Believe The Hype: The Cohiba Talismán Limited Edition 2017 Cigars Are Spectacular
by Ken Gargett
The Limited Edition program (Edición Limitada) has been the great success story for Cuban cigars this century, although from modest, even hesitant beginnings. We have seen Regional Releases, Collections, Grand Reserves, Aged Releases, Commemorative humidors and more, but there are few annual releases generating the high levels of interest as the Limited Editions.
The LE program began in 2000 with the release of four special cigars: Hoyo de Monterrey Particulares, Montecristo Robustos, Partagás Pirámides, Romeo & Julieta Exhibición No. 2. Every year since then – with the exception of 2002 – there has been an annual release of a limited edition of three to five cigars.
The good folks of Habanos, the Cuban state tobacco company encompassing 27 brands, are notoriously famous for failings in full and frank disclosure (perhaps even more so than the Champenois): at a press conference in Havana a decade ago in which full transparency was promised, a journalist asked for the current year’s production figures.
“Yes,” beamed one of the head honchos. “It is more than last year but less than next year!”
From 2003, the Cohiba Double Coronas, Hoyo de Monterrey Piramide, Partagás Serie D No. 2, and Romeo y Julieta Hermosos No. 1 were all stellar. The fifth Limited Edition, the Montecristo C, a rare failure, was less so, so but I guess you can’t win them all.
Of all of these, the Cohiba Double Coronas and Sublimes editions have now become legendary.
What was perhaps most amazing about the early releases was the price asked for these gems: despite their quality, novelty, innovation, and rarity, these cigars were such good value that I doubt anyone would have considered them worth mentioning in a luxury publication such as Quill & Pad.
These limited editions were often priced at levels lower than normal-release cigars – more evidence suggesting that the Cubans had no clue as to what a potential treasure they had on their hands. Be assured that they have rectified that; these are now some of the most highly priced cigars in the world.
The Cuban Limited Edition program
The Limited Edition program operates with three to five cigars a year from various houses, but in forms that are not usually produced by that house. Hence, we have had cigars like the Cohiba Pyramide from both 2001 and 2006 and the Montecristo Double Corona from 2001.
The program originally used two-year-old wrappers that were much darker than usual, but since 2007 all tobacco – wrapper, filler, binder – has been aged for two years.
The Limited Edition cigars have two bands, the second including the year – with the exception of the original releases from 2000. In 2006, several of the more popular Limited Editions were re-released.
The year 2017 saw three new Limited Editions arrive: the Partagás Series No. 1, Punch Regios de Punch, and a cigar that has been one of the most eagerly awaited in a very long time, the Cohiba Talismán, which was finally introduced at a function in London in October 2017 and is now making its way around the globe.
The Talismán follows the trend – though not everyone is as enamored of it as some prefer long and elegant to fat and stumpy – of large ring gauge: it has a 54 ring gauge and is 154 mm in length, making it a Robusto Extra (referred to in-house as Cañonazo Doble). The head has a small pigtail like the Cohiba Behike. A “pigtail” is a traditional method of twisting tobacco at the cap so that it resembles a little pigtail.
The Talismáns were produced at the famous and beautiful El Laguito factory on the edge of Havana.
Prices reflect the move away from the value of the early days. A box of ten will cost somewhere between US$600 and $800, or nearly $100 for an individual stick. The best examples, while the wrapper is still quite dark, will have that slight russet edge that is so often an indicator that you hold a special cigar in your hand.
Humidor queens or no?
So, are the Cohiba Talismán Limited Edition 2017 cigars really that good or simply a collector’s item destined to be moved from humidor to humidor at ever-increasing prices?
Believe it! They most certainly are spectacular cigars.
Still very young – indeed, if you can hold them for another five to ten years, you will be more than amply rewarded – they are finely balanced and with an array of flavors. It is only when one is about a third in that the caramel comes through in lashings.
Indeed, if served blind, one might almost consider them from the house of Por Larranaga, caramel being a telltale indicator of their finest. To that point, there are spices, dry herbs, woody notes, and so much more.
Toward the end of the cigar it does become apparent just how young they are, but that is something that only time and a good humidor can rectify.
The Cohiba Talismán Limited Edition 2017 is a superb handmade cigar, well worth the hype and truly worthy of its Limited Edition status.
For more information, please visit www.habanos.com/en/noticias/habanos-s-a-presenta-en-londres-el-cohiba-talisman-edicion-limitada-2017.
Quick Facts Cohiba Talismán Limited Edition 2017
Ring gauge: 54
Length: 154 mm
Bands: standard band G with Limited Edition 2017 band
Packaging: slide-lid box of 10 cigars
Price: approx. $639