I have been smoking a number of Edición Limitadas since arriving in Cuba more than a week ago. I am a big fan of the cigars. I can’t say that I have collected, or bought, every edition, but I have most likely smoked them all one time or another in my career.
I think they are getting better and better each year. I remember when they first came out in 2000: a robusto Montecristo, a torpedo Partagas and a gran corona Hoyo de Monterrey. The quality was pretty bad. In fact, the Hoyo was so bad that most key retailers in Germany and Great Britain returned them. They were re-released the year after, if I remember correctly.
I recall trying to smoke a Partagas Pirámide with Desmond Sautter at his shop in the fall of 2000, and I had to light two or three of the smokes to find one that burned properly. They were not a great success.
The 2001 and 2002 editions were better, but I think that the darker colored wrapper dominated the blend too much. This most likely could have been because the blends the Cubans were using at the time were far too bland; so the darker colored wrapper had a bigger influence on the cigar in general.
I was never a great fan of the RyJ E.L. Robusto anyway. I remember sitting on a panel during the 2002 cigar festival in Havana and comparing the robusto to the Partagas Serie D No. 4. The half dozen, or so, panelists preferred the standard issue Robusto to the Edición Limitada. Looks like we were right all along.
Anyway, what’s being made now as EL es la bomba. They are the bomb. They are excellent quality. I love last year’s, Cuaba Pirmáde. If you get the chance, find one and smoke one. (I have one in my bedroom waiting to be smoked. But I have a slight cold, and I am not smoking. It’s freezing cold in Cuba at the moment. Cubans are all wearing ski jackets here! I almost froze at the ballet the other night.)
I am looking forward to trying this year’s release of Edición Limitada: the Bolivar Petit Belicoso, 52 ring gauge by 4 7/8 inches, H. Upmann Magnum 48, 48 by 4 1/3 inches, and a Romeo y Julieta Duke, 54 by 4 7/8 inches. The later is a new vitola for Cuba. They should be announced this April, and released on the market later.
It’s the same story with the tobacco being used.
“We used to just leave the corona on the plant during the harvest, and never use them” Hiroshi Robaina pointed out earlier this week. He runs his family’s famous wrapper plantation near the town of San Luis. Check out my blog from a couple of days ago.
“Now we are happy to leave them on the plant and then harvest them at the right time for dark, limited edition cigars,” he added.
I am happy too. And I bet you are if you have smoked any.
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