In the cigar industry it is quite common for a company’s story to be steeped in family legacy and tradition. There are countless cigar companies, big and small, that have existed for decades (or longer), or were started by the nth generation of a prominent tobacco growing family or cigar making family. However, cigars have a way of impacting their consumers and creating an unrivaled passion (or maybe a better term is “obsession”) for the craft. This leads to another common cigar company story - the long time cigar smoker turned brand owner.
Such is the case for Stolen Throne Cigars, a boutique cigar company based out of Virginia that was founded by Lee Marsh and JR Cannon. I’ll let Lee give some more insight into the history of the company in our Q&A below. The important thing to know about Stolen Throne Cigars is that they carefully and thoughtfully create amazing blends with the helping hand of Noel Rojas. They currently have three core line offerings: Crook of the Crown, Call to Arms, and Three Kingdoms. They have also released multiple limited editions, or more appropriately we will call them “limited exclusives”, since their start. They also just released their first national limited edition - a Connecticut Shade wrapped 5 x 54 Petit Belicoso called “Phantom Queen”.
What stands out to me about Stolen Thrones Cigars, and why I was excited to bring them in, is that they are a legit boutique company that was born from a passion for cigars, and that passion is reflected in their products. They are not trying to capitalize on a fad. They are not using gimmicks to garner sales. They are not flooding the market with subpar blends. They are carefully releasing solid, consistent blends that are all unique enough to fill their own place in the Stolen Throne portfolio, but similar enough in smoking style and branding that they all seem to play off of one another. They are really a perfect fit for the industry and for what I look for in a company.
I strongly urge you to try each of their core line offerings and, if you can get them, some of their limited offerings. My Stolen Throne Cigars Company Spotlight Sampler is a perfect introduction, however, please just grab some of their cigars from somewhere - anywhere.
Now, before we get into the Q&A with Lee Marsh, I just wanted to say that another reason to support these guys is that they are truly awesome people. I have had the pleasure of knowing a couple of the guys associated with Stolen Throne Cigars for a while, even in pre-Stolen Throne times, so I can attest to the level of character represented by the people of this company. Even more, Lee has been very gracious with his time prior to me even mentioning this Q&A to him. Anyways, onto the questions!
What is your cigar story (first cigar memory, driving factor in your interest, etc)?
“My first memory is like most I would say, sitting around with family and friends and receiving a fresh roll from my uncle and we talked and bullshited about who knows what. The drive has always come from the passion for the process and being creative with tobacco for complexity and experience.”
What is the story of Stolen Throne Cigars?
“Stolen Throne is basically our journey through tobacco. Also the notion of making your own way in the world, doing things the way you believe are right.”
What cigars, companies, or industry persons do you draw inspiration from or which cigars outside of your portfolio do you reach for?
“I am inspired by a lot of folks. This is a linear industry without those that have come before us and paved the way for boutiques and cigars in general there would be no Stolen Throne. From the original Comachos to Ilusione and Tatuaje they all have played a part in us being here.”
I know you are into whiskey. Can you speak to some of your preferred pairings with the cigars in your core line?
“Bourbon...Always bourbon. I am not a huge pairing with that person but I always like to drink a rye or bourbon with my cigars.”
What impact do you hope your brand makes on consumers?
“My hope is that consumers walk away enjoying our brand with an understanding that it's ok to expect quality at a fair price, and that high price points are not always indicative of better quality cigars.”
Is there anything you would like to tell the readers of this article (about yourself, about Stolen Throne Cigars, about the industry, or anything you are passionate about)?
“I am just always so grateful for the love and the support the brand receives almost religiously. I am passionate about the consumer experience because that is where it all started for us. The fact that people could smoke anything and they choose Stolen Throne, is always very important to me.”