2021 is nearly in the books, and what better way to mark the new year than a good Cuban cigar? This nasty super-contagious Covid variant is making the rounds, shuttering a lot of us indoors. Celebrate instead by lighting a cigar and pouring a fine scotch whisky or a glass of champagne.
There are Regular Production Cuban cigars, Aged, and Limited Editions. Cigar aficionados might talk about Regional Editions on occasion. Why are Regional Editions special? Habanos S.A., the Cuban company (half owned by the Cuban state tobacco company) that controls the promotion, distribution and export of premium Cuban cigars, introduced the Edición Regional program in 2005. Regional distributors are given the opportunity to commission special exclusive cigars for their region.
Overall, these Cuban cigars are opportunities for regional distributors to make a stronger statement with cigar smokers in a particular region. We’ve talked about aging cigars before – the process (the reduction and eventual removal of ammonia from the tobacco via natural fermentation) and the payoff, for true connoisseurs. Here are five recommendations for this evening:
Diplomaticos Nortenos: Canada Regional Edition 2018
One of three Diplomaticos regional editions released in 2018, the Nortenos in a popular robusto format was limited to 6,000 boxes for the Canadian market. Diplomaticos have been known for their great aging potential and this cigar is no different. In a couple short years there is a noticeable difference in the progression of this cigar, with a smoother draw and open nutty creamy flavours.
With the looming plain packaging regulations introduced in Canada, the Nortenos may be the last regional edition released in this market … or at least the last fully branded Canadian regional. Medium to full body, 45-minute duration.
Cuban cigars: Cohiba Magicos: Maduro 5 (Aged 2015)
The Magicos is the middle sized cigar of the 3 Cohiba Maduro 5 lineup. This Magicos is packed with woody, coffee and chocolate flavours and boasts wrappers with 5 years of age in wooden barrels prior to production. Medium to full strength, 50-minute duration.
Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill (Aged 2016)
Another classic robusto from the habanos lineup with traditional RyJ earthy and woody flavours. Rare and aged to perfection (top image).
Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2 Regular Production
This medium to full strength cigar provides plenty of flavour with hints of woody spice and leather. An underrated smoke made popular by many cigar aficionados. Medium to full body, 45-minute duration.
Sancho Panza Belicosos Regular Production
Sancho Panza is one of the most unique marcas from Habanos. This Belicosos has a flavour profile of creamy woody and sweet notes but the main differentiator is the somewhat salty finish. This Campanas vitola is a great size with a balance of draw and smoking time. 50-minute duration, medium strength.