Later this week—or early next week—when the debut release of B.G. Meyer Co. lands on a retailer’s shelves, a transition will be complete. It’s not for Rob Weiss, the owner and face of B.G. Meyer Co., but rather, for Camacho—who serves as his partner in the new venture.
It’s the completion of the new Camacho, which formally kicked off a little over a year ago in Dallas, Texas when the Honduran brand showed off new branding, and in some cases, new blends of its entire portfolio. This extended all the way to Honduras, where the factory Oettinger Davidoff Group had purchased from the Eiroa family four and a half years before, was getting a new name, new management and much like the brand itself—a new identity. Weiss, a television producer, is the third member of Camacho’s Board of Bold, joining football coach Mike Ditka and jewelry designer Matt Booth, as celebrity brand ambassadors who also have their own brands, all made at Agroindustria LAEPE S.A., better known as “the Camacho factory.”
Weiss, who has served as a producer and writer on HBO’s Entourage, How to Make It in America and more recently Ballers, is the final piece in the larger transition, the last public step of the old becoming the bold. Camacho looks—and tastes—different, its factory is now called something new and now the Ditka, Room101 and B.G. Meyer Co. have a place in the larger Davidoff family.
Standard Issue is the first release from B.G. Meyer Co., which is named after Weiss’s Rottweiler, Big Meyer. It is a five-vitola line made up entirely of Nicaraguan tobaccos, each packed in a heavy washed-out wooden box of 20, which closes via a rubber band instead of a traditional clasp.
- Standard Issue Churchill (7 x 48) — $9.00 (Boxes of 20, $180.00)
- Standard Issue Figurado (6 1/8 x 54) — $9.50 (Boxes of 20, $190.00)
- Standard Issue Gordo (6 x 60) — $10.00 (Boxes of 20, $200.00)
- Standard Issue Robusto (5 x 50) — $8.00 (Boxes of 20, $160.00)
- Standard Issue Toro (6 x 50) — $8.50 (Boxes of 20, $170.00)
Each cigar features three different pieces of paper: the main band, foot band and a sleeve, which includes the following:
THE BREADTH OF A MAN’S SPIRIT RESTS IN HIS PASSION FOR ADVENTURE. A LIFE OF MERIT IS NOT MEASURED BY ACCOMPLISHMENTS, BUT RATHER THE RAOD TRAVELED TO GET THERE. FORGING YOUR OWN PATH. EMBRACING THE UNKNOWN IN THE SEARCH OF MEANING, EXCITEMENT, FULFILLMENT. THOSE SEARCHING FOR AN EPIPHANY & THE FREEDOM FOUND ALONG THE WAY. THE B.G. MEYER COMPANY CELEBRATES THIS JOURNEY. YOUR JOURNEY.
- Cigar Reviewed: Standard Issue Robusto
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Agroindustria LAEPE S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
- Binder: Nicaragua (Estelí)
- Filler: Nicaragua (Estelí, Jalapa & Ometepe)
- Size: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Robusto
- MSRP: $8.00 (Boxes of 20, $160.00)
- Release Date: July 5, 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 5
The Nicaraguan habano wrapper has decent oils, but they are more present to the eye than the touch. Aroma from the cigars, which ship without cellophane, is relatively sweet with some more pleasant barnyard notes. From the foot, it’s a sweet cinnamon note—similar to the transition of an Atomic Fireball candy from cinnamon in to sweet—with touches of chocolate. The cold draw has a unique fruitiness—almost like an intense melon rind, somewhat green to the mouth and not particularly pleasant. There’s dry earth and bitterness as well, which don’t pair particularly well with the exotic fruit flavor.
Standard Issue is quite elementary with it start: sweet cedar and cocoa that rush to a hearty cedar peak before creaminess begins to set it. The good news is that only lasts for a few puffs. A toasty bread note adds itself to the cedar and then through the retrohale something rather familiar emerges, the refreshing citrus note that dominated the Las Calaveras LC550. It’s a bit reduced compared to what I find from the Crowned Heads creation and a bit more orange-like than grapefruit, but it retains that refreshing characteristic on the retrohale that I thoroughly enjoyed. While the construction was generally quite good, one sample I smoked had an uneven burn, nothing too problematic.
