Jeffrey Amendola and Chris Monaco just appeared on Deep Cuts Live with Antoine Reid to talk about their upcoming release – The West Side Story. Their first appearance since 2021, the Amendola Family Cigar Company co-owners are always very informative entertaining guests. A 24-month passion project, The West Side Story is the first installment of the brand’s NYC Series. Amendola set out to to create a unique experience for cigar heads, one that is authentically New York. As you watch and listen, two things will inevitably happen: you’ll come to understand how they were able to pull it off, and you’ll wonder if you’re a Bat or a Blade.
If one takes a moment to glare at Lady Liberty’s flame, they’ll see “Volume 1” calling back to them, providing the quiet promise of future offerings in the NYC Series. They don’t know what that looks like yet, or if it will be an annual release, but it’s a really great look behind the scenes as they discuss what the project could evolve into. You’ll also learn about what makes Amendola different, like how they don’t offer multiple vitolas of a blend so that it’s easier for you and I to find what we want at the shop.
Clearly aware of the public’s perception of the brand, Jeffrey and Chris look to work with collaborators who embrace their hands-on approach. “We don’t claim to be master blenders, we’re just two guys that love tobacco,” Jeffery explains. A roller himself, this clearly is a way of life for Amendola rather than just a job where he gets sent a few numbered blends and has to pick one. They team wanted everything about this release to be genuinely New York, a rule applied to every detail down to the hinges on the box – which looks just at home on a Central Park chess table as it will in a humidor.
Each box of The West Side story contains two different expressions and asks the consumer to pick a side. Both cigars, named the Bat and the Blade, are 6 x 52 Torpedos and are crafted using the same Indonesian binder and Nicaraguan/Dominican filler tobaccos. Where they differ is their wrappers. The Bat features Mexican San Andrés wrapper leaf, with the Blade utilizing Brazilian Arapiraca. Rolled in Manhattan at Martinez cigars, The West Side Story will launch in boxes of 20 – 10 of each cigar. New York shops and a few other select retailers are getting them first, so most will keep seeing these on socials for a few weeks before being able to obtain them. Expect to start seeing these on shelves and sites some time around the end of April, early May at the latest, at an MSRP of $14 each.