Cuban Limited Editions: A History Lesson
In this blog post, we’re going to be giving our readers a little insight into the wonderful world of Habanos SA’s, Limited Edition Series.
Since the year 2000, Habanos SA has released Limited Edition Cigars for each of their premium brands, every year. With obvious success, these Limited Editions are welcomed with eager arms, as every Cigar Aficionado anticipates the latest newcomers.
The Limited Edition series was first brought about to meet the dizzying demand of the cigar boom in the 1990s. During this decade, the demand for cigars rose to absurd heights, actually having a deficit impact on tobacco stocks. This meant that even the leaves used for wrappers were in limited supply. Habanos SA before this boom had always used the middle leaves of the tobacco plant, believing these to be of the best quality.
Nevertheless, to ensure that production did not come to a stand-still, the company had to use the leaves from the higher shadow-levels of the tobacco plant. In the year of 2000, this was considered a great change for the company and many were worried that the darker and thicker wrappers would have a damaging impact on the quality of their world-famous cigars. Simon Chase, expert Cigar Connoisseur, had the exceptional premonition that this would not be the case and in fact he ‘felt the project had plenty of potential’. He was right and the Limited Editions were placed into the regular production of their brands, Cohiba, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, Partagas, Hoyo de Monterrey in November of 2000 and were a huge success.
These Limited Editions have five key features:
- They are only featured in Havana’s signature brands
- Manufactured in just one period of production
- The vitolas are rare and have never been seen before, or not for many years
- The wrappers are darker
- Filled with the finest aged tobacco leaves
After five years of profitably releasing within these five brands, the company expanded its Limited Editions production line, incorporating Bolivar, Cuaba, H. Upmann, Punch, Ramón Allones and Trinidad.
Every year, excluding 2002, the Limited Edition Series released three to five cigars, all featuring original vitolas; or ones that had not been produced for over 50 years. Vitolas seen in cigars such as the Partagás Serie D No. 1 (2004) (170mm by 50 ring gauge) and the Punch Serie D’Oro No. 2 (2013) (140mm x 52 ring gauge).
The wrappers used in the Limited Edition Series are always fermented for up to nine months and aged for over a year, as they are all required to be over two years old before they are used to dress the cigars.
The binder and filler leaves found in the Limited Edition series from the year 2000 up to 2007 went under the same fermentation and ageing process as the standard releases within the brand. But since 2007, they all go through an extended ageing process meaning that they are at least two years old before they are dressed and bound. Chase explains that this lengthy process gives the cigar ‘a more rounded, more mellow flavour to which the higher sugar content of the darker wrapper adds a hint of sweetness’.
The Limited Edition series has seen significant sales and continues to be a popular series for the Habanos SA brand. When in struggle, they found success and created something spectacular.
We stock various cigars from the Limited Editions that have been released over the last seventeen years, but these are a few of our favourites from the latest releases: