The Cuban cigar industry typically unveils its trio of Edición Limitada cigars at the annual Habanos Festival. This year, however, it only released one, and with little information. We spoke with executives from Habanos S.A. to get details about the cigars, which we estimate will reach retail shops around the world beginning in late September.
Once again there will be three Edición Limitadas for 2012: the Partagás Serie C No. 3 EL, H. Upmann Robusto EL and Montecristo 520 EL. All three sizes are parejos, or straight-sided cigars, and each is rather thick, showing the trend for fatter cigars has spread out of the non-Cuban cigar world and into Cuba proper.
The H. Upmann is a standard Cuban robusto, measuring 4 7/8 inches long by 50 ring gauge. The Partagás is a reincarnation of an old size known as the C No. 3. It measures 5 1/2 inches long by 48 ring gauge. The Montecristo 520—named for the 520th anniversary of the discovery of tobacco in Cuba—is a vitola called Maravillas No. 3. It has a 55 ring gauge (the only straight-sided cigar in the current Cuban portfolio with a 55 ring, save for the Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill) and measures 6 1/8 inches long. We smoked a sample of the cigar during the Wednesday night dinner, and found it big and robust, and exceptionally bold, but young. It’s a cigar that should benefit from aging.
Cuba has put quite a bit of emphasis on fat versions of the Montecristo brand for recent Edición Limitadas—in 2008 it released the 54 ring gauge Montecristo Sublimes EL, and in 2010 there was the 52 ring Montecristo Grand Edmundo EL.
Expect the cigars to be on the market later in 2012. You’ll read the first blind tastings on the cigars in Cigar Insider.
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