262 Cigars and Ohana Cigars have announced that both brands will be returning to the market, and as part of that will be releasing a joint project called Ohana Nui that brings the two companies together not only for a cigar, but as partners in each others’ companies.
262 Cigars is now owned by Madison Money, who, along with his father, acquired the company from Clint Aaron in June 2019. Since that time, Money’s father has stepped away, and Gabriel Seamen has joined Money as a co-owner. Seamen is in charge of maintaining the company’s accounting and inventory, while working with Money on blending and sales.
While Money had planned to relaunch the company in March 2020, the pandemic delayed those plans. He has been working through the inventory of cigars that came with the acquisition of the company as well as beginning work on the next chapter for 262 Cigars’ core lines, Revere, Allegiance, Paradigm and Ideology, as well as new releases for the brand. Money has moved the company’s production to Tabacalera Pages de Nicaragua S.A., and told halfwheel that the Allegiance and Revere lines will keep their same sizes and artwork, while Paradigm and Ideology will keep the same sizes but will be getting new artwork. “I wanted to keep something from the Clint (Aaron) era,” Money told halfwheel, while adding that he may also introduce new sizes to those core lines.
Money said he is planning on having the revamped portfolio ready for the 2023 Tobacco Plus Expo, which happens Feb. 22-24 in Las Vegas.
Ohana Cigars, which is still headed by Ryan Rodriguez, will also be returning with updated blends on its core lines. Like Money, Rodriguez has moved production to Tabacalera Pages de Nicaragua S.A. after previously working with Plasencia Cigars S.A. and Noel Rojas’ Tabacalera New Order of the Ages (NOA).
The updated portfolio will consist of the Ohana Pulse Habano and Ohana Pulse Maduro, which will both be offered in a 5 x 50 robusto priced at $9 and a 6 x 52 toro priced at $10. The Ohana M13 will also return, also in a 5 x 50 robusto, priced at $8, and a 6 x 52 toro, priced at $9. Each of the core line cigars will come in 20-count boxes.
He will also be releasing projects under his other company Left Hand Cigars, which he launched prior to the pandemic and which Rodriguez said was where “I could do some cigars that were more experimental.” One of the projects, Blurred Lines, was described as “a barber pole that actually transitioned and didn’t suck.” Another project, Lefthander, sees the Ohana Pulse get a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper.
Rodriguez is still finalizing the blends before the cigars go into production, but noted that the Pulse Maduro will continue to use a Mexican San Andrés wrapper, and that most of his blends will contain a habano rosado leaf. He said that the updated blends will be much more complex in flavors than their previous iterations. He added that the regular production lines will all have closed feet and pigtail caps, while a portion of the portfolio will be box pressed.
Rodriguez is also targeting the 2023 Tobacco Plus Expo for the when he expects everything to be in place for the release of the new cigars.
In addition to the relaunching of both brands, the two are working on a collaborative project called Ohana Nui, which gets its name from the Hawaiian term for “big family.” It will ultimately serve as a way to release projects that don’t necessarily fit into either brand’s portfolios. As part of the project, Ohana has sold a 10 percent stake to 262 Cigars, and 262 Cigars has sold a 10 percent stake to Ohana. Through this new partnership, 262 Cigars will assist in funding Ohana’s future endeavors, Money told halfwheel.
The first project, which is still in the works, is scheduled to be released by the end of September. It will be called Ohana Nui and will feature a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and filler, while being offered in a double corona vitola. Money described the blend as offering “rich, full flavors of chocolate, leather, dark fruit pepper and a subtle sweetness.”
As for production, it will be limited to just 5,240 cigars, with are being split between two packaging formats. The first will be a dressier release of 262 boxes of 10 cigars in individual coffins that will be priced at $24 per cigar, while the remainder will be offered in 262 bundles of 10 cigars priced at $18 per cigar and $180 per bundle.