In late 1974, the Quai d’Orsay cigar brand was launched at a hotel in Paris, meaning this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Cuban cigar brand that was born in France.

To mark the 50th anniversary, Habanos S.A. has announced the new Quai d’Orsay Especial d’Orsay, a 6-inch (153mm) x 54 toro vitola that is called Sobresalientes within the Cuban vitola naming system. This is the same vitola as the Romeo y Julieta Capuletos, a 2016 Edición Limitada.

It will be offered in boxes of 20 as well as gift boxes of five cigars. Habanos S.A. says that it will be “produced in limited quantities,” though the company has not said what that will mean in practice.

The Especial d’Orsay will be sold worldwide, though Quai d’Orsay’s roots are very French. In the early 1970s, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing—then the minister of finance and economic affairs for France—asked the general manager of SEITA, the French tobacco monopoly, to create a cigar that French diplomats could use as gifts. SEITA reached out to Cubatabaco, and officials between the two countries’ tobacco companies began working on a deal that led to the creation of Quai d’Orsay, which is named after the neighborhood in Paris, on the Seine river, where SEITA’s offices were located. For decades, Quai d’Orsay was only sold by SEITA. Today, the brand is offered globally though France remains the most popular market for Quai d’Orsay.

Habanos S.A. announced this cigar as part of the annual Festival del Habano XXIV, which is taking place in Havana, Cuba, this week. Historically, the company uses the event as a time to announce its upcoming releases, some of which may not ship to stores until after this year. Pricing and release date for this cigar have not been announced.

Brooks Whittington contributed to this story.

This story is part of halfwheel’s coverage of the Festival del Habano XXIV, the 2024 edition of Cuba’s annual cigar festival. For more coverage of the festival, click here.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.