There’s a pricey new Juan Lopez going on sale this week, a La Casa del Habano exclusive called the Juan Lopez Selección Especial. Referred to as Fortunas in Cuban factories, the large smoke is 6 3/4 inches long by 52 ring gauge, and debuted in a virtual tasting this weekend in the Benelux region of Europe, which consists of the nations of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. (A live event had been planned, but Covid forced it to be moved online.) The cigars will go on sale in those three countries on Friday, and the cigars will be rolled out to other Casas del Habano around the world in the future.
The new cigar is an expensive one, selling for 29 euros ($32.60) per cigar in Belgium. “This is the price of a Cohiba Siglo VI,” said Frédéric Dechamps, chief executive officer of Dominique London, a company that has 20 cigar shops, including the Casa del Habano in Knokke, Belgium.
Habanos describes it as a medium to full-bodied cigar. Dechamps has smoked one of the cigars, which he described as “very flowery in the beginning,” with a heaver flavor in the middle.
Juan Lopez is one of Cuba’s smaller brands, and one that’s fairly obscure. There are few sizes left in the lineup, but they tend to be quite good, particularly the Selección No. 2, which was one of Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 cigars of 2020.
The Selección Especial has been in the works for quite some time: Cigar Aficionado first reported on it in February 2020, when it was teased at the Habanos Festival. The smoke was created to celebrate both 150 years of the Juan López brand and the 30th anniversary of the Casa del Habano chain of cigar stores. As a Casa del Habano exclusive, the cigar comes adorned with a secondary band in gold and burgundy, depicting the Casa del Habano logo. It also comes in a special, commemorative, 25-count box that is enameled in a gleaming shade of white—a departure from the dress boxes and slide-lid wooden cabinets of the core line.