The new smoke from José Blanco, Señorial, will have its official launch party on June 4 in New York City at Cigar Inn. Shipments of the smokes to other retailers will begin the following Monday, June 9.
Blanco has been working on the new blend for months. In February, Cigar Aficionado reported that Blanco had created Las Cumbres Tabaco in the Dominican Republic, setting out on his own for the first time after two, high-profile stints in the cigar business. Blanco began in the cigar industry at La Aurora, then worked at Joya de Nicaragua on the CyB brand.
Señorial is being rolled at Tabacalera La Palma, a Tamboril, Dominican Republic, factory run by Blanco's cousin Jochi Blanco. The wrapper is Habano Ecuador, the binder is from Nicaragua, and the filler is a mixture of Dominican piloto Cubano and Corojo seeds grown by Jochi Blanco.
Señorial will come in five sizes: Corona Gorda No. 5, which measures 5 1/2 inches long by 46 ring gauge and retails for $7.00; Paco Robusto (5 1/4 by 52, $8.00); Toro Bravo (6 by 54, $9.00); Le Grand (6 by 60, $10.00) and Belicoso No. 2, a 6 1/4 by 52 figurado retailing for $11.00.
Blanco joined Grupo León Jimenes—La Aurora's former parent company—in 1981, working first in the company's core beer and cigarette divisions. He later moved to the company's cigar segment. In 2011 he joined Joya de Nicaragua, where he worked until 2013.
Blanco emphasized that his cigar brand would be sold only through brick-and-mortar retailers.