While the list of new brands debuting at the upcoming IPCPR Convention & Trade Show is much smaller than it has been in recent years, another name has been added to the list, Le Couturier by Vance Taylor.

Taylor, who some will recognize as the founder of the Cigar Syndicate group on Facebook and its related brand, is working in conjunction with LUJ Cigars for the line’s debut. Luj Oluyeba told halfwheel that the cigar is Taylor’s creation, coming to fruition during a trip to the Dominican Republic last year, with him providing guidance on the blend and production.

The pair aren’t releasing blend details, but they worked with Tabacalera El Artista in the Dominican Republic to produce the cigar. All of the tobacco for the cigar was sourced from Oswaldo Rodriguez while his son, Radhme Rodriguez was in charge of the production.

Le Couturier is being released in a single 6 x 46 vitola priced around $14 per stick and sold in 20-count boxes, with just 100 boxes produced for the launch.

Oluyeba told halfwheel that he formally met Taylor at last year’s trade show and the two quickly became friends, with Taylor accompanying him on the road several times since that first meeting. He describes the blend as having a bit of sweetness in the aroma while the smoke is marked by richness and tempered amounts of spice.

Le Couturier is French for tailor, but it also happens to be Taylor’s father’s original family name. “When they migrated four generations ago from French Canada, they couldn’t afford the migration fee for everyone in the family so my great-great-great-grandfather, who was just a small boy, had to hide under an upside down wheel barrow to get through with his family,” Taylor said. “Afterward they changed the name to its English translation and adopted the common name spelling, Taylor.”

For Taylor, using the Le Couturier name is both a tribute to his father but also emphasizes a sad irony, he noted. “Because my family is LDS (Mormon), I’ll never have an opportunity to smoke a cigar with my dad. In fact they believe any tobacco use is a sin. Smoking a cigar with my dad some day is definitely on my bucket list and, even though he disapproves of my lifestyle and passion, I could tell he was honored when I showed him the band and logo with his family’s name on it.”

LUJ Premium Cigars is distributing Le Couturier by Vance Taylor and will have the cigar available for retail shelves by early August.

Davidoff is the official sponsor of halfwheel's coverage of the 2016 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 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.