November 2020

Powstanie releases limited edition with the name Powstanie War Bear. A limited-edition that draws inspiration from a famous Polish war hero, a Syrian brown bear with the name Wojtek. Wojtek was an official private in the Polish army and even promoted to Corporal during the Second World War. But more on Wojtek later, let’s focus on the cigar first. There are 500 boxes of 21 cigars available throughout the United States. The MSRP of the 6×52 Toro is $ 13 before tax.

The production takes place at Nica Sueno, the factory known for RoMa Craft. The filler is all Nicaraguan. The binder comes from Indonesia. The two wrappers are Ecuadorian Habano and Mexican San Andreas Maduro. The cigar uses two wrappers to create the barber pole look. The blend is a tweaked version of the Powstanie Habano and is the same as last year’s 5×50 limited edition Wojtek.

Powstanie Cigars

In 2015, brothers Mike and Greg Szczepankiewicz launched Powstanie Cigars. Not just as a house blend for their Cigar Hustler location in Deltona Florida but with the intention to sell it through select retailers all over the United States. For the blending and production of the cigars, the brothers went to Nicaragua. To Esteban Disla and Skip Martin and the NicaSueno factory. Powstanie is the first multi-store cigar from that factory not under the RoMa Craft umbrella. Mike, Skip, and Esteban blended the Powstanie Habano. Greg, Skip, and Esteban made the Powstanie Maduro.

Powstanie means uprising in Polish. The Szczepankiewicz brothers are of Polish descent. The Powstanie logo is inspired by the logo of the Polish resistance during the nazi occupation in the Second World War. It’s not an adaption of the logo of pansexuality as some conspiracy theorists claim. With the Wojtek and now the War Bear, Powstanie draw inspiration from that era again.

Wojtek the war bear

The Polish II Corps was a major tactical and operational unit of the Polish armed forces during the WWII. Most of the soldiers were Polish exiles, captured by Russians and sent to camps in Siberia. But when the nazis attacked the USSR in 1941, those prisoners were released and exiled to Iran. At a railway station, the Polish soldiers bought an orphan Syrian brown bear cub and adopted it. The soldiers trained Wojtek to drink coffee, beer, salute, march on two legs. The bear would sleep with the men and wrestle them. When the Polish II Corps was reassigned to fight alongside the British there was a problem. Regulations for the British transport ship, which was to carry them to Italy, forbade mascot and pet animals. To get around this restriction, Wojtek was officially drafted as a private and listed among the soldiers of the 22nd Artillery Supply Company. 

During the Battle of Monte Cassino, Wojtek helped his unit to convey ammunition by carrying 100-pound (45 kg) crates of 25-pound artillery shells, never dropping any of them. While this story generated controversy over its accuracy, at least one account exists of a British soldier recalling seeing a bear carrying crates of ammo. The bear mimicked the soldiers: when he saw the men lifting crates, he copied them. Wojtek carried boxes that normally required 4 men, which he would stack onto a truck or other ammunition boxes. This service at Monte Cassino earned him a promotion to the rank of corporal. In recognition of Wojtek’s popularity, a depiction of a bear carrying an artillery shell is the official emblem of the 22nd Company.

And now Powstanie releases a limited edition with the name Powstanie War Bear, their second tribute to this incredible bear who helped to defeat the nazis.

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