Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cigar Review: Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo de San Juan

It has been six years since Habanos S.A. released a new regular production Hoyo de Monterrey, and the release of this smoke could not have been more perfect. While the world is looking for larger ring gauge offerings, I believe the days of looking for super strong smokes is over and there is a return to a flavor focused offering. The big ring gauge craze is still present, but at least we are getting somewhere with simply making a flavorful cigar or Habano. Habanos has slowly been introducing large ring gauge offerings in their bigger and more well known brands, and this year at the Habanos Festival they revealed the new large offering. The offering was tittle Le Hoyo de San Juan, and was the newest addition to the Hoyo de Monterrey brand. It is an offering that is meant to pay tribute to the old brand, but do it in a manner that is modern/new, but also traditional. The Habano is just now making its way into stores across the globe, and today I take a look at this new release and see how it smokes.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Habanos S.A. News: Cohiba Brand Gets New Bands

On Thursday, October 16th, 2014, Habanos S.A. announced that the two core lines in the Cohiba brand would be getting a packaging upgrade. Habanos announced that the Línea Clásica and Línea 1492 lines would begin to have the new Cohiba bands applied to all vitolas, and that the transitioning would begin right away. The new band being applied is the same band that is used on the Piramides Extra, and this is a combined version of the Behike and most recent Cohiba band in my opinion. This band was introduced in 2012 when the Piramides Extra was released to the market.

The new band features the hologram technology present on the Piramides Extra and Behike bands, and will help in the prevention of counterfeiting. As Habanos has stated themselves, the new ring that incorporates this new authenticable hologram design, as well as other measures of increased security, allows for better traceability of each Habano brand. I imagine this transition will happen quickly, so do not be surprised if you see some new Siglo VI', Robustos and Esplendidos arrive with this band.

On a personal note, I think this transitioning is a great one and will do a lot for the Cohiba brand. It will definitely help in working against counterfeits, and the new bands in all reality make it easier to spot the difference between a genuine and fake Cohiba. Along with better security, it is safe to say that the new bands are flashier and better for Cohiba. Habanos has stated this is only for these two lines, but I would not be surprised if you see a new Maduro 5 band down the road.

photos from Habanos S.A.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Cigar Review: Hector Luis Prieto Robusto Extra Farm Roll

If you have not heard of Hector Luis Prieto, you will soon. A quick search will find articles in Cigar Aficionado of one of the upcoming superstar farmers in Cuba. So much so, that he warrants a show on What Embargo as well. I was lucky enough to get my hands on some of his farm rolls at my friendly neighborhood LCDH, and was interested to see if his farmies lived up to his reputation. Prieto is known for innovative farming and curing techniques, employing new technology, and old secrets of the Cuban tobacco tradition. I had heard he grows criollo for wrapper, and his roller Miguel has been trained at the factories as well. The wrapper itself is beautiful, and the foot is semi-closed, draped in the wrapper.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Cigar Review: Vegas Robaina Edición Regional Canadá Petit Robaina (2009)

Canada is a country that has received nine regional editions over the years, but they entered into the playing field in 2007, later than most. They are a country that has a high tax rate so it makes sense to do regionals in certain brands as it generates sales and promotes brands that may otherwise be ignored. I have my thoughts on the regional program, some good and some bad, but when Habanos releases a successful regional edition they have a true winner. I think Canada has one of the best regional releases from 2007, possibly one of the best ever over the years, and that is why I pay attention to regionals from that country. A member of the Habanos Critic forum snapped a photo of this Habano and after offering me one to review, I could not refuse. I don't know if I would have had the opportunity to smoke it otherwise, so thank you brother!

Monday, October 13, 2014

What Embargo?: Episode Dieciséis

What Embargo?: Episode Dieciséis, join Catfish and Big Tuna as they conclude their discussion on the best cheap Habanos and discuss all other matters that are of important or completely random.