Once again, Crowned Heads will ship a small shipment of a new brand before its more formal debut—though this time, FDA is part of the story.
Like many other companies, Crowned Heads quietly shipped its planned new products before the Aug. 8 date of when the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) began regulating cigars. Next month it will ship some additional cigars, this time a bit less quietly.
The brand is called Luminosa. It uses an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper over an undisclosed binder and filler blend. Two sizes will head to select stores in November as a soft launch before a wider release in 2017. Those sizes are Robusto (5 x 50, $7.55) and Toro (6 1/2 x 52, $7.95).
“LUMINOSA fills a void that was lacking in the Crowned Heads portfolio of blends,” said Jon Huber, Crowned Heads co-founder, to halfwheel. “An easily approachable smoke—something mild (if I’m allowed to say that word post August 8) to medium in body, that can be enjoyed both with a morning coffee as well as with an after dinner dessert.”
Production is once again being handled by Ernesto Perez-Carrilo Jr.’s Tabacalera La Alianza S.A., the same factory behind several of Crowned Heads’ other releases including Four Kicks, Headley Grange and the new Le Carême.
Last year, Crowned Heads took a similar approach with Las Mareas. It shipped a small amount of cigars to select retailers in September, a slightly larger batch in December and then debuted the cigar for full release at the 2016 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show in July.
Because of the new FDA regulations the vast majority of cigar companies shipped a plethora of new cigars—likely totaling over 1,000 new brands—prior to Aug. 8. They did this because any cigar that became commercially available after Aug. 8 would be subject to FDA pre-approval, meaning the manufacturers would have to wait for FDA before they could release the new cigars.
It is expected that these brands will be more formally introduced at a later date, though Crowned Heads is one of the first companies to announce the larger sale of one of these Aug. 8 phantom brands.