Cuba Unveils 2019 Ediciones Limitadas

This year’s Edicíon Limitadas are: Quai D’Orsay Senadores, Allones No. 2 by Ramon Allones and the Montecristo Supremos.

The Quai D’Orsay Senadores, Montecristo Supremos and Allones No. 2 head this year’s lineup.

Sometimes they’re incredible, sometimes they’re forgettable, but they’re never to be ignored. They’re Cuba’s Edición Limitadas, an annual release of cigars that garner exceptional attention in the cigar world. On Monday in Havana, the Cuban cigar industry gave a preview of the three 2019 ELs that will are expected to be shipped to cigar stores later in the year.

The thinnest of the trio, the Quai D’Orsay Senadores, marks the first time this once-obscure Cuban brand has been made into a Limitada. The Senadores is about 6 3/16 inches with a ring gauge of 48. Known as an Hermoso No. 2 in Cuban cigar factories, the smoke comes packed in boxes of 25. Quai D’Orsay, once only a factor in France, has become more and more prominent in recent times.

There has been no shortage of Montecristo ELs over the years, and Cuba is turning to this famous brand once again with the Montecristo Supremos EL 2019, which marks the 10th release of a Montecristo as an EL. The size, called a Montesco, is plump and somewhat short, measuring 5 1/8 inches long by 55 ring gauge. It also comes in boxes of 25.

The lone figurado of the group is the curiously named Allones No. 2 by Ramon Allones, a belicoso measuring 5 1/2 inches long with a 52 ring gauge. The size, called Campanas in Cuban cigar factories, will come in 10-count boxes.

Cuba really stepped up its packaging game with these ELs—don’t expect the typical wood box that you see on most cigars. The Ramon Allones comes in a green box with a raised center; the Quai D’Orsay has a striking circular pattern on the lid, with a resplendent gold center; and the Montecristo box is bright yellow. Each truly stands out, looking quite unlike traditional Cuban cigar packaging.

Don’t expect to see these soon; we often wait until the end of the year (and sometimes later) to have these cigars reach the market. If Cuba follows last year’s model, expect these cigars to be released in staggered fashion in different markets around the world.

In our blind taste tests over the years, Edición Limitada cigars have ranged from the superb to the lousy, with scores as low as 85 points and as high as 95.

Three New Trinidads, Hoyo Gran Reserva and More for 2019

The Hoyo de Monterrey Gran Reserva Cosecha 2013 measures 7 inches by 49 ring gauge.

Special Trinidad and San Cristobal de la Habana vitolas are also being added, along with an exclusive Cohiba for Habanos retailers.

Three sizes of Trinidad, a Hoyo de Monterrey Gran Reserva, an exclusive Cohiba for Habanos retailers and a unique size for Punch led the parade of new cigars announced by Habanos S.A. at the opening press conference for the 21st annual Festival de Habanos. Yesterday’s press conference in Havana also included details about three new Edición Limitadas, new Casa del Habano exclusives and special releases for the Trinidad and San Cristobal de la Habana brands, the two cigars highlighted at this year’s festival.

Trinidad is getting a special focus this year, the brand’s 50th anniversary. The three new sizes are Esmeralda, 5 3/4 inches by 53 ring gauge; Media Luna, 4 1/2 by 50; and the Topes, 5 by 56. The Trinidad Topes was a successful 2016 Edición Limitada that’s now being added to the brand’s regular-production lineup. All three sizes will be sold in 12-count boxes.

Trinidad Esmeralda
Trinidad Esmeralda

Hoyo de Monterrey is getting the first Gran Reserva in the brand’s history. The Gran Reserva Cosecha 2013, measuring 7 inches by 49 ring, builds off the brand’s most famous cigar, the Double Corona. The Gran Reserva program uses tobaccos that have been aged for five years. The cigar will be produced in 5,000 numbered boxes of 15 cigars each.

The Punch Short de Punch, 5 by 50, is the first 50 ring gauge cigar in the Punch brand. The cigar will be added to the regular brand sizes, and will be sold in wooden boxes of 10 cigars.

The 148 Casa del Habanos around the world will receive two cigars for exclusive sale in the Habanos S.A. network of shops. The Cohiba Novedosos, 6 by 50, will be shipped in uniquely styled boxes of 25, and the San Cristobal de la Habana 20 Aniversario, 6 1/3 by 52, will be sold in 20-count boxes shaped like an antique trunk.

