Cigar Aficionado

Rocky Patel Buys Half of United Tobacco

Rocky Patel Premium Cigars, the fast-growing cigar company from Naples, Florida, has acquired a 50 percent interest in United Tobacco, the owners of the highly rated 601 and Cubao cigar brands. United Tobacco's cigars will now be sold and distributed by Rocky Patel, and the company has been renamed EO Brands, which stands for Espinosa and Ortega, the co-founders of United. Both men will continue to operate EO Brands.

This news follows the April 27 announcement that United Tobacco was splitting with distributor Miami Cigar & Co.

Ortega said this morning that EO Brands would keep its blends the same but lower prices considerably. "The prices are going to go down anywhere from $2 to $3 per cigar," he said.

601 brand cigars, which have done quite well in Cigar Aficionado and Cigar Insider ratings, range in price from around $6.50 to $9.50 per cigar. The 601 Box Press Maduro Toro, Cigar Aficionado's No. 6 cigar of 2009, has a suggested retail price of $9.30. It is made by My Father Cigars in Estelí, Nicaragua.

For more on this story, see Tuesday's Cigar Insider.