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- excerpt from Sophisticated Living Magazine
After taking a long, relaxed draw from the cigar that bears his name, Ted launches into an eloquent soliloquy on the nuances of a fine cigar. Just before the moment one might think he is making the experience out to be too self-important, he finishes by saying, “It’s just a cigar.” Such a simple statement is simultaneously close to and far from the truth, as the humble product cradled in his fingers belies the years spent leading up to this moment of leisure in the relentless pursuit of a cigar that meets his exacting standards.
Ted’s foray into cigar production began in 1996 when he was approached by Maker’s Mark to create a cigar for their “Roaring 20s” Derby party. In response, Ted created a unique premium cigar actually flavored with Maker’s Mark Bourbon. After a great deal of trial and error, he found that the ideal way to add subtle bourbon flavor, without affecting the cigar’s integrity, was through the tedious and time consuming process of aromatic seasoning. A similar amount of effort went into the packaging, in which each cigar is sealed in a glass tube and finished off with a signature Maker’s Mark wax drip. The blending of fine bourbon with a premium cigar in a unique presentation has not gone unnoticed, as millions of these cigars are now sold worldwide.
“The social element of enjoying a good cigar is a great equalizer,” said Ted, who attributes his cigars’ broad fan base to a down-to-earth approach – one that can be traced to a group of friends sitting around the fire taking a well deserved break after a hard day at work and play.
Another benefit of the endeavor was that Ted experienced the intimate details of the challenges and opportunities inherent in the Dominican Republic. “Traveling there regularly really allows me to see and experience another culture,” he said. Ted’s development of the Maker’s Mark blend led him down the separate path of creating a premium small batch blend for his personal use. He tried dozens of different combinations before settling on a unique blend of Brazilian, Nicaraguan and Dominican tobacco. Little did he realize then how popular this cigar, which he created for himself, would prove to be.
Today, the “ted’s” cigar is available in hundreds of retail outlets across the United States and around the world. These premium cigars are available in two distinct blends and three sizes with either a Connecticut shade or a Maduro wrapper. While demand continues to grow, you will not see any flashy advertisements for “ted’s”, no suave man using a $1,000 lighter while a sultry woman lounges on a Chesterfield sofa in the background. The tagline, “simply fine cigars,” pretty much sums up a “ted’s” cigar elemental appeal. “The social element of enjoying a good cigar is a great equalizer,” said Ted, who attributes his cigars’ broad fan base to a down-to-earth approach – one that can be traced to a group of friends taking a well deserved break after a long day.