Cohiba Novedosos
The Cohiba Novedosos, which measures 6 inches by 50 ring, will be shipped in uniquely styled boxes of 25

Another 2019 special release will be for the Habanos Collection series and is dubbed Trinidad Colección de Habanos Casilda. The 7 1/4 inch by 53 ring cigar comes in a wooden book with the Trindad brand logo on the cover and 24 cigars.

The Edición Limitadas for 2019 are the Montecristo Supremos, Ramon Allones Allones No. 2 and the Quai d’Orsay Senadores.

Two other special products were also announced. The Trinidad 50th Anniversary humidor comes with 50 cigars, dubbed the 50 Aniversario. It is a pyramid-shaped cigar measuring 6 inches by 59 ring with a band on the cigar’s foot. One hundred humidors are being produced by Italian design company DeART, with two stacks of semi-circle shaped trays that slide open sideways.

The other special release is the San Cristobal de la Habana 1519, a cigar manufactured to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Havana as well as the 20th anniversary of the brand’s launch. The cigar is a 6 1/4 inches by 57 ring. The 500 humidors will be shipped with 100 cigars.

In addition to the new cigar launches, Ernesto González Rodríguez, the director of marketing for Habanos S.A., revealed that the company’s revenues increased by 7 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. Total revenues were $537 million.

He said that around the world Habanos now has 148 Casas del Habanos, which are shops that exclusively sell Habanos S.A. products, and more than 1,000 Habanos Specialists and 385 Habanos Lounges, as well as 16 Cohiba Atmospheres, an ultra-luxurious concept focusing on the Cohiba brand and Habanos’ cigars.

 

 

 

Launching of Saint Luis Rey in Cyprus

Last 30th of January 2019, Phoenicia TAA Cyprus Ltd, the Exclusive Distributor of Habanos, S.A. for Middle East hosted in the Launching of Saint Luis Rey Herfing.

The event took place in Limassol – Cyprus, with more than 170 guests at the elegant atmosphere of Columbia Steak House, in the presence of His Excellency the Ambassador of Cuba in Cyprus, the Co-President of Habanos, S.A., Mr. Luis Sánchez Harguindey Pardo de Vera, the Members of the Board of Phoenicia Cyprus, other high-government officials and a crowd of Cypriot Habanos  aficionados.

The venue was dressed in the spirit and colors of the brand and guests enjoyed a welcoming cocktail at 7Seas, accompanied by Cuban live-band music. A five-course gourmet dinner then followed, with the aroma of Saint Luis Rey Herfing and sounds of a live Jazz-band, in the songs and soul of the late Frank Sinatra who adored Saint Luis Rey cigars.

For the launching, videos were made as well as a hologram display was used to launch a cigar, surprising the attendees.

Two cigar boxes were auctioned during the event, a 1999 Saint Luis Rey Lonsdales and the first Saint Luis Rey Herfing (Box No. 001), of which proceedings were donated to the Makario Children’s Hospital.

Guests also received a complimentary arranged gift bag on their way home at the end of the night, along with two 20-year-old vintage Saint Luis Rey cigars.

The event slogan, “Keep Herfing”, was ingrained in the minds of guests who gathered together to enjoy an exceptional cigar.

Arturo Fuente Hemingway Work of Art

Cameroon tobacco may not be the trendiest wrapper in the cigar world. And little perfectos aren’t the trendiest sizes in the market either. But none of this seems to bother Carlos Fuente Jr., owner of Arturo Fuente Cigars. Year after year, he unapologetically creates perfecto after perfecto in his Hemingway series and unabashedly wraps them in Cameroon—sweet, spicy, tasty Cameroon. While the perfectos in the Hemingway series range in size, we had particular affection for the Work of Art, a charming little smoke with considerable curves and tapers. It’s one of the smaller models in the line (though not the smallest) but it’s very big on flavor.

Perfectos like this one are difficult to make, and in the 1980s they were few and far between. After coming across some old perfecto-shaped cigar molds, Fuente was intrigued and decided to start producing these shapely cigars. The first Hemingways came to market in 1983.

The Work of Art was a later addition to the line, and like all perfectos its combustion can be a bit slow in the beginning, as it takes a little while to fully light the skinny foot. But once the burn gets going past the bulbous taper, it really loads the palate with nutty, toasty smoke before blossoming with baking spices, citrus notes and the sweet-and-spicy properties that Cameroon wrapper is known for.

Dimensions: 4 7/8″ by 60 ring gauge

Filler: Dominican Republic

Binder: Dom. Rep.

