One of the most scaled-down booths from 2019 to 2021—moving from the former IPCPR to the current PCA trade show—was ACE Prime. The company made a big splash at the time, launching onto the scene at full force, including a mega-sized booth, a basketball setup for free throw competition, and guest appearances by NBA stars Dominique Wilkins and Tiago Splitter.
While the debut was surely an attention grabber, the question of whether cigar consumers would accept ACE Prime into their humidors was a long ways from being answered. In the two years following, the focus has largely moved away from the sports collaborations and onto the factory behind the brand: Tabacalera Pichardo. This is due, primarily, to a growing relationship with Crowned Heads, who has directed the majority of their new releases to Tabacalera Pichardo over the past two years, as well as bringing on the ACE Prime brand for distribution.
It was then not surprising to find the two entities sharing booth space at the 2021 PCA trade show, offering a vibe that was primarily Crowned Heads, though equally highlighting the cigars from each brand.
ACE Prime showcased two of the more talked-about cigars of the trade show: Fiat Lux and The Sergeant. The former was announced three weeks before the trade show as the third cigar under the Luciano brand. Unlike the former two, Fiat Lux will launch as a regular-production release, boasting a more approachable price point of $8.75–$10.75 MSRP. The cigars use a high-priming Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper and all-Nicaraguan binder/fillers, and were described in Cigar Dojo’s interview with Jon Huber and Luciano Meirelles as the best Sumatra since Crowned Heads’ Headley Grange.
The second release is one of a handful of PCA exclusives, offered only to retailers that attended the trade show. The Sergeant pays tribute to the US Military, boasting an Ecuadorian Corojo 99 Rosado wrapper, a double Connecticut binder from the US, and fillers from Nicaragua. The cigars, described as medium to full in body, were offered in a singular 5″ x 58 size with an MSRP of $10.50.
Both cigars ship between the time of the trade show and August.