Boutique Blends has begun shipping two of its latest creation to retailers, La Bohéme and Swag Black. Both cigars were announced in the weeks leading up to the 2014 IPCPR Convention and Trade Show before making their debuts at the event, and are now ready to leave the company’s Miami warehouse.

La Bohéme gets its name from Giacomo Puccini’s famous 1895 opera, which happens to be the personal favorite of Rafael Nodal, president of Boutique Blends. It is being released in four sizes with vitolas named for characters from the opera: the 3 1/2 x 46 Mimi, the 5 1/8 x 52 Pittore, the 5 3/4 x 54 Poeta and 6 1/4 x 60 Musico. Pricing ranges from $5.90 to $13.14 per cigar, before taxes. The Mimi vitola will come in boxes of 48, while the other sizes will be packed in 24-count boxes.

La Bohéme uses an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper with Dominican filler and binder for a taste that Nodal calls medium to full bodied and different from anything in the company’s current portfolio. It is being made at Tabacalera La Palma in what Nodal said is a “small, continuous production.”

Incidentally, the Bohéme name has also been used by Casa Fernandez in 2013, on the Casa Fernández Aniversario Bohème No. 35 release.

Swag Black was also shown off at the trade show after being announced in June.  Nodal said that this cigar is a project in showing that Dominican tobacco can offer not just flavor and aroma but also strength, and at a level thought to be only found in Nicaraguan tobacco. The cigar is made with Havano Dominicano tobacco grown by Jochi Blanco of Tabacalera La Palma that has been aged for more than eight years but retains enough strength to be considered a full-bodied cigar.

There are four sizes being released, and ones that should be familiar to fans of the Swag line: the 4 1/2 x 48 VIP has an MSRP of $6.95 per cigar, while the 5 x 54 Lavish is priced at $7.90. The 6 x 54 Infamous ($8.49) and 6 x 60 Ego ($8.98) round out the line. All come in 20-count boxes.

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 the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.