New York Cigar From Alec Bradley

New York tobacconists are under the yoke of a draconian new tobacco tax—75 percent of the wholesale cost of a cigar, one of the highest taxes on cigars in the United States—so Alan Rubin of Alec Bradley Cigar Co. is coming out with a cigar just for New York cigar shops.

"It's a cigar we're only going to sell at New York retailers," said Rubin. Although he was born and raised in Florida, his mother is from Queens and his father is from Canarsie and Brighton Beach. "With New York getting hammered [by taxes] as much as it is, it's good timing."

Alec Bradley New York is wrapped in Criollo '98 wrapper and binder, both grown in Trojes, Honduras, with a filler blend of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos. They are being rolled at the Fabrica de Tabacos Raices Cubanas S. de R.L. factory in Honduras, a factory that consistently creates cigars that score well in Cigar Aficionado and Cigar Insider. (The factory rolled four of our Top 25 Cigars of 2009.) The smokes, artfully presented with art deco-style bands featuring the Empire State Building, will come in five sizes, each retailing for $11.00 to $13.50, a price that includes the New York tax. There will be cigars measuring 5 1/4 inches by 52 ($11.00); 6 by 54 ($12.75); 7 by 50 ($12.75); a 6 by 58 ($13.50) and a 6 1/8 by 54 torpedo ($13.00). They will only be sold by cigar shops in New York State.

A sixth size, measuring 6 by 52, will be smoked next week at a special sneak peek dinner at the Cigar Inn on Second Avenue, home of the Cigar Aficionado lounge. The shape will be exclusive to the Cigar Inn.

Alec Bradley is releasing 1,000 boxes of Alec Bradley New York cigars in 2010.

This cigar is not the first to carry the name of the Empire State. Te-Amo has a version called Te-Amo New York, New York, a Mexican puro that is still sold in some outlets featuring a white band with a black silhouette of the New York city skyline.

Look for more information on the cigar launch in our editors' blogs next week.

Hector R. Ramos Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, September 24, 2010 10:23pm ET
I have smoked a Bolivar Belicoso Fino and I am very satisfied with the cigar and the price. Lot's of coffe, like my friend say's "muy rico".
Hussein Roshdy September 25, 2010 1:47pm ET
I don't get it. This cigar is supposed to be there to fight the new tax, but at a price tag of $11.00 to $13.50 I can't see how that's helping. It's still expensive.

I wonder if they'll be available online.
Tom September 26, 2010 12:45am ET
Good point Hussein.
George Sosa September 27, 2010 2:26pm ET
.45 cents per stick SCHIP tax , 75% Tobacco Tax included. And you feel that it's still expensive?
David Savona September 27, 2010 2:40pm ET
The pricing on this cigar includes, as George said, the New York State tobacco tax, which is 75 percent of the wholesale price. So the pricing is not quite as it seems. A cigar with a suggested retail of $8, for example, likely wholesales for $4. That's a $3 tax in New York State, so that's how an $8 cigar becomes an $11 cigar in New York.
Tom September 28, 2010 11:30pm ET
Yes, George there are people who think $11 or $13.50 per cigar is expensive. You can charge that much for your cigars just don't claim you're giving New Yorkers a break.
I've called a handfull of AB resellers in the NYC area and no one seems to have these available. Any suggestions?
David Savona October 2, 2010 11:06am ET
The sneak peek launch party was at Cigar Inn this past week. They handed out a special pre-release size of the AB New York. The main release is coming soon--I'll get a timetable from Alan and update.
David Savona October 4, 2010 4:41pm ET
Just spoke to Alan Rubin of Alec Bradley Cigar--the AB New York will debut in December.
Thanks for the information.

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