Date: July 2019
Author: Inspector Z

Habanos changes cigar classifications. For as long as Habanos is around, Cuban cigars have been classified into four different groups. Those are global brands, niche brands, multi-local brands, and local brands. But that is changing. Habanos introduced a different classification.

The old situation

Global brands are worldwide available. These are also the brands that will never be used for Regional Editions. They are used for Limited Editions, Reservas, and Grand Reservas though. Those brands are Cohiba, H. Upmann. Hoyo de Monterrey, Jose L Piedra, Montecristo, Partagas, and Romeo y Julieta.

The niche brands are generally available but in rare quantities. And those are the sleeper brands, only the real cigar aficionados know these brands. They are found all over the world, but they are not being pushed. Cuaba, San Cristobal de la Habana, and Trinidad fell in this category. These brands are also excluded from Regional Editions.

The next classification was multi-local brands. These brands are generally available and are included in the Regional Edition series. Bolivar, Fonseca, Punch, Quintero, and Vegas Robaina are the cigars that were multi-local brands.

The last classification for premium handmade cigars was local brands. These brands aren’t available worldwide. They are part of the Regional Edition program. These brands are Diplomaticos, El Rey del Mundo, Juan Lopez, La Flor de Cano, La Gloria Cubana, Por Larranaga, Quai d’Orsay, Rafael Gonzalez, Ramon Allones, Saint Luis Rey, Sancho Panza, and Vegueros.

The new situation

In the new situation, there will be two classifications: Global Brands and Portfolio Brands. The Portfolio Brands are divided into three groups. And even though the classifications change, only minor changes should be expected.

The global brands are available worldwide, except for the United States of course. These brands are Cohiba, H. Upmann. Hoyo de Monterrey, Montecristo, Partagas, and Romeo y Julieta. Except for the Jose L. Piedra, which got downgraded, this is the exact same list as the old situation. The cigars are sold at La Casa del Habano shops, Habanos Specialists and Habanos points. The focus is on new products. The brands are still excluded from the Regional Edition program

Then there’s a new category, Portfolio Brands. The 21 Portfolio brands are divided into three sun-classifications. Those are Value Brands. Not don’t think that value brands mean budget cigars. The four brands in this sub-classification are Bolivar, Punch, Ramon Allones, and Trinidad.

The more affordable cigars are classified as Volume Brands. Here we find the relegated Jose L. Piedra, but also Quinteros and Vegueros. The focus is on volume.

The final classification is Other Brands. Those include Cuaba, Diplomáticos, El Rey del Mundo, Fonseca, Juan López, La Flor de Cano, La Gloria Cubana, Por Larrañaga, Quay d’Orsay, Rafael González, San Cristóbal de la Habana, San Luis Rey, Sancho Panza, and Vegas Robaina. The focus for this classification is tactical development and regional editions.

The Portfolio Brands are available at all La Casa del Habano shops, as long as registration allows. And judging from this list, we might see Cuaba and San Cristobal Regional Editions soon. But the days Bolivar, Punch, and Ramon Allones regional editions are over.

Ministry of Cigars Habanos changes cigar classifications
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