February 2024

The Habanos festival has started and traditionally that means the announcement of many new Cuban cigars and a financial report of the previous year. This year is no different, read about all the new cigars in this article.

RECORD BREAKING REVENUE

Following substantial price hikes in 2022, Habanos S.A. reports a remarkable revenue of $721 million, surpassing its previous record of $568 million in 2021 by over 31 percent.
The surge in revenue, totalling more than $175 million, stemmed primarily from increased prices rather than a surge in cigar production. In an effort to establish a “global pricing standard,” Habanos S.A. implemented substantial price increases across its entire product range in 2022. This initiative, aimed at ensuring consistent prices worldwide akin to luxury goods such as watches or handbags, referenced Hong Kong’s high tobacco taxes as a benchmark.

However, due to varying tobacco taxes across different regions, the envisioned uniformity in pricing did not materialize. Instead, distributors, retailers, and consumers faced significant price hikes. In 2023, Habanos S.A. continued this trend, with prices rising by 10 percent for many cigars and a staggering 50 percent for its flagship Cohiba Behike BHK line.

Concurrently, the company introduced several new cigars priced above $100 each, with some commanding prices in the $300-500 range. Notable releases included the Cohiba Ideales (priced over $500 in the UK) and Siglo de Oro (over $300 in Hong Kong). Even less premium releases like the Romeo y Julieta Cupidos debuted at $77 per cigar in Havana, a previously unthinkable price point.

Despite the initial price shocks, the market exhibited signs of adjustment, with Cuban cigars becoming more readily available, albeit at higher prices. In 2024, Habanos S.A. adopted a more tempered approach to price increases, exemplified by an 8.23 percent increase in Spain, where the Trinidad brand remained largely unaffected.

Reflecting on their accomplishments, Maritza Carrillo Gonzalez and Luis Sánchez-Harguindey, co-presidents of Habanos S.A., attributed the company’s success to the unique origin of their tobacco, the strength of their brands, and the shared passion within the industry. As Habanos S.A. commemorates 30 years, they aim to continue providing unparalleled experiences to cigar enthusiasts worldwide.

In terms of market performance, China, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, and the UK emerged as the top revenue-generating markets for Habanos S.A. Meanwhile, Spain, France, China, Germany, and Switzerland led in terms of cigar sales volume.

Geographically, Europe retained its position as the primary market for Cuban cigars, representing 56 percent of sales, followed by the Asia Pacific (21 percent), the Americas (13 percent), and Africa and the Middle East (10 percent).

SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LA HABANA REINAS

This year commemorates the 25th anniversary of the San Cristóbal de La Habana brand, and to celebrate, Habanos S.A. unveils two new cigars.

One of these offerings is aptly named the San Cristóbal de La Habana 25 Aniversario. The other, San Cristóbal de La Habana Reinas, will be exclusively available in cigar boxes crafted to resemble books, designated as the Colección Habanos release for 2024.
The San Cristóbal de La Habana Reinas boasts dimensions of 6 9/10 (175mm) x 55, introducing a novel size to the Cuban cigar landscape known as Maravillas No. 5.

Notably, it closely resembles the Cohiba Ideales, the preceding Colección Habanos release, although the latter measured 175mm x 56 ring gauge, as opposed to 55.
Limited production of 3,000 boxes of 20 cigars is planned, with distribution exclusively through La Casa del Habano franchise stores. While pricing remains undisclosed, the annual Colección Habanos release typically represents the pinnacle of Habanos S.A.’s new cigar offerings each year. For reference, the Cohiba Ideales commanded a price exceeding $500 per cigar upon its debut in the United Kingdom last year.

Similar to the 2024 class of Edición Limitada cigars, the San Cristóbal de La Habana Reinas had been quietly discussed as a potential release for 2022. However, until now, Habanos S.A. had not made any public announcements about the cigar. Officially, akin to the Edición Limitada series, there will be no Colección Habanos releases for 2022 and 2023. As is often the case with new Cuban cigars, while labelled a “2024 release,” there’s no guarantee the cigar will be available for sale this year.

SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LA HABANA 25 ANIVERSARIO

In 1999, Habanos S.A., a relatively new entity at the time, introduced the San Cristóbal de La Habana brand, symbolizing the vibrant essence of Cuba’s capital, Havana. As 2024 approaches, the line commemorates its 25th anniversary.

Yesterday, the company unveiled the new San Cristóbal de La Habana 25 Aniversario, a limited edition humidor housing 50 cigars measuring 6 4/9 (164mm) x 54. Interestingly, this size mirrors that of the San Cristóbal de La Habana Magnifico, an Edición Regional cigar for Andorra released last year. Habanos S.A. has utilized this size for numerous other releases over the years, including notable examples such as Cohiba and Montecristo Sublimes, as well as the Edmundo Dantes Conde 54.

According to Habanos S.A.’s marketing materials, acquiring this commemorative humidor will prove challenging, as only 200 numbered units will be available. However, details regarding the release date and pricing remain undisclosed. The company emphasizes that the distinctive glossy San Cristóbal band and the gold-on-black Exclusivo Cuba band featured on these cigars will remain exclusive to this release.

QUAI D’ORSAY ESPECIAL D’ORSAY

In late 1974, the Quai d’Orsay cigar brand made its debut at a Parisian hotel, marking the inception of this French-born Cuban cigar brand. This year commemorates its 50th anniversary, celebrating half a century of rich heritage.

To honour this milestone, Habanos S.A. unveils the new Quai d’Orsay Especial d’Orsay, a 6-inch (153mm) x 54 toro vitola known as Sobresalientes within the Cuban vitola naming system. This vitola shares similarities with the Romeo y Julieta Capulets, an Edición Limitada released in 2016.

