Ladies and gentlemen, the festive season is once again upon us. Christmas lights decorate our shopping centre’s, Selfridge’s have their magical christmas decorations up and already inspiring awe to the thousands who walk past every day, and global brands push their latest and greatest new releases to advertising boards all around us. We, however, take quiet pleasure in our greatest passion by filling our list to Santa with Cuba’s top exports. The simplistic aesthetic beauty of a fine cigar immaculately rolled by the expert torcedor’s (cigar rollers) and the delicately blended aroma’s created by the master blenders provide one of our few escapes from reality living in one of the world’s greatest and busiest metropolis’. It’s only natural, therefore, that we believe the greatest gift you can give a cigar-lover is that of a fine cigar. We’ve compiled our favourites for this year in this neat guide to help you in your cigar shopping, or even in your own list to Santa with unique cigar ideas.
The low-budget, no-compromise range (Up to £10 per cigar)
Rafael Gonzalez Perlas – From £7.00
Size: 4″ x 40 ring gauge – Perla
One of our favourite short cigars and a must-have in the humidor during the cold months when time outdoors is at an utmost premium, the Rafael Gonzalez Perlas are a perfect medium-bodied creamy smoke. Great for beginners and seasoned cigar smokers alike, the Perlas are a nice blend of earthy notes underlined by a smooth cocoa palate. The great thing about the Perla is that it’s available to buy as a single cigar, a pack of 5, or a box of 25 meaning there’s an option to suit all budgets. The single sets you back just £7.00, a pack of 5 just under £35, and a box of 25 £175. Surely one of the best boxes you can buy under £200.
H. Upmann Half Corona – From £7.49
Size: 3 1/2″ x 44 ring gauge – Half Corona
One of the oldest cigar brands today and once owned by J. Frankau & Co. which is now known as Hunters & Frankau, the UK’s sole importer and distributor of Habanos cigars, H. Upmann has always been a name worth noting in the cigar world. It just so happens that this year has been an exceptional year for the brand with some of their finest batches being produced in 2013. The Half Corona is another favourite of british cigar lovers owing to it’s compact size, perfect for our unpredictable weather, and mild to medium strength which delivers quite a complex taste for such a short cigar. Expect creamy coffee flavours that’s perfect for a lunch-time smoke. Available as single cigars (£7.49) and boxes of 25 (£179), another bargain for well under the £200 mark.
Montecristo No.4 – From £9.99
Size: 5 1/8″ x 42 ring gauge – Mareva
Ok, so the Monte No.4 barely makes it in to our low-budget category, but it deserves to be here none the less. It’s the largest of the three, and arguably the best. Montecristo is THE most popular cigar brand today. A humidor must-have here at CutTheCap.com and rarely will our humidors be short of them. One of our favourite things about the No.4 is the masterful blend of flavours consisting of cocoa, coffee, and vanilla in a medium body. Whilst a single cigar is available for £9.99, the box of 25 provides a saving of £15 ringing in at £235. There’s also a great range of buying options as it’s also available in boxes of 10 (£99.99) and packs of 5 (£46.50).
The middle-of-the-road range (Up to £20)
Ramon Allones Petit Belicoso UK Regional Edition 2012 – From £14.99
Size: 5″ x 52 ring gauge – Petit Belicosos
One of our favourite UK regional exclusives, the Ramon Allones Petit Belicoso captured everything we ever dreamed of in a cigar specifically created for the British market. Relatively small in size, yet large enough to include a complex blend of sweet flavours which is very unique. Just 5000 boxes were produced last year and they’ll surely be harder and harder to come by. A great investment if not smoked. But the temptation to smoke them all is immense. Available as a single cigar for £14.99, and as a box of ten for £149.
La Flor de Cano Gran Cano UK Regional Edition 2013 – From £17.99
Size: 5 1/2″ x 50 ring gauge – Gordito
Everytime a La Flor de Cano cigar reaches the UK market, it is always with high expectations. The La Flor de Cano Short Churchill released in the 80’s and discontinued in the early 90’s was so popular, a box was sold recently in a cigar auction for an astounding £6,600. In 2010, Hunters & Frankau released the next La Flor de Cano UK regional, inspired by the Short Churchill. This was to be the La Flor de Cano Short Robusto. With dwindling supplies left at cigar specialists (and still, remarkably, available at HumiBros.com), The Short Robusto is still regarded as one of the greatest UK regional exclusives ever by cigar aficionado’s. The La Flor de Cano Gran Cano? Perfectly follows in it’s predecessor’s footprints. A great cigar, despite it’s infancy. Bound to become great with time in the humidor. The Gran Cano is also available in numbered boxes of 10 for £179 limited to just 5000 boxes.
Montecristo Double Edmundo – From £18.99
Size: 6 1/8″ x 50 ring gauge – Dobles
The Montecristo Edmundo needs no introductions. All we will say is that it has been a favourite amongst almost all cigar smokers since it was introduced some 42 years ago. It always leaves is wanting just a little more. Therefore, we believe the introduction of the Double Edmundo at this years annual Habanos Festival was the smartest move to make, and the most beneficial for us cigar-lovers. Whilst still a good cigar to smoke now, ageing these beauties a little more will only help make them one of the best cigars any cigar lover could have in their humidors. The best part is they come in boxes of ten for just £187.99 as well as singles (£18.99) and boxes of 25 (£469), making a a great box of cigars within everyone’s reach.
The “somebody’s been a very good boy” range (over £20)
Trinidad Robusto Extra – From £23.49
Size: 6 1/8″ x 50 ring gauge – Dobles
If loving the Trinidad Robusto Extra is wrong, we don’t want to be right. Sadly, the Trinidad Robusto Extra is now discontinued so if you’re after one of the best cigars ever to leave the shores of Cuba, then look no further than the Trinidad Robusto Extra. The beauty of this cigar isn’t just skin deep. Yes, it is stunning to look at. But it also delivers a superb rich and creamy smooth smoke that’s easy on the draw in ways that one can only define as pure elegance. It’s the Aston Martin of cigars. We’re not talking about pure power here. It’s strength lies in the quality and refinement of the blend. As it is discontinued, we can see these quickly appreciating in value so get those boxes in now, while you still can. The single is priced at £23.49, but you can also order in packs of 3 for £70.99 and cabinets of 12 for £279.
Cohiba Behike 52 – From £27.99
Size: 4 3/4″ x 52 ring gauge – Laguito No.4
Very few cigars are ever deserving of the medio tiempo leaves of the tobacco plant. It’s thought that only one in ten tobacco plants are actually able to ever grow them. Growing at the very top of the plant, the medio tiempo leaves used in the Cohiba Behike range (and only the Behike range in Cuba), they spend the most amount of time on the plant and receive the most sunlight, developing the most complex flavours. It’s only fair then, that these exquisite cigars, which are seen worthy of receiving the rarest leaves in the cigar world make our list for the best cigars this christmas. Recently, one of the first Behike 52’s sold in auction for £1,500…PER CIGAR! Luckily, we can get them for the more reasonable price of £27.99 each, or £279 for a box of 10 and enjoy all the luxuries the top percentile of society enjoy. A must have for any serious cigar lover.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our Christmas Cigar Gift Guide 2013. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed daydreaming about all the great cigars we could receive this chrimbo and look forward to December 25th, giving gifts to the ones we love, receiving gifts from them, and most importantly spending our special occasions surrounded by them. We wish you all the season’s blessings, and a very happy Christmas.