The newest regional-edition cigar from Cuba has touched down in Havana, and the shops that received it are reporting that sales have been brisk.
The El Rey del Mundo Infantes Regional Edition, a robusto-sized cigar made specifically for sale in Cuba's cigar shops, began appearing last week in Havana in some Casa del Habano stores.
"We sold out already," said a representative of the La Casa del Habano at the Partagás Cigar Factory this morning. More cigars are expected to arrive.
As with other standard Cuban robustos (such as the Cohiba Robusto, Partagás Serie D No. 4 or Bolivar Royal Corona) the El Rey del Mundo Infante measures 4 7/8 inches by 50 ring gauge. Packed in boxes of 10, Infantes retail for 59 Cuban convertible pesos (CUCs) per box, or 5.90 CUC per cigar. (While the Cuban government pegs the CUC at an equal rate to the U.S. dollar, travelers exchanging dollars for pesos are charged a 10 percent transaction fee in Cuba, effectively raising the price of these cigars to $6.50, or $65 a box.)
The Spanish word infante translates directly to "infant" in English, but the word has greater meaning. It is used to describe a male descendant of a king who is not in line to ascend to the throne, so an infante is a younger brother of a prince.
This is only the second regional-edition cigar made for the Cuban market. The first, the La Gloria Cubana Delicioso, went on sale in Havana in 2009. That cigar, a Hermoso No. 4 shape, came packed in white ceramic jars of 25 with tiny humidification units in the lids.
British retailer Ajay Patel said that he was eager to try the Infante. "El Rey Regionals have been good so far," he said. Cigar Aficionado and Cigar Insider have rated three El Rey del Mundo regional-edition cigars, and each has performed well. The El Rey del Mundo Elegantes, which was made for the Swiss market, scored 91 points in the February 2011 Cigar Aficionado. The El Rey del Mundo Petit Compañias, a regional edition made for France, scored 91 points in the November 3, 2009 Cigar Insider. The Choix de L'Epoque, an El Rey del Mundo regional edition for the United Kingdom, scored 89 points in the November 3, 2009 Cigar Insider.
Regional-edition cigars have proved immensely popular for Cuba since their debut in 2005. In an interview with Cigar Aficionado published in 2012, Habanos S.A. officials said they received more requests for regional editions from their worldwide network of distributors and importers than they could possibly handle.
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