Available in boxes of 20 and gift boxes containing five cigars, the Especial d’Orsay is described by Habanos S.A. as being “produced in limited quantities,” although specific details regarding production volumes remain undisclosed.

While the Especial d’Orsay will be distributed globally, its origins are deeply rooted in France. In the early 1970s, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, then the French Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, commissioned SEITA, the French tobacco monopoly, to create a cigar suitable for diplomatic gifting. SEITA collaborated with Cubatabaco, initiating a partnership that culminated in the birth of Quai d’Orsay, named after the Parisian neighborhood along the Seine river where SEITA’s headquarters resided. Initially exclusive to SEITA, Quai d’Orsay eventually expanded its presence worldwide, with France remaining its primary market.

This announcement was made during the annual Festival del Habano XXIV in Havana, Cuba. Historically, this event serves as a platform for Habanos S.A. to unveil forthcoming releases, some of which may not reach stores until later in the year. As of now, details regarding pricing and the release date for the Quai d’Orsay Especial d’Orsay have not been disclosed.

LIMITED EDITIONS 2024

Habanos S.A. has unveiled its trio of new Edición Limitada cigars for 2024, featuring names that may resonate with aficionados.
The line-up includes:
• H. Upmann Magnum Finite — 5 1/8 (130mm) x 53 (Singulares)
• Ramón Allones Absolutos — 6 3/8 (162mm) x 47 (Cazadores Especiales)
• Trinidad Cablidos — 6 1/8 (156mm) x 49 (Nuevos)

Notably, both the H. Upmann and Trinidad variants introduce fresh vitolas, representing shapes previously unseen in the realm of Cuban cigars. Meanwhile, the Ramón Allones Absolutos adopts the same vitola as the Montecristo Herederos.

Interestingly, it was previously reported that these cigars were initially earmarked as the 2022 Edición Limitada releases, later rescheduled for 2023. However, Habanos S.A. had not publicly acknowledged them until now, confirming their inclusion in the 2024 Edición Limitada line-up.

The Trinidad will be available in boxes of 12, the Ramón Allones in boxes of 20, and the H. Upmann in boxes of 25 cigars. As customary, Habanos S.A. typically withholds specific production numbers for Edición Limitada cigars.

For nearly two decades, Habanos S.A. has annually introduced three new Edición Limitada releases. Although there were officially no Edición Limitada cigars for 2022 and 2023, the final 2021 Edición Limitada cigar recently became available for purchase this month.

Edición Limitada cigars boast unique sizes within their respective brands, often utilizing tobacco sourced from the Vuelta Abajo region of Pinar del Río, aged for a minimum of two years. Each cigar is distinguished by a secondary band reading “Edición Limitada” followed by the announcement year.

This announcement was made during the annual Festival del Habano XXIV in Havana, Cuba, an event traditionally serving as a platform for Habanos S.A. to unveil upcoming releases. Specific details regarding pricing and release dates for these cigars are yet to be disclosed.

TRINIDAD ROBUSTOS EXTRA

Once again, the Trinidad Robusto Extra makes its return. In celebration of the Trinidad brand’s 55th anniversary, Habanos S.A., the renowned Cuban cigar giant, has announced the revival of the Trinidad Robustos Extra.

Initially discontinued in 2012, the Robustos Extra made a limited comeback in 2020 exclusively for travel and duty-free retail channels, making them accessible in airports but not in traditional cigar stores.

Now, the 6 1/10 (155mm) x 50 toro—classified by Habanos S.A. as a double robusto—will reclaim its status as a regular production offering. Available in both 3- and 12-count boxes, these cigars will feature a secondary band commemorating the Trinidad brand’s 55th anniversary.

ROMEO Y JULIETA SHORT CHURCHILLS RESERVA COSECHA 2019

Next in line for the Reserva treatment from Habanos S.A. is the Romeo y Julieta Short Churchills. Today, the renowned Cuban cigar giant revealed the Romeo y Julieta Short Churchills Reserva Cosecha 2019 as its designated 2024 cigar for the esteemed Gran Reserva/Reserva series. Following the tradition of other releases in this flagship series, the Reserva Cosecha 2019 is a specially aged iteration of the regular production cigar, boasting dimensions of 4 7/8 x 50.

Habanos S.A. emphasizes that all tobaccos utilized in crafting this release hail from the 2019 harvest, hence the designation “Cosecha 2019,” sourced exclusively from the esteemed Vuelta Abajo region of Pinar del Río, situated on the western edge of the island. The tobacco undergoes a meticulous aging process spanning three years, while the cigars themselves are aged considerably longer compared to most Cuban counterparts.

Similar to previous Reserva releases, production will consist of 5,000 boxes of 20 cigars. However, a notable departure is the introduction of 3-cigar gift boxes, a departure from the norm as these are typically reserved for special events like the Festival del Habano and not distributed to regular channels. With 5,000 gift boxes in circulation, the Romeo y Julieta Short Churchills Reserva will see an additional 15,000 cigars available compared to prior Reserva releases.

Annually, Habanos S.A. designates a single regular production cigar from one of its major brands to receive the distinction of Gran Reserva or Reserva. Presently, Gran Reservas are unveiled in odd-numbered years and Reservas in even-numbered years, although recent trends indicate a delay in shipping compared to the announcement year.

In addition to their extended aging, these cigars feature secondary—or tertiary—bands denoting their status as a Gran Reserva or Reserva. While pricing and release dates have yet to be disclosed, it’s anticipated that these cigars will command a premium, likely surpassing triple the cost of a standard Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill.

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