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A World Cup Cuban Cigar From Phoenicia Trading

Dec 6, 2022 | By David Savona
A World Cup Cuban Cigar From Phoenicia Trading
Photos/Phoenicia Trading A.A.

A new Juan Lopez Regional Edition Cuban is poised for a release in less than two weeks, on the day of the final match of the 2022 World Cup. The Juan Lopez Hat Trick will make its debut at an event in Cyprus, home to Phoenicia Trading A.A., one of the world’s most prominent distributors of Cuban cigars. The cigar will then go on sale in Qatar, the host nation for the World Cup, starting in duty-free shops.

The secondary band reads “Exclusivo Qatar” in honor of the host country for the World Cup. It measures 5 1/2 inches long by 54 ring gauge (a size known as a Duke), more commonly found on the Partagas Serie E No. 2. Production will be limited to 10,000 boxes, each of them containing 10 cigars, and they will sell for $45 each, or $450 per box.

“The cigar’s name was inspired, of course, by the known sports achievement of scoring three times in a single match,” says Walid Saleh, chief executive officer of Phoenicia.

Juan Lopez Regional Edition Cuban

Hat tricks in soccer are rare feats, rarer still in World Cup matches, which take place every four years. There have been 52 in World Cup history. Cristiano Ronaldo (2018) was the oldest player to do the feat, at age 33 years, 130 days, while Pelé scored his hat trick in 1958 at the age of 17, the youngest player ever to score a hat trick in the Cup. Geoff Hurst is the only player ever to do it in a World Cup final, which happened in 1966 when he led England to victory over West Germany.

There have been no hat tricks in this World Cup—so far. As this story was being written, the round of 16 was yet to be concluded; Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, England, France, and the Netherlands had already secured spots in the quarterfinals.  

The launch party in Cyprus was not the original plan—it was supposed to happen in Qatar. But, just as Qatar famously banned beer sales at the 11th hour prior to the World Cup, things shifted on Phoenicia before this launch. Tobacco importation laws shifted, says Saleh, forcing his company to pivot.

“Due to the fact that we are not able to import the product to Qatar’s local market, now we decided to do the launching in Cyprus while watching the final because it’s the head office of the company.”

Regional Editions bearing the Juan Lopez name have done well in Cigar Aficionado and Cigar Insider taste tests; we have reviewed four of them over the years, with scores as high as 94 points and no lower than 89 points.

Read Next: A Special Sancho Panza For Greece And Cyprus

Phoenicia Trading A.A.

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