Vintage Oliva Becomes Federal 93rd Anniversary

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Later this month, a 6 x 52 box-pressed torpedo will leave the Oliva aging vault for New Hampshire-based Federal Cigar. The Federal Cigar 93rd Anniversary Reserve No. 2 is the latest in a growing line of limited edition exclusives for the store, although this particular cigar differs in that it was originally destined for a much different project.

“(It’s) a prototype Master Blends project that never came to fruition,” said Rick Gadway, owner of Federal Cigar. Gadway is referring to the Oliva Master Blends, the flagship line of the Oliva Cigar Co. and a series that has not undergone an update since 2006.

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“About 18 months ago TABOLISA (the Oliva factory) began to reorganize their aging rooms in Nicaragua, said John Gazerro, regional manager for Oliva. “We found some pretty interesting odds and ends. There were a lot of mismatched MB1’s and MB2’s and also a few thousand torpedoes that were rolled about ten years ago.”

Gadway and Gazerro smoked the torpedo and it was agreed it would become an anniversary release for Federal Cigar.

According to Gadway the cigars were rolled in either 2003 or 2004, in between the release of the Master Blends 1 and Master Blends 2. It’s made entirely of Nicaraguan tobacco from 2001 and uses a sun grown wrapper. 

Oliva Federal Cigar 93rd Anniversary Reserve No 2

(Image via Federal Cigar)

It will be sold in bundles of 10 and with a Federal Cigar band. Neither Federal, nor Oliva wanted to delay the release of the cigar, so boxes were shelved. It goes on sale on March 15, the date of the annual Federal Cigar anniversary party. Pricing is set to $14 per cigar and the cigar is limited to 200 bundles of 10 cigars.

While Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr. of E.P. Carrillo, K.C. Johnson of L’Atelier Imports, Patricia and Raquel Quesada of Quesada Cigars and Pete Johnson of Tatuaje Cigars will all be in attendance at the event, Gadway says he currently has no plans for any additional anniversary releases. Both E.P. Carrillo and Tatuaje have produced anniversary cigars for Federal in the past.

Oliva is believed to be sitting on thousands of older Master Blends. The company has not announced its plans for the future of the series, the Master Blends 3 was introduced in 2006, the last major update to the series.

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.

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