Christian Eiora on CLE Cigars (video)
Christian Eiroa, founder of CLE Cigars, explains the intricate process behind the creation of this unique cigar brand.
How are you guys doing? My name is Christian Eiroa. I’m here visiting the folks at BestCigarPrices.com. Here to talk to you guys about the CLE Signature cigar line, and also the Eiroa and the Eiroa CBT, the capa, banda, tripa cigar line as well.
We’re manufacturers out of Honduras. We’ve been in the cigar business for quite a long time. And I want to talk to you guys about the products that we’re making and the tobacco that we focus on, which is corojo, the authentic corojo leaf, which was developed by a gentleman named Diego Rodriguez back in Cuba, in a farm called Santa Ines del Corojo. That’s where the name Corojo comes from.
This seed is particularly interesting because of the time that it takes to develop. The plant doesn’t grow very big and it doesn’t yield very high, but because the yields aren’t very high, we must take a lot of care when we’re developing this leaf.
Mostly, of course, we’re looking for two major things. We’re looking for nice healthy wrappers that have some good body. Usually the wrappers will come from the fourth priming, the fifth priming. That’s the level where they’re at in the plant. That’s where you get the most of the body. And the fillers will be also from the fourth priming and the fifth priming. And the bindings, we’ll take bindings from the third priming as well. But that really is where the meat of the plant really is.
Because this tobacco takes a long time to develop, you’ve got to take your time doing it right. We take the plant, and it’ll be out in the field for about 120, 130 days. From then, we put the tobacco, we’ll hang it in tobacco barns, where the tobacco probably will sit anywhere from 38 to 45 days. And we have climate-controlled barns. They’re called calfrisas.
From that point, we’ll take the tobacco into the fermentation process. That’s when the leaf starts going from the slight brown color and it starts going to its natural dark color. It’s a very, very slow process. And at this point, you really watch how much moisture you’re adding. Water is your enemy, moisture is your friend. When you get a tobacco leaf with too much water, it’ll stain and it’ll turn too dark. We want to make sure that our wrappers come out with a Colorado color.
On the cigars that are available in 2014, this tobacco was actually planted back in 2009. It takes a very long time. It took five years to make this cigar. And it’s not just the cigar itself. The boxes themselves, the wood that we’re using are from selected forests where the trees have to be at least 35 to 37 years of age as well. It’s a very long process. That’s why the cigar-making process is so delicate.
Once the tobacco’s been properly fermented, that could take two or three years, the bales themselves will sit for another two years. So by the time you get the cigar, there are probably a good five years of age in all the tobacco in that cigar already.
Then we’ll make the cigars, again in a climate-controlled factory, we have a small factory in Danli, it’s called Aladino. Our production is very small, we don’t do more than 6,000 cigars a day, that’s the limit, because we want to make sure that we almost meet every single cigar that we make. That’s why our process is so interesting.
We take the CLE signature, which is a new cigar that’s available from us, we make those in Miami, because we have selected already the best corojo tobacco we can for the production of the Eiroa brand and the CBT line. We probably only make about 300,000 of these cigars a year, but then we take the best of the best tobacco and we use that for the CLE signature. And that tobacco we bring up to Miami, we roll those cigars in Miami. We only make about five or 6,000 of these cigars.
If you can get a hold of a CLE signature cigar, I recommend you get it. We pack them in five individual five packs. That cigar is an absolute knockout. And we like to think that the cigar itself is so arrogant that it doesn’t even have a band on it.
So I hope you guys really do enjoy these cigars, and remember, Eiroa, spelled E-I-R-O-A. I’ve had to spell that name my whole life. It’s not a very easy name for people to either spell or pronounce for that matter. CLE Signature’s a little easier to pronounce. So I hope you guys enjoy them and thank you very much for your time.