Cigar Aficionado

New Limitada 2007s from Hong Kong

I picked up some of the new Edición Limitada 2007s last week while I was in Hong Kong celebrating a good friend’s 50th birthday – God forbid the day comes. I was in Central and I noticed the Davidoff shop in the corner of a big retail complex, so I popped in the door. Cool… Romeo y Julieta Esucdos (50 by 51/2 inches) and the Hoyo de Monterrey Regalos (46 by 4 1/3 inches). They were $35 each. Not cheap. They still didn’t have the third limitada: Trinidad Ingenious (42 by 6 ½ inches).

My friend plopped down the cash and they put a couple of each in paper sleeves. I put mine in my computer case for the long ride home to Italy on British Airways via London. By the way, if you fly through British airports at the moment, security is a bitch. They only let you have one carry on bag, which include brief cases! Thank God I knew about it on this trip so everything was in a small Tumi roller bag.

The beautiful smokes made the trip just fine and I put them in my humidor for a short rest. One thing that I noticed about the two cigars is that their wrappers were not very maduro. In fact, they didn’t look very Colorado, or dark chocolaty brown. They were darker than normal, however. I remember a few years back that Habanos said that Edición Limitadas were not necessarily dark wrappers but specially selected tobacco with addition aging.

I remember a conversation with Hilda Baró, who is the head of the Partagas factory back in 2002, and she said during a visit to her factory that some people have been confused with the Edición Limitada program because many have been calling them maduro cigars. “This is not true,” she said. “These cigars are not maduro. They are simply made with aged wrappers which have been coming from the upper parts of the plant, particularly the top ones or coronas.”

Because wrapper leafs come from the top of the plant, they are richer and slightly thicker, which gives them a slightly darker color brown after processing. In fact, for many years, numerous tobacco growers in the Vuelta Abajo didn’t even bother picking their coronas because they took too much time to cure and process. In any case, the cigar people I spoke to in Havana a few weeks ago about the limitadas called the limitada wrappers colorado oscuro or oscuro, but not maduro.

Anyway, the newest editions are outstanding. They not only show their respective character for their brands but they also seem less dominated by the aged limitada wrapper. I have found in the past that many limitadas have masses of a roasted tobacco character from their special wrappers – perhaps too much. These 2007s don’t. Here are my tasting notes.

Romeo y Julieta Escudos: This is very typical of an R&J with nutty, tobacco and coffee character throughout. It is full and spicy yet refined and focused. Reminds me of a Short Churchill in flavor. 92 points.

Hoyo de Monterrey Regalos: This is very flavorful for a Hoyo, which I consider more elegant and perfumed. Lots of depth in flavor with a hefty, almost decadent flavor from meat to coffee, to tobacco to smoked nuts. Yet it’s balanced and not aggressive. 93 points.

"Nice travalogue, James, and I really appreciate your attention to detail when describing the cigars you encounter. It had never occurred to me before, but from your article I assume that "corona" = "crown" from the top of the plant? This confuses me as my encounters with the term refers to the shape and length of the cigar. Also, coronas tend to be lighter in color, whether by accident or design, but you assert that the darker leaves are the coronas?" —January 21, 2008 13:00 PM
"Dear James, You are the best CA in the world! I absolutely agree with all of your ratings! You must have & deserve such a wonderful life of travel & ability to smoke the very finest cigars on the planet! Bravo & kudos! Just live a long & prosperous life, so I can continue to enjoy your wit & experience!" —August 25, 2007 11:50 AM