Plasencia Family Forms U.S. Distribution Company, Creates New Brands

Plasencia Family Forms U.S. Distribution Company, Creates New Brands

Known as one of the largest tobacco growers in Nicaragua, the Plasencia family has introduced six new cigar brands and formed its own U.S distribution company.

Headquartered in Miami, Plasencia 1865 is the new distribution center created to import and distribute cigar brands made by the Plasencia family—namely the new Plasencia Alma Series and Plasencia Cosecha 144, which are both produced in Nicaragua at Plasencia Cigars S.A.

Owned by father-and-son team Nestor Plasencia Sr. and Jr., the Plasencia tobacco operation is quite vast. In addition to large cigar factories in both Nicaragua and Honduras, the family (whose combined factories produce more than 35 million cigars a year) grows approximately 3,000 acres of tobacco in Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama.

But despite the massive tobacco growing and brokerage operation, and the large amount of cigars that the Plasencias produce under contract for other companies (like Rocky Patel, for example), they have never been known for their own brands. Now, the Plasencias are looking to change that.

The Plasencia Alma Series consists of five separate cigar lines: Alma Fuerte, Alma del Campo, Alma del Rio, Alma del Fuego and Alma del Cielo. All five are made with only Nicaraguan tobacco grown by the Plasencias. According to the company, the family has been selecting and aging some of their best crops for these new brands. The word alma means "soul" in Spanish.

"As the name of Plasencia Alma Series implies, this project is a way to connect the soul of our family and our cigars with the soul of all cigar aficionados," said Nestor Andres Plasencia Jr., who is a fifth generation tobacco grower.

Plasencia Alma Fuerte, which is the strongest of the Series, comes in three sizes: the box-pressed Nestor IV, measuring 6 1/4 inches by 54 ring gauge; Generacion, a 7 by 58 salomon; and the hexagonally pressed Sixto ii, a six-sided cigar at 6 by 60. They come in 10-count boxes and retail from $20 to $22.

Plasencia Alma del Campo comes in five sizes: Tribu, 5 by 52; Guaguiro, 5 1/2 by 54; Sendero, 6 by 56; Travesia, 6 1/2 by 54; and Madrono, 6 1/2 by 58. Also packaged in boxes of 10, these cigars retail from $15 to $18.

Three more Plasencia lines—Alma del Rio, Alma del Cielo and Alma del Fuego—also come in five sizes each, are packed in 10-count boxes and carry retail prices from $15 to $19.

The Plasencia Cosecha 144 line brand is made with vintage-specific tobaccos all harvested in 2009. The wrapper is Nicaraguan, binder Honduran, and the filler is a combination of the tobacco from both countries. It comes in five box-pressed sizes: Tierras Nuevas, 5 by 50; Buenos Aires, 5 1/4 by 52; El Coyol, 5 3/4 by 54; Torpedo Las Delicias, 6 1/4 by 52; and Los Angeles, 6 by 58. They retail from $11 to $14.

The company name Plasencia 1865 refers to the year that the Plasencia family began growing tobacco in Cuba. After Fidel Castro and the Cuban government nationalized the Cuban cigar and tobacco industry, the Plasencias left Cuba and began new operations in Nicaragua and Honduras. Today, the Plasencias are one of the top growers in Nicaragua.