Pairing a cigar with a fine spirit is a practice that has long been part of the cigar smoking experience; now a new company is debuting with a trio of cigars designed to be paired with specific spirits.

East Park Cigars is the creation of Emmanuel Peña, who comes from the beverage industry, and Claudio Sanchez, whose background is in marketing and e-commerce. The two combined their common interests and passions, traveled to find the perfect blend to pair with their favorite spirits, and ended up launching their own company.

They are launching three lines, each of which will be available in a 5 1/2 x 52 robusto vitola, priced at $15 per cigar, offered in 10-count boxes, and produced by Tabacalera William Ventura in Tamboril, Dominican Republic.

  • El Borbón, as the name would imply, is designed to be paired with bourbon. It uses an Ecuadorian habano wrapper, a Sumatra binder, and a filler that is made up of Dominican criollo 98 seco, Pennsylvania ligero, and a corojo ligero from an undisclosed part of the United States.
  • El Escocés also uses an Ecuadorian habano wrapper and Sumatra binder, but changes the filler to use Nicaraguan visos, Dominican corojo ligero and Dominican piloto visos. It is designed to be paired with Scotch whisky.
  • Rounding out the trio is El Cognac, designed to be paired with cognacs. It uses an Ecuadorian habano maduro wrapper, Sumatra binder, and a filer of Dominican criollo 98 ligero, Nicaraguan criollo 98, and a corojo ligero from the United States.

“To develop these three inaugural concepts, the team developed each blend by experimenting with the phenolic compounds in the tobacco leaves,” Sanchez, the company’s ceo, said in a press release. “Each component of the cigar is meticulously architected to enhance the smoking experience while pairing with your favorite spirit. We can’t wait to bring these new experiences to this dynamic industry.”

All of the blends were developed Henderson Ventura of Tabacalera William Ventura, and the co-founders noted how the soil of the Cibao Valley in the Dominican Republic offered the tobaccos that would provide the foundation for their blends.

“With the masterful skills of Henderson Ventura, the proven commitment to quality of Tabacalera William Ventura, and the combined experience of our team and guidance of Adrian Acosta of The Cigar Culture, we’re confident that we will deliver fresh and disruptive concepts that enhance the cigar smoking experience for the new generation of smokers,” said Peña, who serves as the company’s chief product officer.

Sanchez told halfwheel that the company is currently preparing to ship its first orders on Feb. 1, with the first story to carry the cigars being Barclay Rex in New York City. He said that the company has confirmed pre-orders from 45 other retailers around the country.

Image courtesy of East Park Cigars.

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 MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.