Limited Edition and Regional Specials
Habanos SA is a highly regarded cigar source. Cigar insiders recognize the self-proclaimed "world-leading company in the commercialization of premium cigars" for its use of Tabaco Negro Cubano. They claim that every leaf in their fine cigars comes from plants that are direct descendants from those first discovered by Christopher Columbus.
While many of the Habanos cigars are globally available at all times, the core product line is not all the company has to offer. They exclusively offer some of their finest cigars in limited editions and smaller, regional runs.
Habanos introduced their limited edition line eight years ago. The first offering, the Partagas Piramides, is often touted as one the best cigars of the era.
The Partagas featured a specially aged and prepared Maduro wrapper unlike those of any other cigar. Habanos subjected the leaves to a twenty-five day "mini-fermentation" at higher-than-usual temperatures. The result was a cigar with an unforgettable toasted taste and a startling dark, marbled texture. Anyone lucky enough to have enjoyed one of these first limited edition offerings will never forget its unique taste and appearance.
Habanos has continued the Edicion Limitada tradition. The first of these exclusive cigars featured two-year old aged wrappers selected from the upper part of the tobacco plant. Since 2007, these limited edition vintages have boasted similarly aged binder and filler leaves. Over the years, the Edicion Limitada products have never failed to garner positive reviews.
While still not as well known as some Habanos products (and certainly not as easily accessible due to the carefully limited production), the Edicion Limitada has earned an excellent reputation throughout the cigar world.
Habanos releases three or four different size variations of their limited series of cigars every year. They restrict production of this prestigious series to only five to ten thousand total boxes.
Habanos supplements their quality core product line and limited edition offering with a special series of regional products. The Edicion Regional series, a staple of Habanos business since 2005, consists of seventeen local and "multi-local" brands distributed throughout the world.
The idea of a regional issue has been an unmitigated marketing success story. These smaller brands, which are not promoted on a worldwide basis, are highlighted and exposed to appreciative regional audiences.
Habanos adds luster to their Regional Edition series by limiting the production of the included cigars. They are promoted only within their region and remain in retail humidors for one or two years. After the Edicion Regional release, Habanos reserves the right to include the cigars in its regular product line.
The chosen cigars come almost exclusively from current production violas that are not already available for each specific brand. Only once since the inception of the Edicion Regional concept has a completely new brand found a way into the product line. That honor goes to the Edmundo Duarte, a Montecristo clone, which entered the Mexican market under the Regional Edition label in 2007.
These cigars find their way to the marketplace through an innovative arrangement. Regional distributors underwrite the setup costs and have an option to extend the period of availability into a second year (thus the aforementioned one or two year window of availability). The re-issued portions of the Edicion Regional line usually contain a statement within the box explaining the re-issue. The cigars themselves are, of course, identical to the first release.
Regional Edition cigars usually sport two bands. There is a main band, which is usually the standard production variation (although manufactures have used older replica bands in some cases). The second band, in red and silver, announces the cigar as part of the Edicion Regional line. The only exception to this convention was the 2005 United Kingdom release, which featured only the single standard band.
Habanos offers much more than the Cohiba, Punch and Romeo y Julieta brands with which most are already well acquainted. The Edicion Limitada and Especial Regional lines demonstrate the company's commitment to a diverse product line featuring some of the world's finest and lesser-known cigars.