Review Quai D’Orsay (new) Coronas Claro

Origin : CubaQuai d'Orsay
Format : coronas
Size : 142 mm x 42
Ring : 42
Hand-Made
Price :NA-

Quai d'Orsay was created in the 70s when the recently elected president at the time, Valery Giscard d'Estaing, asked his minister of economy to create a French cigar. As the former president explained "France is known for its perfume, champagne, foie gras but nothing in the world of tobacco".
La Seita, company that had the monopoly of tobacco in France, was commissioned to create a cigar for the French market. Quai d'Orsay became the third brand at that time on the market with a non Cuban name, after Davidoff and Dunhill.

The marca was present in minor markets only. Over the past decade France was able to enjoy beautiful Quai d'Orsay regional editions that became collector items.

This year, during the festival we were all pleased to attend the "relaunch" of a brand I particularly enjoy. Habanos S.A. decided to push Quai d'Orsay to a wider audience outside the French boundaries.
Not only a stunning rebranding with a new super cool band and packaging, the blend has been modified without forgetting the roots of the originally French marca. Therefore we were able to enjoy 3 vitolas, one of them is the already existing Coronas Claro and the other two are very trendy sizes, the No.50 and No.54.

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Review Sancho Panza Valientes – 2017 Swiss Regional Edition

Origin : CubaSancho Panza height="107" />
Format : Montesco
Size : 130 mm x 55
Ring : 55
Hand-Made
Price : CHF27-
More info about purchasing Sancho Panza cigars...

Sancho Panza appeared on a cigar in 1848. The brand takes it name from the novel of Miguel Cervantes: Don Quixote.

The marca develops intense medium strength cigars with a high ageing potential. If you have the chance to enjoy a Sancho Panza Sancho from the late 90s they are pure pleasure and they are still around on the market.

I was invited by Intertabak, the Swiss distributor for Habanos S.A., when in Cuba to pre taste the new Swiss Regional edition.

Since 2005, Habanos S.A. decided to develop a new marketing concept called the Regional Edition Series. Each market exclusive distributor has the right to work closely with Habanos to develop a cigar exclusively for their region market. This cigar must be coming from a local or multi-local brand (the 10 Major brands are therefore excluded from the concept such as Cohiba, Montecristo, Trinidad etc...) and its vitola must be a current production one but not used within the brand range. In this case the Montesco format is a very trendy format used for the Romeo Y Julieta Wide Churchill but not part of the official Sancho Panza selection. Nowadays, Habanos has set the minimum cigar order for this concept at 60 000 sticks (6000 numbered boxes of 10 cigars).

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H. Upmann Sir Winston Gran Reserva (Pre-Release)

H. Upmann Sir Winston Gran Reserva 2011

Origin : CubaH. Upmann
Format : Churchill / Julieta No. 2
Size : 178 mm (7) x 47
Ring : 47
Hand-Made
Price : N/A (prerelease)
More info about purchasing H. Upmann cigars...

H. Upmann is one of the oldest and most respected brands. Created in 1844, the marca is known for its soft to medium blend and delicate flavors.

I have always been a Sir Winston aficionado. Its creamy texture and soft development makes it a lovely long cigar for any time of the day. Therefore I was delighted when Habanos S.A. decided to make a Gran Reserva with one of my favorite vitola from an elegant flavored blend.

Habanos will be releasing 5,000 numbered boxes of 15 cigars.

The first night of the XIXe festival del Habanos was quite challenging. The rain was the last minute guest and didn’t allow the cigar to have the launch we were all expecting for. Luckily we still managed to receive some samples for us to enjoy.

As most of the pre-release it is important to note that the cigars are coming straight from the factory and didn’t have enough time for the leaves to blend between each other. However this is a Gran Reserva therefore the leaves have been aged for 5 years before being rolled. All leaves are coming from the 2011 crop.

Read the full review of H. Upmann Sir Winston Gran Reserva (Pre-Release)...

Punch 48 (Exclusivo Habanos Specialist & LCDH)

Punch 48

Origin : CubaPunch
Format : Grand Corona (Hermosos No. 3)
Size : 140 mm (5.5 in) x 48
Ring : 48
Release : 2016
Hand-Made
Price : 12 EUR each
More info about purchasing Punch cigars...

At first it was for me strange to see a special release for both Habanos Specialist and La Casa del Habanos. But what’s the difference between the two. La Casa is the official franchise brand of Habanos S.A. Being under this branding should theoretically allow you to have more privilege; such as access to special releases and better sourcing however there is a fee to have the right to use the name which is highly regulated.

