For the first time in the brand's history, the Ashton-owned La Aroma de Cuba now has a limited-edition cigar. Dubbed the Noblesse, the new release comes in one size and was created to commemorate the success of the La Aroma de Cuba line since its production was moved from Honduras to Nicaragua.
Made by My Father Cigars S.A., the Noblesse measures 6 1/2 inches by 52 ring and features an Ecuadoran Habano wrapper that Ashton categorizes as rosado. The rest of the cigar consists of Nicaraguan tobacco all grown on farms owned by the Garcia family, proprietors of the My Father Cigars factory.
"We wanted to do something special for the brand," said Ashton vice president Sathya Levin. "La Aroma de Cuba has been growing tremendously since we turned the operation over to the Garcias. We've never done a limited edition for La Aroma before."
Not only is this the first limited edition for the brand, but it's also the most expensive. At $16 each, the Noblesse carries the highest retail price of any La Aroma de Cuba that Ashton has ever released.
If the name sounds familiar, it's because the Noblesse was originally supposed to be a cigar made exclusively for the Ashton Cigar Bar in Philadelphia last year. Plans changed, however, and the Noblesse never made it to the lounge.
"The packaging ended up being so stunning and the cigar so good that we knew we had to release it to the entire market," Levin said. "Rather than being a small-batch cigar available only at Ashton Cigar Bar, La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse is a limited edition being released to the world."
The Noblesse also marks the fifth iteration of the brand. When it debuted in 2003, La Aroma de Cuba was marketed as a premium value cigar and produced in Honduras by Altadis's Flor de Copan factory. Ashton temporarily stopped production of the line and subsequently turned it over to the Garcias in 2009. The cigar was reblended and the line was reintroduced, going from 10 sizes to five. La Aroma de Cuba remained a value brand, and as the cigar started to regain popularity, Ashton slowly added sizes, beefing up the portfolio, which is now up to 11 regular-production vitolas. Three line extensions now exist: La Aroma de Cuba Edicion Especial, Mi Amor and Mi Amor Reserva.
Only 3,000 boxes of 24 will be made. According to Levin, the entire production of the La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse is completed and aging in Nicaragua until the smokes are packaged and shipped in the fall, however, samples should be available at the upcoming IPCPR trade show.