Hunters & Franakau has introduced a new 2001 vintage to the Aged Habanos range. Originally launched in 2008, the Aged Habanos concept has proved to be a popular and affordable way for cigar smokers to sample cigars that have benefited from a minimum of ten years careful ageing. Many people have also enjoyed the opportunity to compare and contrast these rare cigars with their modern “fresher” equivalent.
Like fine wines in bottles or rare spirits in casks Habanos, once boxed, continue to develop and improve with age. The benefit of ageing is a smoother, mellower and more refined taste.
The story of these cigars, just like all other Habanos, begins on the roller’s bench when the five leaves that compose the blend – three in the filler, the binder and the wrapper – first meet. Each type of leaf has already undergone curing, fermentation and ageing (a process that, in some cases, takes several years). However, the balance of the blend, carefully chosen by the Master Blender (Maestro Ligador) is not born until this moment. During the production of the cigars moisture is added to ensure the leaf remains malleable. This water also acts as a catalyst within the finished cigars, provoking a final fermentation and rendering the cigar unsmokable for at least a week or two afterward.
Finally, once the excess moisture has gone, the cigars are banded and placed in boxes, which are sealed and stamped with the month and year of manufacture. It is this point from which a cigar will be given its age and is known as its Vintage or “Box Date”.
These Aged Habanos have been stored for a minimum of 10 years within a very strictly controlled environment. For the delicate balance of blend and flavour to realise its full potential the temperature must remain between 16 to 18°C and between 65% and 70% Relative Humidity.
Much can happen over the years. So before releasing and Aged Habanos, they are checked by fully trained Habanos S.A. quality control technicians specially flown in from Cuba for the purpose. Boxes that receive their approval area stamped “Resivado” which means “Checked”. Then a special band is added to the cigar, bearing the “Box Date”.
The 2001 Vintage has four cigars within it. They are:
Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona
7 5/8” (194mm) x 49 ring gauge, in cabinet boxes of 50
Cohiba Siglo V
6 ¾” (170mm) x 43 ring gauge, in cabinet boxes of 25
5 5/8” (142mm) x 42 ring gauge, in labelled boxes of 25
Partagás Serie Du Connoisseur No.3
5 5/8” (142mm) x 37 ring gauge, in cabinet boxes of 25
All of these cigars are available now throughout the Specialist in Habanos network. To find your nearest stockist, please visit the “Where to Buy” section of this site by clicking here.