When the trade show doors open at 10 a.m. in Las Vegas, General Cigar will be showcasing several new cigars, including one that’s likely to be the most expensive new smoke in the room.
Cohiba Spectre is a limited-edition Cohiba with a suggested retail price of $90 per cigar, the most expensive Cohiba General has ever made. The smoke is made with eight types of tobacco from five countries, and many of the leaves are aged in barrels—some for an extremely long time.
The wrapper leaf is a reddish Ecuadoran Sumatra culled from high atop the plant, and the core of the filler blend is Dominican Piloto Cubano aged in tercios. General, which has considerable stocks of aged tobacco, says those Piloto Cubano leaves are from the 1995 crop, which would make them 23 years old. Nicaraguan tobacco grown in Estelí and aged in Spanish Sherry barrels along with a trio of Honduran leaves from various regions (San Augustin, Jamastran and La Entrada) complete the filler blend.
The cigars are considerably limited. Cohiba Spectre comes in one size measuring 7 1/4 inches long by 54 ring gauge and are packed in stately silver-and-red circular boxes, each holding 10 cigars. All of the cigars are made in the Dominican Republic by one team, cigar roller Xirolma Céspedes and buncher Ruben Dario Perez, who have been making cigars for decades. The entire production run is 180 boxes, or 1,800 cigars. Boxes retail for $900 and each cigar sells for $90.
The average price of a Dominican cigar rated by Cigar Aficionado in 2017 was $10.85. Few handmade, premium cigars retail for more than $30, let alone $90. Some especially pricey smokes include the Padrón 50th Anniversary Limited Edition (suggested retail price, $40) and the Micallef Reserva Limitada Privada, which sells for $42.
The Cohiba Spectre rivals—and in some cases exceeds—the price of most Cuban cigars, even in high-cost markets. In Canada, which has some of the highest cigar prices in the world, a Cuban Cohiba Behike BHK 52 sells for about $80, while the largest size in the trio, the BHK 56, retails for about $110.
As pricey as these Cohiba Spectres are, they don’t rival the most expensive non-flavored cigar to ever hit the market. Davidoff came out with a $500 Dominican cigar in 2014 called Davidoff Oro Blanco.