IPCPR 2019: Tabacalera El Artista

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There are a lot of companies that I have covered in the course of my time at IPCPR Convention & Trade Shows, some who have since left the industry and others who have continued to thrive and flourish. Landing in that second category is Tabacalera El Artista, a brand and factory from the Dominican Republic who has continued to make strides both in the industry and into the humidors of retailers across the country.

The company returned to this year’s show with a familiar booth layout and two new cigar lines, one geared at smokers looking for a great value and the other an extension of their project with a baseball player who should soon add the title of Hall of Fame inductee.

Buffalo TEN

El Artista is releasing a new cigar designed to appeal to the budget-conscious smoker that still wants premium tobacco used in their cigar. The company calls the softly box-pressed stick “a study in the art of cigar making,” using the Negrito binder it is becoming increasingly known for, as well as its own T-13 hybrid that has been aged for at least seven years to create a medium-bodied smoke. The 40-count box is designed for retail shelves and single cigar purchases, while it is also offered in five-count, paper-wrapped bundles.

  • Wrapper: Mexico (San Andrés Maduro)
  • Binder: Dominican Republic (Negrito)
  • Filler: Colombia, Dominican Republic (T-13 Hybrid) & U.S.A.
  • Buffalo TEN (6 x 52) — $4.50 (Box of 40, $180; Pack of 5, $22.50)

Production: Regular Production

Release Date: July 2019

The Slugger by David Ortiz

Two years ago, baseball legend David Ortiz made an appearance at the 2017 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show in support of his cigar line, Big Papi by David Ortiz, which is made and distributed by Tabacalera El Artista. The 6 x 54 cigar was fairly well-received by cigar smokers, though Ortiz noted there was something about the 6 x 54 vitola he wasn’t crazy about: that it looked small in his hand. So the company came up with a 7 x 60 vitola and while there had been talk of using the same blend, Ortiz apparently wanted to go through the blending process again to come up with something stronger than the original, achieving a full-bodied blend with the addition of more ligero to the blend. While Ortiz wasn’t able to be at the show this year due to the attack on him in the Dominican Republic recently, the cigar was on full display as were well wishes for the Red Sox slugger.

  • Wrapper: Mexico (San Andrés Maduro)
  • Binder: Dominican Republic (Negrito)
  • Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua & U.S.A.
  • The Slugger by David Ortiz (7 x 60) — $12.50 (Box of 20, $250)

Production: Regular Production

Release Date: July 2019

Overall Score

NullDavidoff is the official sponsor of halfwheel's coverage of the 2019 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.
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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

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.

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