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Who makes Cusano Celebrity Series?

EllenJEllenJ Posts: 16

M1, MC, CC, P1, especially P1. These are fabulous cigars - all are better than their targets. But who makes them? Davidoff apparently doesn't. I spoke to someone at DomRey and he never heard of them (Cuvee was all he would talk about). Cigar.com sells them, so they must be buying them from some distributor somewhere. Mike C. apparently left Davidoff under less than amicable conditions years ago, and I can find nothing published about Joe. Was it only Mike who left, and what became of the relationship with Henke Kellner? I come to this hobby from a bourbon whiskey background and I thought that history was convoluted, but cigar brand ownership is REALLY complex - even without all the Cuban/Non-Cuban intrigue. Still, these are my favorite value (and mid-range for that matter) smokes and I'd really like to know. Thanks for any help!

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    EllenJEllenJ Posts: 16
    Answer ✓

    Still looking for an answer from someone who knows about how internet marketers operate. Are these brands being refreshed/renewed, or do there exist large stockpiles of aging low-cost bundles that are now in really REALLY good shape?

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    ShawnOLShawnOL Posts: 8,591 ✭✭✭✭✭

    As far as I know, the cusano knockoffs (cc,mc,m1,P1) were discontinued when davidoff bought cusano. They tried to make the brand more upscale but that's it.

    Trapped in the People's Communits Republic of Massachusetts.

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    EllenJEllenJ Posts: 16

    Thanks, Shawn. This brand and it's people really fascinate me, 'cause their story is so twisted and full of potential plot lines. It's like some of those old prime time TV dramas. Here's what I've got so far (for anyone interested)...

    The Chiusano brothers, Michael and Joe, have been merchandising cigars since 1995, although early on the media (mostly Aficionado) seemed to concentrate on Mike. Their first branded cigar appears to have been "Cusano Hermanos" and the company was called "Cusano Cigars" (which might be reflected in today's "C. & C."). Somewhere along the way the company became "DomRey" and by mid-2008 they were producing everything from machine-made cigarillos to boxed, handmade Salamones retailing for $12 and more. Their real forte, however, was producing truly high-quality cigars at very low price points. Their game-changing acquisition was a large stash of 18-year-old Dominican wrapper tobacco and a relationship with cigar maker Henke Keller to turn that tobacco into Cusano 18s, Cusano Corojos, and Cusano Xclusivos. That relationship probably resulted in their being noticed by another of Keller's associates, the Oettinger Davidoff company, based in Switzerland. In 2006 DomRey brought out its prestige "Cuvee" line, and three years later Davidoff bought DomRey, along with the Cusano brands. Michael and his brother remained as president/CEO of the Cusano division... briefly.

    There is a lot of room for speculation about what happens next, but Mike left abruptly eight months later and Joe less than a year after that. Non-compete agreements kept both Chiusanos out of the cigar business for awhile, although apparently they are now back as "C. & C. Cigars" in Dallas, Texas. They are also continuing their business model of providing exceptional value at (perhaps sub-)reasonable prices. I haven't had an opportunity to try their current offerings, but I will and I'll report back here.

    Meanwhile, M1, P1, MC, and CC are still common bundle-level cigars in all the usual places (including Cigar.com, which is why I'm asking here). A few years ago (2016) Davidoff "reblended" some or all of these, which appears to have been mainly giving them a much better-looking label and changing their name, but they still sell to the same market (which includes moi, although I'm still buying the old bundles -- and I'm anxious to give C&C a try).

    So my question remains, is anyone actively rolling and packing these Celebrity Series cigars, and is Davidoff still selling them, or is the multi-headed internet discounter symposium selling VERY old bundles that they've stockpiled?

    Which brings up a couple more questions, namely...

    (1) Since these cigars are obviously not all dried out and crumbly, they must be being kept under proper humidity/temperature conditions. So, does that mean they've been properly aging for nearly a decade? Wow! No wonder they taste so much better than you'd expect of a $1.75 bundle cigar.

    and (2) Should I be stocking up on these now since they'll probably run out soon and the newer versions, even if they're the same blends with new bands, haven't been around long enough to reach that maturity. Hell, even most high-end cigars (in my price range, anyway) haven't been aging in someone's climate-controlled warehouse for the past four years.

    Sorry about the length of the post. I'm just very curious, and after ShawnOL's reply I looked further into it, only to find myself caught up in the intrigue. Anyone else got more about this? I know that two of C&C's brands are “Loose Cannon” and "Roll Back". The latter is listed on BCP's site, but only as backordered. The prices are consistent with the old Celebrity Series, though.

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    WylaffWylaff Posts: 5,288 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TheCigarChick Lindsay?

    "Cooking isn't about struggling; It's about pleasure. It's like sǝx, with a wider variety of sauces."

    At any given time the urge to sing "In The Jungle" is just a whim away... A whim away... A whim away...
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    TheCigarChickTheCigarChick Moderator Posts: 298 admin

    @Wylaff -- All Cusano cigars are made at TABADOM in the DR, the same factory started/run by Henke Kelner of Davidoff.

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    WylaffWylaff Posts: 5,288 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks Lindsay.

    "Cooking isn't about struggling; It's about pleasure. It's like sǝx, with a wider variety of sauces."

    At any given time the urge to sing "In The Jungle" is just a whim away... A whim away... A whim away...
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    IndustMechIndustMech Posts: 4,715 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Wylaff said:
    Thanks Lindsay.

    Shameless...

    I know, You're a big dog and I'm on the list.
    Let's eat, GrandMa.  /  Let's eat GrandMa.  --  Punctuation saves lives

    It'll be fine once the swelling goes down.

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    TheCigarChickTheCigarChick Moderator Posts: 298 admin

    @EllenJ said:
    Still looking for an answer from someone who knows about how internet marketers operate. Are these brands being refreshed/renewed, or do there exist large stockpiles of aging low-cost bundles that are now in really REALLY good shape?

    Hey Ellen,

    So if something is super-old, I can guarantee you when it comes to these bundled blends that they aren't laying around factories for 10 years with no plan, for example. It would require them to be constantly shifted around to suit the needs of all the other cigars a label would need to age (or store) until packed up for shipment to their vendors, and very rarely do they allow large amounts of cigars to sit around without trying to move them in some way, shape, or form.

    In many instances, a brand will try and sell the unaccounted for cigars to anyone willing to either pay a predetermined price, or take most (if not all) of the inventory in question; many times they will even throw in the rebranding needing to make it appear like a vendor exclusive. Under other circumstances, a brand will intentionally not allude to what a cigar blend could be, waiting until they feel it's ready to pitch and go from there. A third instance would be selling the brand and trademarks altogether, such as how the Quesada family of MATASA sold all of Fonseca to My Father Cigars recently.

    Now, not every factory is saintly and honest...LOL. They need to make money to keep all operations moving smoothly from seedling to finished product, so selling as much as possible all the time is of the essence. While this doesn't occur as much as in the past, quite a number of today's really big brands used to make B&M "exclusive blends" that were often unbanded, and there were far from exclusive. The lack of bands made the bundled cigars more affordable to retailers, and it masked the fact that the blends were very similar, often swapping out different parts of the plant which could make the cost of goods fluctuate. (i.e. using viso instead of ligero, but the leaves being from the same plant, same overall crop)

    Does that answer your question? I can potentially go into some more detail if need be, but I need to also not completely "out" these manufacturers, either. ;-)

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    EllenJEllenJ Posts: 16

    Wow! I guess I got an answer-and-a-half for that one!

    It's gonna take a little while for my old head to wrap around all that, but I can't think of a better way to spend a couple of otherwise (not)exciting CoVID days while puffing on some fine tobacco. Or maybe leftover scrap; I dunno know yet. But that answer was worthy of a whole CA article all by itself. Thanks again.

    Now, as for whether it hit my specific question, I guess what I'm trying to learn about that is...

    Since these cigars are currently being sold online (not sure about B&M; they're not in my local ones) are you saying that, for example, the "Cusino MC" cigars themselves may no longer have anything to do with Davidoff anymore other than the legal right to leave the name intact? I've seen that in other commodities, and if so that means that bits and pieces of the original production could be being warehoused and sold by several completely unrelated wholesalers. Or, someone(s) could own the brand and it could be being fulfilled currently by whatever vendor an owner sees fit, not from necessarily one who sources from Henke Kelner's factory. And if that's so, is that a common situation throughout the industry?

    Things that make you go, "Hmmmmm"

    BTW, I totally love Wylaff and IndustMech's end-post lines. LOLOLOLOLMAO

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