What makes Limited Edition Cigars Special?
Most manufacturers put out limited edition cigars once or twice a year which are always quickly snatched up by their top fans. However, we do get asked what makes a limited edition cigars “different” or “special” by more casual cigar smokers. Here are a couple tweaks that manufacturers change to make their limited editions unique.
Unique Blends -
Creating new unique blends for limited editions happens often. This limited release is dictated by the tobacco itself- as different varietals of tobaccos offer different yields and there just isn’t enough to do a regular production release. This can also be dictated by the weather (similarly to wine) as some years have better growing conditions then others, resulting in slightly different taste in the same tobaccos. The Davidoff Oro blanco is an example of this, with all of the tobacco in the cigar coming from a particularly special batch of tobacco coming from 2000-2001.
Changes in Blend -
Sometimes manufacturers will make slight changes to their regular production blends. The most common change to blends involve changing the wrapper of the cigar. The Caldwell Crafted and Curated selection is the perfect example - this release allows Robert Caldwell to experiment and showcase how small changes can make a dramatic impact on taste. Another blend change that is common is to use a different priming of tobacco (more info on tobacco priming’s here). This small change results in both a different strength and taste profile of the cigar.
Longer Aging -
It is amazing what an additional 6 - 12 months of aging can do to the taste profile of a cigar. This additional aging can allow for new flavors to develop, strength to taper off and flavors to become more distinct. This happens both with raw tobacco before it is rolled into a cigar, and post roll where the cigars themselves are aging after rolling. For limited editions it is not uncommon for manufacturers to age cigars for several additional years (our Caldwell Vintage Selection are aged around 6 years). If you want to try an example of this, check out the The ADVentura Conquerer lancero. It offers the same blend as the regular production Conqueror, but the tobaccos are aged an additional year.
The Padron x Fuente collaboration was the biggest story at PCA 2022 (and details are still non-existent). This collaboration between 2 legendary families is the most recent example this type of limited edition. While it doesn’t happen often, the results are almost always fantastic. In this case, some of the cigars will be blended and manufactured by each family then combined in a single box. In other cases the collaborators might have worked together to blend a single cigar (such as our anniversary collaborations with Henderson Ventura of Adventura cigars). Another recent example would be the Excalibur Illusione No.1, where the legendary Dion Giolito of Illusione handed the blending and General Cigars handing production and distribution.
Changing the shape of a cigar is the 2nd most common change that manufacturers make to their limited editions. As we have covered in the past, the shape of a cigar does make a change to the taste of a cigar. A beautiful example of this would be the Oliva V 135th edition. This is the same Oliva V blend but in a beautiful & unique belicoso size, presented in a fan like fashion. Care to experience this change for yourself? Try it! An interesting experiment is to try a blend in different shapes and see if you can taste a difference!
This change almost never happens by itself, and is almost always combined with other changes for limited edition cigars. Every single limited edition release has unique packaging to differentiate it from the normal release. On various occasion manufacturers will simply change the box and band on a cigar. This by itself isn’t much a value add for the everyday cigar consumer, but collectors enjoy these special releases. Like other collectables, sometimes mistakes happen to regular releases as well and these are sought after by collectors making them “limited edition” in their own right.