Altadis U.S.A. is ready to release its latest premium cigar offering, one that comes directly from the master blenders who create some of the company’s biggest and most well-known brands.

The Montecristo Grupo de Maestros Private Batch uses a full-bodied and spicy Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper from the 2010 crop of the Oliva Los Rios farm, while the binder is Dominican Olor from the 2010 crop of Villa Gonzalez, known for its natural sweetness. The filler comes from Nicaragua, a blend of 2010 Jalapa Criollo ’98 vis and 2012 Jalapa Corojo ’99 ligero, giving the cigar a strong, robust and aromatic core.

The cigars are being released in a single 6 x 54 toro vitola with an MSRP $15 per stick. They come packed in 100-count boxes, of which only 250 are being made for a total production of 25,000 cigars. The boxes are made from the cedar shelves upon which the cigars were aged and show the natural wear of the shelves and giving each box its own unique character. Each box is individually numbered and comes with a certificate of authenticity.

The cigars were made at Tabacalera de García in the Dominican Republic.

Several retailers who have Montecristo lounges have already announced the cigar, including Smoke Inn and Corona Cigar Co., both of which are in Florida. Jeff Borysiewicz of Corona Cigar said the cigar was a new arrival in an Instagram post today:

A company spokesperson told halfwheel that shipping will begin to all retailers on Monday, Jan. 12.

The Grupo de Maestros is headed up by Javier Elmudesi, the Manager of Tabacalera de Garcia, and includes Victor Avila, Carlos Travieso, Nestor Rodriguez, Candido Rosario and Pedro Ventura. Collectively, they have over 150 years of cigar blending and manufacturing experience.


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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.