IPCPR/PCA News – A Cigar Chat with Ram Rodriguez of El Artista Cigars

Near the end of day one at the 2019 Premium Cigar Association Trade Show, I caught up with Radhames ‘Ram’ Rodriguez, President of El Artista Cigars at their booth. El Artista was showcasing two new introduction this year, The Slugger and the Buffalo Ten. In the video below, we talk about the new introductions, the newly branded Premium Cigar Association, and the future of El Artista Cigars.

The Slugger

Developed by El Artista Cigars in conjunction with David Ortiz, The Slugger was created as a response to Big Papi fan and retailer requests. The new blend features a deep brown San Andres maduro wrapper, flavorful Dominican Negrito binder, and fillers from Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and USA. In contrast to the first Ortiz Project, Big Papi, which was a medium blend, The Slugger includes several ligero tobaccos for a noticeably stronger smoke.

El Artista – The Slugger

Kevin Newman Director of Sales & Marketing for El Artista Cigars noted:

We have hosted dozens of events with Big Papi since 2016 and gathered a lot of feedback from fans about what the next blend should be like. Our Big Papi fans asked us to increase the power for the next blend; we not only increased the strength but made a bigger cigar packed with even more flavor”.

At a recent press conference David Ortiz quipped: “I wanted a cigar size that better fits in my big hands, something that is big like me”.

The Slugger comes in one size: Gordo XL, 7 x 60. Fans of the original Big Papi blend will recognize the handsome red and white Big Papi band on The Slugger, which is adorned with a contrasting navy-blue foot ribbon. Twenty cigars come in a beautiful blue and white piano-finished box. Retail priced at $12.50 per cigar.

The Buffalo Ten

The Buffalo TEN is described as complex blend composed of six different tobaccos from across The Americas and Caribbean.

  • Wrapper – Toothy Mexican San Andres Maduro
  • Binder – Dominican Negrito
  • Filler – USA, Colombia, and the company’s own fields in the Dominican Republic

Two tobaccos are exclusive to El Artista: Dominican T-13 Hybrid found in the filler and the Dominican Negrito binder.

In the words of Radhames ‘Ram’ Rodriguez, President of El Artista Cigars:

We feel this is the beginning of a great flagship product line for us, not only does it smoke great but the whole package looks amazing. We have developed something that we feel cannot be beat”. 

Speaking of packaging, the Buffalo TEN will be available in a single, soft box pressed 6 x 50 Toro which will come in two retail packages:

  • Attractive 5-Pack ($22.50 MSRP) in a wooden retail shelf display that holds five 5-packs
  • Single-stick purchase ($4.95 MSRP) from a 40-ct retail bundle tray.