Topper Grande 125 coming next month

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A cigar destined to take us back to the 1890s arrives at the end of August. The Topper 125 is a new handmade cigar marking a milestone anniversary for the cigar brand.

“It’s a year late,” said brand owner Chris Topper, sitting in Mickey Blake’s cigar lounge in Orange, Connecticut, pulling on one of his cigars. Packaging delays mean the cigar is being released on the brand’s 126th anniversary.

Most Topper cigars are made on machines, but in 2013 the company returned to making handmade cigars, a nod to its roots. When the brand was born in 1896, it was handcrafted with Cuban tobaccos and Connecticut broadleaf wrappers. This new version comes in one size, six inches long by 52 rings, and it’s heavy on the broadsheets, with not just a Connecticut broadleaf wrap, but a touch of Pennsylvania broadleaf in the filler mix. . The rest of the charge is Dominican and Nicaraguan, and the binder is Dominican. They are rolled in the Dominican Republic, at De Los Reyes Cigars.

In a twist, the bands on the cigars are older than the cigars themselves – considerably older. Topper encountered a bunch of them while cleaning up the FX Smith’s Sons cigar factory in Pennsylvania. Toppers were made there for many years, and the cigar bands date back to the 1960s, a time when cigars were much thinner than they are today, so Topper had to put a little spacer on each to enable them to fit around ring 52. -gauge smokes.

The cigars will be on display starting tomorrow at the PCA show in Las Vegas. When they ship in August, they will have a suggested retail price of $12.50.

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