Alec Bradley cigar fans have to wait another week to see two new brands on the shelves of their local humidors.
The two cigar brands, Alec Bradley Prensado Lost Art and Black Market Estelí, encountered unexpected packaging and shipping delays prior to a full-scale, U.S. launch, according to the company. Both cigars have been on the market in small quantities (at a select number of retailers) since last year, but Alec Bradley waited until this summer’s IPCPR trade show to formally unveil the cigars. However, issues with printing the band and box artwork, as well as shipping complications, have delayed both products.
“Both cigars have been ready for some time. Unfortunately there were many issues regarding the packaging and logistics,” said Jonathan Lipson, director of sales and marketing for Alec Bradley. “We had printing issues with the bands, vistas, stickers and box screening. Once all of those items were fixed, there were issues getting the bands, stickers and vistas to the factories in Honduras and Nicaragua. The situation was exacerbated by the hurricanes—shipping of these items was further delayed. Since bands and vistas are considered imports into the respective countries, customs has been bogged down in both Honduras and Nicaragua, further delaying the delivery to the factories.”
Vistas are the pictures that adorn the inner lid of a cigar box. “The artwork you see when you open a box,” Lipson said. “We had issues with color matching as well as making sure some of the intricacies of the artwork would show.”
European cigar smokers have not had the same delays for Black Market Estelí, which arrived in Europe earlier this month. Prensado Lost Art has not yet received a widespread European launch.
As for when U.S. cigar smokers should be able to easily find some Lost Art and Black Market Estelí, Lipson estimated they would fully arrive by next week.
Prensado Lost Art is enrobed in a Honduran Corojo wrapper with two binders—one from Nicaragua and the other from Honduras. The fillers are also from Nicaragua and Honduras. The cigar is available in five sizes: Robusto, at 5 inches by 52 ring; Gran Toro, 6 1/4 by 52; Churchill, 7 by 50; Torpedo, 6 1/2 by 52; and Double T, 6 by 60. The cigars ship in 20-count boxes.
Black Market Estelí is crafted with a Nicaraguan wrapper and two binders from Nicaragua and Honduras. The filler is from Nicaragua. Black Market Estelí will come in five sizes: Robusto, at 5 by 52; Toro, 6 by 52; Churchill, 7 by 50; Torpedo, 6 1/2 by 52; and Gordo, 6 by 60. The cigars ship in 22-count boxes.
“To say that we are frustrated, along with our retail partners, is an understatement,” Lipson said.
This article first appeared in the October 3, 2017 issue of Cigar Insider.