IPCPR/PCA News: ACE Prime Cigars

There was a lot of buzz leading up to, and during, the Premium Cigar Association trade show this year about a new cigar company called ACE Prime, a cigar distribution company. The company is a vertically integrated operation that was formed by:

  • NBA Champion – Dominique Wilkins
  • NBA Champion – Tiago Splitter
  • Sommelier – Luciano Meirelles

The partners joined forces with Tabacalera Pichardo in Nicaragua, a factory that has been silently manufacturing premium cigars for major U.S. and International brands under Non Disclosure Agreements (NDA’s). Founded by Don Eradio Pichardo, a third generation tobacco agriculturist and native of Cuba, Tabacalera Pichardo made the decision in 2014 to partner with Sommelier Luciano Meirlelles to expand the factory and also develop one of the most sophisticated tobacco farms in Ecuador.

A.C.E Prime hit the show with style and even took out premium advertising for the show. They were featured at the annual breakfast meeting during the week.

One of the most talked about cigars at the booth and on the show floor was the M.X.S. especially the Maduro version which is known as the M.X.S Dominique Wilkins. M.X.S. stands for Maximum Excellence and Success and Luciano explained to me that this cigar captures the personality of Dominique perfectly which is the goal of each M.X.S. blend.

I caught up with Luciano and Dominique at the ACE Prime booth to chat about the company and enjoy a M.X.S. Dominique Wilkins and a Guinness Stout that paired perfectly with that cigar.



The Full ACE Prime Line-up

ACE Prime showcased a full array of product introductions at their booth.

  • A Cuban Experience – Offered in 3 different blends; El Corazon, El Elegante, and La Sombra.
  • Pichardo Clasico – A blend that is designed to taste ‘Cubanesque’ with floral profile.
  • Pichardo Reserva – Offered in 3 different blends; Connecticut, Habano, and San Andres.
  • Luciano “The Traveler” – A limited production cigar named after company founder Luciano Meirelles with a production capped at 25,000 cigars.
  • M.X.S – Represents Maximum Excellence and is a world class cigar for World Champions.

A Cuban Experience – El Corazon 

The Spanish phrase “El Corazon” translates to “The Heart” in English. Representing the core of the company, El Corazon has a blend described as:

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder:  Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Filler: Nicaragua

El Corazon is available in a single 6 x 52 vitola and comes packaged in 20-count boxes with an MSRP of $10.50/cigar.


A Cuban Experience –  El Elegante  

The Spanish phrase “El Elegante” translates to “The Elegant” in English and it is cigar that is just that, an elegant 7.5 x 38 vitola, which is the same as the Cuban Cohiba Lancero.

The blend is described as:

  • Wrapper:  Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Nicaraguan (Condega, Jalapa & Ometepe)

El Elegante comes packaged in 20-count boxes with an MSRP of $15.00/cigar.


A Cuban Experience – La Sombra

The Spanish phrase “La Sombra” translates to “The Shadow” in English. Though it has the same wrapper and binder as El Corazon, it has punched up strength and body due to 6 different ligero fillers.

  • Wrapper:  Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder:  Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Filler:  Nicaraguan

La Sombra is available in a single 6 x 60 vitola and comes packaged in 20-count boxes with an MSRP of $14.00/cigar.


Pichardo Clasico 

As noted, the Pichardo Clasico  was blended to taste ‘Cubanesque’ with a floral profile. The blend is described as:

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
  • Filler: Nicaraguan (Jalapa, Condega, Ometepe)

The Pichardo Clasico  is available in a single 6.5 x 50 vitola and comes packaged in 20-count boxes with an MSRP of $9.50/cigar.



Pichardo Reserva Familiar

In addition to the Pichardo Clasico, the company also showcased the Pichardo Reserva Familiar which is available in 3 different blends. The line is a tribute to the Pichardo’s family legacy. The company noted that the ‘creation process took more than two years and was blended by Don Eradio Pichardo himself.’ Each blend is named for the wrapper that is used.


Pichardo Reserva Familiar Connecticut

The Pichardo Reserva Familiar Connecticut blend is described as:

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
  • Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican

The Pichardo Reserva Familiar Connecticut is available in a single 6 x 52 vitola and comes packaged in 15-count boxes with an MSRP of $11.50/cigar.


Pichardo Reserva Familiar Habano

The Pichardo Reserva Familiar Habano blend is basically the same as the Connecticut, but substitutes a Nicaraguan Habano leaf for the wrapper:

  • Wrapper:  Nicaraguan Habano
  • Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
  • Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican

The Pichardo Reserva Familiar Habano is available in a single 6 x 52 vitola and comes packaged in 15-count boxes with an MSRP of $12.00/cigar.


Pichardo Reserva Familiar San Andres

The company notes that the Pichardo Reserva Familiar San Andres blend ‘will surprise you with the earthy taste of the fillers, highlighted by the sweetness of the wrapper.’ is basically the same as the Connecticut, but substitutes a Nicaraguan Habano leaf for the wrapper:

  • Wrapper:  Mexican San Andres
  • Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
  • Filler: Nicaraguan (Ometepe, Esteli, Jalapa)

The Pichardo Reserva Familiar San Andres is available in a single 6 x 52 vitola and comes packaged in 15-count boxes with an MSRP of $12.50/cigar.


Luciano The Traveler

The Luciano The Traveler is a limited edition cigar that was blended by Master Blender Luciano Meirelles and uses pelo de oro leaf, one of the rarest leaves in the world. The company notes that ‘The life history of endurance and success of the entrepreneur and tobacconist Luciano Meirelles is well translated in this exquisite blend.‘ The blend is described as:

  • Wrapper:  Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder:  Pelo De Oro (Ecuador)
  • Filler: Pelo De Oro (Ecuador and Peru)

The Luciano The Traveler is available in a single 7 x 46 vitola and comes packaged in 12-count boxes with an MSRP of $17.00/cigar.


M.X.S Tiago Splitter

Described as a “Victor’s Cigar”, the M.X.S. Tiago Splitter was inspired by the life of NBA champion Tiago Splitter. The company notes ‘we took three different types of fermenting leave from different regions of Nicaragua. This is a cigar that makes you salivate.‘ The blend is described as:

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder: Nicaraguan (Jalapa)
  • Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican

The M.X.S. Tiago Splitter comes in 2 vitolas and is packaged in 20-count boxes:

  • Sublime (6.5 x 54) MSRP $15.00/cigar
  • Robusto (5 x 52) MSRP $11.00/cigar

M.X.S. Dominique Wilkins

The M.X.S. Dominique Wilkins is named for the best “Dunker” in the NBA – the nine times All Star, Dominique Wilkins. The company notes the blend of this cigar was ‘created with the best San Andres wrapper and best Nicaraguan & Dominican fillers resulting in an unprecedented equilibrium of power and flavor’. The blend is described as:

  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
  • Binder: Nicaraguan (Ometepe)
  • Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican

The M.X.S. Dominique Wilkins comes in a single 6.5 x 54 vitola and is packaged in 20-count boxes with an MSRP of $17.00/cigar.

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