The Legend Lives

I smoked one of the greatest cigars ever produced on earth last night: the Dunhill Cabinetta. The robusto was produced in 1989 and was one of the last Dunhills to be made on the island before the Cubans dumped the British company and Davidoff.

I have written about this before, but the Cubans wanted to control all their trademarks, or brands; so they told Dunhilll and Davidoff that they would no longer make their smokes. Davidoff came up with some story about how the cigars were no longer good quality, so they decided to move the production to the Dominican Republic. Not true. Dunhill just kept its mouth shut in a polite British manner.

I think that the Dunhill Cabinettas, which came in a cedar cabinet box of 25 smokes with a yellow ribbon around the bundle and unique cream and brick red bands, were made at the Partagas factory. But I was never able to confirm this. I remember years ago being at the factory and David Tang, Hong Kong promoter and part owner of Pacific Cigars, the Far East distributor of Habanos, was trying to elbow a few more boxes from the head of Partagas. I think he succeeded. "It¹s my favorite cigar," he said smugly at the time to the manager. "So I need as many boxes as possible."

I think David ran out a long time ago and now he bums Cabinettas off of one of the greatest cigar collectors of all time, Peter Lam of Hong Kong. He and David do some business together like high-end restaurants in Hong Kong and London. Peter is one of Hong Kong's top businessmen. He is also one of China's most important film producers. Plus, he's a good friend.

Anyway, Peter laid on the Cabinetta over the weekend after an amazing dinner that included a 100-point Jaboulet La Chapelle and 99-point Le Pin. Who says fabulous Chinese food doesn't go with great wines? So goooood.

And the cigar? The perfect smoke as always. The mother of Robustos. It was almost better than great sex. It never changed. It was always rich with tobacco, cappuccino, nuts and dried flowers. Its texture was soft and velvety, like cashmere. I wrote down at the time (I may have been slightly borracho!) that it was like smoking a Padrón 1964 Anniversary, a Fuente Fuente OpusX and a La Flor Dominicana Chisel all in the same smoke, plus the aroma and the finesse of a great Cuban like a Cohiba Robusto. You get the idea. 100 points non-blind. No less.

Christian Aliperti September 28, 2009 2:16pm ET
Sounds like a great smoke James and one I have never had the pleasure but dying to try. You have to capitalize ALMOST better than great sex for your sake anyway. Still on the hunt for this one.
Woody Hughes September 30, 2009 12:03pm ET
@ Christian: Good luck finding a collector who will let go of these... unless you have a lot of cash.
Steve Cohen Canada September 30, 2009 4:31pm ET
Great blog post James. You should link your Twitter post on the Dunhill Cabinettas to this blog article.

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