The initial batch of the Protocol Eliot Ness has begun arriving on retail shelves, with the full release tentatively scheduled to happen next week.

The cigars are the second entry in Protocol’s Lawmen Series that honors notable figures in the history of law enforcement. The series debuted in the summer of 2019 with the Sir Robert Peel, who is the founder of modern British policing, and amongst many other things, the founder of Metropolitan Police Service and its famous headquarters, Scotland Yard.

Like the Sir Robert Peel, the Eliot Ness is being released in two varietals, both of which are Nicaraguan puros. The Protocol Eliot Ness Natural uses a Nicaraguan habano wrapper over a dual binder of Estelí-grown habano tobacco, while the fillers are Nicaraguan criollo. The maduro version uses a Nicaraguan broadleaf wrapper, the same Estelí-grown habano binder, and corojo fillers from Estelí and Jalapa. Both blends were developed with the help of Hector Alfonso Sr. of Espinosa Premium Cigars.

The line is made at AJ Fernandez’s San Lotano factory in Ocotal, Nicaragua, where Espinosa Premium Cigars has several of its lines produced and where Erik Espinosa is overseeing production of this new Protocol release.

Of note about the blends is that this marks the first time Cubariqueño has not used any ligero tobacco in a cigar, the top leaves of a plant known for delivering both strength and a fairly intense flavor profile.

“The Sir Robert Peel was a total change of direction for the company,” said Juan Cancel, co-founder of Cubariqueño Cigar Co., via a press release. “We wanted to offer our supporters a more regal product from marketing, packaging, and to the actual tobacco used in the blend. We wanted to stay true to our working class supporters, but wanted to also offer them a higher end product. Sometimes the average working Joe likes to put on a suit and get a little fancy while smoking his cigar,” he added.

The Protocol Eliot Ness is being released in a 6 x 52 box pressed toro vitola, with an MSRP of $11.95 and offered in 10-count boxes. It is a regular production addition to the company’s portfolio.

Eliot Ness was a Prohibition-era federal law enforcement agent in Chicago who is best known for his efforts to take down Al Capone and enforce Prohibition laws. He headed up a group of agents known as The Untouchables, a group that spawned a book, TV series and a 1989 film of the same name. In 1931 he famously arrested Capone, one of America’s most notorious mobsters, and the company recognized that achievement by including the year on the cigar band.

When it announced the cigar, Cubariqueño said that Ness was being honored as a way to recognize the tireless and often unappreciated work of law enforcement officers, while criminals are often the ones glorified in Hollywood and in media.

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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 previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.