The idea for the cigar Cognac dates back to 1986, when Bernard Hine met Nicholas Freeman for the first time. Hine was the sixth generation of his family to make Hine Cognac, and was honorary chairman of the company. Freeman was the chairman of Hunters & Frankau, the importer of Cuban cigars to the United Kingdom. The two men became friends, and a decade later they joined forces to create the Hine Cigar Reserve XO Cognac, which debuted in 1996. (Freeman died in 2000, and Bernard Hine died in 2020).
Unlike the traditional cigar Cognac, which is made from a blend of 20 brandies, the 25th anniversary edition is a blend of the standard Cigar Reserve XO Cognac with 1986 Grande Champagne vintage Cognac.
“Although we don’t recommend any specific Havana to pair with it, personally I have found the new Romeo y Julieta Línea de Oro Hidalgos to be a fine match,” says Jimmy McGhee, head of communications for Hunters & Frankau.
The release is limited to 250 bottles, each with a suggested price of £240 (about $313). Each bottle is individually numbered by hand, and can be found in British cigar shops, hotels, bars and clubs.