Stopping by the El Artista booth, I was greeted by the team and introduced to Kevin Newman, the company’s national sales director. He told me about the two new cigars the company is debuting at the show and how the booth they had was a last-minute scramble due to issues at customs.

Regardless of if the booth was acquired at the last minute or not, I think it looks pretty good. Even if El Artista had ended up with a few tables and a small display case, the company wouldn’t look out of place at this year’ trades show, but the fact it has a booth structure setup means I probably wouldn’t have even noticed if they hadn’t mentioned it. After we chatted a bit, Newman introduced me to Radhames ‘Ram’ Rodriguez, president of El Artista. Rodriguez took a couple of minutes to tell me about the new releases coming up.

Buffalo TEN Connecticut

First there was the Buffalo TEN with a Mexican San Andrés maduro wrapper, then there was the Buffalo TEN Natural, featuring a habano wrapper from Ecuador. This year, El Artista is debuting the Buffalo TEN Connecticut. Like the previous two releases, it only comes in a single toro size.

  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Connecticut)
  • Binder: Cameroon
  • Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
  • Buffalo Ten Connecticut (6 x 50) — $4.50/$5 (Bundle of 5, $22.50, Bundle of 40, $200)

Production: Regular Production

Release Date: August 2021

The Slugger Robusto

The Slugger is a collaboration with baseball star David Ortiz, who originally worked with El Artista to release the Big Papi by David Ortiz. The Slugger debuted in June 2019 in a 7 x 60 vitola, and now adds a robusto vitola to the lineup.

  • Wrapper: Mexico (San Andrés)
  • Binder: Dominican Republic (Negrito)
  • Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua & U.S.A.
  • The Slugger Robusto (5 x 50) — $10.50 (Box of 20, $210)

Production: Regular Production

Release Date: August 2021

Drew Estate is the sponsor of halfwheel's coverage of the 2021 PCA Convention & Trade Show

Brian Burt

I have been smoking cigars since 2005 and reviewing them as a hobby since 2010. Initially, I started out small with a 50-count humidor and only smoking one or two cigars a month. Not knowing anybody else that smoked cigars, it was only an occasional hobby that I took part in. In March of 2010, I joined Nublive and Cigar Asylum, connecting me with many people who also shared an interest in cigars. Reading what they had to say about brands I had never heard of, I quickly immersed myself in the boutique brands of the industry and it was then that cigars transformed from a hobby into a passion.