An Interview with Edgar M. Cullman Sr.
Chairman of the Culbro Corporation
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
Bill Cosby, Autumn 94
(continued from page 5)
C.A.: Let's stay for a minute with Macanudo because that's a brand that most American cigar lovers know. You bought this factory in 1969. Today it's the largest-selling premium cigar brand in the United States. How did it happen?
Cullman: We worked very hard on our blend. We wanted to have something unique. We grew our own tobacco for it. We picked special tobacco for it. We grew our own wrapper tobacco.
C.A.: Where was the tobacco for Macanudo from in those days?
Cullman: The Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico.
C.A.: And the wrapper was from Connecticut?
Cullman: Yes. From day one. But the wrapper we had from Connecticut was a special wrapper. It was a special seed, specially picked, specially processed, and we didn't use tobacco unless it was aged at least two years, sometimes three. We preferred three.
C.A.: So part of your product strategy was to produce a cigar with an aged wrapper at a time when few other premium cigar makers were into aging.
Cullman: Yes. There weren't many premium cigars such as ours at that time. All of a sudden we knew we had a really sweet wrapper. It had a taste we could rely on because it was blended after an extra year of curing to make that tobacco sweeter. It appealed to the American consumer. It just took off; we couldn't make enough of it.
C.A.: As a matter of curiosity, is the taste of the Macanudo cigar today much different than 20 years ago?
Cullman: There's very little difference.
Comments 1 comment(s)
Ed Harvey — Auburn, WA, United States, — August 31, 2011 3:19am ET
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