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Small Batch Standouts
Matt Bell | Photo: Frank P. Wartenberg | February 14, 2014
See the light with these top new limited-edition cigars.
From Dominican Churchills to Nicaraguan panatelas, there are more limited-edition cigars on offer than ever. And while finite formulations are one way to spruce up the humidor, rarity alone doesn’t always amount to a stellar smoke. So, which are worth exploring? Here are a few new releases that make the cut.
Headley Grange Drumstick
The longer, thinner gauge on this panatela showcases the deliciously woodsy Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper more so than any other in Crowned Heads’ popular Headley Grange line. The Nicaraguan tobacco hits with the power of the classic London rock music its name references—full-bodied but notably sweet. Up Down Cigar, 1500 N. Wells St., 800.587.3696
Tatuaje Black Label Corona
Tatuaje’s knack for flavorful, full-bodied cigars is best exemplified in its coveted Reserva line, also known as Black Label. The original 2007 Black Label corona sold out and became a collector’s favorite overnight. This run is made with the same sultry tasting Nicaraguan ingredients, but was rolled in a different factory, and comes in a slick, new melamine jar. Blue Havana Tobacconist, 856 W. Belmont Ave., 773.242.8262
La Flor Dominicana Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch No. 5
A shining example of adapting techniques from winemakers, this Dominican puro is a Churchill made with a combination of Sumatra, Corojo and Pelo d’Oro tobaccos that were entirely cultivated at La Flor Domincana’s private La Canela farm in 2007. It’s a slow burner with a refined gusto of leather, chocolate and oak. Iwan Ries & Co., 19 S. Wabash Ave., 312.372.1306
Davidoff Year of the Horse
The second in Davidoff’s Zodiac series is a first for the company—a hefty 60-gauge ring gran toro. Year of the Horse is the sign of the label’s founder, Zino Davidoff, and goes old-school in making no apologies for its bravado, especially with the Yamasá wrapper, dried and fermented longer than usual. Hyde Park Cigars, 5220 S. Harper Ave., 773.891.4224
Partagás Benji Homage 62
With 62 years in the business, Benji Menendez, recently retired senior VP of premium cigars at Partagás, is an industry legend. Here he’s celebrated in both robusto gordo and toro form, each made with the same bold Honduran wrapper, sweet Connecticut Broadleaf binder, and Dominican, Nicaraguan and Mexican filler aged in rum barrels. Iwan Ries & Co., 19 S. Wabash Ave., 312.372.1306