Juan Lopez Don Juan (Regional Edition Benelux)

Juan Lopez Don Juan (Regional Edition Benelux)

Juan LopezOrigin : Cuba
Format : Edmundo
Size : 135 x 20 mm (5.3 x 52)
Ring : 52
Release : 2014
Box code : ARB NOV14
Price : $392 for a box of 25
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Recently I mentioned this smoke in a review I did for a different release from this same manufacturer. Where the other stick failed miserably, the Juan Lopez Don Juan redeemed this cigar manufacturer in my eyes. Care and craftsmanship were self-evident with this limited edition robusto. I want to reinforce my previous recommendation. This smoke would satisfy most palates and is quite a bit more economical than its limited edition competition.

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Quai d’Orsay Superiores (Regional Edition Pacific Asia)

Quai d'Orsay Superiores

Origin : CubaQuai d'Orsay
Format : Robusto
Size : 4.9 (124 mm) x 50
Released in : 2011
Price : N/A
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I have been trying to recall whether I have smoked a Quai d'Orsay and I am almost certain I haven’t. I have been trying to get my hands on one for a while, but they are not easy to come by. We have all heard how great the Quai d'Orsay Imperiales are, but they are almost impossible to find in the cigar stores; unless your local cigar store is in France. The brand was created in 1973 by Cubatobaco for the French distributor Keita. The brand’s initial lineup had five vitolas, two of which are still in production; the Coronas and the Imperiales. The 2011 regional edition series though came to bring a breath of life in the brand, with two new vitolas, the only additions in the brands portfolio since its launch. One of these two vitolas is the Quai d’Orsay Superior, a classic robusto that was released for Pacific Cigar and the Asia Pacific region and it is the cigar I will be smoking today.

Although I wouldn’t call it “ugly” the Superior does not look the best, as it has a few flaws in its appearance. The wrapper is rough, with plenty of veins and a few green spots. The bunch is normal, but inconsistent, with some looser spots on both ends of the cigar. The triple car is rounded and sloppy, but there is plenty of floral aromas present on the foot of the cigar. The prelight draw is also loose. Time to light it up…

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Partagas Lusitanias Gran Reserva Cosecha 2007

Partagas Lusitanias Gran Reserva Cosecha 2007

Origin : CubaPartagas
Format : Prominentes / Double Corona
Size : 193 x 20 mm (7.6 x 49)
Box code : ULA NOV13
Price : ~$1,599 for a box of 15 cigars
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We're happy to introduce El Humo De Los Dioses, the newest reviewer on the team. You can read his bio here. Please give him a warm welcome!

Usually when an experienced cigar aficionado hears hyped accolades of a recently released smoke, they run for the hills. The more the hype, the faster they run. So many of the recent Cuban releases tout their wares, listing breathtaking attributes that are designed to make one think they are enjoying something special, only to deliver disappointment. Such is NOT the case with the Partagas Lusitanias Gran Reserva. This pearl was a true delight to savor and enjoy.

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La Flor de Cano Gran Cano (Regional Edition UK)

La Flor de Cano Gran Cano (Regional Edition UK)

La Flor de CanoOrigin : Cuba
Format : Gordito (Robusto Extra)
Size : 141 x 20 mm (5 1/2 x 50)
Box date : LAR – October’13
5000 boxes of 10 produced in 2013 exclusively for the Habanos distributor in the UK, Hunters & Frankau.
Price : 200GBP/10 initial price suggested by distributor
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La Flor de Cano is a discreet Cuban brand with just a couple of regular production cigars and a minor market share. Since 2010, a few regional editions were released, including this La Flor de Cano Gran Cano for the United Kingdom.

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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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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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