Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nat Cicco Cigars*

*but Were Afraid to Ask

Nat Cicco a cigar brand that not all cigar aficionados have heard of has been around for more than half a century. It started as a wallet-friendly cigar made of premium short filler tobaccos. But! Nat Cicco wasn’t happy with making your run-of-the-mill stogie. They made hand rolled cigars, and they made sure the cigars were made of fine tobacco and expertly hand crafted, similar to premiums. And they didn’t even try to hide this point. In fact, the brand’s first release was called “The Rejects.” In 1965 when the brand was established, this concept shocked the industry as well as the cigar consumer. Eventually, it revolutionized the industry. Soon premium brands started selling their own versions of “throw-outs,” and “seconds.”

nat cicco logoBut who is this maverick call Nat Cicco? Is he (or she) a Cuban cigar crafter? A European immigrant who came to the New World in search of fortune in the tobacco trade? Or was he (she) some cigar shop owner who wanted to create his (her) own cigar? The answer? None of the above. Nat Cicco is simply an abbreviation for the “National Cigar Co.”

After three successful decades, the brand ran into some issues and was on the verge of going up in smoke and becoming a sidebar in the long history of cigars. But! In 2007, the brand was acquired by Zander-Greg, Inc., a distributer of tobacco products based out of Pasadena, California. The brand was completely revamped. It even underwent a name change from the “National Cigar Co.” to “Nat Cicco.”

As for “The Rejects” lines? It too went through a major re-tooling. Soon after, the brand started to add premium cigars to its portfolio. And that’s when things started to change for the better.

Nat Cicco Casino Real Double ToroIn 2012, they released the Casino Real a full-bodied cigar with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. Everyone liked it. Cigar Aficionado, the magazine, gave the Casino Real Double Toro (6” * 60) a 92-point rating in 2021. This vitola is so popular that retailers have a hard time keeping it on the shelves.

Their most popular cigar is the 1965 Aniversario Liga No. 4. Their toro vitola received a 93-point Rating from Cigar Aficionado in 2019. It has an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper with a pigtail cap. The cigar was created to celebrate the year the brand was founded. They are planning on releasing a maduro version. It does not have a launch date as of this writing.Nat Cicco 1965 Aniversario Liga No 4 Toro

Nat Cicco Elephant Ears Junior

The Elephant Ears is their large ring gauge cigar. It goes up to an 80 ring. It is a Nicaraguan puro with a Colorado maduro wrapper and a shaggy foot. They decided to call it “Elephant Ears” because the foot reminded them of an elephant’s ear.

The HHB is the brand’s flagship line. The cigar is named after the initials of a family member of Arthur Berberian, President of Zander-Greg. The HHB is a closed foot cigar that comes in two lines: the HHB Gold, which has Colorado Maduro Ecuadorian Habana wrapper, and the HHB Classic with a claro Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper.

Nat Cicco HHB Gold Toro

Nat Cicco HHB Classic

The Nat Cicco 55 is slated for release during the Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Convention and Trade Show in July of 2021. The Association was formerly known as the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association. No details on the cigar have been released as of this writing.

So now you know. The next time you’re at a cigar lounge and someone starts talking about Nat Cicco being a person, just take a long draw from your favorite Nat Cicco cigar and chuckle.

Published on May 3, 2021.

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