Tom Lazuka began working in the tobacco industry in 2001 as a salesman with Colibri. During his travel on the road, Tom met the guys who worked for Camacho and quickly became friends. In 2004 he sat down with Christian Eiroa and Sal Fontana and he was offered a position to come on board as a sales representative. When Christian sold Camacho in 2008, Tom stuck with him and they later decided to bring Tom’s dream into a reality. In 2012, when Christian started C.L.E. Cigar Company, Tom partnered up with Christian as Vice President of the new company and business partner in his very own brand, Asylum Cigars.
When Tom and Christian wrote down their plan for Asylum, they began traveling back and forth to Honduras and Nicaragua to work on the perfect blends. Asylum has offered Tom the opportunity to push the limit with something that had never been tried before: large ring gauges. The best-selling Asylum size is the 70×7 and the second best is the 80×6. Although Asylum was not the first brand to come up with the bigger ring gauge cigar, it is the basis of the company and the consistency across each line that has been introduced. When Tom initially brought the idea to Christian, he opposed it because it was not traditional. Tom, however, fought for his idea since every time he walked into a store it seemed as though the larger sizes were always sold out. Eventually Tom won the battle and Asylum had its chance to push the limits and “super-size” the industry standard.
Tom’s ideas have continued to enhance the brand. In 2014 he decided to introduce a large ring gauge leather cigar case. When asked about the case he replied, “No longer will large cigars be subject to discriminatory premium leather cases that hold only traditional sizes.” The aim of the new case is to continue the mantra of everything must be done in a “BIG” way for the Asylum Cigar lover who enjoys a big smoke.
While Christian’s traditionalism often clashes with Tom’s larger than life ideas, the two actually bring a perfect partnership to the industry. More than anything they believe in having fun to get the job done and welcoming an environment and business full of opportunities for others to share their ideas and visions.
Edgar “One Shot One Kill” Hoill has returned to the cigar business in the form of EH Cigars, a new company in association with Christian Eiroa. Available in three unique vitolas , EH Cigars’ debut line is a complex and full-bodied Nicaraguan puro.
The Photographer Edgar G Hoill Renowned critics and fans of urban photography have grown accustom to the name Edgar Hoill. His shots are powerful, the messages he conveys are heart-felt, and when it comes to breaking the barriers to the most exclusive individuals and lifestyles, Edgar is there to capture the true essence of each setting.
As an amateur photographer, Edgar started over a decade ago capturing the beauty he found in what others would consider horrific or less than appropriate living conditions. From gangland imagery in the poverty ridden streets of Los Angeles to the high-profile organized crime bosses of the Yakuza in Japan, Edgar has seen, experience and captured what others only watch in movies.
It was during some of the shoots and chance run-ins, Edgar was able to capture some powerful images on the whim and just like a sniper, he’s never missed a shot, nor shaken a frame, thus the moniker One Shot One Kill. Yet his life is far from riddled with associations of just the underworld.
Edgar has also served his time doing the staple wedding and family photographs and when it comes to automotive photography, his name has graced hundreds of titles all across the world. Being well versed in different disciplines of photography has helped him create a diverse portfolio and while the style and subjects of photography may change the messages found in each of his images are powerful, though provoking and life changing.
The Brand OSOK One Shot One Kill OSOK was created to represent a lifestyle movement which captures chronicles and memorializes a lifestyle that only few can truly understand. From the gritty borders of Mexico, to the slums of Cuba, Edgar has captured some of the most notorious images from all walks of life.
Now famed photographer Edgar Hoill, has opened up the vault to nearly a decade worth or work and started up his own clothing brand called OSOK, as well as his own Cigar line, Edgar Hoill Cigars.
For those familiar with his sell-out galleries and international presence, his pieces have adorned the walls of Hollywood A-listers and his photographs are pieces which are not only seen but felt. Now fans of his work can literally wear their favorite canvas around town and with only limited quantities being printed, his shirts maintain the same integrity and passion as all of his original prints.
Join the movement. Feel the Passion. OSOK.
Midway through 2014 Christian Eiroa again formed two new partnerships: one with PATORO Cigars and the other Gentili Humidors. Dr. Pablo Richard, Grandson to Dr. Ernst Schneider brought his brand PATORO, made in the Dominican Republic, to be distributed by C.L.E. Cigars. Pablo and Christian are both fourth and third generation tobacco men with very similar philosophies and backgrounds. The origin of the name PATORO is Pat and Oro: Patrick’s Gold as the brand was founded in 2001 from Switzerland by Mr. Patrick Martin.
Cigar connoisseurs consider the Dominican Republic as one of the best countries of origin and production for cigars worldwide. Therefore, it’s no coincidence that the Swiss cigar producer Patrik J. Martin has chosen this excellent base for the manufacture of its own awesome cigars. With his decades of experience, his intense tobacco experience and the sense of what the spoiled Aficionado desires the most, Patoro represents today the world of pure luxury, passion and taste.
Pure Cuban tobacco seeds, Dominican sun and the soil of Santiago create the valuable basis for each and every Patoro Cigar. The rich, nurturing soil combined with excellent experience in growing tobacco plants, gained over more than six generations, and the skillful hands of our master Torcedores, creates the unique taste of a masterpiece.
Of particular pride are the rare Patoro wrappers – extremely delicate, of a selected, unmistakable and exquisite tobacco mixture, only reaches by using three to ten year old tobacco, fermented up to four times.
