Rafael Nodal, owner of Habana Cuba Cigar Co., the maker of the Oliveros brand, was eagerly handing out his cigars to a group of rappers at an after party for the Grammys. He was surprised at their feedback.
"They thought the cigars were old fashioned," he said. The smokers didn't enjoy the traditional packaging of his cigars, and challenged him to do something new.
Taking the name of the bags at such events that get stuffed with all manner of free goods, Nodal named his new smoke Swag.
Packed in dark wood boxes with metal nameplates, Swag cigars have more edgy packaging than Nodal's other brands, which include King Havano.
Nodal made the cigars in the Dominican Republic in a partnership with Jochi Blanco, a cigarmaker located in Tamboril who co-owns the La Flor de Palma farm in La Canela, Dominican Republic, with cigarmaker Litto Gomez. The Swag cigar is made entirely from Dominican tobaccos from Blanco.
Swag comes in six sizes, each with an interesting name: Quickie is a 5 1/2 by 42 corona; Lavish is a fat robusto that measures 5 by 54; Elite is 7 by 38; Infamous is a 6 by 54 toro; Fierce is a 6 1/2 by 53 torpedo and Ego comes in the increasingly popular 6 by 60 size.
Despite the name, Swag cigars are priced reasonably, ranging from $4.70 for the Quickie to $5.92 for the Ego.
For more, see the current issue of Cigar Insider.