Two cigarmakers are combining their love of musicianship with their passion for blending premium tobaccos.
The oeuvre is a new line from Oliveros Cigars called All Stars, a limited-edition collaboration between Boutique Blends' Rafael Nodal and EPC Cigar Co.'s Ernesto Perez-Carrillo. The first blend—aptly named Small Batch No. 5 Duets—was produced at Perez-Carrillo's La Alianza factory in the Dominican Republic and is being distributed by Oliveros brand owner Boutique Blends Cigars.
"We are both musicians; that is where the idea of Duet comes from," said Nodal, whose La Bohéme and Aging Room brands are known for their musically inspired cigar names. "In music as in cigars, there are masters that shape your journey. Ernesto has been an idol of mine since I started smoking cigars and having the opportunity to create a blend with the godfather of boutique cigars is very special."
Small Batch No. 5 Duets is draped in Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper over Dominican binder with filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. According to Perez-Carrillo, the duo wanted to work with tobaccos that aren't regularly incorporated in their blends.
"When we started the project, we decided to do something that wasn't in [Nodal's] current portfolio, a cigar with Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper," said Perez-Carrillo. "I think the blend is unique to La Alianza and also to Rafael."
Small Batch Duet No.5 comes in four musically themed sizes: Aria, measuring 4 1/2 inches by 48 ring gauge; Fugue, 5 1/2 by 52; Chord, a 6 1/2 by 52 torpedo; and Basso, 6 by 54. The cigars ship in boxes of 20 and retail from $8 to $9.
Boutique Blends plans to continue the Oliveros All Star series by collaborating with other well-known cigarmakers, but is waiting to receive FDA approval of the new brand before moving forward with any new blends.
Oliveros All Star debuted at the 2016 International Premium Cigar and Pipe retailers trade show in Las Vegas and was released to cigar shops shortly thereafter.