José Seijas Signature Series Grows

Once made in extremely limited quantities, the José Seijas Signature Series is now being offered in seven sizes.

The series began as a commercially unavailable cigar that José Seijas, the general manager of Tabacalera de Garcia Ltd., one of the world's largest cigar factories, created for personal use, and it was made in small lots. In 2000, Altadis U.S.A. Inc., which owns the factory, released the cigar in limited distribution. It was available in only one size -- a toro, dubbed the 2000 -- and offered exclusively to Altadis's premium retail accounts.

In 2006, Altadis expanded the brand with two additional shapes, and the 2000 size went on to rank No. 6 as one of Cigar Aficionado's top 25 cigars of the year.

Its growing popularity among connoisseurs has sparked Altadis and Seijas to roll out four more sizes. Altadis has also increased its once highly selective retail distribution of the Signature Series and aims to have it in 150 cigar shops by May.

The blend of the Signature Series consists of an Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper, a Dominican binder and Nicaraguan, Peruvian and Dominican filler.

The complete size portfolio is: Perfecto, 6 1/2 inches by 48 ring gauge at a suggested retail price of $15 per cigar; Robusto, 5 by 52, $12.50; Toro, 6 by 52, $15; Short Figurado, 4 1/4 by 46, $12.50; Churchill, 7 by 50, $16; Figurado, 5 by 52, $15; and Belicoso, 6 by 52, $16. They come in boxes of 25 and total production will be limited to less than 125,000.

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