Andy Santana, a Miami-based cigar retailer, has announced that he is becoming a cigar brand owner, announcing the launch of Santana Cigars Co. today.

The company’s first line is the Santana San Andres, which was developed by Santana and William Ventura of Tabacalera William Ventura, the factory that is producing the line. It uses a Mexican San Andrés wrapper, a Sumatra binder, and a mix of Dominican corojo and criollo tobaccos in the filler. The company calls it hearty and bold, yet smooth, well-balanced, and complex.

It is being offered in three sizes:

  • Santana San Andres Box Pressed Robusto (5 x 52) — $12 (Box of 20, $240)
  • Santana San Andres Box Pressed Torpedo (6 x 52) — $13 (Box of 20, $260)
  • Santana San Andres Box Pressed Toro (6 x 54) — $13 (Box of 20, $260)

After starting his career in cellular phone sales, Santana found himself unsatisfied and decided to enter the cigar business by purchasing Absolute Cigar Shop several years ago, which he expanded to a second location. Santana says his love for cigars was developed by his grandfather, Manuel Montero, who was a cigar roller in Havana, Cuba, and who often took Santana to Pinar del Río, the province where premium cigar tobacco is grown in the country. Now, Santana is honoring his grandfather with his new company, saying that it has been born out of passion and history.

While the line is debuting at Absolute Cigar Shop, Santana Cigars Co. is opening up the line to other retailers.

A second line is already in the works, the Santana 1997, which honors the year that Absolute Cigar Shop was founded. According to the company’s website, it uses “a true Connecticut wrapper,” and is described as offering “strong flavors and complexity while living in the mild to medium range in strength.”

Images courtesy of Santana Cigars Co.

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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.