After Davidoff purchased Camacho Cigars in 2008, longtime Camacho president Christian Eiroa stayed with the company to ensure a smooth transition. In 2012, Eiroa decided to break out on...
After Davidoff purchased Camacho Cigars in 2008, longtime Camacho president Christian Eiroa stayed with the company to ensure a smooth transition. In 2012, Eiroa decided to break out on his own with the founding of CLE Cigar Co., which distributes the CLE, Eiroa, Wynwood Hills, and Asylum brands, among others. CLE stands for “Christian Luis Eiora.”
Christian Eiroa’s grandfather Generoso Eiroa grew tobacco in Cuba in the 1900s. After the nationalization of the tobacco industry in 1959, Generoso’s widow and three sons fled the country and settled in Tampa, Florida. One of these sons was Julio Eiroa, Christian’s father. Julio traveled to Honduras in 1963 for tobacco broker Angel Oliva. It was there that Julio would set things in motion for the Eiroa family’s Camacho tobacco plantations. After working with the Oliva family for a year, Julio went his own way to become an independent farmer.
In 1995, after completing a graduate degree, Christian joined his father in Honduras. Honduras wasn’t new to Christian, as he grew up there. Nor were cigar makers, which were around his entire life. Christian has said that the cigar business “was always second nature.” So it’s no surprise that he became president of Caribe Imported Cigars at the age of 26. (That’s one way to cut your leadership teeth!) One year later, as a 27-year-old, Christian brought his name to the table with the creation of the Camacho Corojo. He would go on to become the master blender responsible for some of the best Camacho has to offer.
Soon after the formation of CLE Cigar Co., Christian reached out to Tom Lazuka, who had worked as a sales rep for Camacho. Christian asked Lazuka to be vice president of CLE and a business partner in Lazuka’s Asylum cigar brand. Christian states they spent around two hours on the initial Asylum blends in a Nicaragua factory. They went in, a few hours passed, and they emerged with two killer blends.
“Some days are diamonds,” right?
A little time would pass, and then Lazuka brought Christian the idea to make a 7 x 70 big ring gauge cigar. Christian wasn’t impressed, but Lazuka wouldn’t back down. Christian agreed to make 5,000 simply so he could tell Lazuka he was wrong. But the cigars were a hit, and Christian had to eat his hat. It was this 7 x 70 beast that set the course for CLE and Asylum. For Asylum, the big ring thing was working, so they became the brand out front. This gave Christian the time he needed to fine-tune CLE.
And fine-tune he did. The CLE flagship cigar, Eiroa the First 20 Years, is one that Christian stated he’d attempted to create his entire career. One of the best-selling CLE cigars is the CLE Connecticut, which showcases the mellow side of Christian’s blending talent. Another is the CLE Corojo, which is more of a medium-full return to form for Eiroa.
Whatever your pleasure is, CLE cigars offer you a way to get that and more.
Christian owns a factory in Danlí, Honduras, and the Asylum factory is in Estelí, Nicaragua, though a few Asylum lines are produced in the Danlí factory. It’s important to the Asylum factory to run a hygienic operation. While it’s not cheap, they use no toxic chemicals and work to eliminate any negative impact on the environment they may have caused.