Interview with Carson Serino, Serino Cigar Co.
I sat down with Carson Serino, Vice President of Serino Cigars and asked questions all about their brand. Serino is a big part of the #CigarClubFamily and we are currently working on an exciting exclusive for you all.
Enjoy this interview!
When was Serino Cigars founded?
A: Our family has been in the cigar industry for 30 years. My father started off as a small retailer in Pompano Beach, FL which slowly grew into a distribution company and then we began manufacturing our own cigars. Serino is a realization of all the connections we made in the industry to deliver high quality, small batch cigars.
How did you get into the business?
A: Well, I started off at a young age running my father’s retail shop after school. This was my first contact with the industry, I then went off to university and really became involved when I left college. We founded Serino at this point to share high-quality blends out of Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic with friends and consumers alike.
What do you do for Serino cigars?
A: I wear a lot of hats for the company. I try to be directly involved in every facet. This includes sales, marketing, social media, design, and blending. The two areas I love the most are design and blending. I’m always seeking to sharpen my craft in both of these areas - This allows me to channel my passion and continually grow through a creative outlet.
Where do you make your cigars?
A: We make almost all of our cigars at the La Corona Factory, S.A. in Estelí, Nicaragua.
Why do you make your cigars there?
A: I really believe in La Corona and Master Blender Omar González-Aleman. Omar is one of the most pedigreed blenders in the world that many people don’t know about. Don Omar started in the Cuban cigar industry, mainly as an apprentice to Alejandro Robaina - the most renowned Cuban tobacco grower of the modern era. Omar then went to work at the Partagas Factory. He then continued his Cuban cigar career as the head director of The La Corona Factory (where he took his Nicaraguan factory name from to pay homage to his past). At this factory he was in charge of production for: Romeo Y Julieta, Hoyo De Monterrey, San Cristobal and other heralded Cuban brands.
Don Omar’s expertise is incredibly valuable, and I’m blessed that he was the one I received my formal training from. La Corona is a very purist factory. All traditional Cuban methods: no Lieberman machines - all hand bunching, a slow low temperature fermenting process, and a very unique wrapper cutting technique that allows for lesser veins. A final note, he cares as much about the detail in the product as I do. So, a combination of all the reasons mentioned above — again, very grateful for Don Omar and La Corona.
Do you have a line you are most proud of?
A: I love all of our blends, but Wayfarer was the first blend I did myself. It will always be the most special to me for this reason. To this day I still get fired up every time I see someone smoke and enjoy a Wayfarer because of the amount of time and obstacles I had to overcome to bring that blend to market.
Do you have any new cigars coming out this year?
A: Yes! We have an extension of the Taíno line, some size extensions, retailer exclusives and a couple other small projects I’m looking forward to sharing.
How do you go about blending a new cigar? What does your process look like?
A: I firmly believe every cigar tells a story. The brand should get across a point being made by the cigar. I then look at the tobaccos used to help craft a narrative. I usually look at the project and then decide - what type of cigar is this going to be? light/delicate with nuance? medium and complex? Or full, flavor forward without constraint? After that decision has been made, I move forward with the tobaccos to achieve the goal for that specific blend. I believe what I do best blending wise - is medium to full with complexity.
What’s something you want the CigarClub Family to know about Serino Cigars?
A: Detail and transparency are priorities within our company. This is one of the reasons I gravitated towards cigarclub.com. The detail within their branding and product is first-class. After working with them, their transparency is easily observed.
When it comes to our company, a motto we go by is to get 1% better each day. Compound a lot of good into something great. I believe through consistent improvement and curiosity that we can create a uniquely special experience for our customers.
On the transparency front, if anyone ever has questions about our brand, the blends or projects we are working on - I try to be as responsive as possible via social media [@SerinoCigarCo], email, and phone.
I really appreciate you taking the time to read more about us and am super excited to be a part of the Cigar Club Family :-) Thank you!