It's finally happened. The Meerapfel family has gone into their voluminous stores of Cuban tobacco and created La Estancia, a unique cigar brand for Europe that incorporates both Cuban and Nicaraguan tobacco.
La Estancia was blended by Jeremiah and Joshua Meerapfel, the two brothers behind the family-owned Belgian company M. Meerapfel Söhnn. The Meerapfels are well-known throughout the cigar industry for their procurement and brokerage of Cuban tobacco, as well as their cultivation of Cameroon tobacco in Africa.
"Somebody had to do it," said Jeremiah Meerapfel of his new Cuban blend. "If you know my family's history, you'll know that my grandfather Heller was one of the biggest purchasers of Cuban tobacco. We have bales and bales of Cuban tobacco that we've been acquiring for decades. We have Cuban tobacco from almost every decade since the embargo and have been holding it for a long time.
"For years, we've been waiting for the embargo to end, but it never did, so the La Estancia brand is what we decided to do with all that tobacco."
Made with a Nicaraguan wrapper and binder, La Estancia cigars contain a combination of Nicaraguan and Cuban tobacco in the filler—about a 50/50 ratio. Meerapfel said that there is no particular age statement attached to the tobacco.
"When we chose the Cuban tobaccos, we were relying on the taste and aroma, not necessarily the vintage," explained Meerapfel. "Some of it is as young as five or six years old. Other tobacco is from decades ago."
For the entire story on La Estancia, see the current issue of Cigar Insider.