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U.S. Customs and Cuban Cigars

Our European editor discovers that America's borders are safe and secure against Cuban tobacco products.
From the Print Edition:
Tiger Woods, May/June 2008

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Montecristo Sublimes (54 ring x 6 1/2 inches): Espresso bean, roasted meat and earth under the tobacco. 92.

Partagas Serie D No. 5 (50 ring x 4 1/3 inches): This is essentially a Serie D No. 4 but short. However, it has a different flavor profile—more spicy. It's full and balanced. 91.

I also smoked the new H. Upmann Magnum 50 and Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especiale. These are both line extensions to the premium cigars in both brands. I gave the Upmann 92 points. The new Epi was very mild. 88 points.

A number of cigar merchants at the festival were also showing off prototypes of their regional editions for this year. These are cigars made for specific markets; they are usually produced for two years with a minimum of 600 boxes.

One of the best smokes of my trip was a Ramon Allones Phoenicios for Lebanon. It was loaded with coffee, spice and espresso bean character. 95 points, non-blind. Here is an official list of regional cigars for this year, according to Habanos S.A., the global marketing and distribution company for Cuban cigars:

Spain: Ramon Allones Grandes (49 ring x 7 inches)

Asia Pacific: Por Larranaga Belicosos Extra (52 x 5 1/2) and Bolivar Short Bolivar (50 x 4 3/8)

France: Ramon Allones Especial de Allones (52 x 5 1/2) and Bolivar Petite Libertador (50 x 4)

Lebanon: Ramon Allones Phoenicios (54 x 6 1/2)

United Arab Emirates: Punch Robusto (50 x 4 7/8)

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