For nearly five years, Alec Bradley owner Alan Rubin has had a cigar brand on his mind called Mundial. The word, which means "global" in several languages other than English and is common to fans of World Cup soccer, was to evoke a special smoke Rubin hoped would take his company to the next level. But every time he thought he was close, something interfered, putting the Mundial project on the back burner. But now he and his team are finally ready to bring it to the public.
"For the last few years, every time I went down to Honduras, no matter what I smoked, I always had Mundial on my mind," said Rubin in an interview with Cigar Aficionado. "I knew what we wanted, but it had to happen organically. It's finally going to be released."
Early on he didn't have the blend. Later, the success of the Alec Bradley Prensado (named Cigar Aficionado's Cigar of the Year in 2011) interfered in its own way. "We couldn't make any changes then," said Rubin. "It would have confused the marketplace."
More than one year ago, Rubin found the taste he was looking for. "We had eight blends, smoked through the eight, but I couldn't wrap my head around it. So I sat on it. Ten months ago, I said ‘Let's revisit that blend.'"
The leaves that finally came together in the way Rubin wanted were a wrapper grown in the Trojes region of Honduras (which Alec Bradley also uses on Prensado); two binder leaves, one from Honduras, another from Nicaragua; and a mix of four filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and Honduras, with a very heavy component of Estelí ligero.
Production on the brand will be limited, due to production capacity, in 2013 to 3,000 boxes containing 20 cigars each. "That's all we can do," said Rubin.
The cigars have intriguing shapes, with pointed feet that vaguely resemble the lances wielded by knights on horseback. Each shape carries the moniker "Punta Lanza," which means "point of the lance," and is a reference to an old mentor who tutored Rubin in his early days. The sizes range from a 4 1/4 inch by 48 ring gauge cigar up to a 7 by 52, with suggested retail prices ranging from $9.95 to $15.95 per cigar. Mundial will debut this month at the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailer trade show in Las Vegas.
Alec Bradley Mundial cigars were rolled in Honduras at the Raices Cubanas factory. Alec Bradley is also debuting a Raices Cubanas cigar at the trade show: for more on that, and more on the Mundial, see next Tuesday's edition of Cigar Insider.