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I know. Atsi---who? After blind smoking this cigar, we were as surprised as you. And now, we're really excited to make the introductions for you. But before we do, one question... Isn't it strange that with all the cigar store Indian statues and talk of how tobacco originated with the Native Americans, there isn't a single Native (US) American cigar brand? Well that was true, until Charles Robinson founded Atsiniki just a few years ago. Charles is a descendant of the Choctaw Tribe, grew up in Texas and currently lives in Tennessee. The story begins... well, the story begins before Atsiniki was founded, it begins with an organization Charles founded called The Red Road. Charles created The Red Road several years ago to empower Native American communities by honoring their culture and striving to raise awareness and educate the public about the extensive history and current conditions of Indigenous cultures, reshaping perceptions of this often misunderstood people group. He often travels to reservations to serve and help to improve their communities. But like many non-profits, funding was always a challenge, so a few years ago he set off to create a cigar brand that would one day help fund The Red Road. He called the brand, Atsiniki, which is his name in his wife's native tongue, and means 'Story Teller.' But why cigars? Charles considers tobacco an essential element of his culture and lineage. Smoking is considered to be an offering or a gift, a shared breath of showing respect for another's point of view, and the smoke rising like prayer's to the Creator. Well, being the first actual Native American cigar brand owner, he probably could have cut some corners and made a so-so cigar and called it a day. But that's not Charles's style. Instead, he partnered with the late, legendary master-blender Arsenio Ramos, who spent decades as one of the heads of tobacco processing in Cuba's cigar industry and later in Nicaragua blended cigars at the renowned Aganorsa factory. Like everyone that meets Charles, Ramos was instantly drawn to him when they met in Nicaragua. And when Charles asked if he would blend the cigars for his new cigar brand, he responded, "It would be an honor." Later, a friend told Charles, "That would be like meeting Bono and telling him that you're putting together a garage-band and ask if he would like to be the lead singer!" Ramos passed in 2018, and now Atsiniki cigars are blended by Ramos's protegés, Eradio Pichardo and Luciano Mureilles of Tabacalera Pichardo. You may have heard that name in the cigar-news lately, as it is the same factory that is blending Crowned Heads newest cigar, Un Mil. This cigar is the Tashka, the strongest cigar in their portfolio, and named after his son. It is one of the densest, most full-bodied cigars we've had in a while - you can almost chew the smoke! And from that dense smoke comes bold, gamey flavor notes of leather and steak, along with subtle red pepper and floral notes. He currently has three regular production lines, each named after one of his children. The good news? He has seven children! So be on the lookout for more Atsiniki cigar lines coming out in the future. And after spending time with Charles, trust us when we say that when you buy an Atsiniki cigar, you couldn't be supporting a better person or a better cause than Charles and The Red Road.