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February 1, 2013 (Londonderry, N.H.) — Kurt A. Kendall, founder of today’s 7-20-4 Cigars, has once again explored cigar history, reintroducing a second dusty brand … “Hustler” … a trademark that hails back to the late Nineteenth Century. It follows the company’s introductions of the 7-20-4 and 1874 boutique lines.

In 2009, Kendall breathed new life into the venerable “7-20-4″ brand name, acquiring the trademark for the original 7-20-4 line. It was named after the 1874-founded manufacturer in Manchester, New Hampshire. The company became the world’s largest cigar producer, until the 1962 Embargo killed its supply of Cuban tobacco.

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“Hustler has a misty history,” reports Kendall, “which I’m still researching. The brand dates back to a New York State birth in 1892. I selected its original box art, because it almost leaps off the shelf. It shows a dandy in full stride, toting a carpet bag and briefcase, with newspaper and ‘bumbershoot’ under each arm. The jaunty angle of the cigar in his grin says this guy’s a hustler, in more ways than one.”

Hustler Box

The Spanish cedar box holds an unusual 27 cigars, divided into three compartments. Each holds nine cigars … all parejos … in 5-1/2″ x 52, 6″ x 54 (both at $9.00 MSRP), plus 6-3/8″ x 58 ($11.00 MSRP).

Hustler, entirely separate from Kendall’s benchmark 7-20-4 line, is triple-capped for durability of their heads, and entubado-bunched, yielding a company-touted “vertical integrity” that ensures smooth draws and uniform burns. They are made by Tabacos de Oriente in Danli, Honduras. The tobaccos carry five years of aging, with the cigars resting another six months. Kendall first released the line in November, and they are carried at retailers nationwide … see the “Find Our Cigars” page on the company site (www.7-20-4.com) for local 7-20-4 tobacconists.

The cigars themselves boast an eye-catching twist … literally. They are spirally-wrapped in a two-tone, barber-pole wrapper, with a dark and brawny Brazilian Mata Fina leaf and a contrasting tawny, Ecuadorian-grown Connecticut Shade leaf. The heads are finished in a traditional Cuban-style pigtail. The Jamastran and Jalapa filler is held in a Costa Rican binder. Hustler contains no relatively flavorless ligero, relying instead on the other tobaccos in the blends to gain its power. Hustler is a medium-bodied smoke, with the spiral wrapper providing a visual emphasis to what Kendall calls it’s “swirl of complex flavors and aroma.”

Hustler’s first production run was shipped in November, and is sold out at press time … coinciding with the April shipment date of the cigar’s second release.

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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 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.