March 2021

Cortes and Olifant join forces. The Belgian cigar manufacturer J. Cortes and the Dutch manufacturer Olifant Sigaren are joining forces. For the last few weeks, we heard rumors about a collaboration between the two family-owned and classic brands. Earlier this week Fred Vandermarliere from J. Cortes would not confirm nor deny the rumors. Today Thomas Klaphake from Olifant did confirm the collaboration.


Vandermarliere Cigar Family, the new name for J. Cortes, is taking control over the fabrication and distribution of Olifant Sigaren. Olifant’s Managing Director Thomas Klaphake is the new brand manager for Olifant. Binet Brasser, the blender for Olifant, will remain in her role as master blender. 

In an email to us, Frederik Vandermarliere wrote “we are proud and thankful that we can add this beautiful brand to our portfolio and we welcome Binet and Thomas to our family. It is up to us now to give De Olifant a second life!”.

The production of limited edition cigars and the Brazilian wrapped cigars remains in Kampen. The factory also remains open to visitors. In a previous, life we visited the factory several times and it’s an experience. As soon as the production doors open, the aroma of tobacco hits the nostrils and welcomes you in. If you’re in The Netherlands and love cigars, this is a must visit location.


De Olifant is an old producer of cigars. The cigars are produced in a small, unique factory in Kampen, The Netherlands since 1883. But the growing legislation made it impossible for the brand to survive without help. Help came from the much larger Vandermarliere Cigar Family.

Each Olifant vitola has its own specific blend. Some blends contain twenty different tobaccos. Brasser and her team blend those tobaccos, all with their specific characteristics to achieve the flavor they want. And then wrap the machine-made cigars in a rare, original Indonesian wrapper. This Sumatra zandblad (sand leaf) is rare and grown in limited quantities. The nickname of this wrapper is white burning gold. It has a distinct aroma and flavor. Olifant is one of the few producers that use this wrapper.

De Olifant is also known for its coffee and tea. The coffee and tea production will expand. Klaphake and his team have plenty of ideas of increase the portfolio and availability of these high quality coffees and teas.


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