Just a few weeks ago, word began surfacing that Fred Schrader was preparing the second cigar release for Schrader Cellars, and it would be coming to market with the assistance of Nat Sherman. While the latter declined to talk about the project earlier this month, they closed out April by formally announcing it.

Schrader MMXIII Single Cigar

The Schrader MMXIII, which has also been dubbed “Sparky Two,” uses a blend of filler tobaccos from Nicaragua, Peru and Dominican Republic that is bound and wrapped by Dominican tobacco. It is being released in a single perfecto vitola that measures 6 inches long, with a 42 ring gauge open foot that grows to a 60 ring gauge at the midpoint before tapering back to a 38 at the cap. “This format provides a profound platform for development of flavor and aroma, much like how a wine can change in the glass, and throughout the bottle,” said Michael Herklots, vice president of retail and brand development for Nat Sherman, via a press release. The cigars were aged for 26 months at the Quesada Factory in the Dominican Republic prior to release.

“Next to my endeavors in wine, making cigars is the most exciting challenge I have embraced,” noted Fred Schrader, owner and proprietor of Schrader Cellars. “This new release Sparky cigar has been a three-year project, during which time my close friend Michael Herklots and I tried 12 different prototypes before we found what we believe to be perfection. We truly believe we have achieved an unparalleled cigar experience, balanced and satisfying.”

Schrader MMXIII 6 Pack

The Schrader MMXIII comes packaged in piano black boxes of six cigars that bear the Schrader dragon logo. The individual cigars will bear two bands, a primary band of Schrader’s imagery and a second band with Nat Sherman’s mark. There will be 2,500 boxes released for a total of 15,000 cigars, with each box priced at $84 before taxes.

Members of Schrader’s mailing list will get first crack at the cigars when they become available on May 10, while the cigars will arrive at the Nat Sherman Townhouse in New York City and retailers around the country on May 17.

“We took our time to make sure we created an experience that would appeal to both Schrader and Nat Sherman customers alike, as well as enthusiasts of great wine and cigars globally,” Herklots added. “We listened to the feedback on our first Schrader cigar, and channeled those comments into building our new blend. It’s spectacular.”

In 2010, Schrader Cellars release the Doco-Est MMIX, was made at the Para Ti factory and distributed by Pete Johnson of Tatuaje Cigars/Havana Cellars. The “Para Ti” factory was a code name for a small experimental cigar factory located within what was the Quesada’s tobacco storage facility in Licey.

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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 Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.