By Dan Yount
The Cincinnati Herald
Cincinnati Cigar Company, a minority-owned cigar manufacturer that produces the line of Alex Spencer Reserve cigars, has teamed up with Kafie 1901 Brands in Miami, Florida, to create the Mansa, a luxury boutique cigar with an aged boxpress, double ligero (strength) with a rich Mexican maduro (aging) and Honduran blend. It is slated to hit shelves the first week of December.
Alex Spencer, who owns Cincinnati Cigar Company, says the Mansa is his first line of ultra lux boutique cigars he is releasing to the local and national markets. The company’s cigar roller is in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Cincinnati Cigar will carry two different lines of cigars: an ultra lux line (Alex Spencer Reserve) and a line specifically made for Greater Cincinnati, known as the company’s hometown pride line, Spencer said. Its first cigar is from the Reserve line and will be distributed nationally.
“As a graduate of Hughes High School, UC and Xavier, I understand the importance of getting the word out as our city hasn’t had its own cigar company in over 50 years. Spencer took the name of his company from the defunct Cincinnati Cigar Company that existed in the 1920s.
The Mansa, he said, is named after 14th century West African king, allegedly the wealthiest man in recorded history,
In describing Mansa Musa, he said the cigar “possesses a sultry smooth draw with strength befitting of a man with immense wealth and power to match. Rich clouds of smoke and an amazingly even burn accompany this brilliantly designed limited edition, luxury boutique cigar from beginning to end.”
Spencer said he chose Kafie 1901 Brands to manufacture this particular line due to the company’s ability to meet Alexander Spencer Reserve’s overwhelming market demand for the Mansa. “After two years of research and another three years of market testing, I saw it to be fitting that we choose a manufacturer that could enhance the blend of the original Mansa cigar,” Spencer said.
When asked about the reasoning behind the name, Spencer said, “Mansa Musa was most noted in history for his pilgrimage to Mecca. During his trip, he brought 600 camels, thousands of troops and horses all carrying food, thousands of pounds of gold, silks and seasonings. He gave away so much gold that he devalued gold for over a decade.
“To me, the cigar culture is very similar. The stories shared over a cigar and a glass of bourbon are how I started my journey into cigars. These stories taught me valuable life lessons of manhood, brotherhood, being a better husband and father. These lessons have proven to be golden to me. I want to pass that on the way it was passed down to me. This was my reason for the creation of the Mansa cigar.’’
Spencer was a former contract negotiator for Wright Patterson Co., who started his cigar company about five years ago to see it there was a market for a top-of-the-line cigar. “My father and grandfather loved cigars,’’ he said. “When I smell the aroma of a cigar today, it reminds me of my father.’’
He added he appreciates what people in Cincinnati have done for him through the years, and he wants to be able to give something back to them through his company.
ASR’s limited edition Mansa cigar is a brick and mortar exclusive, he said. Online sales are not permitted. The suggested retail price of each 10-count box is $12.50 per stick, or $120 per box. Only 250 boxes will be released initially. For more information, email Spenceax@gmail.com.