Small Batch Smokes
Premium cigar companies are finding big success with small-scale releases
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The Regional Edition program officially began in 2005 with only two countries, Switzerland and Italy, participating. By 2007, national participation quadrupled and 2012 saw small batches of regional-edition cigars made for countries such as Canada, Switzerland, China and Lebanon.
But where do these limited editions leave the consumer? When faced with the choice between a pricy special smoke, or a tried-and-true brand, it isn't always easy for smokers to open their wallets and take the leap of faith.
"My feelings are mixed," says Nicolas Fauteux, an enthusiast from Quebec who smokes mostly Cuban cigars. "On one hand, it feels like a marketing ploy and I hate being taken for a fool. On the other hand, it does add a lot of variety. All in all, it's hit or miss. Many of Cuba's Edición Limitadas fall short of expectations. But the Cohiba Edición Limitada from 2003 is probably the best cigar I've ever smoked."
When asked if the increased price tag is justified, Fauteux responds: "Only when I like them. It's a gamble, but I accept that, and the pleasure of the chase to find and obtain them is worth the price of admission for me."
This mentality also applies to the non-Cuban cigar market.
"We all want what we can't have," Huber adds of the limited-edition phenomenon. "The other side of that coin, however, is that the expectations are much higher. When you do a limited release, you set the bar higher for yourself to produce something that is above and beyond."
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