Michael Bellody of MLB Cigar Ventures has announced that his new company’s debut line will be known as Imperia, a nod to the sister city of his summer home of Newport, R.I. Bellody made the announcement via both the company’s and his personal social media accounts on Tuesday, sharing a picture of the new brand’s logo as well as the history of the name. Imperia, Italy is a coastal town in the northwestern part of the country and sits on the Mediterranean Sea.

In the announcement, Bellody said that the first batch of cigars are in production at The Quesada Factory in the Dominican Republic and should be ready to be at retail by late June or early July. He confirmed that the release will start in the northeastern US and build from there, though he won’t turn down orders from across the country. He expects to announce several launch events in the region over the coming weeks.

The blend for the Imperia is based on a Dominican HVA high-priming wrapper, and contains Nicaraguan and Dominican binder and filler. It will debut in four different sizes: a 6 x 50 toro with an MSRP of $8.60; a 5 1/2 x 43 corona, also known as Pita, at $7.90; a 5 x 52 robusto priced at $8.25 and a 6 x 60 gordo at around $9.30. Each size will come in 20-count boxes.

Bellody added that he has additional projects in the works, though all of them are still in the very early stages of development. He first announced this new venture in September 2013.


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.