Oettinger Davidoff is reinvigorating Cusano, a value-priced brand that has been dormant for the last two years. This week, the Swiss cigar manufacturer introduced the new Cusano Dominican Connecticut and alluded to an upcoming Dominican Maduro brand, as well.
Cusano Dominican Connecticut will begin shipping to Europe this month, but the cigars are not scheduled to arrive at U.S. retailers until April. Davidoff says the U.S. launch of the Dominican Maduro will take place in April, too. However, details on that brand are still forthcoming.
Dominican Connecticut consists of an Ecuadoran Connecticut wrapper and binder with Dominican filler. The cigars will come in four sizes—Toro, measuring 6 inches by 50 ring gauge; Robusto, 5 by 50; Churchill, 7 by 48; and Gordo, 6 by 60—and will ship in wooden cabinet boxes of 16. The suggested retail price ranges from $4.49 to $5.99 per stick.
The company's senior vice president of global marketing, Charles Awad, said in a press release that the new brand will be geared towards cigar smokers "seeking to enjoy fine-quality cigars at great value."
Cusano was founded by brothers Joe and Michael Chiusano in 1995 as part of DomRey Cigar Inc. The brand was made primarily by Davidoff's Hendrik Kelner; however, Davidoff had no financial stake with Cusano until it acquired the brand in 2009. Michael Chiusano resigned from the company less than a year after the acquisition, and Joe Chiusano briefly took his brother's place as president before resigning himself in 2011.
Davidoff has informed Cigar Aficionado that director of marketing Dylan Austin has been named the official brand manager of Cusano, adding that it will focus on promoting the brand as "a global effort." Austin is also brand manager for Camacho, which was acquired by Davidoff shortly before Cusano.
Austin says there will be more to come from the Cusano brand in the near future, claiming "the revamp will get its second wave in June."