United Tobacco, known for their 601, Cubao and Murcielago cigar line, have sold a 50 percent stake to Rocky Patel Premium Cigars. Partnership with Rocky Patel means the United Tobacco cigars will be sold, distributed and marketed by the Rocky Patel channels and the company name has been changed to EO Brands.
Rocky Patel has worked with United Tobacco in the past producing the REO and Vibe cigars but this is the first time Patel distributed another brand.
“Effective May 10th, 2010, all EO Brands (E.g., 601, Cubao, Murcielago, etc.) will only be available via the Rocky Patel Premium Cigars distribution system. That is, directly and or through our approved sales representatives. All marketing for EO Brands will also be handled by Rocky Patel Premium Cigars.”
Major changes are taking place but the EO Brands cigars are still being produced by Don Pepin Garcia at the My Father factory in Nicaragua. Ortega has also mentioned that this distribution move will enable them to lower the cost of cigars anywhere from $2 to $3 a stick.
Could this be a bad move for the EO Brands Cigars?
It’s very understandable why a cigar company, who might have felt shunned by Miami Cigar Co. (the previous distributor), had to find another outlet to operate. However Rocky Patel is primarily known for making sub-par cigars that are perhaps palatable and easy on the wallet. Will this type of outlook now be carried over to the EO Brands?
Hopefully Rocky Patel will take a hands-off approach to the managing of the brand to allow the current portfolio, and any future releases, to remain boutique (something that Rocky Patel has long lost). Otherwise we might just be seeing the 601, Cubao, and Murcielago sold for pennies in every online website and mail order catalog (aka – “Rocky Patel Premium Cigars distribution system”) that will shun B&M retailers from supporting the brand.