While the rest of the world had to wait, Spain was the first country to receive the Rafael Gonzalez Perla back in late 2011, but now, the little smoke has found its way to other countries throughout Europe.
Before the Perla was released, the Rafael Gonzalez brand had not received a new size in decades, but thanks to Spain’s initiative, this diminutive size came to fruition, making the 4 inch by 40 ring cigar the third size in the small brand.
Though Spaniards have been puffing on the Perla for over a year, countries like Italy and the United Kingdom can now enjoy the diminutive smoke as well—and for a relative bargain. In Spain the Perla only retails for 2.30 Euros (about $3.00). If you prefer to smoke in Rome, it’s still a bargain at 3.20 Euros (about $4.37). In the U.K., however, the small smoke will set you back a bit more, as it retails for £7.50 (about $11.78).
“They are in stock,” said Ajay Patel, proprietor of England’s only La Casa Del Habano franchise. “It’s good for that short smoke, as it is getting harder and harder to smoke cigars indoors everywhere in the world.”
According to the U.K.’s Habanos distributor Hunters & Frankau, the Rafael Gonzalez Perla started shipping to appointed merchants on Monday.
Wondering if it’s worth it? Consider this: In a blind tasting, the Rafael Gonzalez Perla scored 91 points in Cigar Aficionado and was also named the only Best Bargain Cigar from Cuba for 2012. Though it’s the same size as other popular Perlas like the Montecristo No. 5 and Cohiba Siglo I, it’s a fraction of the cost.