Weekly News (November 29, 2010)

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The Tatuaje Anarchy went on pre-order at Smoke Inn this past Friday, orders should start arriving around December 10th. Alec Bradley gave out more information regarding their upcoming New York line. Cusano has taken over U.S. distribution for Heavenly Cigars. Toraño has filed opposition to MATASA/SAG Import’s Quesada Tributo name. You can read more about that on the new CigarLaw. Frank has made the site private, meaning no more pro bono work for the large corporations.

Don’t forget about our Holiday Giveaway and Raffle.

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And now, The State of Habanos.

First off, there’s been some recent rumblings on a few of the board regarding the seizure of domestic shipments. No one knows if it is as widespread as the crackdown a few years ago, but it does seem to be a bit above the norm. Secondly, there is still no update on Manuel Garcia, the vice-president of Habanos S.A.. The head of Habanos S.A. is presumed to be incaracarated being held on suspicion of illegal sales of Cuban cigars. This is not “illegal” in the sense of selling to the U.S., rather selling outside of the distribution channel. Other theories have pointed to production problems, misues of resources and general corruption.

Right as the site was launching I had an interesting conversations with a much wiser friend of mine. He rarely smokes anything that isn’t from Cuba and could be described as a Habanophile. Anyways, he had told me that there were issues regarding supply and demand when it came to the highly-lauded flagship cigar of Cohiba, the Behike. The cigar was touted as being produced by a select group of rollers in the El Laguito factory. For those that don’t know, El Laguito is the former mansion of a sugar tycoon, seized during nationalization. While it doesn’t have the long history of the Partagas or H. Upmann factory, it does have one. The mansion was first responsible for producing Fidel’s personal cigars and since has expanded to producing a variety of cigars, including a lot of special and limited editions.

Anyways, unexpected demand was met by an increase of production, this means that not only are there rollers added to the original group who were selected to produce the Behike, but production will be expanded outside of the El Laguito factory. This information has slowly begun to leak online, but there are some contradictions with what I’ve heard. It does seem clear that the overall production of Behike won’t be dramatically increased, but it will be increased so that a supply will exist. It reamins unclear just how many cigars will be made outside of El Laguito, but there seems to be a conensus that the majority of cigars will still be made at El Laguito. In addition, I’ve heard conflicting reports regarding whether these boxes will be restamped, whether it is specific vitolas or the line in general and just how long this has been going on.

Habanos S.A. introduced new tubos for their cigars. Importadora y Exportadora de Puros y Tabacos (IEPT) introduced a new security stamp.

The Juan Lopez Selecion No.3 Exclusivo Benelux 2010 has been released in cabinets of twenty-five available at La Casa del Habano Luxembourg. This latest RE means that only the La Gloria Cubana Inmensos, Romeo y Julieta Julieta, La Flor De Cano Short Robusto and the Por Larrañaga Encantos are left to be released to the world as 2010 launches. The Hoyo De Monterrey Double Epicure (6.1 x 50) have been delayed until 2011 it seems. The travel humidors of fifteen were showed off at The Tax Free World Association in Cannes last month, below is a promo. No word on pricing or release date.

This past year saw nineteen cigars be removed from the Habanos S.A. regular production line-up, 2011 is scheduled to have no new removals. Three cigars will be added as regular production. The Partagas Serie D No. 5 was released in 2008 as a LE, the 4.3 x 50 stick will be added to the regular Partagas line-up as well as the Serie E No. 2. In addition, the H. Upmann line is believed to get a Half Corona, but details are still scarce.

Earlier in the year I posted information regarding the 2011 RE list, there have been some changes..

  • Bolívar 681 (Sobresalientes) | 6 x 53 | Kaliman (Bulgaria)
  • Bolívar Britanicas (Britanicas) | 5.4 x 4.6 | Hunters & Frankau (U.K.)
  • Bolívar Emperador (Hermosos No.2) | 6.2 x 48 | Top Cigars (Russia)
  • Bolívar Oryz (Edmundo) | 5.3 x 52 | Phoenicia (Bahrain)
  • Edmundo Dantes Conde 54 (Sublimes) | 6.5 x 54 | IEPT (Mexico)
  • El Rey del Mundo NL No. 1 (Magicos) | 4.5 x 52 | Cubacigar (Netherlands)*
  • Fonseca Amateur (Gordito) | 5.6 x 50 } Coprova (France
  • Juan Lopez Distinguidos (Romeo) | 6.4 x 52 | Fifth Avenida (Germany)**
  • Juan Lopez Ideales (Petit Robustos) | 4 x 50 | Tabaccoland (Austria)
  • Juan Lopez Supreme (Edmundo) | 5.3 x 52 | Havana House (Canada)
  • La Escepción Selectos Finos (Parejos) | 6.5 x 38 | Diadema (Italy)
  • La Gloria Cubana Belux No.1 (Genios) | 140 x 52 | Cubacigar (Belgium & Luxemburg)***
  • Por Larrañaga Legendarios (Partagas 16) | 6.7 x 50 | Altadis SA (Spain)
  • Punch Clasicos (109) | 7.2 x 50 | Intertabak (Switzerland)
  • Punch Descobridores (Robustos) | 4.9 x 50 | Empor S.A. (Portugal)
  • Punch Medalla de’Oro (Dobles) | 6.1 x 50 | Hunters & Frankau (U.K.)
  • Punch Sabrosos (Pirámides) | 6.1 x 52 | Pacific Cigar (Asia)
  • Quai d’Orsay Superiores (Robustos) | 4.9 x 50 | Pacific Cigar (Asia)
  • Ramón Allones Especiales (Magicos) | 4.5 x 52 | Intertabak (Switzerland)
  • Ramón Allones Macedonian (Edmundo) | 5.3 x 52 | Phoenicia (Bahrain)
  • Ramón Allones Petit Robusto (Petit Robusto) | 4 x 50 | Barone Tobacco (Israel)
  • Ramón Allones Super Ramon (Rodolfo) | 7 x 54 | Havana House (Canada)****
  • Sancho Panza Escuderos (Dobles) | 6.1 x 50 | Fifth Avenida (Germany)

*Offered in Sliding-Lid Boxes of 10. 2,500 will be produced.
**Offered in Sliding-Lid Boxes of 25.
***Offered in Sliding-Lid Boxes of 10. 3,500 will be produced.
****Offered in Boxes of 10.

2011 is supposed to see the first multi-brand release for the Habanos Collection, i.e. the popular limited-edition “book” series.

In addition, 2011 is scheduled to have a new Grand Reserve series. Montecristo’s classic No. 2 will be the next Grand Reserve. The 6.1 x 52 Pirámides will receive another band and likely a big price tag

CubanCigarWebsite was used extensively, almost exclusively, for the new releases.

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Charlie Minato
About the author

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.

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