The rest of Cuba’s 2017 Edición Limitada cigars are finally making it to global markets, albeit slowly. Although the Cohiba Talismán Edición Limitada 2017 was released late last year, the other two cigars—the Punch Regios de Punch (4 3/4 inches by 48 ring gauge) and the Partagás Serie No. 1 (5 1/2 by 52)—didn’t start shipping until 2018. Now, the two smokes are starting to appear in different countries around the world, but distribution of these cigars has been sporadic.
The United Kingdom, for example, has received the Punch Regios de Punch, but not the Partagás Serie No. 1. Cuban cigars in the U.K. are distributed by Hunters & Frankau, which also supplies cigars to Ireland, Gibralter and the Channel Islands.
But Phoenicia Trading has received both cigars and, according to the company, all have been delivered to Phoenicia’s vast network of retail markets. Phoenicia Trading’s territory is one of the largest in the world. In addition to Beirut’s duty free channels, it also provides Cuban cigars to the Middle East, parts of Europe and most of continental Africa, supplying product for more than 40 countries.
Germany has received shipments of both cigars as well, but not in significant amounts, so the country has yet to see a full commercial launch. According to Habanos S.A., Germany ranks as the fourth largest market for Cuban cigars in the world. The country’s Cubans are imported and distributed by 5th Avenue Products Trading GmbH, which also sells cigars to Austria and Poland. A company representative told Cigar Aficionado that 5th Avenue is still not sure when the official large-scale launch will be.
While Mexico might not be as large a market as Germany or the U.K., it received the Partagás, but not the Punch. Cuban cigars are imported into Mexico via Importadora y Exportadora de Puros y Tabacos S.A. de C.V, or more simply IEPT.
Meanwhile the smaller market of Chilé doesn’t have either one. The South American country received its allotment of the Cohiba Talismán Edición Limitada but still awaits the arrival of the Punch and the Partagás.
The Edición Limitada program started in 2000. Each year, Habanos S.A. releases cigars in sizes that do not appear in the normal cigar portfolio. They feature darker-than-normal, upper priming wrappers.
This article first appeared in the April 3, 2018 edition of Cigar Insider.