Black Label Trading Company Hyena Cigars1 Total
Artists tend to be a commonly misunderstood bunch. By and large, they keep odd hours, enjoy solitude, and rigorously follow their hearts — all attributes which can set them apart from the vast majority of society. For visual artist James Brown — also a Sommelier, adventure traveler, and Range Rover enthusiast — his heart took him to the mountains of Nicaragua. There, Black Label Trading Co. was born. At their boutique factory, known affectionately as "Oveja Negra" (Spanish for "Black Sheep"), James and his wife Angela oversee production of premium cigars made to the highest standards imaginable, blended with love, and rolled in small batches to ensure serious attention to detail and "100% quality from seed to ash."
Black Label's approach to cigarmaking follows a small-batch framework. The industry standard blending model usually sees a company conceive a blend for a singular vitola, after which they subtly tweak said model to add more sizes to the line. Black Label's approach keeps things simple, as each cigar's recipe is necessitated by the vitola itself. This results in blends created specifically for a certain size ring-gauge and length. If the blend was originally intended as a Corona, for example, it stays as such, along with a Robusto for those who prefer a thicker ring-gauge. And they take the approach seriously, even placing a cap on the number of cigars that rollers and buncheros can produce daily, ensuring maximum attention to quality, where most other companies would be more concerned with increasing output.
This attention is extended to Black Label's aesthetic, which draws inspiration from South and Central American religious imagery, with cigars like Salvation, Bishop's Blend, and Deliverance. Pushing the boundaries even further, Black Label's BlkWks Studio allowed James even more stylistic freedom, resulting in sticks like the Natural Born Killer, the Killer Bee, and the Rorschach. James does all the artwork himself too, ensuring each Black Label and BlkWks offering has the artist's signature touch. With such a diverse portfolio, an acute focus on small-batch blending, and an unparalleled spirit for adventure, the "black sheep" of the cigar world stand well apart from the fold.