A Habanos Specialist is a cigar shop that has a humidor with a majority of Habanos but can sell non-Cuban brands as well. However they are not directly affiliated with Habanos S.A. and don’t have the advantage La Casa can have… So if we follow the logic this cigar can be retailed only in this two kinds of shops. For the very first time we see a double band holding the two logos.

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Saint Luis Rey Marquez (Cuba Regional Edition)

Saint Luis Rey Marquez

Origin : Cuba
Saint Luis ReyFormat : Robusto Extra / Geniales
Size : 150 mm (5 7/8) x 54
Box code : SGA OCT 16
Hand-Made
Price : 15 CUC each in Cuba
More info about purchasing Saint Luis Rey cigars...

I was fortunate enough to smoke few of the Marquez already but never in Cuba. Just landed and I got welcomed with one of them. To be fully honest the first two I smoked were powerful and heavy. But as they say: “every cigars taste different in Cuba” and you will see.

I believe the choice of Saint Luis Rey is a great move from Habanos S.A. to revive the slowly dying brand that tends to disappear from our Shelves. 7500 numbered boxes of 10 in today’s very trendy vitola.

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H. Upmann Magnum 54

Origin : CubaH. Upmann
Factory name : Robusto Extra
Size : 120mm (4 3/4 inches) x 54
2016-2017 new current production
Hand-Made
Price : 29 pounds per cigar in UK
More info about purchasing H. Upmann cigars...

He did it again! Luca G. reviewed for us the very awaited new release of H. Upmann, the Magnum 54. If you have smoked it, leave a comment below to tell us what you think of this new cigar.

Background
Founded in 1844 by a German banker, Mr. Herman Upmann, who gives the name to the Brand, he loved cigars so much to move in Havana and set up a factory producing fine cigar. H.Upmann cigars are light to medium in strength, totally handmade using long filler with all leaves sourced from Vuelta Abajo in the Pinar del Rio, region of Cuba also known as one of the finest region in the world for tobacco growing. The Magnum 54 was launched in March 2016 at the 18th Festival des Habanos. However we had to wait until 2017 to finally see it on the shelves of our favorite cigar shops and lounges.

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It’s That Time of the Year – Final Countdown – 24 days!

19th Habanos FestivalFollow the Inspector's live diary from Havana.

Latest news, cigar reviews and trends will be shared with you on a daily basis. Don’t miss out and stay tuned…

In a few weeks, 24 days to be precise, many of us will be in Havana attending the 19th Habanos Festival.

I am always very pleased to see the number of participants growing every year to attend the Festival. When looking at the tobacco industry being the target of our governments, with strange laws sometimes, to reduce the cigarette consumption without differentiating the beautiful world of premium cigars. The Festival keeps growing and attracts more and more Habanos lovers, HOURAAA!!!

So far, nothing has been announced for a potential release celebrating the 20th anniversary of Vegas Robaina, I think I know why and I will tell you as soon as I get the confirmation!

From what we know the Gran Reserva release for this year will be the H. Upmann Sir Winston. Habanos S.A. will also present new vitolas increasing the Montecristo selection, with a new range called 1935 (year of creation of Montecristo), and French’s favorite marqua, Quay d’Orsay.

The inspector will be in Cuba during the Festival and will be your reporter sharing all the news and insights in “almost live”, so make sure you check out everyday my diary and as well reviews of all the cigars we will be enjoying.

Coming back to the awaited H. Upmann Sir Winston Gran Reserva, we will post a review of the current production Sir Winston just before flying to Havana and will share the Gran Reserva review from Havana. So let’s see the difference.

Happy Smokes everyone.

El Rey Del Mundo – Choix Suprême

Origin : CubaEl Rey del Mundo
Factory Name : Hermoso No. 4 (Robusto)
Size : 127 x 19.05 mm (5 x 48)
Weight : 14.26 g
Hand-Made
Box year : OCT 2016
Factory Box Code : OMS
Price : $13-£19 each
More info about purchasing El Rey del Mundo cigars...

Background:
Founded in 1882, by the already existing factory Antonio Allones, who decided to launch a new brand for fine cigars.
Without modesty, the brand was named “El Rey del Mundo” which literally means “The King of the World”, specialized in Tripla Larga, Totalmente a mano production (long filler completely handmade), sourcing tobacco grown in the premium Vuelta Abajo zone in the western part of Cuba.

Read the full review of El Rey Del Mundo -- Choix Suprême...

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