Welcome back to another round of Ask halfwheel, our weekly segment where readers ask questions for the halfwheel staff. To date, most the questions have been about our opinion on various issues.

Today’s question comes from Tony, and it’s a bit different:

All, I was at Cigars International a few weeks back and received a truckload of cigars and cigar swag.
Among the cigars I found some that as of now I cannot identify other than what’s on the label. I’m fairly new to cigars and I enjoy finding out as much as I can about the ones I smoke.
One is from Bahia with a gold label but no other info that I can find. Every online cigar shop I look at I cannot seem to find this smoke.
Another is a Latitude Zero and it says Excursion on it. Again I cannot find any info on this cigar. Is that simply a Latitude Zero? I’ve never had one so I’m not sure if that is label for the regular Latitude Zero brand.
Lastly I have an Ortega M3 which again I can find no information on.
Can you help me identify these cigars?

I was in Pennsylvania with you Tony for Cigarfest and can help you with at least two of the cigars.

All three cigars are exclusive to Cigars International and its sister companies: Meier & Dutch, Cigar.com, Cigarbid and pipesandcigars.com.

The Bahia is the one I don’t know much about. Back in the day, Bahia was considered to be an excellent cigar, particularly the old Bahia Golds. The brand was owned by Tony Borhani and the cigars were made in Costa Rica.

A couple years ago, Cigars International began acquiring the trademarks for Bahia and now makes exclusive cigars for itself under the Bahia name. I’ve not had any of them, so I can’t really comment on it.

Latitude Zero Excursion is a new Latitude Zero. It uses a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper over Nicaraguan fillers. Like some of the other Latitude Zeros, it’s made at Nicaraguan American Cigars S.A. (NACSA). I actually smoked the cigar and was rather impressed by it. I think it’s a good medium to full/full cigar, particularly for those who are large fans of broadleaf.

The Ortega M3 is another CI exclusive, this time from Quality Importers and Eddie Ortega, who now works for the company. I’m not sure what the tobacco bill is on the cigar, but I did smoke it. It was a bit too light for my third cigar of the day—mild to medium to medium—but it smoked fine. It’s certainly not my favorite cigar from Ortega, but I imagine CI will market it as a value-oriented product.

Anyway, I hope that helps Tony. It was my Cigarfest and quite simply, there’s no other cigar event like it.

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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.