By Stephen A. Ross
Enrique Sanchez, owner of Global Premium Cigars, enjoys challenging himself. About six years ago, the 40-ish Nicaraguan decided that he loved cigars so much that he wanted to create his own cigar brand. After meeting with Nestor Plasencia Sr. and developing three special blends, Sanchez launched the 1502 cigar line. Those three blends became 1502 Ruby, 1502 Emerald and 1502 Black Gold. In 2014, he added a fourth cigar to the line, 1502 Nicaragua, a Nicaraguan puro that he created to honor the birth of his son, Enrique Fernando III.
Each of the four 1502 varieties has caught on with cigar smokers, and Sanchez’s small boutique company has grown tremendously since its beginning a short time ago. Sanchez sees the growth firsthand as he tirelessly travels to shops across the United States, introducing his cigars to retailers and their consumers. Listening to their praise as well as constructive criticism, Sanchez recognized that the opportunity to present a new cigar that he had been working on for the last three years was now upon him.
Sanchez unveiled that project, 1502 XO, at this year’s IPCPR show in New Orleans. A limited-edition cigar, there are only 1,502 10-count boxes (with serial numbers available), which will ship sometime in October or November. This year, Sanchez introduced 1502 XO in the Toro size but plans to introduce a new vitola every year, also limited to 1,502 10-count boxes with serial numbers.
The cigars are made using a proprietary blend of tobaccos from three countries. While unwilling to divulge the tobaccos’ origins, Sanchez revealed that the binder and filler tobaccos are 18 years old. The limited inventories of these aged tobaccos naturally restrict the number of cigars that can be made from it. While Sanchez would love to be able to provide 1502 XO cigars to all who want them, he must ration their availability to only those retailers who are carrying all of the existing 1502 lines.
1502 XO is an exclusive cigar that Sanchez calls his “masterpiece.”
“It’s the best blend that I have ever created,” he says. “I took my time making the blend right. There are no limitations in making these cigars, and their quality is outstanding. That’s the challenge I set for myself. ‘How could I make a cigar in an outstanding way?’ 1502 XO is my answer. I knew it was going to be great, and it is.”
Global Premium Cigars