Tabacalera El Artista made a big splash with David Ortiz and his Big Papi cigar last year — this year the company returns with a trio of new lines.

One of the new lines was added just prior to the show, and Tabacalera also featured a makeover for its Exactus brand.

Cimarron Connecticut

The Cimarron line is one of El Artista’s new offerings, with the name coming from the Cimarron region in the southern U.S., notably running from Oklahoma to Colorado. In the fillers are a variety of tobaccos, including T13, a hybrid developed by Ram Rodriguez—the company’s founder—which El Artista says is similar to San Vicente. The T13, as well as the binder, Dominican negrito, are grown on the company’s farms.

  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Connecticut)
  • Binder: Dominican Republic (Negrito)
  • Filler: Colombia, Dominican Republic (Corojo Viso, T13 Viso) & U.S.A. (Broadleaf)


  • Cimarron Connecticut Robusto (5 x 54) — $7.20 (Boxes of 20, $144)
  • Cimarron Connecticut Toro (6 x 50) — $7.30 (Boxes of 20, $146)
  • Cimarron Connecticut Doble Toro (6 x 60) — $8 (Boxes of 20, $160)

Production: Regular Production

Launch Date: August 1, 2018

Cimarron Maduro

Cimmaron Maduro uses a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over the aforementioned binder. In addition to T13 ligero, there’s Colombian, broadleaf and a Dominican corojo viso in the filler. The company also has a Cimarron Habano, which uses a corojo-seed wrapper. It uses an Indonesian binder over criollo 98 ligero and seco and Nicaraguan ligero, though it is an exclusive to Europe.

  • Wrapper: Mexico (San Andrés)
  • Binder: Dominican Republic (Negrito)
  • Filler: Colombia, Dominican Republic (Corojo Viso, T13 Ligero) & U.S.A. (Broadleaf)
  • Cimarron Maduro Robusto (5 x 54) — $7.50 (Boxes of 20, $150)
  • Cimarron Maduro Toro (6 x 50) — $7.60 (Boxes of 20, $152)
  • Cimarron Maduro Doble Toro (6 x 60) — $8.30 (Boxes of 20, $166)

Production: Regular Production

Launch Date: August 1, 2018

Ugly Beast

The company also rolled out a new line called Ugly Beast, a cheroot-style cigar that is made without the use of molds, and is made for people who like strong cigars. It uses A-quality tobacco, presented in a vitola similar to what is rolled for smoking during the blending process.

Ram Rodriguez said it went through several iterations to achieve its distinctive strength level, and says it can deliver a good amount of nicotine in a short amount of time thanks to a Dominican-grown criollo “super ligero,” as the company calls it. Given that it’s made by hand without molds, the specific size varies from cigar to cigar, but is designed to be close to a 5 x 40 vitola.

  • Wrapper: Mexico (San Andrés)
  • Binder: None
  • Filler: Dominican Republic (Criollo 98 Ligero) & U.S.A. (Pennsylvania Broadleaf)
  • Ugly Beast (5 x 40) — $3 (Boxes of 100, $300)

Production: Regular Production

Launch Date: September 2018

Exactus – New Packaging

The company’s Exactus line is getting updated packaging and a new front mark, while the Habano versions being dropped from the company’s portfolio. Both blends are also getting some tweaks to make them a bit sweeter and smoother.

Launch Date: August 2018

Davidoff is the official sponsor of halfwheel's coverage of the 2018 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.

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.