Cohiba Coronas Especiales ’98 (Vintage Review)

Cohiba Coronas Especiales

Origin : Cuba
Format : Laguito No. 2Cohiba
Size : 6 x 38 (152 x 15.08 mm)
Box code : EL – March '98
Price : roughly $12/cigar for current production
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Cohiba Coronas Especiales are regular production cigars, but difficult to find in aged or vintage condition. I purchased this box about 8 years ago for a little under $400. I have no idea what these would be worth today, but I’d guess significantly more.

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H. Upmann Super Corona

H. Upmann Super Coronas

Origin : CubaH. Upmann
Format : Corona Gorda
Size : 5 5/8 x 46 (143 x 18 mm)
Box date : SCO – August ’00
Discontinued in 2002
Price : Roughly $6/cigar in 2000, now approximately $20-25/cigar
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With the 2014 Bolivar Editión Limitada resurrecting the “Super Corona” name, I decided to try the long discontinued H. Upmann Super Corona (“HUSC”). I really like the H. Upmann line and I always enjoy an aged H. Upmann. I had one remaining single HUSC from a fiver as well as an unbroken box (same box code). I reviewed the single but have included photographs from the unbroken box. As these are smoked and become very hard to find, I think we could see market values rise to $700/box in the next few years.

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H. Upmann Noellas (LCDH Exclusivo)

H. Upmann Noellas (LCDH Exclusivo)

Origin : CubaH. Upmann
Format : Corona (Cosacos)
Size : 5.3 x 42 (135 x 17 mm)
Ring : 42
Price : ~$20 CAD
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Now that the warmer weather is melting away the snow, I have had the chance to smoke the last of three sticks I wanted to have before writing this review. Without risking frostbite of course. The H. Upmann Noellas were discontinued some time in the 1980s, but at one point were regular production cigars. They were sold in beautifully presented glass jars of 25. In 2009 they were re-released as a LCDH Exclusivo. I have read they were not actually available until 2010 and some places didn't see them until 2013. I am not sure when they were released in Canada, I just know I purchased mine at the LCDH Toronto in May of 2014.

I am a big fan of the H. Upmann marca. I can't say I have smoked every stick in the line-up, but I have yet to have one that was not to my liking. One of the first Cubans I ever smoked was an H. Upmann Corona Junior. Although it is a bit pedestrian as far as Cubans go, it was with this that I realized what all the fuss was about with cigars. So let's see how the Noellas stacked up for me.

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Ramon Allones Specially Selected Robusto Corto (Regional)

Ramon Allones Specially Selected Robusto Corto (Regional Edition Netherlands)

Ramon AllonesOrigin : Cuba
Format : Petit Robusto
Size : 102 x 20 mm (4 x 50)
Ring : 50
Released in : 2013
Price : ~9 EUR each
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Ramon Allones is a brand we see quite a lot when it comes to regional releases. On October 25th, 2013, the Netherlands was granted a Petit Robusto called the Specially Selected Robusto Corto. This was a limited edition with just 2,000 slide-lid cabinets produced, each containing 25 stogies. Price is quite reasonable; if you can get your hands on one of these, you’ll pay about 9 EUR per cigar.

I bought my sampler in Amsterdam quite some time ago, let's see what these 14 months in humi did to this smoke.

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Punch Serie d’Oro No. 2 (2013 Limited Edition)

Punch Serie d'Oro No. 2 (2013 Limited Edition)

Origin : CubaPunch
Format : Pyramid
Size : 140 x 20 mm (5.5 x 52)
Ring : 52
Release : 2013
Price : 14 EUR each
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The Punch Serie d'Oro 2013 Edicion Limitada was a highly anticipated release from Habanos S.A. As usual, the wrappers for this limited edition come from tapado (shade-grown) leaves, which is the reason why they have such a dark and oily appearance. The tobacco used in these cigars was aged for two years. Again, no surprises here. What's quite surprising on the other hand is that this is the first ever Edicion Limitada from Punch (the Serie d'Oro No. 1 was a regional edition for the UK that we reviewed... five years ago! this makes me feel old) — and as with any Edicion Limitada, my expectations are high.

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Vegueros Mananitas

Vegueros Mananitas

VeguerosOrigin : Cuba
Format : Petit Belicoso
Size : 102 x 18 mm (4 x 46)
Ring : 46
Price : ~$5-6 each
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Recently we posted about the revitalization of the famous Vegueros brand, which dates back to 1961, and which was discontinued in 2012. Vegueros was one of the best-known Habanos SA brands, especially after they started exporting in 1997. Previously there were four vitolas in their line: Especial No. 1, Especial No. 2, Seoane, and Mareva. Vegueros recently started up production again with three new vitolas: Tapados, Entretiempos, and Mañanitas. They’ve also done a complete makeover of their image, redesigning their logo, bands, and packaging. I picked up the Mañanitas, which is a Petit Figurado measuring 4 inches for a mere $6.

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Montecristo Colección Habanos 2005

Montecristo Colección Habanos 2005

MontecristoOrigin : Cuba
Format : Maravillas No. 1 (Double Robusto)
Size : 7-1/8" (182 mm) x 55
500 “books” of 20 produced in 2005
Box Date : FIM – September 2005; Box #150 of 500
Price : Market Value roughly $1,600/book or $80/cigar
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The Montecristo Colección Habanos 2005 commemorated the 70th anniversary of the brand. It is the fifth “volume” of the Habanos Collection Series which began in 2001. The Colección releases are notable for both quality and the unique presentation (see photographs).

Montecristo Colleccion, a fireplace and gin martini

I meant to smoke and review this in the summer, but just never got to it. I purchased this “book” at initial release and have smoked a few. I recall enjoying these, but not being blown away. Now that we are into its 9th year, I thought it was a good time to see how they are developing. Reviewing this on a cold, rainy night while sitting next to an aromatic fire, paired with a very dry, gin martini (my preferred libation with Montecristos and Cohibas).

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Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2

Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2

Juan LopezOrigin : Cuba
Format : Robusto
Size : 124 x 19.84 mm (4.9 x 50)
Ring : 50
Box date : SEP 2011
Weight : 11.66 g
Price : ~$230 for a cab of 25
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The Juan Lopez brand is definitely not among the most famous Cuban brands. This particular Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2 is well aged; I purchased my box back in 2011. I tried the Seleccion No. 2 fresh out of the box then forgot about it, and wanted to see how the flavors have been enhanced by the aging process.

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