Cigar Aficionado

Hunters & Frankau Anniversary Smoke Coming In June

Hunters & Frankau Anniversary Smoke Coming In June

Hunters & Frankau, the official Cuban cigar importer for the United Kingdom, has set a release date for its 225th Anniversary cigar and revealed a special humidor that will also go on sale at the same time. The exclusive collection of cigars, rum and a custom wood humidor will be available for sale on June 22, the same day the Ramon Allones Hunters & Frankau Aniversario 225 cigars reach tobacconists.

The special humidor, which was custom built by DeArt SrL, an Italian company, will contain four special boxes of the 225th anniversary cigar, totaling 100 cigars, plus a bottle of specially blended Havana Club rum that will only be available with the humidor. The humidors are replicas of large cedar cabinets that were popular in the early 20th century. Two-hundred and twenty five humidors have been built; each will come with two Xikar humidifiers and 100 commemorative cedar spills. The recommended retail price is £4,275, or nearly $6,500 at current exchange rates.

Jemma Freeman, the managing director of Hunters & Frankau, was involved in the design of the special box, and her signature adorns each of the 225. She also participated in the final blend of the rum, which was created by Asbel Morales, Havana Club's master blender.

The cigars carry the Ramon Allones brand name in part because Hunters & Frankau once owned the brand's factory as well as the worldwide trademark rights. They retained ownership for 16 years, until they sold the brand in 1927 to the owner of the Partagás Factory, but held on to exclusive rights in the United Kingdom.

The final blend was chosen in 2012 and about 50,000 of these anniversary cigars were made at the time, all created by three torcedores at Havana's Partagás Factory. The cigars were then shipped back to the United Kindgom for two years of aging.

Cigar Aficionado smoked samples of the cigar in Havana in February, and it was a wonderfully balanced but full-bodied smoke that should age beautifully. The cigar has a dropped head, or cabeza tumbada, which is slightly rounded, and an open foot.

The cigars, which measure 5 1/2 inches by 50 ring gauge, will come in slide-lid box cabinets of 25. Ajay Patel, proprietor of the Casa del Habano in Teddington, said he plans to sell the Aniversario 225 for £27, or about $42, and that full boxes are being offered for a promotional pre-order price of £573, or about $891.

Freeman, who guided the entire project to fruition, has said that the anniversary cigar was designed to highlight the history of the company in the cigar business, especially its long association with the Cuban cigar industry.