VP of Sales & Marketing: Terrence Reily
All three sizes in the Lunatic Torch line feature an exposed foot. Some people love it while others don’t care for it. What was the motivation behind leaving the foot exposed?
In our events, we do this “Fuma Experience” where the participants get to smoke the binder and filler tobaccos separately before getting to smoke the entire cigar. The idea behind leaving the foot exposed was to provide a type of “Fuma Experience,” so the smoker tastes only the binder and filler in the beginning and that is unbalanced but the flavors are very distinctive and it kind of wakes up the palate. Then you hit the wrapper and it creates a little more complexity and stabilizes the blend. So the goal is to show that transition.
At Cigar Snob we see all kinds of cigars and have smoked plenty of them with this feature but I wonder if a regular smoker at a store asks about it. Do they ask if it is a mistake?
No, I think most of the time they don’t think it’s a mistake but they are usually curious as to why it’s that way. They typically want to know the purpose of doing it, in other words is it purely aesthetic or is there a purpose to it. And as I said earlier, the purpose is to give them some insight into how we create our signature profile.
With that in mind, what kind of smoker are you targeting with this line?
I think we’re trying to hit between the regular Lunatic smoker and the guys that go more for the Aganorsa Signature, Supreme Leaf, and that kind of cigar. Pricewise this is in between those two but size-wise it is more reminiscent of the Lunatic sizes. But in the end the experience of the brush foot is more interesting to the smoker who is more into the geek-out aspect of cigar smoking. Whenever I’m in a store and bring up that this is a way to see how much the wrapper affects flavor, those guys are immediately interested in that.
We smoked and even rated the original Lunatic Torch back in 2016. Aside from the packaging, what is different about this iteration?
The original Torch was released in only one size and it was packaged in a 30-count box. Also that one was a shag foot instead of a brush and you had to smoke the shag foot for a long time before you got to the wrapper and it was a little bit of overkill. The smoker would be tired of it by the time he got to the wrapper; it took too long to get to the part he liked. So we cut that down and then made it in three sizes and put them in 10-count boxes with packaging that is more in line with the rest of the Lunatic brand. The good news is that the blend is the same as it was back then because it was a good blend.
How have Aganorsa Leaf’s operations in Nicaragua been affected by COVID-19?
We haven’t had any significant delays or interruptions in our production or shipments from Nicaragua. In terms of how we go about making cigars during this time, we check everyone’s temperature as they walk in to work each day, we have them wear masks, enforce social distancing and require rigorous and frequent handwashing. We also use a disinfectant liquid on their shoes to ensure they’re not bringing the virus into the factory that way.