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An Interview With Robert Levin

Owner, Holt's Cigar Store, Inc., and the Ashton Brand
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
Danny DeVito, Winter 96

(continued from page 17)

Levin: No. Not yet.

CA: Is it something you continue to talk about?

Levin: Yes and no. We talked about it two years ago. They have about four years' worth of crops that have been aging and fermenting. But the demand for Fuente Fuente Opus X and as you know, the limits on their production of Opus X, made it impossible to introduce Ashton Crown.

CA: So, in the next two or three years, there could be an Ashton Crown.

Levin: There's going to be an Ashton Crown.

CA: With a Dominican wrapper.

Levin: Yes, with a Chateau Fuente wrapper.

CA: What kind of growth do you expect for Ashton?

Levin: It's difficult now because the demand is so great and there's a limit on the production. That's going to continue because you can't use young tobacco. You have to use tobacco that's been properly aged. Therefore, there can only be so much increased production every year because you still have to use tobacco from the 1991 and 1992 crops, which was before the boom started. So, maybe next year we'll go up to 4 1/2 million. That's all we can do.

CA: Four and a half million is 50 percent over this year. How are you going to achieve that?

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