Continuing more than a year of reinvention for its iconic brands, Altadis U.S.A. Inc., is announcing two new blends to be featured next week at the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show: a Montecristo spin-off and a newly reblended Juan Lopez.
The biggest news is the announcement of Monte, the newest in Altadis's relaunch of popular and traditional brand names. Monte is billed as a bold smoke with a double binder and dark wrapper. The blend consists of Dominican fillers with an Ecuadoran Habano wrapper, and the binder leaves are Nicaraguan Corojo and Dominican Olor.
The blend will hit shelves in early August with three sizes: Monte at 6 inches by 60 ring, Jacopo No. 2 at 6 1/8 by 54, and a relatively small 5 1/2 by 48 ring smoke named Conde. They'll come packaged in eye-catching boxes of 16. Suggested retail prices fall between $8.95 and $9.50.
This is actually the third reincarnation of the storied Montecristo brand for the folks at Altadis. In recent years the company has released Montecristo Epic and several regional editions with unique blends for New York, Las Vegas, Chicago and Texas. A reblended offshoot of the Romeo y Julieta brand took the number three position in last year's Cigar of the Year rankings.
The once-discontinued Juan Lopez name is likewise getting a makeover from Altadis.
The Nicaraguan puro is reintroducing itself with full-bodied power in three sizes: Seleccion No. 1 (5 inches by 54 ring gauge), No. 2 (6 by 54) and No. 3 (6 by 60). The cigar will be bargain priced at $6 or less. Like the Monte, it will be featured at this year's IPCPR trade show next week.
Look for ratings of both cigars in Cigar Insider and Cigar Aficionado.