The Perla del Mar brand from J.C. Newman has received a makeover, and the new cigars are shipping on Black Friday with a slightly stronger blend, redesigned packaging and even an added Corojo line. True to its original mission as a wallet-friendly smoke, all the cigars will retail for under $8.

“It is a great cigar and has been a success, but I wasn’t satisfied with our Perla del Mar brand, and I wanted to make it better,” said Drew Newman, J.C. Newman’s general counsel.

The brand is now offered in three wrapper types: Shade, Maduro and the new Corojo. According to Newman, the tobaccos in the Shade and Maduro lines are not only more aged than the originals, but are now a bit stronger due to the addition of more viso leaf, which grows on the mid-to-upper section of a tobacco plant.

Along with new bands and boxes, the cigars have also underwent something that Newman calls a “Tampa-style” pressing, which renders the cigar more rectangular in shape as opposed to the squarely pressed form of the previous Perlas.

La Perla

According to the company, the plan was to let old stock run out and introduce the new Perlas in August, but the release was delayed by the outbreak of Covid-19 and then Hurricanes Eta and Iota.

The original line (now called Perla del Mar Shade) is wrapped in Ecuador Connecticut while the Maduro is covered in Connecticut broadleaf. The new Corojo line has a Corojo-seed wrapper grown in Ecuador, and all three versions contain binder and filler from Nicaragua.

The Maduro and Corojo lines will come in four sizes that ship in 25-count boxes: Robusto, measuring 4 3/4 inches by 52 ring gauge; Toro, 6 1/4 by 54; Double Toro, 6 by 60; and Corona Gorda, 5 1/2 by 46. The Shade line comes in the same sizes and box-counts but with a fifth size, Short Robusto (3 3/4 by 56), that comes in boxes of 28. Suggested retail prices range from $6.05 to $7.20.

Perla del Mar, which translates to “Pearl of the Sea,” is a long discontinued Cuban cigar brand (later made in Tampa) that J.C. Newman resurrected in 2012. Though rolled at the Nicaraguan Tabacos San Rafael factory at the time, production was eventually moved to J.C. Newman’s PENSA factory, also in Nicaragua, where all Perla del Mars are produced today.

For vertical brand tastings of the new Perla de Mars, see an upcoming issue of Cigar Insider.

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