Los Angeles-based Viaje Cigars has taken inspiration from the craft beer movement and created a new line of smokes that brand owner Andre Farkas is calling the Craft Series. The first cigar in this new series is dubbed Bales on Bales, and it’s shipping now.
“No national rollout. No marketing. No campaign. Just beer, a simple can and a label,” said Farkas, offering his take on how the craft beer industry sometimes operates. “This is where the inspiration for Craft Series came from.”
The key element to the Craft Series is collaboration. Farkas first finds a factory to work with, and then creates a blend showcasing some of the factory’s distinct, interesting tobaccos. In the case of Bales on Bales, he’s working with the TABSA factory, which already produces other Viaje brands.
Covered in a wrapper leaf that Farkas refers to as Corojo Clara Especial, Bales on Bales consists of Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98 tobacco, all of which was grown in Nicaragua by agricultural conglomerate Aganorsa.
The cigars come packaged in 10-count boxes that retail for $110, or $11 per smoke. Measuring 6 inches by 52 ring gauge, every cigar is wrapped in silver foil. Only 1,000 boxes have been produced.
While Bales on Bales is the first release of the Craft Series, Farkas plans on releasing more in the series with other cigarmakers in the future.
“They show me what they like, what tobaccos they have been smoking and which bales they think are special,” Farkas said. “So far I have really enjoyed the process.”