Brian Chinnock of Chinnock Cellars Cigars is branching out from his wine-themed series of cigar lines and turning to cognac for a new limited edition line called XOXO that is scheduled to debut at the 2015 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show this July in New Orleans and head to retail shortly after the show.
Chinnock is keeping many of the details on the new line under wraps, but told halfwheel that the cognac being used is “one of the most expensive in the world.” He returns to El Titan de Bronze in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood for the XOXO’s production, working with Sandy Cobas on how to bring the cigar to fruition. He credits her with figuring out how to spray each leaf and then store them so they retain their aromatics, and said that she is the one doing the spraying.
While cognac is a key ingredient to the XOXO line, Chinnock isn’t completely abandoning his wine roots, however, as the cigars will be individually packaged in glass tubes that feature a wine foil covering made by the Ramondin Company in Spain, who Chinnock said makes a significant number of foils for the wine industry. The foil will be handspun on each tube using a wine capsule spinning machine from Chinnock’s winery. The tubes will be packed five to a box, which will get a black piano finish with a lift out tray. “It will be one of a kind,” Chinnock noted. Manny Iriarte is handling the design of the bands for the project.
It also figures to be one of the most limited new releases at the show, as only 100 five-count signed and numbered boxes are being made, for a total production of 500 cigars. Chinnock is only offering it to current accounts and will limit each account to just five boxes, with each box carrying an MSRP of $150. The blend of the new line is being withheld until right before the trade show, though Chinnock acknowledged it is a marriage of the tobaccos used in his Cremoir and Terroir lines. It is being released in a single 6 x 52 toro vitola with a bun cap that Chinnock said reminded him of the way the winemakers on the island of Santorini, Greece trellis their grape vines on the ground in a bun shaped basket to help keep the high winds of the island from damaging the grapes.
This story was originally published on May 12, 2015. Shortly after it was published, size and information about the cap, band designer and additional details on the foils was added.
Update (June 24, 2015) — added additional images of the boxes and finished cigars, as well as pricing.
(Images courtesy of Brian Chinnock)