Aged Ha­banos. Time to Rest

Excelencias from the Caribbean & the Americas - - CONTENTS - BY / JOSÉ MARÍA LÓPEZ INCHAURBE, VICE PRES­I­DENT DE­VEL­OP­MENT WITH HA­BANOS, S.A. PHO­TOS / ALVITE / EX­CE­LEN­CIAS ARCHIVES

THE AG­ING OF ROLLED HA­BANOS IS JUST A MUCH SUB­TLER AND SLOWER TUN­ING THAT, AS LONG AS THE CIGARS HAVE BEEN PROP­ERLY PRE­SERVED, ALSO BRINGS ABOUT CHANGES IN THE WAY THEY ARE SMOKED, SOME­THING HIGHLY COV­ETED AMONG SOME CON­SUMERS

The tra­di­tion of ag­ing al­ready-rolled cigarettes, cigars or sto­gies started with con­sumers or col­lec­tors who were stash­ing cigars in good con­di­tions as far as preser­va­tion and tem­per­a­ture are con­cerned, just wait­ing for them to evolve as time ticked by, or just with spe­cial­ized re­tail­ers who were pil­ing up on good amounts of Ha­banos in their stores and were later on putting them on sale as even more re­fined prod­ucts.

There's no doubt that the United King­dom mar­ket helped like no other to turn this prac­tice into a trend­set­ter. The two most im­por­tant Bri­tish auc­tion houses –Christie's and Sotheby's- have been putting “vin­tage” to­bacco un­der the gavel for a num­ber of years, ei­ther by sell­ing “old” cigars that had been rolled be­fore the tri­umph of the 1959 Cuban rev­o­lu­tion or auc­tion­ing off Ha­banos from to­bacco brands that shut down their fac­to­ries on the is­land na­tion.

In ad­di­tion to boost­ing up the col­lec­tor's mind­set, the launch of lim­ited out­puts of one-shot edi­tions, such as the Mil­len­nium Jars rolled out by Ha­banos S.A. to com­mem­o­rate the com­ing of the new mil­len­nium, or the birth of the Lim­ited Edi­tions in the year 2000, also en­cour­aged the new tra­di­tion of let­ting cer­tain cigars rest for the sake of just col­lect­ing them and then puff­ing on them later, in a bid to ob­serve the organolep­tic evo­lu­tion of rolled cigars.

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