Cigar Aficionado

New Versions of Classic Brands from Cuban Imports

Michael Argenti, previously of Tabacalera Perdomo S.A., started his own company this spring with an unusual profile of brands.

In cooperation with Altadis U.S.A. Inc., Argenti took two of the company's legendary brands and made a new version of each. The H. Upmann Signature brand is Argenti's variation of the venerable label. The tobacco blend is a new one, and the packaging has also changed. Although the box bears the traditional H. Upmann logo, it is set against a redesigned matte black background rather then the traditional white. Argenti, who is very concerned with design, also created Por Larrañaga Cuban Grade. Like H. Upmann, it has been reblended and redesigned. The cigars come in a distinct, laser-sculpted silver box.

Argenti's company, Cuban Imports of Miami Lakes, Florida, is the sole distributor. Both brands are made by Altadis, but at the company's Flor de Copan factory in northern Honduras rather than at Tabacalera de Garcia Ltd. In the Dominican Republic, where other Upmanns and Por Larrañagas are made.

Argenti also launched a third brand called Cuban Exile, which he describes as very full bodied. It is made by Nicaraguan American Tobaccos S.A. in Estelí.

For more on this story, see the next issue of Cigar Insider.