One of the most exciting pieces of news from Cuba every year is the list of Edición Limitadas. Since 2005 there have been three per year (before that, there was as many as five) and our blind tastings in Cigar Aficionado and Cigar Insider have shown a general increase in the quality level of these cigars. In short, they’re smoking quite well lately, so let’s hope that trend continues.
I saw the lineup of 2013 Limitadas on display last week at the Habanos Festival and smoked one of the cigars. Cuba’s 2013 EL trio is considerably fat, with no cigar slimmer than 52 ring gauge. Remember back in 2002 when the Cohiba Siglo VI made its debut? The cigar was considered truly fat for a Cuban, a 5 7/8-inch long, 52 ring cigar known as a cañonazo, or canon shot. The Romeo y Julieta Romeo de Luxe Edición Limitada 2013 measures 6 3/8 inches long by 52 ring gauge, the same ring gauge as the Siglo VI but half-an-inch longer. Pretty big cigar. The Romeo de Luxes will come in boxes of 10.
The Punch Serie d’Oro No. 2 Edición Limitada 2013 is a traditional Cuban belicoso, known as a campanas. Measuring 5 1/2 by 52, it’s identical in dimensions to a Bolivar Belicoso Fino. Habanos S.A., Cuba’s cigar exporting company, has used Punch plenty of times for its Regional Edition program, but this is the first Punch Edición Limitada. Samples of the cigar looked particularly dark and oily.
The Hoyo de Monterrey brand, which last appeared as an Edición Limitada in 2011, makes up the third EL, with the Hoyo de Monterrey Grand Epicure. The fattest and shortest of the trio, this cigar measures 5 1/8 inches long by 55 ring, and comes in boxes of 25. (Note: In one of our earlier blogs, this cigar was listed incorrectly, with a longer length. It’s 130 millimeters long, or 5 1/8 inches long.)
You’ve read how Gordon and I sampled the Hoyo EL after the Vegueros dinner. The cigar packed quite a punch (especially compared to the much milder, less complex Vegueros) and, while young, it showed complexity and promise. Let’s hope its as good as other recent ELs.
Every Edición Limitada from 2011 and 2012 scored 91 points or higher. Among the standouts was the Montecristo 520 EL 2012, which scored 93 points.
The best Edición Limitada ever, in our ratings, was the Cohiba 1966 EL 2011. It scored 94 points in our Cigar Insider newsletter and then rated a classic 95 in our Top 25 tasting, giving it No. 2 cigar of 2012.
The Cohiba EL is one of those rare cigars that smoked beautifully upon its preview tasting at the Habanos Festival in 2011, smoked brilliantly upon its release and still smokes great today, one of the reasons it was among the most difficult cigars to find in Cuba during our most recent trip. Let’s hope these new ELs will be in the same league as that Cohiba—or somewhere close.