When it comes to Selected Tobacco, you’re talking about a brand that is still growing, yet has made a statement for quality and consistency. That’s because it is run by Nelson Alfonso, the same man behind a lot of the upscale releases at Atabey, Byron, Bandolero and Habanos S.A. These brands are no longer alone though, as Nelson has decided to expand. New brands were added for 2022 and others were shown for 2023- more on that later. The booth itself was new and different from their iteration at IPCPR 2019. It was physically bigger and a little more “top’ covered; it felt more like a luxury car showroom than an expo booth.
At the center of this large showcasing booth, was its crown jewel; a black, limited edition humidor containing five of every Atabey cigar in the line. This humidor opens into multiple trays presenting a bold and luxurious display. Only 250 of these numbered humidors are being made and they won’t be available until 2023. While we didn’t get an MSRP from Oliver, he did tell us that the purchase is of the cigars and that there is no extra charge for the humidor. He did state that retailers are free to do with it as they please and it is not necessarily a package deal for consumers.
Staying with existing brands from ST, we saw a new Byron release- The Byron 1850. Limited to 200 boxes, it uses more Nicaraguan ligero while also using Peruvian tobaccos and an Ecuadorian wrapper. In addition to the five types of cedar Nelson normally uses to age his cigars, he also experimented with oak for both this cigar and the Alfonso (more on that brand after). This gives them more complexity and a different balance in the flavor. Only four vitolas will be available this year. If a retailer decides to host a special event with Selected Tobacco, they will have access to the Lyricos and the Grand Bouquet sizes as well.
This next cigar we saw is slated to ship later this year- the new Alfonso cigar . Some are hailing it as better than Atabey in early reviews. This blend is also aged in the cedar room with some oak. It will be available in six sizes with only 200 boxes available in each size. The boxes will come with one dress box and one secondary box. The Alfonso will ship in September/October of this year.
The Byron Epique humidor is slated for release in November, along with the Byron Epique Poemas. It will only be available to established Byron accounts and retailers. It is a thirty count humidor that comes with a fifty count refill box. Only 250 of these have been made.
The last thing we saw was the new Nelson line- Oliver dubbed this a hybrid of the Bandolero series and said it will have a little more strength and flavor than some of the other cigars in the line. There will be five iterations of this cigar that will be made in five different countries; Dominican, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras and Cuba. We of course won’t have access to the Cuban made version, but the rest will be available in the United States. These will not be available until 2023 but Nelson wanted to showcase them this year.