In addition, many in the Cuban cigar business continue to speak about how the old El Rey del Mundo factory will be converted to a specialties factory, where all Cuba's limited-edition humidors will be produced. These special releases include the 200 H. Upmann Special Series replica of an ancient humidor that holds 50 Tacos Imperiales cigars that measure 6 5/8 inches long with a ring gauge of 49. There's also the 500 Trinidad Habanos Collection Humidor, which resembles a book, and has 20 Torre Iznagas measuring 6 11/16 inches by 52 ring. Both cigars should be out later this year.
|Colección Habanos (Trinidad).|
Miguel Barzaga, production deputy manager of H.Upmann factory told me: "You have to go forward and accept the new," he said. "You cannot stop and not let progress in! One needs to be up to date with the rest of the world. In the past, what was in fashion was the traditional way of doing things; nowadays, it doesn't work like that…you need to let new technology in the door."
He also said that it is important to have a clean and healthy environment for his workers, so they could focus on making the best possible cigars. And the new factories, like his, provide this. "There's improvement not just in the working conditions for the workers but also improvement in the production process," he added.
Habanos didn't say whether the specialty factory at El Rey del Mundo would make regional cigars, which have been a great success after a couple of years. The concept is that a special limited-production cigar (about 1,000 boxes or more) is made for particular markets on a one-time basis. For example, this year six cigars new regional cigars will launch. For the Asia-Pacific region, there will be a new Punch called the Super Robustos, measuring 6 1/8 by 50 ring, as well as a Ramón Allones Estupendos, a classic Churchill size at 7 inches by 47 ring. Germany will have the Por Larrañaga Lonsdale (6 1/2 by 42) as well as the Bolivar Colosales (6 1/8 by 50). For France, there's the Bolivar Libertador (6 1/2 by 54) and the Juan López Obús (5 1/2 by 52).
Last year's selection included the Ramón Allones Selección Suprema (5 3/5 by 46) and Punch Superfinos (4 3/8 by 42) for Italy, and the Ramón Allones Eminencia (5 3/5 by 44) and Punch Robusto (5 by 50) for Switzerland.
|Romeo y Julieta Short Churchills.|
|Cohiba Siglo II in Tubes.|
In recent years, culebras were made by machine with short filler, and then twisted together to give a snake-like impression. Habanos is now having them completely hand-made with long filler. Just remember to take the culebras apart and smoke one at a time. I once saw some fool light up an entire braid at one time. He almost burned his nose off!
|The new totally hand made Partagás Culebras.|
Click here to read about actor Jeremy Irons and last year's Habanos Festival.