the brands of Selected Tobacco. Owned by Nelson Alfonso, Selected Tobacco today takes its rightful place among the best luxury cigar brands in the world. 2022 probably saw Selected Tobacco’s most significant expansion as it introduced several new lines – notably the new Alfonso brand and Byron 1850 line. 2023 wouldn’t see quite as many surprises, but at the 2023 Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade Show, several previously announced projects now come to life.

The Alfonso brand, introduced last year with the Alfonso Añejo, sees a second blend added with the Alfonso Gran Selección. The Gran Selección was first previewed in 2022 but will be released to retailers this year. Selected Tobacco says the Alfonso Gran Selección will have a “darker profile” over the Alfonso Añejo. Blendwise, the Alfonso Gran Selección features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over a Peruvian binder and a combination of Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. The Alfonso Gran Selección is being released in five sizes: Exclusivos (6 x 54 Torpedo, SRP $47.00/cigar), Preciosos (7 1/2 x 40, SRP $42.00/cigar), Estelares (5 1/2 x 54, SRP $42.00/cigar), Enormes (6 1/2 x 60, SRP $50.00/cigar), and Grandiosos (8 x 50, SRP $50.00/cigar). Each size comes in 25-count dress boxes, and production is initially listed at 5,000 cigars per size. Production comes from Tabacos de Costa Rica in Costa Rica.

2023 is a big year for the Atabey brand, as three major releases exist. First up is the release of the Atabey Black Ritos. The Atabey Black project first surfaced back in 2021. This would be the cigar industry’s first NFT project. At that time, there was not actually a cigar released – but instead, the digital art of 25 single cigars and ten boxes was put up for sale (The proceeds from the NFT project were donated to Cigar Rights of the World).

Meanwhile, Selected Tobacco and Atabey creator Nelson Alfonso were already aging the actual Atabey Black cigar. Like the original Atabey, the Atabey Black undergoes a five-year aging process. Like the NFT that was sold, the Atabey Black comes in one size – the 6 1/8 x 55 Ritos size. The blend consists of an Ecuadorian Maduro wrapper over an undisclosed binder and a filler that contains Peruvian Ligero and other undisclosed tobaccos. Production is quite limited, with only 5,000 Atabey Black Ritos cigars produced or 200 boxes for the initial release. The cigars will be made available to United Cigars branded lounges and offered to those who own one of the Atabey Black NFTs. The Atabey Black Ritos is priced at $50.00 SRP per cigar.

Last year, Selected Tobacco showcased the Atabey Complete Selection Humidor. The unit was showcased again this year and will be shipped to retailers. Designed by Nelson Alfonso, the unit contains 60 cigars with five cigars of each of the 12 Atabey vitolas. It features sliding drawers in the front and sides and a compartment that can be opened from the top. The compartments have sub-compartments labeled with each vitola size. There also will be refill options available. A total of 250 humidors will be made, but 60 were made available at this year’s trade show. Pricing for the humidor is set at $3,999.00, including the 60 Atabey cigars.

Finally, there is the Atabey Dioses 10 Year Extra Aged project. Nelson Alfonso is known for his affinity for aging cigars. With Atabey, the line is aged for five years in multi-cedar lined humidors, where humidity is reduced and raised to help the cigars breathe in the different cedar notes and cleanse themselves. With the Atabey Dioses 10 Year Extra Aged project, Alfonso goes a step further and puts the cigars through an additional five years of aging for a total of ten years aging post-roll. The 10 Year Aged project was only done on the Dioses size – which measures 8 x 50.

Finally, Selected Tobacco’s Nelson, a project previewed at the 2022 PCA Trade Show, was again showcased this year. However, this project was still in preview mode, and an availability date was not set.

Selected Tobacco is distributed in the United States by United Cigar.

Interview with Nelson Alfonso, Selected Tobacco

Product Reports


Photo Credits: Erron Nielsen for Cigar Coop