Date: August 2021
Author: Inspector Z

El Cobre is officially available in The Netherlands. El Cobre is a brand with strong connections to Oliva. It is not part of the Oliva portfolio but it is made at Oliva’s TABOLISA cigar factory in Nicaragua. The cigar was developed by Jose Oliva as a challenge. Oliva’s brand ambassador Brian Shapiro, who handled Oliva’s international sales back then owns a cigar lounge in Norwalk, Connecticut. For his club at the Cigar Factory outlet, Jose Oliva wanted to blend something that was too strong. Much to his surprise, the members of the club loved it and so it became a regular production private label.

 The name El Cobre comes from Shapiro. Shapiro saw the picture of the church and fell in love with it. The color of the band, copper, sealed the name. Via Shapiro’s friendship with Sasja van Horssen, the cigars were available in The Netherlands for a while as well, but in boxes and bundles. But the brand went off the market in The Netherlands, but it’s making a come-back now. In four sizes, in boxes of 18 cigars or bundles of 25.

 Blend & sizes

 The El Cobre has Nicaraguan filler and a Nicaraguan binder. The wrapper is a dark Connecticut Broadleaf. This results in a cigar full of body and flavor. This is not a cigar for the faint of heart. There will be four sizes available in The Netherlands. Robusto, Toro, Torpedo, and Double Toro. The robusto measures 5×50. The toro is 6×48 with a 6×52 Torpedo. And the Double Toro is a 6×60 monster.

 As mentioned before, cigar prices in The Netherlands are fixed. Retailers can’t compete on price, and a box of cigars can’t be cheaper than the equivalent of the contents times the individual price. But for the El Cobre it is a different case. The El Cobre comes both in boxes or 18, for individual stick sales, or bundles of 25 for people who know and love the cigars. Different packaging and thus a different price.

 A box of Robusto comes in at €170, making each cigar €9,44. But a bundle of 25 has the same price as a box, practically offering 7 more cigars for the same price. The same goes for the Torpedo, with a box price of €180. That means €10 per cigar. Or a bundle of 25 for the same €180. For the Toro and the Double Toro, the deal is even better. A box of the Toro will cost €180 while a bundle offers 7 more cigars and is only €175. The Double Toro is €198 per box of 18 or €190 per bundle of 25.

edit: in a previous version we published an inaccurate story on the background of the cigar. A story that was told to us years ago. Brian Shapiro reached out that it in fact was incorrect. This is the real story.


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