Don't get too excited if you've heard that the Montecristo 80 Aniversario cigar has launched into global markets. Although the new Montecristo made an appearance at Portugal's Habanos Day—a party thrown on November 28, 2015 by the Casa del Habano in Lisbon in conjunction with Habanos S.A., Cuba's cigar company—it's still nowhere to be found on the worldwide retail market.
No other retailers in the world have reported receiving any of these cigars. Ajay Patel, who owns a Casa del Habano in London, says not only has he not received any, but has been told that he may not receive any until "sometime in the first quarter of 2016."
Christoph Wolters, a Casa del Habano operator in Hamburg, Germany, says he hasn't seen any of the Montecristo 80th cigars either. And, Max Gutmann, who owns the distributorship for Cuban cigars in Mexico, says he wishes he had seen them, but nothing has reached his warehouses.
The Montecristo 80 Aniversario was a special release in 2015 as part of the Festival del Habano celebration for the brand's 80th anniversary. The cigar is a unique size to the Montecristo line, measuring 6 1/2 inches long by 55 ring (generically referred to as an Aniversario in Cuban cigar factories). It is adorned with a special, heavily gilded band created exclusively for this release. Cigar Aficionado smoked one that had been passed out at the festival's gala dinner, and it was a beautifully made, full-bodied smoke, even though it was still quite young. Our initial impression was that it would age very well.
According to Habanos S.A., production for the Montecristo 80 was limited to 30,000 boxes of 20, or 600,000 cigars.
This article first appeared in the January 5, 2016 issue of Cigar Insider.