One of the Big Four companies making a return to the Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade Show was Altadis U.S.A. It was really good to see Altadis back. Altadis’ return meant many of its iconic bands were also returning to the premium cigar industry’s showcase event. Altadis U.S.A.’s last trade show was in 2019, and not only did the 2023 PCA Trade Show provide an opportunity to reunite with some old friends, but it also introduced us to newer members of the Altadis U.S.A. team who had joined since then. Altadis U.S.A. was very direct in that it made the decision to return to the Trade Show on short notice (they announced back in April), so rather than scramble to launch unreleased products, the company chose to showcase some of the more recent releases from each of its iconic brands.
Aging Room Cigars
While this is technically the brand co-owned by Rafael Nodal and Hank Bischoff, it is a brand that takes its place alongside the iconic brands offered by Altadis U.S.A. Just before the Trade Show, Altadis U.S.A. would ship the Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Sonata, the sequel to the highly acclaimed Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the Altadis Booth not related to cigars was the actual working barbershop. This was something previously seen at Total Products Expo. The barbershop was there as H. Upmann was promoting the H. Upmann Barbier – a barber pole offering under the H. Upmann brand.
In addition, H. Upmann was highlighting a recently released extension of the H. Upmann Banker line known as the H. Upmann Banker Daytrader.
Lion Leaf is a new rough-cut, 100% handmade cigar offering. The line made its debut at Total Products Expo (TPE) 2023, but we saw it was also showcased at PCA 2023. The line uses tobaccos grown in Central America. The Lion Leaf will be offered in three varieties: Original, Sweet, and Very Berry.
When it was announced, Altadis U.S.A. had mentioned it was building a separate team to sell the product. The brand had its own space within the Altadis booth.
Without a doubt, Montecristo was the standout among standouts at the Altadis U.S.A booth. In particular, it was the Montecristo 1935 Anniversary that was what Altadis focused on. This year, Altadis U.S.A. would officially do the national rollout of the Montecristo 1935 Anniversary Edición Diamante. Altadis also showcased a luxury humidor known as Montecristo Tesero de Oro which included an exclusive size of the original luxury humidor known as Tesero de Oro in a 55 x 6 figurado.
Romeo y Julieta
Romeo y Julieta showcased the Romeo y Julieta Envy. This is a limited-edition Nicaraguan puro that is being produced at the Plasencia factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. It comes in one size – a 55 x 6 Toro known as Amulet. The cigar is being presented in eleven-count boxes limited to 10,000 boxes. Perhaps the most striking feature is the integration of the color green into the Romeo y Julieta branding.
Saint Luis Rey
There wasn’t anything new at Saint Luis Rey at this time. This would be the first trade show for the highly acclaimed Saint Luis Rey Carenas. It was a cigar that was awarded #3 Cigar of the Year by Bear Duplisea on El Oso Fumar for 2022.
Altadis U.S.A. would showcase the Trinidad Espiritu No. 2 Ipanema Humidor. The Ipanema Humidor also contains the 7 x 55 Ipanema size of Trinidad Espiritu No. 2 – a size exclusive to the humidor. There are also plans for a Trinidad Espiritu No. 3, but details were not provided yet.
VegaFina is primarily a brand produced by Tabacalera de Garcia (the factory in La Romana, Dominican Republic that produces many Altadis U.S.A. brands) that is sold in the European market. Some of the lines have been offered to the U.S. market and are sold by Altadis U.S.A. In 2020, the VegaFina 1998 a line that was created for VegaFina’s 20th anniversary was offered to the U.S. The VegaFina 1998 was featured at the Altadis booth – and this would be the first PCA Trade Show that the brand has been offered at PCA.
Photo/Video Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted