Archive for the '90-100' Category
January 13th, 2013 by Aizuddin Danian
The first release of Edición Limitada (EL) in 2000 was special – the RyJs, the Partagas and the Montecriso ELs that year were really outstanding cigars and highly prized in the aged cigar market today. But since then, the ELs have been a hit and miss affair. 2001-2003 were forgettable (2002 had no ELs). The 2004s were notable because of the Cohiba Sublimes (an amazing cigar). Then 2005-2006 were misses. Then 2007 was kinda fun because of the uniquely creamy Trinidad Ingenios (and since then, you won’t be able to find another cigar that matches that blend). 2008-2009 were horrible. 2010 saw the introduction of the Partagas Serie D Especial – a great cigar, and devilishly difficult to find in the market nowadays. 2011 was fantastic with the Cohiba 1966 being a massive homerun; the Hoyo de Monterrey Short Piramides aren’t too shabby either. 2012 looks like another homerun with the Montecristo 520s and the Partagas Serie C No. 3s being great smokes.
Two good years in a row? What have they been smoking on isla Cuba? (pun intended)
The Montecristo 520 EL 2012 was created to celebrate the 520th anniversary of Cuban tobacco’s arrival in Europe, after being discovered by Columbus. It’s been that long since the royalty of Spain puffed daintily on smoke rolls of tobacco, and the ladies wearing white gloves to avoid staining their fingers. Certainly worthy of celebration! And what a way to celebrate.
Continue reading ‘Montecristo 520 Edición Limitada 2012′
December 23rd, 2012 by Aizuddin Danian
Recently concluding a large project at work is as good a reason as any to really break out something special. I was visiting one of KL’s best humidors the other day, the Habanos Lobby Lounge, Federal Hotel, and stumbled across a really old box of 10 year old HDM Particulares in coffins. It was an amazing find, there is a story behind the HDM Particulares coffins.
The original HDM Particulares Grand Coronas were produced in 1980 and quickly discontinued in 1987 due to lack of popularity. Those came with the classic HDM maximus band, in boxes of 5 sticks, and did not come in their own coffins. Habanos SA flirted with the idea of bringing back the Particulares in the early-2000s, and even released a EL version with coffins in 2000 (extremely rare cigar nowadays). Premium dark rosado wrappers made the HDM Particulars EL 2000 a very sought after cigar. Then in 2002, a batch was made to bring them back into regular production. The plan to was eventually canned, but the batch made in 2002 were released anyways, and have turned out to be every bit as rare of the EL 2000 version. The 2002 batch sport the new standard HDM band and come in their own coffins.
Continue reading ‘Hoyo de Monterrey Particulares (OSU OCT 02)’
November 18th, 2012 by Aizuddin Danian
When the Montecristo brand of Cuban cigars was introduced in 1935, it was listed as a super-premium brand. The Rolls-Royce. The Michelin Star. The Cohiba. Made with the choicest tobaccos, under the watchful eye of Alonso Menéndez, it was a great smoke. Montecristos produced from the 1970s such as the rare Montecristo “B” are collectible cigars now, and will punch a deep hole in your wallet if you go hunting for them.
It’s apt, in a way, that the best selling Cuban cigar, the Montecristo #4, carries the name of such a prestigious brand. Habanos SA doesn’t release any production numbers, but it’s estimated more than 20 million #4s are sold and smoked worldwide every year. That’s a staggering number of cigars, approximately 8% of the total output of the island.
The attraction of the cigar lies in several areas. The first of course is the familiarity with the Montecristo brand. For those in the know, the brand has a distinct flavour profile that is widely loved — woody, medium floral notes, with a burst of dark tea and vanilla spice. For those who are new to Cuban cigars, the name Montecristo is a stroke of branding genius: name your cigar after a wildly popular fictional character, and not just anyone, but a character whose personality oozes charm, power and charisma. No way in hell the cigar isn’t going to do well with that type of name recognition. So if you don’t know anything about Cubans, and don’t want to fork out the premium for the Cohiba (Cuba’s other ubiquitous brand), then you’re likely to choose Montecristo.
Continue reading ‘Cuba’s #1 Cigar: Montecristo #4 (ABR 2011)’
November 10th, 2012 by Aizuddin Danian
Sometimes a cigar comes along that just stops you in your tracks. So completely unexpected, so brilliant, so flavoursome, so beautifully constructed that you can’t help by look at it and go, “Wow”. The Cohiba Pirámides Extra is one such cigar.
Click on any images in this post for the larger version in Flickr.
I’ve had my feelers out for this cigar for a LONG time, and it’s been hard to come by. Rob over at Czar’s had them for a short while, but sold out before i could say Bob’s my uncle. Local retailers don’t have these in any way or form; i was told several boxes appeared on the radar, but were pre-reserved by big hitters. Then one day, Ravi from Cigars of Habanos sends me an email saying he has a few boxes. Outstanding! (the cigars aren’t listed on his site, but you might just want to email him in case he still has any left). In a few days, i had a box in hand, and i was very happy.
Continue reading ‘Cohiba Pirámides Extra’
September 1st, 2012 by Aizuddin Danian
I visited an old friend recently as part of the eid celebrations, and also because i’ve been promising to do so for the longest time, and just never have. Rehman Rashid is his name. A talented journalist and published author, a man whose work i read as part of my university coursework, whose writing i looked forward to each week in the editorials of a major Malaysian daily. We happened to meet one night years ago, cigars had brought us together. We’ve been friends ever since.
Besides his love for cigars and his penchant for the written word, he also has quite a handsome face with sharp, glorious features. A photographer’s dream; with this in mind, i dragged 20lbs of lighting gear to his home. We were going to have a chat, a cigar, and i was going to shoot his portrait.
As is customary when Brothers of the Leaf meet, we had gifts for each other. For him, a 3-pack of rare Yolanda Gonzales sublimes custom rolls, and for me the pick of anything from his humidor. Graced with cigars of such passionate quality as the Cohiba Gran Reserva 2003, i had a tough choice. But i was reminded of a story i read a long time ago, about a knight on a quest for the Holy Grail. At the end, when faced with the choice of a thousand shiny and bejeweled chalices, the knight chose the plain wooden cup. It turned out to be the Grail.
A small (actually, tiny) corner of Rehman’s collection — try finding the Grail in that!
Not to say that my choice was the equivalent of a poor wooden cup, but it was the least illustrious of what he had to offer. I chose it because i needed my wits about me as i shot his portrait, and i knew i’d be too distracted to give one of his rarer cigars the attention it deserved. The Por Larranaga Petit Corona (PLPC), from a cab of 50 from 2010, was my choice, and it turned out to be a beautiful cigar to smoke. Rehman picked up a Vegas Robaina Famosos whose smoke aroma smelled so delicious as to make my mouth water.
Continue reading ‘Por Larranaga Petit Corona (DEC 2010) & Rehman Rashid’