Nica Oro, LLC—a new Florida-based distribution company founded by Indiana Ortez, Jared Ingrisano and Trevor McKnight—has started shipping its first three cigar blends named after a famous 1918 World War I battle that took place in France.

Belleau Wood is a Cuban sandwich-style cigar, meaning that it has a wrapper and binder like a regular premium cigar, but the filler contains a mixture of long and shortfiller tobaccos. It is offered in three different wrapper choices: Ecuadorian Connecticut shade, Ecuadorian habano and Ecuadorian maduro. Each wrapper choice includes Nicaraguan tobaccos used for the binder and filler and are available in the same four vitolas packaged in 20-count cartons:

  • Belleau Wood Shade/Habano/Maduro Toro (6 x 54) —$4.10 (Carton of 20, $82)
  • Belleau Wood Shade/Habano/Maduro Robusto (5 x 52) —$3.95 (Carton of 20, $79)
  • Belleau Wood Shade/Habano/Maduro Presidente (7 1/2 x 50) — $4.15 (Carton of 20, $83)
  • Belleau Wood Shade/Habano/Maduro Gordo (6 x 60) —$4.25 (Carton of 20, $85)

In a text conversation, Jared Ingrisano, co-founder of Nica Oro, told halfwheel that cartons of the Belleau Wood Shade, Habano and Maduro blends are beginning to ship to retailers today. In addition, there be a fourth version named Belleau Wood Sweet released at a later date, but details on that blend have not been finalized.

“Our cigars namesake pays homage to the Devil Dogs we remember every day, by presenting an everyday cigar,” said Ortez, who blended the cigars, in a press release when the cigars were announced last month. “This project is very exciting for me! Learning about the history and significance of the battle really allowed me to take what is normally a regular cigar for this market segment and focus on a memorable blend using choice tobaccos, something I don’t think is given its due with these types of everyday cigars.”

Ingrisano is the former president of Mombacho Cigars S.A., whose new company Favillii Trading LLC was granted the rights to develop, market and sell the Favilio brands in the U.S. and international markets in December 2022. Ortez is the former general manager at Mombacho Cigars. She is also the daughter of Omar Ortez, a noted Nicaraguan cigar maker in his own right and the owner of the AgroIndustrial Nicaraguense de Tabacos S.A. cigar factory in Condega, Nicaragua where the Belleau Wood cigars are being made.

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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.