At the transition mark a hickory-based barbecue emerges from the inherent sweetness. It’s not only through the nose, but also in the air around me, which dramatically improves my initial experience with B.G. Meyer Co. The citrus and hickory notes remain on the retrohale, which is really where the action is. At times, a cleaner avocado note appears on the back end of the citrus note, reminding me it’s been a few days since I’ve had guacamole. There’s an increasing earthiness, a bit too generic for my liking, although it does add another dimension to the profile. Strength is medium-plus, seemingly wanting to increase at every puff, but never actually following through on that hint.
By the final third, the citrus note has begin to slip. It’s still easily identifiable, but reduced and losing the battle to some of the newer notes: coffee grounds, the cedar, a growing toastiness and the return of the cinnamon note right at the final inch. There’s been almost no pepper for the entire length of the cigar, although it’s beginning to show that it might have been masked a bit under the larger citrus, particularly as the cigar warms up in the final inch. Outside of touch-ups, the Standard Issue showed no construction problems and all three samples stayed lit from start to finish.
- It will be interesting to see how the industry takes to Weiss. The initial reactions to Matt Booth were lukewarm at best, although that opinion changed as he stuck around, visited more shops and people actually met him. I imagine that will be much the same case with Weiss. It is of course much easier to judge someone before you meet them.
- On that note, Weiss is currently involved with Ballers as well as a biopic on Sonny Barger, a founding member of the Hells Angels. Weiss is expected to be doing some events, although it will be at the permission of his producing schedule.
- The cigars were shipped out to the west coast earlier this week, given the holiday I imagine Saturday will be the earliest you could see these on shelves. Standard Issue will soft launch for the next few weeks before having its formal launch at the 2014 IPCPR convention and trade show which begins July 19 in Las Vegas, Nev.
- For fans of Las Calaveras, I found Standard Issue to be more like Las Calaveras, at least in the citrus note, than the one Jericho Hill I’ve smoked. Jericho Hill is the second cigar to come from the Crowned Heads/My Father Cigars S.A. partnership that produced Las Calaveras.
- I’d describe the flavor as medium-full, never particularly mouthwatering, but one that was engaging from start to finish.
- The boxes are very heavy, or at least deceivingly heavy. They also feature a felt bottom, which is not exactly common.
- I might be the only one with enough OCD to care, but there does not seem to be a consistent use, by the company itself, regarding whether there are periods in B.G. Meyer Co. Almost all of the marketing material uses it without the dots, although what’s on the band, as well as the trademark suggest there are periods. For those even more OCD me, the trademark is technically “The B.G. Meyer Co.” and the logo does not have dots.
- Weiss’s How to Make It in America feature Aloe Blacc’s “I Need a Dollar,” long before Blacc has reached enough popularity to give you performances like this. If you witnessed that performance and wondered if he could actually sing live, this rendition of the Sam Cooke classic suggests he really can.
- The cigar was medium-plus throughout, although it really did seem like it was always ready to get stronger.
- I have not smoked any of the other sizes.
- Cigars for this review were provided by B.G. Meyer Co./Davidoff. Camacho and Davidoff have both advertised on halfwheel in the past year.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 25 minutes.
While I would not say this is a freshman release in the truest sense, in some ways it is—and a highly impressive one at that. Standard Issue was not anything standard. And now that the obvious pun is out of the way, there’s the positives to focus on: a sold unique flavor, decent construction and perhaps most importantly, a cigar that keeps you thoroughly engaged from start to finish. There will inevitably be lots of comparisons with this cigar: the recently launched Room101 The Big Payback, another Nicaraguan puro from the factory, perhaps even anything that Camacho, Room101 and Ditka have done—and maybe even Las Calaveras. For me, if the latter is part of the conversation, you have a very good start. For the sake of another pun, I’ll put it boldly—my favorite cigar to come out of Agroindustria LAEPE S.A.