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New releases confirmed at Habanos Festival

New releases confirmed at Habanos Festival

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After a two year Covid caused hiatus the great and the good once again descended upon Havana in the last week of February for the illustrious Festival del Habano.

The Festival was held between Monday 27th February and Friday 3rd March, 2023 and gathered Havana cigar distributors, retailers and aficionados from around the world. It was the twenty-third Festival and included visits to tobacco plantations, cigar factories, tutored tastings, masterclasses competitions and, of course, new releases.

The three featured brands during the week were Montecristo, Bolivar and Partagas, with the following new lines all being showcased.

UK smokers can look forward to trying these new releases later in the year.


Montecristo Open Slam

New releases confirmed at Habanos Festival

Montecristo is the world’s biggest selling handmade cigar brand and also boasts the UK’s biggest selling individual size: the No. 4. For many smokers it is considered the ‘benchmark taste’, against which all other handmade cigars are measured.

In 2009 the ‘Open’ series was launched as an extension to the existing portfolio of Montecristo vitolas but with a new, lighter, flavour category. The classic Montecristo blend is Medium to Full, whereas the Open Series is Medium.

“We have chosen the name Open,” explained Ana Lopez, former Marketing Director at Habanos SA, at the time, “because we want to open the doors to the new generations of cigar enthusiasts. Open widens the choice of vitolas available to present Montecristo fans and welcomes a new generation of 21st Century smokers, who enjoy the pleasures of outdoor pursuits”

The Open Slam joins the four original sizes; Eagle, Master, Regata and Junior.


Name: Open Slam

Factory name: Idilicos

Dimensions: 5 5/8” (142mm) x 52 ring gauge

Presentation: Labelled box of 20 cigars


 Bolivar New Gold Medal

New releases confirmed at Habanos Festival

It is perhaps unsurprising that the cigar brand named in honour of the 19th Century Venezuelan revolutionary Simon Bolivar, liberator of no less than six South American countries from Spanish rule, is considered by many to be the fullest flavour of all Cuban brands.

The original Bolivar Gold Medal cigars predate the revolution of 1959, and it has been in and out of favour over the years. The New Gold Medal has kept the same length (6 ½”) but has increased the ring gauge from 42 to a more modern 48. The foil which dresses it is also now embossed with the name “Bolivar”.

The Bolivar New Gold Medal will be available exclusively from Casas del Habanos.


Name: New Gold Medal

Factory name: Partagas 15

Dimensions: 6 ½” (165mm) x 48 ring gauge

Presentation: Labelled box of 10 cigars


Partagas Linea Maestra

New releases confirmed at Habanos Festival

The three new sizes which make up the Linea Maestra are all unique within the Habanos portfolio and have all been made with a Cabeza Tumbada, or ‘dropped head’. This traditional style of finishing the cigars head was last seen on the Ramon Allones  Hunters & Frankau 225, a 2015 release.

Just as Cohiba has the Linea BHK, Montecristo has the Linea 1935 and Romeo y Julieta has the Linea de Oro, for Partagas the Linea Maestra represents  “the brand’s most premium line” according to Habanos.

They go on to say “For the first time in the history of the brand and the Habanos, S.A. portfolio, the vitolas of this new Partagás line will be made with 100% tobacco grown in San Luis, in the Vuelta Abajo plantations located in the Pinar del Río region, which gives them a special aromatic complexity without losing the brand’s unique character.”


Name: Maestro

Factory name: Deleites

Dimensions: 5 3/8” (132mm) 56 ring gauge

Presentation: SPB of 20 cigars


Name: Rito

Factory name: Gustosos

Dimensions: 6 5/8” (168mm) x 52 ring gauge

Presentation: SPB of 20 cigars


Name: Origin

Factory name: Bondadosos

Dimensions: 6 1/8” (154mm) x 46 ring gauge

Presentation: SPB of 20 cigars

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