The Mareva - the unsung hero of Cuban Cigars

The Mareva - the unsung hero of Cuban Cigars

by Nick Hendry.

Some Cuban Cigars are made in a size and shape that is popular across all marcas and all smokers.  All aficionados will be familiar with the slim and elegant Laguito No 1, known as the Cohiba Lancero or El Rey del Mundo La Reina, and the sturdy, impressive Robusto – almost ubiquitous across the Habanos portfolio.  One other vitola is equally as popular among brands but perhaps overlooked by smokers: the Mareva.

A mareva cigar measures 42 ring gauge by 5 1/8 inches and offers around 30 minutes of smoking pleasure.  This classic petit corona size is key to its appeal: plenty of time to enjoy the flavour profile of your chosen blend, but not so much that it can be difficult to fit into your schedule.  The mareva is an ideal cigar for everyday smoking, so no wonder so many versions are produced.  The Cohiba Siglo II, Por Larranaga Petit Corona and Bolivar Tubos No 2 are all popular versions, and give the smoker the opportunity to try different strengths of body in the same size of cigar.  There are three iterations, however, that stand above the rest as the gold standard of this iconic stick.

 

The Montecristo No 4 Cuban Cigar

The Montecristo No 4 is the most popular cigar in the world.

Montecristo No 4.

No individual cigar sells more across the globe than the Montecristo No 4.  The most famous and loved Cuban blend is found dressed in the famous brown band of Montecristo and these excellent little sticks are the perfect showcase for it.  First released in the pre-revolution days, this cigar has stood the test of time and remained popular when lots of others have seen their popularity wane.   Expect notes of dark chocolate, roasted coffee and a deep, earthy profile as you pass a half-hour in the company of the world’s favourite smoke.  The reasons for its popularity will soon become clear.

 

The Partagas Capitols Retro Tin

The new Linea Retro provides stylish tins for your favourite Marevas.

Partagas Capitols.

In contrast to the history of the Monte 4, the Partagas Capitols are a very recent addition to the Cuban offering.  Announced in 2017, and only arriving on shelves midway through last year, these cigars form part of the Linea Retro, a stylish new line presented in aluminium tins reminiscent of the swinging 60s.  Partagas are perhaps the fullest-flavoured Cuban brand on the market and these delightful smokes are fabulous expressions of it.  Notes of cocoa, cedar and black pepper will delight your palette and the funky packaging will entertain the eyes, as well as providing an elegant and protective storage for smoking on the move.

 

The H. Upmann Regalias Cuban Cigar

The Regalias are a perfect size for a relaxing afternoon smoke.

Upmann Regalias.

The Regalias have been part of the H. Upmann line since the 1950s, but for the majority of their history were machine-made.  In 2002 the decision was made to switch the size to totally hand-made and they have been popular ever since.  A relatively quick 30 minutes is the ideal window to enjoy the creamy sweetness of the light-bodied blend the brand is famous for – floral notes, along with cream and vanilla, will pair perfectly with either a midday coffee or an evening dessert wine.  In 2020 the Regalias also became available as part of the Linea Retro in their own attractive aluminium tin, adding to their appeal and confirming Habanos SA’s commitment to the vitola in the future.

So many marcas rely on the mareva to display their flavours – Romeo y Julieta alone make 5 versions – that it is perhaps the most important vitola to come from Cuba.  The larger cigars may steal the headlines but it is not often that we have the time to enjoy such behemoths.  The torcedors themselves consider the mareva as the closest to a standard size Cuban cigars have yet it is often overlooked.  Perhaps its relatively diminutive size means it does not catch the eye as quickly as some of the more imposing sticks on the market, but sales figures show the elegance and convenience of this smoke has definitely captured the hearts of cigar lovers worldwide.  The humble mareva, after such a long and distinguished history, has a bright future ahead of it.

 

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