Bellatto is a WSET-certified sommelier, a wine instructor at Youngstown State University, owner of The Havana House in Ohio and a columnist for Cigars in Review magazine. According to his commentary in the video, Bellatto says he and his best friend (and creative director) Craig Rossi have had the cigar in the works for approximately two years now. He says that they are trying to bring “Miami to the Midwest” and hope to have the cigar available in September.
News of the cigar traces back to October 5 and this video of a event at Havana House featuring Christian Eiroa as well as Robert Caldwell, the co-founders of Wynwood Cigars. The name La Barba translates as the beard, and while blend information hadn’t been decided on, Bellatto said it will “probably be of Nicaraguan or Honduran origin.” In the video, Rossi said the target date for the cigar’s release was March 2013, though that has since been pushed back.
It was on October 4, 2012 that Rossi filed for U.S. Trademark Registration for the name, with the application’s review being completed on February 7, 2013.
On Wednesday, Bellatto posted a picture of the band to his Instagram account: