Michael Herklots, former Vice President of Nat Sherman International, LLC and Brendon Scott, former Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Nat Sherman, LLC have established Ferio Tego, LLC, a premium cigar and accessories distribution company. Ferio Tego will be the name of the company’s flagship brand of premium cigars, but perhaps the part that will be of most interest to cigar enthusiasts is that Ferio Tego has acquired the brands formerly owned and distributed by Nat Sherman International LLC, along with their respective intellectual property. This means Ferio Tego will now own and distribute Timeless, Metropolitan, Epoca, and Ancora among other brands.
The move is a significant one for Herklots, who has been associated with the Nat Sherman brand since 2011, as it brings the brands he nurtured back under his stewardship.
Nat Sherman was established in 1930 and had been a family run business until 2017. In 2017, Altria acquired Nat Sherman, which included both Nat Sherman’s cigarette and cigar brands. In 2019, Altria announced it was exploring options for the future of Nat Sherman’s premium cigar business, including a sale of the brand. Herklots had said plans were underway to sell the brand when the COVID-19 pandemic threw a monkey-wrench into those plans. By August 2020, Altria had made a decision to shut down Nat Sherman’s premium cigar business, including the brands and its Nat Sherman Townhouse retail store in midtown Manhattan, New York.
While Altria completed the shutdown in 2020 (including selling off inventory), it still retained ownership of the brands and its intellectual property. From that point, Herklots and Scott worked on a plan of their own to see if they could acquire the business.
“Having spent the last nine years developing and building these iconic brands, I am excited to be able to continue that work with Brendon,” said Michael Herklots. “I’m proud of the way we were able to balance the need to maintain consistency with core products, while continuing to innovate with new offerings. Ferio Tego will continue that commitment far into the future.”
“We are grateful to Altria for working with us to find a path forward for these brands. I am extremely excited to work with Michael and our manufacturing partners to continue the legacy of these brands built by so many people over many decades. We are eager to bring our products back into the humidors of retailers and consumers,” added Brendon Scott.
“Michael and Brendon have made valuable contributions to Altria since joining in 2017. They are great brand stewards, and we wish them well in their journey,” said Jessica Pierucki, Managing Director, Altria Group Distribution Company and former General Manager, Nat Sherman International.
The launch will start with Ferio Tego’s own premium cigar line, which will be a limited production line. The acquired brands are expected to return to market by summer of 2021, starting with Timeless and Metropolitan. The manufacturers of the acquired brands will remain the same, and the blends will be unchanged. The one difference will be that the Nat Sherman name will no longer be on the brands. Instead of the bands of the former Nat Sherman brands saying “Exclusively for Nat Sherman International,” they will now carry the Ferio Tego name.
The name “Ferio Tego” is actually the Herklots Family motto which sits just below the shield on the Herklots Family coat of arms, which dates to 1641. The coat of arms features an image of Hercules striking a Hydra within the crest’s shield and this will now serve as the company logo.
For the seventh consecutive year, La Flor Dominicana is releasing a commemorative cigar for the NFL’s ” Big Game”. This month La Flor Dominicana will release the Special Football Edition 2021 cigar. As in the past, the cigar will be a regional release to the home state hosting the NFL’s championship game. In the case of the La Flor Dominicana Special Football Edition 2021 edition, it will be a regional release to the state of Florida (the game is being held in Tampa).
The La Flor Dominicana Special Football Edition 2021 features a Habano wrapper with Connecticut Shade used for the wrapper art. The remainder of the blend uses Dominican tobaccos for the binder and filler. The shape of the cigar will be a 5 1/2 x 63 figurado. The cigars are available in 10-count boxes. Pricing will be set at $20.00 per cigar.
The following is a complete list of the annual Special Football Edition releases:
2019 also saw a Special Football Edition cigar for R&R Cigars for the Alabama-Tennessee Football game.
The Tobacconist Association of America (TAA) has announced it has cancelled its 2021 Annual Meeting and Convention due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The event had been scheduled to take place April 11-15, 2021 at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic.
This is the second consecutive year the TAA has cancelled its Annual Meeting and Convention. Last year the pandemic also wiped out the 2020 event.
TAA says its Annual meeting will now be a virtual event and will take place March 23, 2021. This is similar to what was done following the cancellation of the 2020 event.
Plasencia Cigars has announced a new offshoot of its Plasencia Alma Fuerte line. Dubbed the Plasencia Alma Fuerte Sixto I Hexagon Colorado Claro, it is based on Plasencia’s unique Sixto II Hexagon-shaped vitola currently found in the Alma Fuerte line, but it is highlighted by the use of a lighter-colored Colorado Claro wrapper.
The new Plasencia Alma Fuerte Sixto I Hexagon Colorado Claro features 100 percent Nicaraguan tobaccos. The binder and filler have been tweaked from the original Alma Fuerte blend. The Colorado wrapper that envelops the blend has been aged 10 years.
In a press release Plasencia Cigars CEO Nestor Andres Plasencia stated: “When we created the hexagon shaped vitola, we did it with the intent to push the boundaries of cigar making. The Colorado Claro wrapper adds a different dimension to this already unique cigar. We proudly look forward to exposing the public to the Plasencia Alma Fuerte Sixto I Hexagon.”
The Plasencia Alma Fuerte Sixto I Hexagon Colorado Claron is packaged in a hexagon shaped 10-count box. Each cigar has an MSRP of $21.00.
On Sunday, January 3rd, 2021 Jeremiah Meerapfel announced the launch of Cigar Rights of the World. The organization is intended to be a consumer-based organization by end consumers for end consumers geared at protecting the rights of cigar enthusiasts. The organization is not intended to be linked to a specific culture, manufacturer, language, religion, political affiliation, or position.
In a press release announcing the organization Founder Jeremiah Meerapfel stated: “This is your fight! Everything we do, all our efforts and hard work, we will plug into the various platforms and organizations, whether it’s Cigar Rights of America, Cigar Rights of Europe and the likes. We will be serving them, gathering together all the consumers and passionados to help them understand what it is they are able to do: to sustain, to maintain and protect the industry that we all love so much.“
Meerapfel also said Reinhard Pohorec will be the president of this newly formed entity, starting immediately. He is best known for hosting the Light em Up World Lounge show.
“This is it! This is about the people – to consolidate and unite the brothers and sisters of the leaf worldwide. My entire journey has been about hosting and connecting people, serving the community and fostering camaraderie. I’m honored to devote my passion and efforts to the cigar family, the industry that I consider the most wonderful and magical in the world. I treasure and acknowledge the responsibility and want to express my gratitude for serving a greater purpose,” added Pohorec.
Joining Cigar Rights of the World is free, but the costs to run the organization will be privately subsidized through donations. Cigar Rights of the World is in the process of forming a Board of Directors that will consist mainly of consumers. The Board will attribute donations to projects and associations it selects.
Davidoff has announced it will launch the Davidoff Winston Churchill Limited Edition 2021. Davidoff Winston Churchill is a brand that pays homage to Sir Winston Churchill and with the Limited Edition 2021 release it highlights “Winston Churchill – The Commander.” The Limited Edition 2021 cigar will launch in February and be available at Davidoff Appointed Merchants and Flagship stores. Along with the cigar, an ashtray and lighter focused on the same theme will be released.
“Sir Winston Churchill was an exceptional man whose personality had so very many facets of brilliant talents, from statesman to commander, from author to painter – a unique character of its time. Usually, these personalities transform into mere history book figures, but not Sir Winston Churchill who still today is one of the most renowned and appraised public figures of the 20th century,” says Edward Simon, CMO at Oettinger Davidoff AG. “At Davidoff we are humbled and excited to bringing to life the many dimensions and stories of this incredible leader, artist and writer while Sir Winston keeps carrying such deep inspiration to the world of today.”
The Davidoff Winston Churchill Limited Edition 2021 will be offered in one format – a 6 x 52 Toro. The blend consists of an Ecuadorian wrapper, a Dominican Hybrid 257 Seco wrapper, and a combination of Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. The cigars are packaged in 10-count boxes with a total production of 11,000 boxes slated.
The corresponding limited edition ashtray and double jet flame table lighter will both be adorned with the Winston Churchill silhouette.
Fratello Cigars has announced Zev Kaminetsky will be its new Vice President of Sales effective January 11th, 2021.
Kaminetsky is a long-time industry veteran who has worked at Camacho, Drew Estate, and most recently served as National Sales Director for Royal Agio Cigars USA.
“I’ve known Zev since before I started Fratello. His professionalism, work ethic and family values fit right into our culture of hard work. I respect his commitment and the reputation he has worked so hard to build with the hundreds of brick and mortars and consumers he has come across with. I can’t be any more excited to welcome Zev to our small family,” commented Omar de Frias in a press release.
“I first met Omar on a trip thru the Washington, DC area with Jose Blanco while he still worked at NASA. I immediately recognized his passion for, as well as knowledge of, Premium Cigars & Tobacco. When he started Fratello Cigars a few years later, I knew it would not only be an amazing experience for him, but that his presence would have an instant & lasting effect on our industry. Watching what he has achieved in such a short time is a testament what he brings to the table, and I look forward to learning from him as we take the Fratello brand to the next level,” added Kaminetsky,
Kaminetsky is scheduled to begin his new position at Fratello Cigars on January 11th, 2021.