Butera Pipe Company’s entire line of pipe tobacco blends, plus rights to the Butera Pipe Tobacco names has been sold to national distributor Arango Cigar Co. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. Michael A. Butera, founder and principal of Butera Pipe Company, created and perfected the blends, which will continue to be manufactured by McClelland Tobacco Company (Kansas City, Missouri) and J.F. Germain & Son (Great Britain).
Michael Gold, Arango’s president, said of the sale, “Over the past 25 years, Michael Butera’s award-winning pipes have earned him the reputation of America’s premier pipe craftsman. The pipe community refers to him as ‘the first American pipe maker to produce collectible-quality pipes.’ We are proud to distribute products with the quality and market acceptance of Butera pipe tobaccos.”
Butera turned his hobby into a business in the early 1980s, after experiencing the art firsthand from the famous pipe masters, when in Italy. At his first Pipe Collectors International Show in Nashville, Tennessee (1985), he won first place overall for Best Standard Shape.
Butera was selected top pipe maker in international competitions for the next twelve years, which elevated his pipes to collectible status.
Butera’s associations with McClelland and J.F. Germain date back to the early 1990s, when he began blending premium pipe tobaccos to augment his pipe making. McClelland produces the blends for Butera’s Royal Vintage line of tobaccos, while J.F. Germain blends the Esoterica and Specialty families of tobaccos, which include the Kingfisher blend. Peter Stokkebye, Ltd., of Denmark makes the Pelican blend, also in the Specialty product group. When asked about his choices for manufacturers, Butera states, “I believe Mike McNeil, McClelland’s master blender, is the finest blender America has ever seen. I also consider master blender Robert Germain the finest in all of Europe … he is also the last of many to prepare pipe tobaccos in the old English tradition.”
Over the years, Butera has introduced 38 premium tobaccos, sure to please any connoisseur … Virginia, Burley, Oriental, Turkish, Latakia, and Perique tobacco blends; presented in ribbon, flake, and the original Krumble Kake forms.
All Butera pipe tobaccos are sealed in traditional tins, bulk packaging, or both, depending on blend. MSRPs are $10 for 2-ounce tins, and $28 for 8-ounce bulks. All Butera pipe tobaccos are currently available at tobacconists nationwide.