Great Wall Cigar, China’s biggest cigar producer, recently hosted its sixth annual cigar festival. The “Global Promotion Tour of Hometown of China Cigars” took place in Shifang, China last week, featuring three days of cigar events, guest speakers, Chinese smokes and even the unveiling of some limited-edition cigars.
Nearly 600 patrons gathered for activities including a blending competition. The event was broadcast to more than 100 cities across China, and the organizers claimed thousands of viewers viewed it via various platforms.
Great Wall Cigar also unveiled its Year of the Ox cigars—joining Davidoff and Plasencia—in celebration of the Chinese New Year. The cigars are pricey: The Great Wall Chinese Zodiac Limited Edition Year of the Ox is a 5 3/10 inch by 53 ring gauge robusto featuring a Dominican wrapper, Chinese binder and Dominican, Brazilian and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos. The cigars are rolled in China, and are limited to 5,000 piano lacquered boxes of 10 and are selling for 150 Chinese Yuans (about $23) per cigar.
The company also unveiled its Collector’s Edition, a fat cigar measuring 5 7/10 inches long by 56 ring gauge called the Gran Toro. The Dominican-wrapped smoke features an Indonesian binder with filler from Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and China. There are very few, only 40 boxes, each containing 25 cigars, which have a retail price of 380 Yuan—or $58—per cigar.
The Alibaba Group even joined in on the action. The Chinese tech giant developed a blockchain traceability system–in conjunction with the China Tobacco Sichuan Industrial Co. (which owns Great Wall Cigar)–that allows consumers to scan identification marks on their cigar boxes that reveal details about the cigars’ production from plant to finished product.
The city of Shifang has been growing cigar tobacco for more than 400 years. Great Wall Cigar Factory, founded there in 1918, is the largest cigar manufacturer and sole pipe tobacco producer in all of China.