Altadis U.S.A. has plenty of reasons to cheer following Cigar Aficionado’s announced Cigar of the Year recognition.
“We are honored and gratified that not only do we have two cigars that made Cigar Aficionado’s top 10 Cigars of the Year – but Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Maestro has been named the 2019 Cigar of the Year,” said Javier Estades, chief executive of Tabacalera U.S.A., which includes leading cigar manufacturer and marketer, Altadis U.S.A.
Rounding out the Cigar Aficionado top 10 list was another Altadis product, the H. Upmann 175th Anniversary Churchill, which came in at No.10.
“This is a great honor for our entire team,” he said. “But it is especially so for the marketing team led by Rafael Nodal and our partners in Nicaragua.”
Being named Cigar of the Year – and placing two cigars in the top 10 – reflects AUSA’s product capabilities.
“This kind of recognition is a testament to our new approach to product development, the know-how of Rafael and the great partnerships we’ve achieved, such as our work with AJ Fernandez, Plasencia Cigars and Grupo de Maestros,” Estades said. “Our journey with Aging Room began more than two years ago when Rafael joined our team and we added Boutique Blends to our portfolio.”
That allowed Altadis U.S.A. to strengthen its cigar capability and provided the company with brands that appealed to adult consumers it wasn’t reaching at that time.
“Receiving the No. 1 Cigar of the Year and the No.10 Cigar of the Year from Cigar Aficionado for two cigars that I have created with my friend and collaborator AJ Fernandez is truly an honor and a recognition to the hard work, passion and dedication of our people,” said Rafael Nodal, head of product capability for Tabacalera USA and creator of Aging Room Cigars.
In naming its Cigar of the Year, Cigar Aficionado said: “The cigar is essentially Nodal’s vision, crafted by Fernandez with his distinct tobacco and signature factory style. Nodal is still an artist at heart and cigars continue to be his creative outlet. If the birth of Aging Room was his breakthrough, consider the Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Maestro his masterpiece.”