A cigar industry veteran has collaborated with someone much younger in the business. Longtime cigarmaker Ernesto Perez-Carrillo is making a limited-edition cigar for Andre Farkas called the Viaje White Label Piña.
Farkas, who owns the Viaje brand, is no stranger to collaborative cigar projects, as he's teamed up with companies like Quesada Cigars and PDR Cigars in the past. This time, he turned to Perez-Carrillo of EPC Cigar Co.
The word piña translates to pineapple in Spanish, and there's a pineapple icon stamped onto the outer lid of the box.
Farkas explained why he chose this name for the brand: "During my trips to Hawaii, I've noticed how warm and welcoming the people are. The fruit symbolizes warmth, welcome, friendship and hospitality. Similarly, cigars often function as the catalyst that brings people together. With this idea, Ernesto and I blended Piña."
The Piña blend consists of a Mexican San Andrés wrapper, Ecuadoran binder and Nicaraguan filler. Made in the Dominican Republic at Perez-Carrillo's Tabacalera La Alianza factory, Piña comes in two sizes: Makana, at 6 inches by 52 ring gauge, and Nohea, 5 by 54. Both retail for $9.25 each. Only 300 boxes of each size were produced.
"Andre is very creative and he has a unique model of going to market with his brand," said Perez-Carrillo, who has been in the cigar industry for more than 30 years. By comparison, Farkas has owned his Viaje brand for 10 years. Perez-Carrillo has also collaborated with General Cigar.
Viaje Piñas were rolled in November and are coming out this month. Although Farkas has done collaborations in the past under the Juntos name, Piña is a Viaje White Label brand.
This article first appeared in the June 20, 2017 issue of Cigar Insider.