For a lover of fine cigars, the trip to Havana is a pilgrimage.
Indeed, there is something special about smoking a Cuban cigar in Cuba, enjoying this artisanal product in its natural habitat.
Because, despite recently eased restrictions that made it possible to bring back Cuban cigars from Cuba and the rest of the world, Habanos are still a very much forbidden fruit.
That’s what makes our 2017 cigar of the year just so special.
Wearing the band of an older, smaller production brand called Saint Luis Rey, the Marquez is the latest of a relatively new series: Exclusivo Cuba.
You see, while Habanos SA, Cuba’s global cigar enterprise, has for years produced regional editions, special cigars rolled exclusively for individual national markets like France and the United Kingdom, for example, this cigar is unique: it is rolled and sold only in Cuba.
Of course the Marquez is more than just a geographic anomaly.
This is a spectacular cigar, 5 7/8 inches with a 54 ring gauge and a lovely dark wrapper.
The first thing you notice about it is the draw — it’s extremely smooth, revealing a grassy, earthy flavor that soon unfolds into something bolder.
New flavors then begin to emerge: cinnamon, coffee nutmeg – even a hint of black cherry. The cigar gains strength but never overwhelms, exceptionally balanced with a honey sweet aroma.
It’s an outstanding cigar.
But it’s also a Cuban cigar you can only buy in Cuba.
And that makes it a legend.
— Alexander Britell