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Nicholas Melillo Leaves Drew Estate, with Eyes on Top-Shelf Brands
Estelí, NICARAGUA – On May 9, 2014 master blender Nicholas Melillo (aka Nick R. Agua), formerly Executive Vice President of International Operations, is moving on from Drew Estate Cigar Company and taking the next step in his career as one of the most influential and creative cigar makers in the industry.

Jonathan Drew wrote recently in Cigar Advisor magazine, “Melillo has been a major asset in bringing our company to our current level of expertise and quality” and “he has been instrumental in creating blends to categorically change the traditional cigar market.”

Melillo was hired as Jonathan Drew’s right-hand man in March of 2003 and swiftly took the lead in running DE Nicaraguan operations. “I am extremely grateful to Jonathan Drew for giving me the opportunity and believing in me back in 2003. I am also enormously proud of the Nicaraguan team. They have been like family to me and we have come a long way together.”

Melillo worked with his team to respond to the sharply increasing production and shipment needs. As Melillo leaves the company, the Drew Estate cigar factory in Nicaragua employs 1,500 people and produces, on average, 100,000 hand made cigars a day. Melillo’s responsibilities over the past 11 years have included purchasing of DE’s extensive tobacco inventories, as well as overseeing production, quality control, shipment planning, and fermentation. Melillo mastered the blending of some of the company’s top- selling brands, including Liga Privada #9, T52, Dirty Rat, Flying Pig, UF-13, L40, UnderCrown, Nirvana, Kahlua, Java, and Nica Rustica, He also worked along side Willy Herrera on Herrera Esteli.

Melillo has no formal plans but is looking forward to creating new blends and brands in the premium cigar industry. Since the beginning of the year Melillo has been consulting
on tobacco purchasing and cigar blending under his company Melillo International. He looks forward to new opportunities in the future.

About Nicholas Melillo

Nick Melillo was born and raised in “the great Black tobacco state of Connecticut,” he boasts. He started smoking cigars toward the beginning of the boom in the early 1990s, and began running the Calabash Shoppee in Hamden, Connecticut in 1996. “My grandfather on my father’s side was an avid Connecticut broadleaf smoker. He worked at the Winchester Factory after WWII and at the time New Haven had many cigar factories. My other grandfather has been a pipe smoker for more than 60 years. My earliest memories are filled with the aroma of great tobaccos.”

Melillo, who is based in Nicaragua, travels often to Connecticut, Ecuador, Mexico, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic for tobacco inspection and review. Follow him on:

Twitter: @NickRAgua https://twitter.com/NickRAgua

Facebook: NickRAgua https://www.facebook.com/nick.r.agua

Instagram: NickRAgua http://www.instagram.com/nickragua

About Drew Estate, Inc.

Established in 1996, Drew Estate Inc. is a privately held manufacturer and distributor of infused and traditional premium cigars for today’s cigar smoker. In just over ten years, Drew Estate’s ACID line of premium cigars has become one of the top five selling premium cigar brands in the nation. Regarded as the pioneer and leader in the infused cigar® market, Drew Estate’s Nicaraguan factory handcrafts ACID by Drew Estate®, Natural®, Java by Drew Estate®, and other unique cigars along with its traditional Liga Privada®, La Vieja Habana® and Undercrown® marks. For more information, please visit: www.drewestate.com.

®ACID, Natural, Java by Drew Estate, Undercrown, La Vieja Habana and Liga Privada are registered trademarks of Drew Estate and/or affiliated companies.

Other Press Releases
http://halfwheel.com/nicholas-melillo-leaves-drew-estate/57627
http://www.cigarsnobmag.com/2014/05/09/nicholas-melillo-leaves-drew-estate-looks-for-new-opportunities-in-premium-cigars/
http://www.sethshumidor.com/2014/05/nicholas-melillo-departure-from-drew.html
http://www.cigar-coop.com/2014/05/cigar-news-nicholas-melillo-leaves-drew.html
http://www.stogieguys.com/