When La Sirena announced the Merlion Maduro in early May, two of the sizes were confirmed, but a third size was supposed to be decided on by consumers. Unfortunately, FDA’s deeming regulations have thrown a wrinkle into that plan.
“Because of the FDA we couldn’t wait for consumers to chime in,” Danny Ditkowich told halfwheel. Instead of a fan vote, the company decided to add a 6 x 58 Gordo with an MSRP of $11 to the previously announced sizes of a Robusto (5 x 50, $9.50) and Toro (5 1/2 x 54, $10.50). That brings the Merlion Maduro in line with the sizes released for the original Merlion.
For the maduro version, the original Merlion’s Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper has been swapped out for a Mexican San Andrés maduro leaf, while the Brazilian Sumatra binder and Brazilian, Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers remain the same. The cigars are being produced at the La Aurora Cigar Factory in the Dominican Republic.
Additionally, the company confirmed to halfwheel that 86 boxes of the Merlion Sea Lion are being produced, but this time each box will contain nine maduro versions and one natural version of the 5 1/2 x 47 figurado. The number of boxes comes from the year Arielle Ditkowich was born, 1986. Each box is priced at $120.
The original Sea Lion was released in 2013 and featured nine of the natural version with one maduro.
Both the Merlion Maduro and the new Merlion Sea Lion will be on display during the 2016 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show in July.