“Carnero is all about strength,” according to JM Tobacco’s president, Anto Mahroukian. “Carnero is Spanish for the tough, formidable mountain ram, which we feel fits this brawny, full-bodied cigar. We’re all smiles at JM Tobacco. We listened to our loyal customers, who kept asking ‘What’s new?’ Now, Carnero will put smiles on their faces, too.”
Carnero is available in four classic Cuban shapes … Lonsdale (6” x 44), Robusto (5” x 50), Churchill (7” x 50), and Belicoso (6” x 52). Twenty cellophane-protected cigars come in a Cuban-style “dress-up” heavy cardboard box, with bold Ram’s Head logo. Manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing for this all-long-filler, handmade premium cigar line is an accessible $5 to $6.
“We sensed the right entry cigar would appeal to smokers who want the perfect complement to a steak dinner, red wine and maybe spirits. The Corojo-wrapped Carnero is strong without apology. Even though it has an all-Dominican filler, which normally means a soft smoke, the binder is an equally powerful Connecticut Broadleaf.”
Mahroukian emphasizes the fact that this is not a strong but flavorless cigar. The filler’s base leaves fit the top-quality Dominican profile … smooth and creamy on the palate, with a rich fragrance and bouquet.
The second offering, the Connecticut-wrapped Carnero, is no less eyebrow-raising. Again, the all-Dominican filler suggests a mild smoke, but it has a medium-full body, due to the Connecticut Broadleaf binder.
The tobacco in both Carnero cigars is aged a full two years, with another six months on the finished cigars. Carnero is now in production in the Dominican Republic. An introductory program of incentives for smokers are in planning, and will be announced in early 2012.
“We only wish we’d done this two years ago,” laughs Mahroukian. His excitement is understandable … “Carnero isn’t the company’s first premium cigar,” he reveals. In 1995, JM emerged on the premium cigar scene, with “Española,” JM’s premiere fine cigar. By 2000, the company retreated from the declining premium cigar market. They retained the tobacco, nonetheless, and obtained strong sales early on, with this cigar, which became “JM’s Dominican.” Like today’s JM’s Dominican, this original hand-rolled, value-priced cigar had an all-medium-length filler of choice Dominican tobaccos. JM Tobacco also included a nice touch … punch-cut heads. JM’s Dominican has not only enjoyed sales success in its eleven year history, it is enjoying very strong sales, in today’s “moving-down” market.
Mahroukian hints at an imminent major event … the fifteenth anniversary of the appearance of their original Española. “It would be a fitting boutique ‘superpremium’ cigar,” he predicts, “to mark this JM Tobacco milestone.”
Family-owned JM Tobacco, Inc. was founded in 1994 by John Mahroukian. The company distributes its natural and flavored premium cigars, plus its new line of JM’s Hookah tobaccos, through retail tobacco stores across the United States and in Europe. It is based in Los Angeles, California, and imports its cigars from the Dominican Republic. Mahroukian’s son, Anto, currently serves as company president.