JRE Tobacco Co. will begin shipping its first candela cigar to select stores later this month.

The Aladino Candela will debut in a 5 x 50 robusto that the company says is a test to gauge the cigar’s popularity for a future larger release. It will use a green candela wrapper over the Eiroa family’s signature corojo tobacco for both the binder and the filler. Like it has done before, JRE Tobacco Co. will offer it first to stores that have visited the company’s factory and farm in Danlí, Honduras.

There are 400 boxes of 20 cigars that will be split between the roughly 30 stores that have visited the company’s operations. The MSRP is set at $8.50 per cigar.

“We would like to push the candela wrapper’s popularity as a homage to my grandfather Julio since he was the largest candela grower in the 80s and 90s when candela was the dominant wrapper in the industry,” said Vivi Eiroa in an email to halfwheel.

Candela refers to a process that produces the green-colored cigars that always get more visible this time of year due to St. Patrick’s Day. Sometimes the cigars end up very green-looking, other times they can be a tan color with a green hint. Whatever the shade, candela is the result of a process, and not a varietal of tobacco such as criollo or habano. In order to create candela tobacco, the tobacco is heated in a specialized barn at much higher temperatures than other tobaccos. The idea is to heat the tobacco by incrementally increasing the temperature which removes the moisture from the leaves. Eventually, the moisture is removed, and the leaves become dry but are green because the chlorophyll hasn’t been removed, something that happens with the slower process that the vast majority of tobacco used for premium cigars goes through, and which results in the light tan to dark brown colors of those leaves.

Many decades ago, candela was the most common wrapper found on cigars in the U.S., though at this point it’s closer to a novelty than a fad. For tobacco growers and cigar makers, candela has one major advantage: time. The whole process of heating the tobacco takes less than a week and the tobacco requires far less processing once it heads to factories.

Justo Eiroa told halfwheel that the company hopes to begin shipping the cigars to stores by the end of February.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.