While Habanos S.A.’s Edición Regional program has seen a large number of releases from many multiple marcas since it debuted in 2005, there was at least one brand that was missing from the lineup: Rafael González.
That changed in 2013, when Habanos S.A. announced the Petit Pirámides, a 5 x 50 belicoso produced exclusively for the country of Germany. Sold in boxes of 10, the cigar was limited to only 60,000 total sticks with pricing around €9.90 per cigar.
For those unfamiliar with the Edición Regional series, the basics are as follows:
The Edición Regional program sees Habanos S.A., the marketing and distribution company behind Cuban cigars, create unique, limited vitolas for its distributors around the world. Sizes must be those that are in the Habanos S.A. portfolio, but not amongst the regular production offerings for the brand, although some discontinued regular sizes can be created. New vitolas created for a certain brand are also not eligible to be used. In addition, the “global” brands—i.e. Cohiba, H. Upmann, Hoyo de Monterrey, José L. Piedra, Montecristo, Partagás and Romeo y Julieta—are not eligible to be made into an Edición Regional.
Since 2012, distributors have been limited to a single release per year, a change from prior years when some distributors would receive multiple releases per year. Distributors are the ones to initiate the idea of a new release, and the cost for any new Edición Regional must be underwritten by the distributor. There is no guarantee that any particular region will get a new release in a given year.
While this was the only Edición Regional release for Germany in 2013, the program has seen a number of cigars for the country since it started, including:
- Bolívar Colosales — 2006
- Por Larrañaga Lonsdales — 2006
- Bolívar Especiales No.2 — 2009
- Bolívar 5ta Avenida — 2009
- Por Larrañaga Robustos — 2010
- Ramón Allones Belicosos — 2010
- Juan López Distinguidos — 2011
- Sancho Panza Escuderos — 2011
- Punch Sir John — 2012
- Rafael González Petit Piramides — 2013
- Ramón Allones 8-9-8 — 2014
- Cigar Reviewed: Rafael González Petit Pirámides Edición Regional Alemania (2013)
- Country of Origin: Cuba
- Factory: n/a
- Wrapper: Cuba
- Binder: Cuba
- Filler: Cuba
- Length: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Petit Belicoso
- Est. Price: $10.10 (Box of 10, $101)
- Release Date: February 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: 6,000 Boxes of 10 (60,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The Rafael González Petit Pirámides is diminutive in size when held in your hand, covered in a medium brown wrapper that has some tooth to it that reminds me of parchment when I rub my finger along it. There is no hint of oil that I can see, and the cigar is extremely hard to the touch, just short of rock hard. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of faint barnyard, hay, sweet peanuts and earth, while the cold draw brings flavors of hay, citrus, dark chocolate, leather and slight vanilla sweetness.
Starting out, the Rafael González Petit Pirámides starts off with a strong hay and leather combination as the dominant flavors, followed closely by earth, dark chocolate, espresso beans and slight citrus. There is a touch of salt on my lips, and some slight vanilla sweetness on the retrohale which combines nicely with some white pepper that is also present. Construction-wise, the draw is excellent after a Dickman cut, and while the burn is a bit wonky, it is not bad enough to have to touch up yet. The overall strength is quite mild, and ends the first third well short of the medium mark.
The lemon citrus on the finish increases quite a bit in the second third of the Rafael González Petit Pirámides, while the profile becomes noticeably more creamy. The dominant flavors are a combination of creamy peanuts and hay, while other notes of cinnamon, earth, leather, dark chocolate and yeast flit in and out. The vanilla sweetness from the first third has increased as well, and the white pepper on the retrohale remains about the same. I have to touch the burn up once right around the halfway point, but the draw continues to impress, while the smoke production remains fairly constant. The strength has not increased all that much, but comes close to the medium mark but the end of the second third.
The vanilla sweetness in the profile is front and center in the final third of the Rafael González Petit Pirámides. It combines nicely with the lemon citrus that is still present as well. Other notes of barnyard, espresso beans, leather, bitter cocoa nibs, cinnamon and hay are present in varying amounts, while the finish is still quite creamy. Thankfully, the burn has evened up nicely, while the draw is still excellent and the smoke production as actually increased a bit. Strength-wise, the Rafael González Petit Pirámides barely hits the medium mark by the time I put the nub down with less than a half inch left, but it is a close thing
- Quite a few of the Edition Regional cigars ship late, and the Rafael González Petit Pirámides was no exception, having been announced in 2013, but not actually shipping until early 2014.
- Call it what you will, but one of the samples was noticeably better than the other two, with a dominant vanilla sweetness and creamy cedar combination that I really enjoyed. If all three samples were like that, the score would be significantly higher.
- All three samples featured excellent construction, but the draw was the star of the show, giving me just the right amount of resistance after a simple dickman cut. Having said that, I did have to touch up each one of the cigars at least once.
- The box code for this box these samples came out of is OPG NOV 13.
- Cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- The final smoking time for all three samples averaged just over one hour and 10 minutes.
There is no doubt that I have been disappointed with some of the Edición Regionals in the past, but the Rafael González Petit Pirámides is a surprisingly good cigar. While it takes a while — about the first third, in fact — the second and final thirds are wonderful, with a creamy nutty profile interspersed with a vanilla sweetness that sticks around for the entire cigar. Add in the great size, excellent construction and wonderful price and it is a winner, and I am looking forward to seeing out they age.