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Ferio Tego’s latest stogies are definitely worth a smoke.
If you’re a casual cigar smoker, it’s a 50/50 shot whether you know much about Ferio Tego. There have been a staggering number of new brands, companies and projects in the cigar world since the start of this decade, and we’d forgive you for not knowing that this nearly two-year-old company is headed by decades of talent from Names like Davidoff and Nat Sherman. What we won’t forgive is missing out on the company’s two new projects, on shelves this month.
First, the epic origin story.
While the Ferio Tego brand is relatively new, the ownership traces its connections back to the modern golden age of cigars. Co-Founder and front man Michael Herklots cut his teeth (and his cigars) for nearly a decade at the Madison Avenue Davidoff of Geneva store, before making a LeBron-esque move to the rival NYC tobacco icon, the Nat Sherman townhouse.
It was during his time at Nat Sherman that Herklots spearheaded the development of what became the now-defunct Nat Sherman’s greatest cigar line ever made: Nat Sherman Timeless. I guard the few half-empty boxes left in my humidor as if they were Brinks trucks.
Nat Sherman parent Altria shut down the cigar brands near the start of the pandemic, and Ferio Tego launched in 2021 headed by Michael Herklots and Brendon Scott, with the Ferio Tego Timeless cigar line debuting shortly thereafter. The company distributing them for him: Davidoff.
Now it seems that, with the company’s reputation established, they’re ready to refine their portfolio. And now that you’re all caught up with why you should care, here’s what to join the hunt for.
The first is a long-awaited new size in an existing line. Herklots’ new addition to the Ferio Tego Timeless Prestige line (the Especiales) is a lancero — one of the longest and narrowest formats in the cigar world. Like most of the industry’s unassuming talents, Herklots prefers narrower ring gauges (the width of a cigar, measured in 64ths of an inch) than what trended for the last 10 years.
Make no mistake: if you were trying to launch a cigar in 2018, you were expected to have a 60 or 64 ring gauge monster vitola (size) in the initial launch — even if half your audience would struggle to comfortably smoke it. Anything below a 46 was going the way of the compact pick-up truck.
Narrower cigar vitolas spent most of the 2010s on the discontinuation chopping block, or relegated to special, limited releases because the cigarmakers couldn’t quite get consumers behind that enthusiasm. They’re also infamously harder to roll well — it’s a lot easier to avoid draw issues in a larger format, where air will move around a kink or knot in tobacco leaves until they combust properly.
The reward for the extra skill required to make a narrow cigar is often a better smoking experience; the ratio of filler tobacco to wrapper leaf often means that you’re getting a higher ratio of wrapper (the most expensive and precious leaf, and frequently the tastiest) to what’s inside (also tasty but not so precious).
“I’m a huge fan of thinner formats,” Herklots explained at the launch announcement. “The Especiales is an extraordinary expression of the Timeless Prestige blend. Thinner ring gauge cigars have a unique delivery and focus to their flavor and have a higher concentration to the smoke.”
The Timeless Prestige Especiales is 6.25 inches by 38 ring and priced at just $11 per cigar.
Timeless Prestige features a Honduran wrapper, Dominican binder and filler tobaccos of Dominican and Nicraguan origin. The cigars are hand-rolled in the Dominican Republic by another industry heavyweight — the Quesada family — and adorned with a pigtail cap.
According to Herklots, unfortunately, he’s been sold out on this cigar since week one. Luckily, that means that all available supply has hit the hands of tobacconists, but the supply chain may take a while to be refreshed if you miss your window.
Alongside this harder to find cigar though, Herklots’ brand has also launched Ferio Tego Summa — a dark and simmering smoke with restrained spice and a buttery mouthfeel.
Summa had been on Herklots’ desk for nearly three years and he’s very happy with the final result — a deep, rich Ecuadoran wrapper and binder tobaccos around a blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos. Tastings notes call the line toasty and nutty, with black pepper spice and aged rum sweetness, and the cigars are available in the following formats:
Corona Gorda (5.75 inches by 46, $18.00 per cigar)
Robusto (5 inches by 50, $19.00 per cigar)
Torpedo (6.25 inches by 52, $20.00 per cigar)
Gordo (6 inches by 60, $21.00 per cigar)
A last piece of advice: while Herklots has always been known for rebalancing his blends well across a number of sizes, he’s always excelled at torpedoes — pointed cigars in a moderate ring gauge. Until the Especiales gets added to Summa, we’re starting with the torpedo.
So, Torpedo or Especiales — which should you give a light this weekend? Both. Whichever you can find. I doubt the Ferio Tego brand is going anywhere anytime soon — they’re continuing to expand, garner awards and generally do what they do best. But as my supply of Nat Shermans dwindles, it’s better safe than sorry.
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