A Look Into Cuban Reserva and Gran Reserva Cigars
LUXURIOUS. EXCLUSIVE. LIMITED EDITION.
It’s no surprise that a box of regular Cuban Cigars can cost you a few hundred dollars. But, for aficionados who want to take that a few steps further – then you might want to try the Reserva or Gran Reserva range from Habanos. A box of these prestigious cigars can cost you a few thousand dollars! But, of course, these cigars aren’t expensive for nothing. Every tobacco leaf that has been used to make these cigars have a much more extensive production process in comparison to regular smokes.
With the Bolivar Belicosos Finos Reserva Cosecha 2016 cigar on its way, many serious aficionados are looking forward to getting their hands on the latest Limited Edition Cigars. Hundreds of visitors are flocking to Havana to attend the XXII Festival del Habano to have the chance to try the newest Reserva cigar for themselves. If you didn’t know already, Reserva cigars are based on iconic, emblematic smokes from specific brands. Some previous releases include the Partagas Serie D No. 4 and the Cohiba Robusto. As for the latest Bolivar Reserva, it is based on the ‘Bolivar Belicosos Finos Cigar’, one of our well-sold Bolivar products on the EGM site. The release of this cigar is extraordinary, as Bolivar had never had its own Reserva cigar.
The first-ever Reserva release was in 2003 – the Cohiba Seleccion Reserva – a box of 30 cigars made with aged tobacco from 1999. The box included many Cohiba classics, including the Cohiba Coronas Especiales, Cohiba Robustos and four other Cohiba favourites. Following that project, the Cohiba Siglo VI Gran Reserva was launched in 2009, which involved at least five-years-worth of ageing. Since, then, many releases have followed and many cigar collectors all-over the world are always anticipating the next release. Essentially, the introduction of the Reserva and Gran Reserva line gave aficionados the opportunity to try a cigar that's made to the highest level.
Tobacco Farm in Vuelta Abajo, Cuba.
"AN EXTENSIVE PROCESS"
Habanos do not take the production of ‘Reserva’ cigars lightly. While regular cigars involve a careful picking process, as well as a standard ageing requirement – Reserva cigars take it up a notch. Picking specific leaves for Reserva cigars is extremely important as not every tobacco leaf makes the cut. As you know, to create a Reserva cigar, it requires a pervasive ageing process, from three to five years. Therefore, the tobacco leaf should have sufficient ageing potential a lot higher than one year. As the farmers from the Vuelta Abajo region of Cuba would say – sometimes, ageing can ‘wash out’ the characteristic flavours of Cuban black tobacco. So, when it comes to selecting specific leaves, the farmers have to make sure that they choose the right bunch that can retain some of those characteristics, or else you won’t be able to taste or smell anything. Aside from picking the right tobacco leaves, the blenders who will decide the flavours of the new Reserva cigar should be well-versed and skilful. With the pressure of countless aficionados worldwide, as well as producing a phenomenal cigar – Habanos hires the only best cigar blenders to create the final product.
Thanks to the three to the five-year ageing process, the cigars will feature a flavour that’s totally unique from the regular production cigars. So you can expect well-developed characters that have mellowed out. Just think of it as the industry of drinking and making wines – the more aged the wine, the better the flavour. There's a reason why many connoisseurs consider the Reserva cigars as 'highly acclaimed'.
"IN-DEMAND PRODUCT BY CIGAR COLLECTORS"
With the high-demand from Habanos connoisseurs, the limited production as well as the extensive growing process – these cigars end up with a very hefty price tag – about three to four times more expensive than the regular production version. If you're interested in the difference yourself, simply smoke the original cigar then compare it with the Reserva version. Though some people may be put off by the price, it's undeniable that the whole procedure of creating a box of these luxurious cigars required the utmost skill and patience from these expert cigar growers and blenders. It's given birth to fantastic limited editions such as the Cohiba Robustos Reserva Cosecha 2014 Cigar
So, how do you recognise one? Every Reserva cigar is presented in a highly luxurious varnished box, as well as a unique anilla. For ‘Reserva’ cigars, they will receive stylish silver and black design – while, ‘Gran Reservas’ will have a gold and black design adorning the band. On top of that, each box is numbered, showcasing that it is indeed a limited edition find.
For more interesting articles about all-things Cuban cigars, read our Cigar Blog: