Cigar Aficionado

Debut Cigars

The holidays typically bring great gift ideas for cigar aficionados in the form of new smokes, some with special packaging. Here is a collection of this year's best. Attractive airtight Amatista jars are a traditional form of packaging that Altadis U.S.A. brought back for its H. Upmann Vintage Cameroon cigars. A jar of 25 retails for $100 to $150—the same price range as the boxed Upmanns. Humidor maker Prometheus has joined the Fuente cigar family to create God of Fire, a tall humidor that comes with two types of Churchills, one blended by Carlos Fuente Sr., the other by his son, Carlos Jr. The glass door is etched with an image of Prometheus, who in Greek mythology defied the gods and brought fire to mankind. The $6,000 humidors come with 100 cigars.

Every year, La Gloria Cubana puts special cigars into a humidor. This year's offering contains the company's first Serie R figurados. The burled-wood humidors have glass tops, include 20 cigars and retail for $335. Padrón Cigars is celebrating its 40th anniversary in style with the release of a torpedo in its Serie 1926 line ($40 each). The limited-edition smoke comes in hand-carved, hand-painted boxes depicting one of Padrón's lush tobacco fields.

The Savinelli Fuerte Torpedo is one of six sizes in the newest (and strongest) Savinelli line. It is made in Nicaragua and retails for $5. The Puros Indios Gordo from Honduras is one of the fattest cigars ever made by the company. The $6 cigar is 6 inches long by 60 ring. Rocky Patel of Indian Tabac is now using his name on cigars, and his Royale Robusto has a golden Nicaraguan wrapper and sells for $8.50. Tabacos Puros de Nicaragua has come out with a toned-down version of its powerful Antaños, called Joya de Nicaragua Celebración, which is blended by Manuel Quesada, of Fonseca fame. The Torpedo is $5.

Three interesting tubos have come to market recently. The Cohiba Siglo VI tubo might be the most attractive tube ever created, resplendent in the yellow, black, white and gold of the new Cohiba band. It sells for £27.60 (about $50) each in London. The equally colorful Aroma de Cuba Marquis from Ashton is a medium-bodied Honduran cigar that sells for $5. The popular Aurora Preferido line now has a Connecticut-shade version called Sapphire, which comes in a stunning blue tube. It sells for $12.88.

C.A.O.'s Italia contains Italian filler tobacco. The Piazza (6 by 60 ring) is $7.45. Maria Guerrero, a rich, balanced line of cigars from northern Honduras, comes in five sizes. The corona (5 1/2 by 44) sells for $5. General Cigar has released a new brand, called Diablo, aimed at spice fans. The pyramid, called Gran Fuego, retails for $6.

The Davidoff Limited-Edition Especiales Robusto Real ($14.50) is made with seven tobacco leaves. The full-bodied Litto Gomez Diez Cubano ($9), made with Dominican wrapper, is one of four sizes made to celebrate Gomez's 10th anniversary.