It seems that, today, every cigar-maker is trying to create cigars worth collecting. But is any of this stuff going to be worth remembering?
I recall stumbling upon the collection of Cuban Davidoff cigars at the Davidoff store in London in the early 2000s. It felt like I had discovered a hidden treasure! As it turned out, everyone in the know already knew about them. But as the price indicated, they were indeed something special. Davidoff stopped producing cigars in Cuba more than a decade earlier and, as far as we know, they will not be made there again. By any collector’s standard, these are collectible. They meet all the criteria – exquisite quality, great tasting with age, and are rare.
Makers of premium cigars today try to make the best cigars they can, always. So cigars of quality should be easily available. Having said that, there are but a few that reach the level of quality of the Cuban Davidoffs and others of that rare ilk. These days, the rarity achieved by vintage collectibles is easily attained by makers who create limited editions of a particular cigar. The profusion of “limited” cigars, though, is what raises the question: what is really worth it?
Alec Bradley Fine & Rare: The name suggests that it meets the requirements for collectibility. I believe that it does. The blend is exquisite and it is indeed a rare cigar. Because of its blend, it is also likely to taste excellent as years pass. The informative band on the cigar is also an aid to collectors, because it gives more information than nearly any other cigar about who rolled them and when.
Cohibas (Cuban): Similar in profile to Davidoffs of yesteryear, small ring gauge Cohibas utilize a blend designed to age well. One of the best aging Cohibas is the Lancero. It retains its character longer than stouter Cohibas. I suspect that all Cohibas will soon wear a new band. That means that the soon-to-be “old band” will make these cigars more collectible. Another nice detail for collectors is that Cuban cigar boxes have a code on the bottom stating in what year and in which factory the cigars were made.
Small Companies with Legs
There are a number of small cigar companies making very high quality cigars and, as those companies grow, their early cigars will likely be of more interest. Compared to the large volumes in the future, today’s production will look like a limited edition. Think of how desirable Ernesto Perez-Carillo’s early La Gloria Cubanas are. Some brands to watch include Illusione, J. Fuego, AJ Fernandez, Aging Room, PDR, Regius, Maya Selva, and any others that you think might thrive in the future.
I age very few cigars today compared to a few years ago. I have become more selective and more skeptical about all the latest things. In time, we will know what we should have collected. I look forward to smoking my collection then.
This article was published in the Cigar Journal Autumn Edition 2014. Read more