Today we will be taking a look at yet another vintage cigar for this week, a 1984 Dunhill Cabinetta. It’s no surprise that we at halfwheel absolutely love anything made by Dunhill. Time and time again they knock us off our feet (see here) with their complexity, construction, flavor and almost indescribable smoothness. Dunhill cigars are among the most sought after by Habanos collectors all over the world.


For those of you a little unfamiliar with the Dunhill name we urge you to check out the Wikipedia article on the brand because they have it down… Wikipedia Dunhill

Beginning in 1977, Dunhill and Cubatabaco began discussing the possibility of producing a cigar brand bearing the name of Dunhill. An agreement was finally reached in 1982 and Dunhill cigars hit stores in 1984, starting with the Dunhill stores of ten countries and eventually expanding to thirty. The ultimate downfall of the Dunhill brand was that it was out to compete with the other high-end private label, Davidoff. Seeing as how both brands were being produced by Cubatabaco, the Cuban tobacco monopoly wanted to make profits from both and had no wish to participate in the market competition between the two tobacconists. Unhappy with Cubatabaco’s unwillingness, when the original contract expired in 1991 Dunhill chose not to renew, having already begun scoping possible new locations in the Canary Islands, Dominican Republic, and Honduras for cigar production. Eventually, Dunhill would give up making cigars altogether and sold the rights to put its name on tobacco products to British American Tobacco.

Dunhill produced 8 different vitolas in the short time they were in existence (although interestingly, there were seven different vitolas that were proposed other then these, but were never produced)…They are:

  • Atados — 6 7/8 Inches x 28
  • Cabinetta — 4 7/8 Inches x 50
  • Estupendos 7 Inches x 47
  • Havana Club — 9 1/3 Inches x 47
  • Malecon — 6 1/2 Inches x 42
  • Mojito — 5 5/8 Inches x 42
  • Tubos — 6 1/8 Inches x 42
  • Varadero — 5 1/8 Inches x 42



Lets get to the review shall we?

Dunhill Cabinetta 1.png

  • Cigar Reviewed: Dunhill Cabinetta
  • Country of Origin: Cuba
  • Factory: Real Fábrica de Tabacos Romeo y Julieta
  • Wrapper: Cuba
  • Binder: Cuba
  • Filler: Cuba
  • Size: 4 7/8 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Shape: Robusto
  • Est. Price: $150 (Boxes of 25 Routinely Auction for $5,000-$8,000)
  • Date Released: 1984

Looking at this cigar I am immediately thinking how great it looks for being almost 30 years old, it has a buttery soft milk chocolate wrapper with a few veins and some lumps running up and down the length of it but it doesn’t detract from it one bit. The cigar has a nice tight wrap and is packed perfectly giving it a firm but spongy soft feel. The pre-light aroma is incredible with a lot of cedar, barnyard, a sweet floral note and just an overall aged tobacco aroma that is amazing. The pre-light draw is full mellow cedar with hints of tea, raisin and hay. There is an overall sweetness to this cigar that is just wonderful on both the aroma and the draw.


Starting off in the First Third the cigar hits me with some spice and pepper on the initial draw or two and then quickly mellows out. Right away there are a ton of flavors the main being a wonderful aged tobacco flavor, very smooth and mellow, cedar and the most perfect Cuban twang …just a great combo of sweetness and earth. Towards the end of the first third the cigar gets very floral and creamy and there is a tiny bit of pepper on the finish which adds a nice bit of character.

Dunhill Cabinetta 2.png

Coming into the Second Third the cigar changes up completely with flavors of cedar, leather, a wonderful roasted coffee and a sweet cashew flavor on the finish. There is a little bit of spice on the tongue as well as through the nose and the flavors are very pronounced and easy to detect. The cigar is a solid medium body at this point with a perfect draw and a lot of smoke production.

Dunhill Cabinetta 3.png

Finishing up in the Final Third the cigar manages to change up yet again and shift to a even darker profile with flavors of leather, espresso, dark chocolate and the cedar turns to a deeper wood flavor. There is still a wonderful nutty flavor on the finish and the cigar leaves a creamy almost buttery sensation on the tongue leaving the palate moist and clean. The cigar manages to stay smooth right to the nub, not once did this cigar get harsh.

Dunhill Cabinetta 4.png


Final Notes:

  • FLAVOR! This cigar had a ton of flavor going on it excelled at having a full flavor profile but managing to stay mellow at the same time. It was medium in body but full in flavor.
  • SMOOTH! That’s all I can say. The flavors on the front of the palate as well as on the finish were just incredibly smooth…buttery smooth.
  • COMPLEXITY! Not only did each third have an abundance of flavors and aromas but each third was so completely different from the last. This was truly a complex stick to the end.
  • BALANCE! Every flavor had its very own spot, not one flavor overpowered the other and in created a profile that flowed in perfect harmony.
  • CONSTRUCTION! The cigar burned nice and straight the entire time, the draw was perfect with just a tug of resistance and the cigar never got hot…even the nub smoked cool and clean.


The Bottom Line: This is a true bucket list cigar. This is a cigar that I will think about for many years to come. This marks the third Dunhill we have reviewed and been blown away by. People talk all the time about Davidoff’s, 1492s and Dunhill Selections but you really want to experience a cigar that will knock your socks off? You look for a Dunhill from the 1980s and you will be blown away. I know I know…we are talking about spending Hundreds of dollars on a single cigar but this experience will last a lifetime and that to me is worth it.



Final Score: 97

Steve Valle

Steve Valle wrote for Smoking Stogie, a precursor to halfwheel, from 2010-2011.