There’s an H. Upmann coming to the IPCPR in a few weeks, and it’s paying tribute to the tobacco varietals of the Dominican Republic. Dubbed H. Upmann Hispaniola by Jose Mendez, the cigar is a showpiece for Dominican tobaccos such as Olor, andullo and a hybrid grown exclusively for Altadis U.S.A.: Pilotico.
All the Dominican tobacco in the H. Upmann Hispaniola by Jose Mendez was developed and cultivated by Jose Mendez & Co., a family-owned tobacco brokerage operation that dedicates most of its production to Altadis.
The brand name honors both Jose Mendez & Co. and Hispaniola, the island shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
While Olor tobacco is common to the Dominican Republic and Dominican cigars, Pilotico is a proprietary hybrid. It appeared in 2015 as part of the Montecristo 80th Anniversary cigar before showing up the following year in the Montecristo Pilotico Pepe Mendez.
Olor and Pilotico are the defining tobaccos within the H. Upmann Hispaniola, along with some Dominican andullo, which is another unusual tobacco. Unlike traditional premium leaf, cured andullo is packed tightly into long, dense logs for a more concentrated sweetness. Then, the sausage-like logs are hung for fermentation.
The blend consists of an Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper, Dominican Olor binder and filler of Pilotico and andullo with some Nicaraguan tobacco as well.
Packed in boxes of 20, H. Upmann Hispaniola by Jose Mendez comes in three sizes: Robusto, measuring 5 inches by 50 ring gauge ($8.50); Toro, at 6 1/8 by 52 ($8.95); and Belicoso, 6 by 50 ($8.80).
The new cigars are made at Tabacalera de Garcia in the Dominican Republic and distributed by Altadis U.S.A. According to Altadis, the cigars are medium- to full-bodied and will ship to retailers right after the trade show.