Cigar Aficionado

Roberto Duran Expands with Two New Brands

After resurrecting Azan, a pre-Castro Cuban brand that was once owned by a Chinese immigrant, Roberto Duran is expanding with two new cigar lines, one of which is his most expensive yet.

The new premium line, called Roberto P. Duran, features a Cuban-seed criollo wrapper grown on Duran's own farm in Ecuador that covers a Nicaraguan binder and filler. Duran says the blend is stronger than Azan, which debuted at last year's International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show. The cigar will be sold in boxes of 20 and will be priced between $10 to $16.

There will be four sizes in the Roberto Duran cigar line to start, and each name reflects Duran's Cuban heritage, particularly his association with the area located on Cuba's eastern shore called Baracoa. The 5 inch by 52 ring gauge size is called Rio Toa, named after the largest river in Cuba, which contributes significantly to Baracoa's ecosystem. Then there's La Punta, a 6 by 54 torpedo that honors a fort built in Baracoa in 1802. Tainos is 6 inches by 56 ring, and its name is a nod to the natives who occupied Baracoa before the arrival of Christopher Columbus. And Cacique Guama, a 6 by 60 smoke, honors the Taino chief remembered for fighting the Spanish occupation.

"The Roberto P. Duran cigar brand has been a long time in the making," said Duran. "We delayed the release of this cigar as we wanted to make absolutely sure that it was the best expression of a super-premium cigar."

Additionally, the company is unveiling a new line called Neya, which is a blend of all-Nicaraguan tobaccos, save for an Ecuador Habano wrapper that was not grown on Duran's farm. Neya will be packaged in cabinets of 20, is priced between $4 and $7, and will come in fives sizes: Petite Corona, 5 1/8 inches by 42 ring; Robusto 4 7/8 by 50; Canonazo 6 by 52; Toro 6 by 56; and the Yanquee, 6 by 60.

Both new brands will be rolled at Duran's new Nicatobacco Factory in Nicaragua.