Cigar Aficionado

New Cigar Packs Some Swagger

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.

"I agree completely with the last 3 post. I will be the first to admit though the name kind of put me off but i decided at the price at which i was getting them at (>$2 ea.) what is it going to hurt. So seriously guys give it a try before u knock it for its name its a pretty damn good cigar for the price. And can you really knock Nodal for the name? Hes in this business to enjoy cigars and make money who cares what the name is go try a stick then let us know how you feel." —March 26, 2013 00:25 AM
"I have frequently had these cigars, and they are truly a decent cigar. Now, it's no Macanudo 1968, but I would say the Infamous size rivals any C.A.O. on the market. I originally bought it just for the novelty of having "swag", but I was completely knocked back by just how good they really are. Tey start out with a little peppery taste and move into an intensely smooth, creamy, almost chocolate flavored coffee taste for the rest of the cigar. I would recommend them to anyone. If you can get past the name of it, you'll be in for a heck of a surprise." —May 5, 2011 21:15 PM
"When it comes to cigars I look for the maker of the cigar and their lineage. In 3 hrs I smoked 2 of these well made, fantastic cigars. The Elite and the Ego. Both were fantastic. I don't take marketing, celebrity or pretentious remarks into account when trying a new product....especially something as personal as a cigar. I'll try all the other sizes and these cigars will be a mainstay in my Humidor. Keep up the Great work you folks at Oliveros. " —January 28, 2011 23:45 PM
"Who cares what a name is when the cigar is good. To let a name stop you from trying a cigar, in my humble thoughts, is to show little knowledge of cigars and the importance of labels more than product. After smoking several Swag cigars I have found them to be very pleasing and most injoyable. The flavor is unique and complex. To speak in a false intelect that a name would hinder the enjoyment of a good stick is pretentious. A name has nothing to do with the sheer pleasure of a great smoke." —January 13, 2011 10:12 AM
"I've been smoking premium cigars since the early '80's...don't knock it until you try's a great cigar" —December 15, 2010 12:16 PM
"I gotta say, bad mouthing the stick because of it's name or the fact that the marketing is going for some street cred is pretty pretentious and crap like that is what keeps a lot of people from enjoying the hobby more. Thanks for the info, John... If I see any out here in CT I'll pick one up and try it. " —December 13, 2010 00:36 AM
"Sorry...if their target is "rappers" it's not for me. " —December 7, 2010 21:24 PM
"You know i though the same thing when i first saw the "name" of this cigar & advertising about it, but the packaging actually catched my attention when i went into a COHIBA store in Southern California, i dont think this nice luxury store would carry a bad smoke so i tried it. I usually smoke La Flor dominicana & this was next to it, I saw it has a band that says its a Puro Dominicano so u know what? i decited to try it, I mean it was a good price, I payed like $5.75 for a toro! so it dint brake my bank. I dont like leaving comments about a "STICK" before i try it, it kinda sounds ignorant!! I gotta give it 4.5 stars out of was it nice, it was medium body at first but then it hit me with some spice & it felt full body but not too much just enough to enjoy & it was very creamy i actually dint think it was a dominican cigar more like honduras or maybe with some nicaraguan in it, i liked it so much i looked online to see if i can buy it anywhere after i got home but no luck something about being a retailer only cigar! so i went back to COHIBA & bought the whole box, To make a long story short i had all my buddies in the golf course intrigued by this cigars & they loved it also we had a great sunday hitting the 8 iron with a great swag. So please guys if you are a real tobacconist & a tobacco smoker give a cigar a try before u bash it or comment about the 'name" u might be surprised that you have been missing on something great just because of ignorance!" —December 6, 2010 11:38 AM
"Sorry... I thought they sounded ghetto when I was looking at the ad. Think I'll be giving them a pass. I'll take old fashioned and quality I can trust over trying to make rappers and their fans happy." —December 3, 2010 15:49 PM
"Swag would be a name that I would most likely not smoke, I would go for a Nat Sherman any day. No frills just good stuff. " —December 1, 2010 23:41 PM
"I'd rather smoke a Gurkha!" —December 1, 2010 12:39 PM
"Wow...swag has nothing to do with marijuana. The term you were looking for was schwag." —December 1, 2010 10:26 AM
"This is, in reality, another cigar trying to be cooler than it really is. While we all know "swag" is used to refer to free stuff given out at events, it is also commonly known as a derogatory term for cheap marijuana. Even worse, one of the vitola names ("Fierce") is a worn-out, over-used fashion industry term that is being abandoned. Cigar manufacturers need to stick to making cigars that sell themselves, not selling consumers hyped-up lies and mediocre products." —November 30, 2010 12:24 PM