The precious hand-rolled cigars are carefully selected to match each other in a bunch of 10, 20 or 50 cigars, sorted into numbered cedar-wood boxes. Finally, the enclosed signed control cards guarantee the quality and the taste of the finished work of art of the Patoro Cigar.
The sum of all these unique components bestow upon Patoro the sought after rating “Gran Anejo Reserva”. “True Excellence is always exclusive.”
In 2016 Christian once again offered a home to a well established brand that has made a lasting mark in the cigar industry: Puros Indios.
LA HISTORIA DE DON ROLANDO REYES
Don Rolando Reyes, Sr. is a well-known cigar maker of Danli, Honduras. He was a master blender and roller and created multiple brands including Puros Indios and Cuba Aliados. Born in 1924 in Zulueta, Las Villas Province, Cuba, Rolando always had a passion for cigars and wanted to grow up to become a tabacalero. When Rolando was nine years of age, he apprenticed Silvio Santana of the Tabacalera Pequena in Zulueta where he learned the ins and outs of cigar making. After two years he left Tabacalera Pequena and went to work in the Aquilar Factory in Remedios.
In 1938, Rolando went to work at the Jose L Piedra Cigar Factory in Guanajay, Pinar del Rio Province, but later moved to Havana, Cuba to begin working at the H. Upmann Factory. Over the years he would continue to learn from the best working in other Cuban factories such as Jose Gener, Partagas, and Romeo y Julieta. It was during these years that Don Rolando Reyes learned to roll the traditional parejo, more complex figurado, and difficult pyramides. Rolando even perfected rolling a cigar without a mold and he is the first person recorded to bring the complex diadema vitola to the U.S. market.
In 1945 Rolando moved to Placetas, Las Villas Province and established his own factory, Los Aliados. Eventually he would move this factory to Havana where he would grow to domestically produce over 6 million handmade cigars annually. Unfortunately, in 1968, under the Fidel Castro Regime, the Communist government confiscated Don Rolando’s Los Aliados trademark, factory, and all of his personal belongings. Under the new government, Rolando was assigned to work in El Rey del Mundo cigar factory. When he refused to do so, he was sent to the rice fields until his emigration was made possible in 1971 and he left for the United States.
Rolando Reyes took his family to Jersey City, NJ, where with the help of a $500 loan from his brother, he opened a small cigar ship. To support his family, he would knit clothes in a factory during the day, and at night he would roll cigars in his store. Two years later he built a combination house/factory in Union City, NJ and Don Rolando began his company, Cuba Aliados.
Don Rolando’s first big customer was Cigars by Santa Clara and he quickly realized that he’d need to begin a larger scale production to keep up with the demand. So, in 1978 he began to produce his cigars in the Dominican Republic. Unsatisfied with the quality, he once again moved operations to Miami, FL and continued production simultaneously in Union City and Miami until he could move the operation to Honduras.
With disputes over distribution, Cuba Aliados was removed from the market for several years, so Rolando decided to release a new brand he called Puros Indios, in 1995. In February of 1996, Don Rolando formed a new company, Puros Indios Cigars, which took over production and distribution of the brand. In 1999 Cigars by Santa Clara regained the rights of distribution over Cuba Aliados, thus returning the renowned cigar to the market, and in 2004, Don Rolando once again gained full control of Cuba Aliados.
In 1989 Don Rolando moved his operations to Danli, Honduras when he acquired an old, twelve room motel. That factory remained in use for fourteen years, until Rolando outgrew it. Eventually, the company moved to a new, fully remodeled factory on the outskirts of Danli. The old factory continues to operate as an aging facility and box factory today.
The new Puros Indios factory allowed for production to triple what the old factory could produce. That factored into turning out 30,000 cigars per day! The entire first floor of the new factory had room for 160 rollers; the second floor consisted of 15 bulk tobacco storage rooms, seven cedar-lined aging rooms and three walk in freezers. In total it sat on 5-acres of land that was right next door to the Reyes residence and farm. On the farm, Don Rolando grew food for his family and even shared with his workers. At the age of 84, Don Rolando continued to work in the factory. In fact, he prefered to work the hours of 10 PM to 5 AM when he had the entire factory to himself and could operate without interruption. His primary focus was to inspect the day’s production and to leave notes of improvement for his rollers.
In 2007, Don Rolando Reyes announced he was turning over the reins of his company to his grandson, Carlos E. Diez. Carlos renamed the company Reyes Family Cigars and redesigned the logos and labels to reflect the changes. In 2008, Reyes Family Cigars opened up production in Miami to oversee domestic operations and produce a limited development of Cuba Aliados in Miami. In 2016 C.L.E. Cigars took over distribution of the Reyes Family Cigar Brands including Puros Indios and Cuba Aliados, thus adding to the menagerie of cigars under Christian Eiroa’s portfolio.
Fabrizio Gentili announced his re-introduction into the U.S. Market that same year as he partnered with Christian for distribution. With the partnership, Gentili released the exclusive Maserati Humidors and accessories. The Gentili Fabrizio Srl company comes out of Forum Sempronii, a small Roman village founded in 133 B.C. on the Via Flaminia, the old road that connected Rome to the sea. Its president and founder, Signore Fabrizio is responsible for the artisanal creation of each box, entirely handmade with painstaking attention by its master cabinet-makers.