It was 135 years ago, that a young man of 20 years, went to work for an established tobacco shop in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts. That young man was David P. Ehrlich and the shop was F. Abrahams. The shop was owned by a German immigrant Fanny Abraham, the widow of Ferdinand Abraham, who died before making the trek to the US. Of course, David didn’t just love the tobacco business. He also had a fondness for the boss’s daughter, and it wasn’t long before David married Abraham’s daughter. Of course, I am not here to write a love story, I am here to talk about cigars. OK, I love cigars, but let’s get back to the story at hand.
So as the story goes, 100 years ago in 1916, the shop was renamed the “David P. Ehrlich Company”. At the time, David specialized in fine pipe making. He employed skilled artisans from Germany and Austria to create the best smoking pipes. In addition, David traveled the country promoting the craftsmanship of his shop. David had one son, who sadly passed away. As a result, when Mr. Ehrlich died in 1942, his will passed ownership of the shop to his nieces and nephews.
Continuing with the tobacco tradition, the family members not only grew the business, but also purchased another shop. Leavitt & Peirce, which was, and still is, the oldest shop in Cambridge. It is located in Harvard Square, just across the street from the historic “old Harvard Yard.” As time went on, the names David P. Ehrlich and Leavitt & Peirce became synonymous with tobacco, both pipe & cigar, in Boston. While Leavitt & Peirce remained in the same location, the David P. Ehrlich moved it’s location a number of times, eventually landing at 32 Tremont Street.
Enter the Macdonalds
A little more than 100 years since Fanny Abraham opened the original store, Paul L. Macdonald and his wife Claire bought into the business. Paul started working for the David P. Ehrlich Co in 1974. They eventually took full ownership in 1985. Paul’s sons Paul J. and Barry worked and helped manage the establishment which maintained the name The David P. Ehrlich Co. The family also bought and operated Leavitt & Peirce in Harvard Square.
According to the Boston Business Journal in October 2015:
After his father’s death in 2001, Paul made the difficult decision to close David P. Ehrlich Co., on 32 Tremont St. in Government Center, which ironically was popular with the many of the same politicians who voted to tighten the smoking laws in Boston.
Paul’s brother Barry Macdonald , who was the General Manager of the David P. Ehrlich Company, eventually accepted the National Sales Manager position for MLB Cigar Ventures, owned by Mike Bellody in 2013. Mike and Barry have been working on a new line of cigars that will now be known as the David P. Ehrlich, and the first blend in the line is the David P. Ehrlich Tremont paying homage to the Tremont Street shop where, coincidentally, Mike smoked his first cigar!
The David P. Ehrlich Tremont Cigar
Mike and Barry turned to Ernesto Perez Carrillo and his factory Tabacalera La Alianza S.A. in Santiago, Dominican Republic for the blending and manufacturing of the David P. Ehrlich Tremont.
Speaking to Mike, he described the blend as:
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
- Filler: Esteli and Condega from Nicaragua and a touch of La Canela from Dominican Republic
- Binder: Esteli
The cigars are planned to be a regular production and are available in 5 vitolas and packaged in boxes of 20.
- Corona (5 1/2 x 44) — $7.60
- Robusto (5 x 52) — $8.90
- Toro (6 x 50) — $9.30
- Churchill (7 x 47) — $9.90
- Gordo (6 x 60) — $10.50
Prices will start at $7.60 for the Corona and work their way up to $10.50 for the Gordo.
For this review I sampled the David P. Ehrlich Tremont Toro
Cigar Review Notes
To begin this review it should be noted that the cigar was naked, as the bands were not yet available at the IPCPR. Even without the band, this is a beautiful looking cigar with a heavily, marbleized, medium brown, smooth wrapper. It is packed tight with excellent seams and finished with a well applied triple cap.
The cold draw was simply scrumptious and kept me puffing on it for an extended period before lighting it up. That extended draw brought out red pepper on the lips and rich earth tones on the palate.
I finally got around to firing it up and I have to say, the David P. Ehrlich Tremont delivered!
- There was an expected blast of pepper on the nose
- Pepper is building not diminishing by first half-inch
- Salt and pepper ash
- Cocoa powder hides behind the pepper trying to break on through the other side
- Moving toward an inch and the cocoa finally breaks through
- Along with a growing sweetness that sparks up my back palate
- Strength is medium after the first third
- Pepper is faded by this point but the palate has been awakened
- As a creamy butter with a light spice coating fills the profile
- The cocoa in the background sweetens the blend
- Ash continues to grow burning straight and solid for two inches so far
- Sweet nutty aroma
- Cocoa is becoming more prominent
- Ash fell at half way point
- Reveals a nicely centered burn cone
- Strength moves up the scale to a medium plus
- Touch of leather on the lips
- Aroma moves to more of a baking spice
- Slight wave develops end of second third
- Pepper spice emerges in final third
- The wave handles itself without a touch up
- Toasted oak and butter completes the profile
- Finished medium full in strength
Overall, the David P. Ehrlich Tremont is just another example of a quality cigar from MLB Cigar Ventures by Mike Bellody. The palate combination of Mike and Barry in concert with the craftsmanship of E.P. Carrillo resulted in a truly memorable smoking experience.