IPCPR 2018: General Cigar Co.

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There are very few companies, if any, who will write the number of orders as General Cigar Co. The company’s brands include Macanudo, CAO, Diesel, Odyssey, Toraño and others, as well as the U.S. rights to Cohiba, Hoyo de Monterrey, La Gloria Cubana and Partagas.

You could walk by the General and not know it. Unlike in years past where General would feature an open layout or a variety of brands, the front of the General booth looks like a CAO booth. Once inside, General puts its brands on the outer walls with each of the brands occupying its own space, complete with at least one representative there to talk to retailers and media about the new launches.

CAO Nicaragua

It makes sense to start with CAO Nicaragua as it’s the featured brand of CAO.

As Rick Rodriguez explains, despite the factory being in Nicaragua, CAO hasn’t always made classic Nicaragua blends. That changes now.

  • Wrapper: Honduras (Jamastran Valley)
  • Binder: Honduras (Jamastran Valley)
  • Filler: Nicaragua (Condega, Estelí & Jalapa)
  • CAO Nicaragua Tipitapa (4 7/8 x 50) — $6.79 (Boxes of 20, $135.80)
  • CAO Nicaragua Matagalpa (5 5/8 x 46) — $6.59 (Boxes of 20, $131.80)
  • CAO Nicaragua Granada (6 x 50) — $6.99 (Boxes of 20, $139.80)

Production: Regular Production

Launch Date: August 2018

Cohiba Spectre

An early candidate for halfwheel’s 2018 packaging awards, the high-priced Cohiba Spectre is different. The boxes are massive, but beautiful, the tubos are cool and there’s even new accessories to go along with it. Oh, and as of 30 minutes into the show, it was already oversold.

  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Sumatra)
  • Binder: Honduras (Jamastran Valley)
  • Filler: Dominican Republic (Piloto Cubano 1995), Honduras (Olancho San Agustin 2002, Jamastran Valley, La Entrada 2011) & Nicaragua (Estelí 2011-2014)
  • Cohiba Spectre (7 1/4 x 54) — $90 (Boxes of 10, $900)

Production: 180 Boxes of 10 Cigars (1,800 Total Cigars)

Launch Date: n/a

Cohiba Spectre Accessories

Cohiba’s lighter and cutter offerings that debuted last year return, now with red accents.

Diesel Whiskey Row

Diesel Whiskey Row first debuted on June 4, but it’s shipping in waves. General says the cigar is already well sold out and it’s now ramping up events. Those events will include whiskey tastings with the Rabbit Hole whiskey whose barrels are used for the aging of this cigar.

In addition, General is giving out 100 custom-made bars, which include areas for storing both cigars and liquor.

  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano)
  • Binder: Mexico (San Andrés)
  • Filler: Nicaragua (Condega, Jalapa & Ometepe)
  • Diesel Whiskey Row Robusto (5 1/2 x 52) — $7.49 (Boxes of 25, $187.25)
  • Diesel Whiskey Row Toro (6 x 54) — $7.99 (Boxes of 25, $199.75)
  • Diesel Whiskey Row Churchill (7 x 49) — $8.49 (Boxes of 25, $212.25)
  • Diesel Whiskey Row Gigante (6 x 60) — $8.99 (Boxes of 25, $224.75)

Production: Regular Production

Launch Date: June 4, 2018

Hoyo La Amistad Black

The latest in the partnership between General Cigar Co. for their Hoyo line is La Amistad Black. Notably, this offer is box-pressed.

  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Sumatra)
  • Binder: Mexico (San Andrés)
  • Filler: Nicaragua (Habano)
  • Hoyo La Amistad Black Rothschild (4 1/2 x 50) — $7.29 (Boxes of 25, $182.25)
  • Hoyo La Amistad Black Toro (6 1/2x 52) — $8.09 (Boxes of 20, $161.80)
  • Hoyo La Amistad Black Gigante (6 x 60) — $8.49 (Boxes of 20, $169.80)

Production: Regular Production

Launch Date: July 2018

La Gloria Cubana Estelí

CAO might be honoring Nicaragua, but La Gloria Cubana is actually going to Estelí. For the first time ever, the brand will be made in a Nicaraguan factory, specifically the STG Estelí factory best known for CAO.

