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Something Special

James Suckling
From the Print Edition:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, July/Aug 03

(continued from page 1)

35th Anniversary Cohiba Gran Corona Humidor: A great-looking humidor that comes with 50 Montecristo "A"-sized cigars (9 1/4 by 47). Sells for about $2,265 in Havana.

Trinidad Plantation Box: This originally was a limited-edition box. It is numbered and carved out of cedar to resemble a tobacco plantation house. It is filled with 10 each of Robustos, A's and Fundadores. This year the box came in an unnumbered edition. It sells for about $595 in Havana shops.

Vegas Robaina 5th Anniversary Humidor: I have never seen one personally, but it's said to be a winner, with 100 cigars. The box consists of 20 of each of the following: Don Alejandros, Unicos, Famosos, Robustos and Corona Gordas. The humidor sells for $1,800. Only 500 were produced.

There's even bigger news on the horizon.

Seleccion Limitada 2003: This is the third installment of the highly successful limitada range, which offers reasonably priced, rich smokes with two- to three-year-old wrappers. Habanos aficionados should put this on their must-buy list.

The new releases in June will include (Havana retail prices in parentheses): Romeo y Julieta Hermosos No. 1, super hermoso, 6 1/2 inches long by 48 ring gauge ($123); Partagas Serie D No. 2, super robusto, 6 /18 by 50 ($139); Hoyo de Monterrey Piramides, torpedo, 6 1/8 by 52 ($130); Cohiba Prominentes, double corona, 7 1/2 by 49 ($418); and Montecristo C, corona gorda, 5 5/8 by 46 ($236).

Two new Trinidad vitolas: This is a fabulous brand made exclusively at the El Laguito factory. It came originally in a Lancero size, but it has long deserved other sizes. The Cubans are bringing out the Robusto "A," a 7 inch by 50 ring gauge rat-tailed smoke, as well as the small and elegant Coloniales, measuring 6 3/4 by 44.

Cuaba Salomones: This was first released in 1999 as part of a
limited-edition humidor of 47 smokes, but the large perfecto cigar will soon be available on a regular basis in cedar boxes of 10. This was one of my favorite smokes of recent. I score the limited-edition Cuaba Salomones II 97 points.

Cabinet Selection of Robustos: A cabinet of 25 cigars, this tasters' assortment will consist of robustos from the following brands: Cohiba, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, Partagas and Hoyo de Monterrey. There's talk of assortments focusing on other vitolas for later in the year.

The mere mention of any of these cigars gets Cuban cigar aficionados salivating. I posted a question entitled "Too much of a good thing?" on the Cuban cigar forum of Cigar Aficionado Online regarding the limitada range. The inquiry attracted close to 1,000 views in less than 24 hours. About 50 people posted responses and they were overwhelmingly positive.

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