From Cigar Aficionado 2-9-2016:
The former founder and president of the now defunct Berger & Argenti has struck out with a new company and new cigar that he’s unveiling at this year’s Tobacco Plus Expo in Las Vegas this March. Called La Gran Llave, the cigar was created by Michael Argenti and is made in Nicaragua at the A.J. Fernandez factory. It’s being distributed by Argenti’s new company of the same name: La Gran Llave Ltd.
“It literally means ‘the big key’ or an element of great importance,” said Argenti. “Abdel [A.J. Fernandez] could possibly be the finest cigarmaker of his generation. From his growing operations to pre-industry and his state-of-the-art cigar factory, his enterprise is nothing short of remarkable.”
La Gran Llave will come in five sizes: Corona Extra, 4 3/4 inches by 48 ring gauge; Double Corona, 7 1/2 by 55; Robusto, 5 by 54; Guapo, 5 1/2 by 60; and Torpedo, 6 1/2 by 56. Packaged in boxes of 20, the cigars are slated to retail for $6.99 to $10.99 and should start hitting retail shelves in four to six weeks.
The blend consists of a dark Mexican San Andrés wrapper, an Ecuador Habano binder and Nicaraguan fillers.
Argenti has been in the premium cigar business for over 25 years. After leaving Tabacalera Perdomo in 2005, he started a company called Cuban Imports where he was able through licensing agreements to release his versions of heritage brands like H. Upmann and Por Larrañaga. More recently, Argenti partnered with Kiki Berger to start Berger & Argenti, a company that distributed cigar brands like Entubar, and Mooch. The company shut down in 2014. Later that year, Argenti joined Ventura Cigar Company (a division of Kretek International) as its portfolio manager. Argenti is now partnered with Angel Aguayo for La Gran Llave.
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