Wrapper: Cameroon

50 Factories in the U.S.A. that still make Cigars

A roller inside the J.C. Newman cigar factory, located in Tampa’s historic Ybor City.

In 1895—when steel magnates, financiers and railroad tycoons ruled America’s Gilded Age—there were around 42,000 cigar factories in the United States, with 300 in Cleveland alone. Even far-flung cities like Davenport, Iowa had a thriving cigar industry. At the time, there were so many people rolling cigars in this country that cigarmakers had their own union.

Today, it’s quite rare to see a cigar factory in the U.S. And if you live in a flyover state, you probably won’t find any at all. Regardless of this sad fact, we managed to find 50.

After some research, we put together a list of 50 places in the U.S. that are still sourcing tobacco and rolling their own smokes by hand, day in and day out. Some are very small, modest operations with only one or two rollers making a house brand for locals. Others are famous, places like J.C. Newman, El Rey de Los Habanos, Aganorsa Leaf and El Titan de Bronze, responsible for producing nationally distributed brands. A number of the locations on this list even produce handmade cigars that are highly rated by this magazine.

As you might expect, the largest concentration of cigar factories today is in Florida, namely Tampa and Miami—areas where Cuban cigar rollers have been expatriating since Castro’s Revolution.

While 50 U.S. cigar factories is a far cry from 42,000, small operations like these still play a valuable part in keeping cigar culture alive. Should you find yourself in the vicinity of one of these factories, we encourage you to stop in, try a smoke and enjoy a piece of modern-day Americana.

Arizona

Willy Cigars

California

Cuban Cigar Factory (one roller), San Diego

Gran Havana Cigar Factory (two rollers), San Diego

Colorado

Casa De Palma Cigar Co.

Connecticut

Cigar Factory Outlet (one roller, two days a week), South Norwalk

Connecticut Cigar Co. (one roller), Stanford

Making cigars often means you get to smoke while you work. Inside the Aganorsa Leaf Miami cigar factory (formerly Tabacalera Tropical), a roller takes a puff of one of her handmade smokes.

Florida

Moore & BodeCoral Gables

Cigar Factory Social Club (one roller), Destin

Don Pablo CigarsFort Myers

Cuban Leaf Cigar FactoryKey West

The Original Key West Cigar Factory, Key West

Rodriguez Cigar Factory, Key West

Aganorsa Leaf Miami (formerly Tabacalera Tropical), Miami

Cuban Crafters, Miami

Cuba Tobacco Cigar Co., Miami

El Rey de Los Habanos, Miami

El Titan de Bronze is a boutique cigar factory and shop located in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood.

 

El Titan de Bronze, Miami

Guantanamera Cigars, Miami

Havana Classic Cigar, Miami

Little Havana Cigar Factory, Miami

Cigar Factory Social Club (one roller), Pensacola

J.C. Newman, Tampa

JDV Hand Rolled Cigars, Tampa

La Faraona, Tampa

Long Ash Cigars, Tampa

Nicahabana Cigars, Tampa

Tabanero Cigars, Tampa

Ybor Cigar Plus, Tampa

Most of the cigars made in Tampa’s J.C. Newman cigar factory are made on antique cigar machines, but some are rolled by hand.

Kentucky

Kentucky Gentleman Cigar Co.

Illinois

Indio Cigar Factory (one roller)

Lousiana

Cigar Factory New Orleans

Massachusetts

Boston Cigar Factory (no retail space, but sell their own brands online and do events)

Nevada

En Fuego Cigars (one roller), Las Vegas

Ruiz Cigars, Sparks

New Jersey

Alvarez Cigars, Perth Amboy

Hoboken Cigars (one roller), Hoboken

Jimenez Tobacco, Newark

Rodriguez Puros Cigars, Jersey City

New York

D.P. Cigars, New York City (Manhattan)

La Casa Grande, New York City (Bronx)

Martinez Cigars, New York City (Manhattan)

Rosario Cigars LLC, New York City (Bronx)

Santiago Cigar FactoryRochester

North Carolina

Flor de America Cigar Factory

A cigar mold inside El Rey de Los Habanos, My Father Cigars’ Florida cigar factory.

Oklahoma

Ultimo Cigar Factory

Texas

Bobalu Cigar Co., Austin

El Cubano Cigar Factory, Houston

House of Cigars, Dallas

Washington

San Juan Cigar Co.

West Virginia

Stoney Creek Cigars