Cigar Aficionado

Dunhill’s Next Crop Of Aged Reservas

A new crop of Dunhill Aged Reservas is nearly ready for sale. The Dunhill Aged Reserva Especial 2006, made for Dunhill by General Cigar Co., is a handmade cigar featuring a filler blend of 2006 Dominican tobacco.

Vintage dating in the premium cigar world is far less common than in the world of fine wines. Most handmade cigars—including this Dunhill—are made from a blend of tobaccos from various years, unlike most wines which are the result of one year's harvest. The vintage dating on this new Dunhill is based around the primary component of filler tobacco, 2006 Dominican tobacco grown from Piloto Cubano seed.

Last year, Dunhill came out with the 2003 edition of the cigar. For this year's version, the folks at Dunhill used a slightly younger crop of filler tobacco and added a touch of Brazilian Mata Fina to spice up the blend.

"This year, we didn't want to do the same thing," said Yves Politi, the head of Dunhill cigars, a brand owned by British American Tobacco International Ltd. "We found the 2006 Piloto Cubano vintage is the second best after 2003. Piloto Cubano is the main component in the blend."

The binder on the cigar is Dominican, the wrapper Connecticut shade grown in the Connecticut River Valley in the United States. Politi called the blend "mild to medium" in body, with a slighter stronger flavor than the 2003.

As with the 2003 version, the smoke comes in one size, Robusto Grande, which measures 5 1/2 inches long by 54 ring gauge. "We tried different sizes, different shapes and we tried box-pressed," said Politi, "but everybody thought this was the best size."

It's not just the tobacco inside the cigar that is aged. Politi said the rolled cigars are left to age for a full year before they go on sale.

As with the 2003 version, the Dunhill Aged Reserva Especial 2006 is a limited-production smoke. General made 40,000 of these cigars (4,000 boxes, each containing 10 cigars). Each box is numbered.

The cigars are expected to go on sale later this month.