After 24 years working with General Cigar Co., including 13 years as the blender and brand ambassador for the CAO brand, Rick Rodriguez has accumulated his share of stories and adventures in the cigar business. Now, he’s telling some of those stories by way of the West Tampa Tobacco Co. Attic Series, which has just begun shipping to stores.

The first cigar in the series, which is referred to as the Attic, is a 6 x 54 toro gordo that uses a Mexican San Andrés wrapper with a binder grown in Nicaragua’s Condega region, while the filler comes from Condega and Estelí. It is billed as a medium-to-full bodied cigar, and is produced by the Garmendia Cigar Co. factory in Nicaragua, which also makes the company’s White and Black lines.

The company is producing 2,000 boxes of 14 cigars, and they will only be sold to retailers five boxes at a time. Pricing is set at $12.99 per cigar.

The packaging features an image of an old chaveta against a lone chair in an attic, which is a nod to Rodriguez’s grandfather, who made cigars both in Cuba and Tampa, Fla. The packaging for the Attic Series is said to feature a number of Easter eggs as well, while the foot band contains a QR code for the consumer to scan and learn more about the cigar and its story.

West Tampa Tobacco Co. has indicated that the second cigar in the Attic Series will be coming out in March or April of 2023.

Images courtesy of West Tampa Tobacco 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 the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.