  • Wrapper: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
  • Binder: Honduras (Jamastran Valley)
  • Filler: Honduras (Jamastran Valley & La Entrada)
  • La Gloria Cubana Estelí Robusto (4 1/2 x 52) — $4.99 (Boxes of 25, $124.75)
  • La Gloria Cubana Estelí Toro (5 1/2 x 54) — $5.99 (Boxes of 25, $149.75)
  • La Gloria Cubana Estelí Gigante (6 1/4 x 60) — $6.99 (Boxes of 25, $174.75)

Production: Regular Production

Launch Date: August 2018

M by Macanudo

Macanudo is celebrating its 50th anniversary, but now how most people could have imagined. The company is adding a coffee-flavored cigar called Macanudo M. The idea here is all price point. Rocky Patel’s Java is the clear leader of coffee cigars, but that line has gotten to be more expensive. General isn’t saying it’s going after Java, but it’s going after Java.

  • Wrapper: Indonesia (Besuki)
  • Binder: Philippines
  • Filler: Nicaragua & Undisclosed
  • Macanudo M Corona (6 x 44) — $7.49 (Boxes of 20, $149.80)
  • Macanudo M Toro (6 x 50) — $7.99 (Boxes of 20, $159.80)
  • Macanudo M Belicoso (6 x 54) — $8.49 (Boxes of 20, $169.80)

Production: Regular Production

Launch Date: July 2018

Odyssey Maduro

General’s bundle line, Odyssey gets a new offering in the form of a Nicaraguan maduro. These are mix-filled and made by Plasencia in Nicaragua.

  • Wrapper: Nicaragua (Habano)
  • Binder: Honduras
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Odyssey Maduro Corona (5 1/2 x 43) — $1.69
  • Odyssey Maduro Robusto (5 x 50) — $1.89
  • Odyssey Maduro Toro (6 x 50) — $2.09
  • Odyssey Maduro Churchill (7 x 48) — $2.39
  • Odyssey Maduro Gigante (6 x 60) — $2.59

Production: Regular Production

Launch Date: August 2018

Partagas Legend

The Partagas Legend pays tribute to five men who all played a role in the storied Partagas brand: Jaime Partagás, Ramon Cifuentes, Edgar Cullman Sr., Daniel Nunez and Benji Menendez. The new cigar also features some pretty radical packaging from General and a sharp box-press.

  • Wrapper: U.S.A. (Connecticut Broadleaf)
  • Binder: Honduras (Olanco San Agustin)
  • Filler: Dominican Republic (Piloto Cubano)
  • Partagas Legend Corona Extra Leyenda (5 1/2 x 44) —$11.49 (Boxes of 20, $229.80)
  • Partagas Legend Fabuloso Leyenda (6 1/2 x 48) — $12.49 (Boxes of 20, $249.80)
  • Partagas Legend Toro Leyenda (6 1/4  x 54) — $14.49 (Boxes of 20, $289.80)

Production: Regular Production

Launch Date: n/a

Punch Diablo

Punch Diablo is described as the strongest Punch offering to date. It also comes from A.J. Fernández. One interesting feature is the boxes are all the same size, something General estimates saves 15 percent on a retailer’s shelf.

  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Sumatra Oscuro)
  • Binder: U.S.A. (Connecticut Broadleaf)
  • Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
  • Punch Diablo Scamp (6 1/8 x 50) — $7.19 (Boxes of 25, $179.75)
  • Punch Diablo Diabolus (5 1/4 x 54) — $7.79 (Boxes of 25, $194.75)
  • Punch Diablo Brute (6 1/4 x 60) — $8.19 (Boxes of 20, $163.80)

Production: Regular Production

Launch Date: July 2018

Punch Packaging Update

General updated a variety of Punch packaging options.

One nice feature is the new packaging was displayed on the right, while the old packaging on the left. It’s certainly helpful for me, and probably more helpful for retailers.

Toraño Classics

Four classic Toraño brands return, the 1916 Cameroon is not being shown. Pacakaging has been updated to include the foot bands and most importantly, the price has dropped $1 per cigar.

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Charlie Minato
About the author

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 handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.

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