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Spotlight Brand: El Baton

El Baton

El Baton is back, and it's better than ever. 

When El Baton was first introduced in 1914, it cost just a nickel. Can you imagine? Originally rolled with Cuban tobacco leaves, this tidy little handmade fell from the spotlight when machine-made cigars took the nation by the storm in the 20s. Nowadays, J.C. Newman offers up their first Nicaraguan puro under a familiar brand name. It'll cost you more than a nickel, but the experience is well worth it.

El Baton utilizes hand-selected long-fillers that were harvested from the rich soils of Nicaragua. Full in body and hearty in character, it has all the potency you expect from a Nicaraguan puro. Generous notes of nuts, coffee, spice, and raisins are present on the palate, as hints of mocha and pepper follow shortly behind. It's deliciously complex and full of exquisite flavors. Take a new look at an old classic, and add El Baton to your repertoire.

Q & A: Maduro Wrapper?

Q.
What is a maduro wrapper?

2/02/11 | by KT of Santa Clara, CA

A.
​​​The word maduro literally translates to “ripe” in Spanish. After tobacco leaves are harvested from the plants, they are taken into a curing barn where over a 45 day period they change from green to brown. From there, the leaves ferment in large “pilones” or piles for up to three years. During fermentation, the leaves change from light to dark brown as the sugars extract and the leaves become less tannic. How long a leaf needs to ferment depends on the leaf’s thickness and nutrient content, which is determined by many factors including seed type, growing region and the priming on the plant. 

by Sean G

Review: La Diferencia Cubana

Sean G La Diferencia Cubana
Toro (6.0"x50) Mellow in body but thoroughly complex. The flavor builds and builds while the blend burns, leaving you with a fantastic, long-lasting yet smooth finish. Creamy and finished with light spices.

Robusto (5.0"x50) If you're looking for a medium-bodied La Diferencia, this size is it. The size allows for a hearty character that presents itself after one inch, while the ring gauge maintains a steady, consistent and effortless draw. You'll pull a ton of smoke into your palate with this robusto while tasting earth, pepper and cedar.

Churchill (7.0"x50) Slightly unbalanced. We expected this blend to build in strength even more so than the robusto. However, after 3 inches, the cigar actually mellows out transitioning from medium to mellow. An inch later, you'll find yourself tasting some rich complexities. Burned slightly hot.

Torpedo (6.5"x52) Really flavorful with a ton of spicy nuances throughout and a super smooth finish. This stick presents many different earthy sensations with a hint of sweetness. Balanced and slightly one dimensional.
Inside Perdomo

Article: Inside Perdomo

​Are you smoking Perdomo cigars? If not, you’re missing out on a real gem. During my last trip to Nicaragua, I swung by the Perdomo factory as I heard Nick Perdomo was in town checking in on operations. 

It’s been a little over a year since my last visit to the factory even though I see Nick quite often on hunting trips, at cigar events and for the occasional friendly dinner. Passing through the gates at Tabacalera Perdomo, I quickly realized this wasn’t the same operation I remembered from 12 months prior. With three new enormous buildings under construction, the once fairly open layout of the facility was now expanding into every nook and cranny of available space. In 2010, Perdomo was one of the fastest growing premium brands in the cigar industry as they took shelf space in nearly every fine tobacconist in the US and stole market share from unsuspecting competitors.

Why the recent boom in success at Perdomo? The Perdomo brand has been around for nearly 15 years and like any other brand has had its fair share of ups and downs. One thing that always set the brand apart and laid the groundwork for the companies present day accomplishments is how in tune they are with the cigar smoking public. By staying in touch with cigar enthusiasts day in and day out and listening to today’s consumers, they raised the bar in the product development arena. Five years ago, Perdomo’s portfolio of brands saw a complete overhaul as the company focused on delivering rich flavor in nearly every strength format. 

Good blends are only half the battle in being successful in this business. The true secret to their achievements happened last year when Nick Perdomo seized an opportunity to support tobacconists and cigar enthusiasts alike at a time when the escalating cigar prices threatened to make cigars unaffordable for most everyday cigar lovers. While every cigar maker in the industry was increasing their prices by as much as 30% in the face of new federal taxes and increased material costs, Nick took a radically different approach - a price reduction! The result was one of distaste among his competition but Nick's gamble quickly paid off as tobacconists and end consumers rallied around the Perdomo brand, not only because it was relatively more affordable, but because people believed in the authenticity of Nick's message about wanting to preserve the right and ability for the common man to enjoy premium cigars.

When speaking to Nick, he seems elated regarding his increase in volume but does not hide the fact that his decision, while having increased the brand's share in the market, was far from profitable. "The industry wide price increases surrounding the implementation of the SCHIP tax was a necessity for nearly every cigar maker as the costs to produce and import cigars rose sharply in such a short period of time," explained Nick. "We made a risky decision and it has hurt our margins tremendously but it has paid off in the long run and I would do it again if I were back in the same situation. My competition underestimates 'value' and that has been my strongest selling point for my brands. People just want to smoke a great cigar at a reasonable and fair price and that is the mantra we live by at Perdomo."

After touring their new expansion, one thing I can attest to is that they are reinvesting heavily in their operation to ensure they can meet the mounting demand for their cigars. If you've never smoked a Perdomo or haven't had one recently, you are definitely missing out. While it may be the exceptional pricing or Perdomo’s philosophy that gets you to pick up this brand, it is the premium flavor and quality Perdomo cigars deliver that will make it a cigar you’ll yearn for again and again.

For the experts at Cigar.com, Perdomo won a permanent place in our humidors.