For its newest release, Ventura Cigar Co. is partnering with two cigar industry icons to revive an old brand.

Cuban Cigar Factory is being made in collaboration with two Cubans: Benjamin “Benji” Menendez and Manuel “Manolo” Quesada Jr. There are two new blends, both made at the Quesada Cigars factory in the Dominican Republic.

The Benji Menendez for Cuban Cigar Factory uses an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper over a Dominican binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. For the Manolo Quesada for Cuban Cigar Factory, there’s an Ecuadorian habano wrapper over an Ecuadorian binder and Dominican fillers.

  • Benji Menendez/Manolo Quesada for Cuban Cigar Factory Robusto (5 x 50) — $12.99 (Box of 20, $259.98)
  • Benji Menendez/Manolo Quesada for Cuban Cigar Factory Toro (6 x 50) — $13.99 (Box of 20, $279.98)
  • Benji Menendez/Manolo Quesada for Cuban Cigar Factory (6 1/4 x 52) — $14.49 (Box of 20, $289.80)

Menendez was born in Cuba into the family that ran the H. Upmann factory, which made the Montecristo brand. After the Cuban revolution in the 1950s, he fled and continued working in the cigar industry. He is most noted for his role at General Cigar Co., which came to an end in 2013.

Quesada Jr. also was born into a tobacco family and also left Cuba in 1960. In June 1974, the Quesada family set up Manufactura de Tabacos S.A. (MATASA) with $100 and a chair. That small factory would grow into the Quesada brand that is known today.

“I feel like I’m a Rick Rubin of the cigar industry,” said Michael Giannini, general manager of Ventura Cigar, in a press release. “I’m bringing people together- people who I admire, my great friends who laid the foundation of the cigar industry, and people of the next generation. The creators and the consumers. Everyone has something to offer.”

Ventura acquired Cuban Cigar Factory in 2017.

The new Cuban Cigar Factory brands will debut at the 2019 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show this week.

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Davidoff is the official sponsor of halfwheel's coverage of the 2019 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.
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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.