Hunters & Frankau is delighted to introduce our new House Reserve Series.
At an industry event held on 1st July at The Churchill Bar & Terrace, guests were invited to be among the first to view these new releases, while also being the first people to sample the 2018 Habanos UK Regional Edition, El Rey del Mundo La Reina.
Every year since the turn of the century, we have set aside a few particularly noteworthy boxes of Havana cigars for ageing. They have been stored in our warehouse where they have been allowed to age in perfect conditions of temperature and humidity under the watchful eye of our Warehouse Manager.
Today, these highly sought after cigars comprise an exceptional collection known as Hunters & Frankau’s House Reserve.
All cigars released under the House Reserve banner share two aspects of provenance. First, they were made totally by hand in Cuba under the auspices of Habanos s.a. and second, they have been released from Hunters & Frankau’s House Reserve where they have resided ever since they first arrived in Britain.
Now, two decades on, the first of these precious cigars are being released for sale exclusively within the UK.
A selection of these rare cigars will be released every year as part of the House Reserve Series and will be presented either in their original boxes under the banner of Aged & Rare, or in specially commissioned humidors as part of the Series 1790.
The first 2019 Aged & Rare release will make up no more than 5,000 cigars in total.
Hunters & Frankau’s Aged & Rare collection consists of cigars that have been matured for a minimum of ten years in our warehouse and every box is marked with a 10+, 15+ or 20+ to indicate the number of years since they were rolled, boxed and dispatched from the factories of Cuba. It is estimated that the first 2019 Aged & Rare releases make up no more than 5,000 cigars in total.
However, it is not only their age that makes House Reserve cigars especially rare.
Some of the releases have additional noteworthy features. These can be separated into three categories:
These are boxes of cigars that arrived in the UK during the year they were launched by Habanos s.a. that were then laid down for ageing. They are known as First Releases and are particularly sought after amongst collectors.
Cigars that are no longer being rolled in Cuba are known as Discontinued Lines. Often once very popular cigars that have now, for any number of reasons, ceased to be made. These cigars attract additional attention due to the scarcity value.
Limited Editions, Regional Editions, Reservas & Gran Reservas
These were limited production cigars at the time of release and so rarity is an integral part of their initial concept. Some of the House Reserve releases within this category will not have been seen in many shops for a number of years. Also, all but the UK Regional Editions were made using specially aged tobaccos, adding to the overall maturity.
Before a box is released from House Reserve every single cigar has been checked by fully-trained Habanos s.a. quality technicians, specially flown in from Cuba for the purpose. Boxes that meet their approval are stamped ‘Revisado’, which means ‘Checked’.
A Release Certificate is also affixed to the outside of every box. This certificate, signed by our Warehouse Manager, confirms the date of manufacture in Cuba, the date of release from House Reserve, and the rarity categories that apply to its contents.
Each box carries an EMS stamp showing the year in which it was released from House Reserve. However, if during its time in our care the box was cleared from Bond sometime earlier, it will also carry the EMS stamp from the year in which that event took place.
Finally, each individual cigar is dressed with a footband confirming that it is Aged & Rare and comes from Hunters & Frankau’s House Reserve.
The Series 1790 is the jewel in the crown of Hunters & Frankau’s House Reserve and is named in honour of our founding year.
It consists of collections curated from some of the rarest and most sought-after Havana cigars within the House Reserve.
Each collection will be housed in specially commissioned humidors or boxes and will contain a themed selection of Havanas. Themes might include cigars from particular brands, from particular specialities like Limited Editions or UK Regional Editions, or even specific vintages.
These collections may not be released every year but when they are each one will have a unique style of presentation and will only be available in limited quantities.
They will be available exclusively through UK stockists.
The first Series 1790 collection is an elegant humidor, containing very rare and special cigars taken from H&F’s reserve of Habanos UK Regional Editions dating from the first in 2005 up to and including the 2017 release.
In total there have been seventeen different UK Regional Editions from eight different brands. Collection Number One contains ten cigars of each, and so houses one hundred and seventy cigars in total. The cigars are housed within a bespoke humidor commissioned from Italian humidor makers, DeART S.r.l. Massimo de Munari, whose family owns the company, has built an exceptional worldwide reputation for the quality of his work. He said “The challenge was to create a humidor to contain all of these rare cigars, in all of their different shapes and sizes, without compromising the need to store them in perfect conditions.”
Only thirty pieces have been made with each one being individually numbered, and signed by Jemma Freeman, Managing Director of Hunters & Frankau. Each humidor also contains a humidification system to ensure that the cigars are kept in the ideal conditions.