With all the news about the FDA messing with the cigar industry, mergers and acquisitions across the landscape, and oodles of new brands/blends being introduced in 2016, you may have missed the fact that Jeffrey Avo Uvezian, son of famed cigar maker Avo Uvezian sold his premium cigar brand Rock-A-Feller cigars and company Vintage Rockefeller Cigar Group. In January of 2017. Jeffrey sold the Vintage Rockefeller Cigar Group to Kevin Schweitzer.
Just who is Kevin Schweitzer you may ask? Well Mr. Schweitzer is a Wall Street trader and President of the Sea Crest Holding Group who just happens to love cigars, in fact he has been a brother of the leaf for 25 years.
I did a little research about Kevin and I learned that he is not only an avid cigar smoker and successful business man, but also a member of the Society of American Magicians. With the FDA breathing down our necks it might take a little magic to make a solid run at a cigar brand these days. In the press release, Kevin stated:
“I am extremely excited taking over Vintage Rockefeller Cigar Group and I look forward to guiding a company with a solid history to a new era of success…Right now, my vision is to grow the brand throughout the U.S. and eventually move into shepherding the company internationally.”
A little bit about the Vintage Rockefeller Cigar Group (VRCG):
SpotOn Magazine did an interview with Jeffrey Avo Uvezian back in 2014 where Jeffrey notes:
“VRCG was started 4 years ago by myself and my partner (whose wife is actually related to a Rockefeller.) He was in the process of creating a line of cognac, champagne and vodka aptly named Rockefeller. He knew of my family history in the cigar business (I.e. I am the son of cigar legend Avo Uvezian creator of AVO cigars distributed worldwide by Davidoff of Geneva) and asked me to joint venture the creation of a cigar to complement the luxury liquor line. I agreed to do so and we created Vintage Rockefeller Cigar Group leading to the Rock-A-Feller cigar line.”
So that’s a short history of the Vintage Rockefeller Cigar Group, now let’s talk about the cigars.
The company currently has eight core lines:
- 3 Rock-A-Feller ‘Classic’ Dominican blends (Maduro, Habano, Connecticut) original blends by Jeffrey which are produced at Tabacalera L&V S.R.L:
The remaining blends are Kevin’s and include :
- 3 Rock-A-Feller ‘Vintage’ Nicaragua blends (Maduro, Habano, Connecticut)
- Rock-A-Feller Gold Series
- Billet-Doux (cognac-infused)
The five above plus a new, line based on a limited release in 2015, will be manufactured at American Caribbean Tobacco S.A. in Estelí, Nicaragua.
Kevin reached out to me a few weeks ago and asked if I would be interested in reviewing some of his cigars, it did not take much arm twisting and a few days later I found some review samples at my front door. Today and over the coming weeks I will be posting some Rock-A-Feller cigar reviews.
For today’s review I chose to sample the Rock-A-Feller ‘Vintage’ Nicaragua Maduro blend comprised of:
- Wrapper: San Andreas
- Binder: Equadorian
- Filler : Nicaraguan
They are available in 6 vitolas and packaged in 20-count high gloss red boxes.
- Robusto – 5 x 52
- Toro – 6 x 52
- Torpedo – 6 1/8 x 52
- Churchill – 7 x 48
- Toro Gordo – 6 x 60
- Box Pressed Toro – 6 x 52
Examining the Rock-A-Feller ‘Vintage’ Nicaragua Maduro, you quickly note the tight packing and the solid weight of the cigar in the hand. It has a toothy, gritty, dark brown wrapper and is adorned with a bold – black, red, & gold – band that is classic in style. The words “Rock-A-Feller Cigars” encircle a golden letter R in the center embraced by two golden stallions. The bottom of the band signifies it as the Maduro blend.
For this review I sampled the Rock-A-Feller ‘Vintage’ Nicaragua Maduro Toro
Cigar Review Notes
- Toothy dark brown San Andreas wrapper
- Solid to the touch
- Pre-light aromas included, vanilla bean, pepper, and earth
- Even with the tight packing, the cold draw was just lightly restricted
- Leather and earthy notes appear as I roll it around before igniting
- There is a slight pepper tingle on the lips
- Initial puffs offer light citrus, pepper, and wood
- Full volume of creamy smoke
- Solid light grey ash on a thick char line
- Some oiling builds on the wrapper
- Citrus increases down to the second third
- Simply amazing ash!
- Cedar notes enter at the start of the second third
- Butter joins the mix midway
- Spice and nut fill out the blend at the end of the second third
- Sweetness and a hint of cinnamon with a pleasant woody aroma finishes this beauty
- Pristine burn down to the nub
- Medium strength
- Total Smoking Time was just over an hour.