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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When you think of Bunnahabhain distillery, you usually think specifically of not peat. So many Islay distilleries specialize in peated whisky that Bunnahabhain is remarkable precisely because it doesn’t. Now and again, however, Bunnahabhain does introduce a peated whisky, and Ceòbanach is a perfect example.
There is no age statement on the bottle, but the word is that Ceòbanach is 10 years old. The name translates to “Smoky Mist.” The goal with Ceòbanach was to create an old-fashioned whisky which might taste similar to what you would find for sale around the turn of the 20th century. Being as the distillery was founded in 1881, this whisky would hearken back to its beginnings.
Despite being a limited edition release, it isn’t that hard to get your hands on Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach. I purchased mine for around £60.
The bottle which Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach comes in is very dark, so it is impossible to see the color of the liquid until you pour it into your glass. It comes out a pale golden color.
On the nose, you pick up smoky peat along with brine and salt—a classic Islay scent. There are also strong notes of tar and a hint of coconut and vanilla. Almost no sweetness comes through. It is a dark and heavy profile, reminiscent of the sea.
On the palate, the flavors are very similar to what I detected through scent alone. The peat is there along with the tar and the lemon. Along with those notes, there is also oak and spices. I no longer really detect any vanilla, and again, there is no sweetness.
I’m not sure if I was surprised to note that Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach isn’t all that “strong” with respect to the peat. On one hand, it is most of what I smelled when I opened the bottle, so I had initially guessed the flavor might be stronger. But on the other hand, this is in line with what Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach usually produces. Since Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach usually steers clear of peat altogether, we should expect them to go easy on it when they do use it. Most of their regular customers are in the market for a break from peat after all.
If you are interested in a peaty whisky that isn’t going to totally overwhelm you, I think that Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach is an excellent choice. It is the classic Islay peat experience, just mellowed out to a level which allows the other flavors to shine through.
The Ramon Allones Club Allones was released in 2015 as a limited edition by Habanos S.A. I heard a lot of great things about this cigar, so I was excited to give it a try. How did it measure up? Well … honestly it wasn’t quite what I hoped it would be. Read on to find out what my experience was like.
Happy Holidays to all our readers here on Cigar Inspector! With 2016 drawing to a close, let’s check out what we have to look forward to heading into 2017 with new cigar releases. We’ll also share some industry and legislative news updates with you.
New and Upcoming Releases:
The 2016 Alec Bradley HJ10-I Fine & Rare blend is currently shipping out to retailers around the globe. This version will measure 6 inches with a 52 ring gauge. The Fine & Rare includes seven different types of filler tobacco from Esteli and Jalapa as well as the Trojes Region of Honduras. There is an Esteli and Trojes double binder and a Trojes corojo wrapper. In total, that is ten different types of tobacco. Only 2,000 boxes of ten cigars each will be released.
If you are a fan of Drew Estate or Caldwell Cigar Co., you probably have been closely following news about their collaboration, All Out Kings. Originally it was anticipated that All Out Kings would ship in November this year, but delays have pushed the release to next year. Now it has been announced that the All Out Kings cigars will finally be available in March of 2017. There will be four sizes in all: Smash (5 x 52), Foreverlast (6 ½ x 54), Give Me Your Lunch Money (5 ¾ x 46), and The Fourth Pose (6 x 54).
Sosa Cigars has just been acquired by A.J. Fernandez, who purchased them from the company by the same name. Included in this purchase are all the brands which fall under the Sosa family of cigars, including Santa Julia, Imperio Cubano, and Sosa Classic. What changes can we expect? Celina Contreras Sosa stated, “While the blends will remain the same, they will be made using the techniques and curing processes mastered by A.J. Fernandez as well as his own grown tobacco made with his special knowledge.”
As you likely have noticed, a lot of cigar companies are being forced to raise their prices to cope with the rising costs associated with new regulations. Perdomo is now the latest company to announce a price hike. This is expected to amount to an average of around 37 cents per cigar. The new prices will go into effect as of January 1st.
Cigar companies which are behind schedule implementing changes to conform to the new FDA regulations are being granted a six-month extension. The new registration deadline has been pushed back to June 30th, 2017.
Orange County, New York just became the latest to raise the minimum age for purchasing tobacco to 21. The new law will go into effect on June 1st, 2017. Retailers could be fined up to $1,500 per offense.
Bogalusa City, Louisiana just passed the most restrictive ban on smoking in the entire state. Smoking in Bogalusa City is now illegal in all indoor facilities inside city limits with the exception of tobacconists, hotel rooms, private residences, and vehicles. If you are visiting Bogalusa or reside there, you can no longer even smoke inside a bar or gaming facility.
Meanwhile, Clarkdale, Arizona has rejected a bill to push the minimum purchase age for tobacco to 21.
Thanks for checking in with us for this week’s cigar news updates! Check back in soon for more!