A pair of retailers from Salt Lake City are getting into the cigar manufacturing business, as Kendrick Woolstenhulme and Brandon Oveson of Beehive Cigars have announced the launch of Apostate Cigars.

The company gets its name from a term in Mormon culture that is a reference to the fact that choosing to smoke cigars is an open act of rebellion against the church’s teachings, as tobacco is forbidden in Mormon culture. Woolstenhulme and Oveson both grew up in Utah as active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, who are also known as Mormons.

In a press release, the company says that everything about the brand is designed to foster community, starting with the brick and mortar culture that forms its backbone. “We want the brand to make sense from a retailer and consumer standpoint. We know that the premium cigar culture is at its best when that relationship is nurtured, so that’s our focus,” the company said.

Apostate is debuting with three lines, all of which are offered in a single vitola, are packaged in 12-count bundles, and are made at Tabacalera Palma in the Dominican Republic.

The Initiatory is a 6 x 52 toro that uses an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, a Mexican San Andrés binder and Dominican fillers. Its name is a nod to the Nauvoo Sunstone, a signature feature of the temple built in Nauvoo, Ill. in the 1840s. It has an MSRP of $12.50 per cigar.

The Deseret is a 5 1/4 x 54 robusto that uses a Mexican San Andrés maduro wrapper, a Cuban seed Dominican piloto binder, and fillers fro the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. This cigar gets its name from the Mormon scriptural term for a honeybee, which translates into the design of the cigar by way of Ecuadorian Connecticut stripes and a cap designed to look like a bee’s stinger.

The Liahona is a 6 1/4 x 45 torpedo that is designed to resemble the needle of a compass, a tie-in to the cigar’s name, which comes from a compass of divine origin in Mormon scripture. It uses an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, a Mexican San Andrés binder and fillers from Paraguay and the Dominican Republic. It has an MSRP of $12 per cigar.

All of the blends were developed by Woolstenhulme and Oveson under the guidance of Jose “Jochy” Blanco of Tabacalera Palma, along with his son, Jose Manuel Blanco.

These first three lines will be launched at Beehive Cigars in Salt Lake City in the coming weeks, and will be available to ship to retailers by the end of November. Apostate Cigars is being distributed by Fumare International, which is owned by Dion Giolito of Illusione Cigars.

The company has announced that its portfolio will eventually feature eight core line cigars, with the next scheduled to be released in early 2022. Those cigars will also see the company branch out to work with other factories, and will have a tie-in to the eight letters used in the company’s name, specifically in the imagery used to represent those letters.

Photos by Joe Roberts of Abaci Photo/Provided by Apostate Cigars.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.