Privada Cigar Club has launched a new project that aims to benefit and showcase some of the many individuals who have had a substantial impact on modern cigar culture. The first two collaborations are currently available to the public, with more both planned and currently underway. The first two collaborators? Bryan Glynn and Leander McClain, CigarObsession and LeeMack912!
It may not seem as though this much time has passed, but Bryan’s CigarObsession website went live over a decade ago. His YouTube videos influenced tens of thousands of cigar enthusiasts. Among them is Privada’s own Brian Desind, who watched and absorbed countless CO videos when be first became fascinated with cigars. Even though Glynn’s channel – which had already amassed over 50,000 subscribers by the time it was profiled in a 2016 Vice UK article – was among the first and most popular cigar review offerings on the platform, one wouldn’t know it to run a search today. Now, in 2022, the remnants of the once vibrant channel tells only the most partial of stories: 137,000 subscribers, 1 upload.
After a long series of demonetizations, random community guidelines strikes, and videos being removed completely without explanation, the CigarObsession account eventually began getting banned for weeks at a time. It is an increasingly familiar and wildly unfortunate reality for more and more cigar content creators. In the true spirit of this large and ever-growing movement in cigars, Glynn wasted no time making strategic moves. He pivoted and transferred his entire video archive over to Rumble. He has continued, without any perceivable interruption, to publish there and on both Instagram and Facebook.
The Cigar Obsession x Privada limited edition is a 7×50 Churchill Maduro, blended by AJ Fernandez and limited to 300 five packs. To kick off the project, Glynn has declined to accept any proceeds. He is currently offering a total of $600 in cash prizes, $200 on each of CO’s active social platforms, and is donating the rest to the ASPCA. The drop video he released is available to watch on all three platforms and entries for the giveaway will stop being accepted once the packs have sold out. All one must do to enter is follow/subscribe and then leave a comment expressing an interest in winning – once per platform, for a total of three entries per person.
Another legend in the review game, Leander McClain has been uploading cigar videos for 8+ years now. LeeMack912’s Great Day cigars have been limited to 340 five packs. Anyone who has spent any amount of time watching and listening to LeeMack will be familiar with the energy with which he wishes viewers “another great day.” Created in Honduras, LeeMack’s blend features a Mexican San Andres wrapper, Nicaraguan binder from Jalapa and Nicaraguan (Esteli & Ometepe) and Honduran (Jamastran Corojo) fillers.
Only mere hours into my own cigar journey when I saw my very first LM912 upload, it was through his channel that I would first hear about Privada’s farm rolled and rare/aged monthly subscriptions – and would learn a whole lot about cigars while meeting people in the comments that I still regularly communicate with 2 years later. His impact on the movement is huge and I’m elated to see this collaboration be made available. Even cooler? Everyone who buys LeeMack’s pack is not only supporting a wonderful creator, but will also receive a numbered sticker signed by the man himself. He hosted a live video session for the blend’s release and it may be the ideal smoking companion when you’re enjoying the first cigar of your pack. LeeMack is also regularly active on Instagram and curates a Patreon community.
During a recent “Industry Hive Mind” panel, RoMa Craft Co-Founder Skip Martin observed that “the only kind of new smokers, like people I’ve seen really getting into it…are like these Privada Cigar Club guys who are kind of popping up everywhere. It’s a really strong movement and they’re people who I never really saw before. So, either I just didn’t see them before or Privada’s doing a great job of creating new cigar smokers.” Love them or not, Privada Cigar Club is constantly creating new and innovative pathways through which more people can be introduced to today’s vibrant cigar community.
Since their inception 5 years ago, Privada’s service-driven relationship with its membership has very likely helped create more new cigar fans than perhaps any other word-of-mouth movement in that same amount of time. Like anything that disrupts established structures, you will find aggressively enthusiastic fans on one end of the spectrum and fervent detractors on the other. Through it all, their real focus remains – simply – on the cigars. Over the long term, that is what will ultimately provide the greatest benefit to their members and the larger cigar community.
I’ve reached out to LeeMack, Bryan, and Brian and will continue to update this entry pending any additional correspondence.