Montecristo Linea 1935


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I've always thought we needed a super premium Monte so that we can pay more for a similar smoking experience. Yay!

I didn't put to flame as I had an Esplendido on the go..probably will try one soon.Ajay and Sean (H&F) were on my table - Ajay said he liked the Maltes a lot (if I've not go it the wrong way round

I wasn't at the gala dinner but I smoked a Dumas at a party last Sunday. The cigar looked and felt very nice. To be honest my taste was shot by the end of 10 days of it. It was noticeably st

On ‎3‎/‎9‎/‎2017 at 8:09 PM, El Presidente said:

 

If it turns out to be a Monte Open marketing play then they will cop what they deserve. 

 

Not to stray off subject, but whats up with these?  I have heard some bad comments about these. I'm green so what the deal ;)

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26 minutes ago, planetary said:

Enjoy:

 

Thanks!.......Great vids....hilarious......and yes after hearing what they say, in my so far somewhat  limited experience, I do get what some of them are saying. Although they are not as bad a Ken says IMO....sorry Ken!! lol I guess really, it is my least favorite of what I have in stock. Ah well I'll still smoke em ;)  Ok, back to the topic at hand :)

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5 hours ago, SteveGriff said:

If they somehow translate the flavour profile of the Petit Edmundo and the Media Corona into this line it might be worth considering

Why not just smoke the Petit Edmundo or media Corona and save the coin? Lol

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4 hours ago, Mattb82 said:

This will be very similar to the cohiba bashing we see and then anything cohiba sells out in seconds on 24/24. These will sell out immediately as well.

I am looking forward to trying them. I hope everyone else stays away so I don't have to rush my email when they hit. 

Good point, and that point is really that this type of marketing/packaging/presentation is highly effective as shown by the NC market for the last 20 years. This is modern cigar marketing, like it or not. And I do not. But it is the future (and present, apparently). Remember, Imperial owns half of HSA and actually cares about that thing called profit. I would not be surprised if they have some brilliant cigar marketing minds working for them at this point constantly pointing out that the NC approach has proven highly effective and to abandon the old classic Cuban Cold-War era approach of the same vitolas and same lineas decade after decade. 

Large cigars, flashy multiple bands, lacquered boxes, new lines, lots of gimmicky goodness and, unfortunately, commensurately higher prices is what's in store for us from here on out. And with the constant cutting of classic vitolas, I'm not sure we're going to be able to resist assimilation forever. Outside of the Global Brands, I'm not sure if a sub-46 RG cigar will remain in a decade's time. QdO is introducing the new fatties--we'll see how long the Coronas last after that. We'll see if QdO serves as a model for other brands' futures. 

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On one hand they are happy to pay lip service to their history/heritage to market these new type of 'ultra premium' cigars ('Linea 1935' etc..) but, at the same time, with the other hand are completely undermining the very foundations of that history/heritage by hacking away year after year at the time long tested blends and vitolas.

I can see the business sense (albeit short term) but doing it at the expense of alienating an extremely loyal customer base makes no sense to me at all.

 

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On 3/10/2017 at 9:19 AM, torsion said:


793352277b97057f02281d22ac564af0.jpg


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On its way to HK right?? :rotfl:

 

 

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As long as I continue to find good cigars in regular production I will resist paying double or triple the price for any limited/regional. From the few I've had over several years, they haven't impressed me much. If money were no object, given unlimited supply of the REs or LEs, versus my faves from regular production, I would likely go for my faves 9/10 times.

I don't blame HSA for trying to take things up-market, they're in business to make money, so whatever the market will bear. But the ever shrinking options in regular production to make more premiums is a disturbing trend that I feel threatened by.

Fortunately, I've retrained my palate to like Partagas and Montecristo, and I'm even taking a liking to some Romeos, so I still have a few cigars I can bury to get me through for several years before they too disappear.


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Totally agree with above. BUT... my collection is trapped in aged and older mode. So cigars may not be LE or whatever, but save me from the money trap. Someone. Please! Helppppp!

Except for 2015 RA Clubs. Even a photo of them on my phone all day.

Honestly. :blink:

 

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42 minutes ago, canadianbeaver said:

Totally agree with above. BUT... my collection is trapped in aged and older mode. So cigars may not be LE or whatever, but save me from the money trap. Someone. Please! Helppppp!

Except for 2015 RA Clubs. Even a photo of them on my phone all day.

Honestly. :blink:

 

 

Yep.  That's the one.  I oppose REs and LEs in theory as most do here.  And then I "cheat" on my regulars with RA Club Allones and Superiores. 

But I hate myself in the morning.  Probably.
 

- MG

 

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9 hours ago, NSXCIGAR said:

Good point, and that point is really that this type of marketing/packaging/presentation is highly effective as shown by the NC market for the last 20 years. This is modern cigar marketing, like it or not. And I do not. But it is the future (and present, apparently). Remember, Imperial owns half of HSA and actually cares about that thing called profit. I would not be surprised if they have some brilliant cigar marketing minds working for them at this point constantly pointing out that the NC approach has proven highly effective and to abandon the old classic Cuban Cold-War era approach of the same vitolas and same lineas decade after decade. 

Large cigars, flashy multiple bands, lacquered boxes, new lines, lots of gimmicky goodness and, unfortunately, commensurately higher prices is what's in store for us from here on out. And with the constant cutting of classic vitolas, I'm not sure we're going to be able to resist assimilation forever. Outside of the Global Brands, I'm not sure if a sub-46 RG cigar will remain in a decade's time. QdO is introducing the new fatties--we'll see how long the Coronas last after that. We'll see if QdO serves as a model for other brands' futures. 

... I like to hang my coat on a rack! Furthermore I like to call a spade a spade!!!

This, like so many posts I see, I believe conflates the HSA and the Tabacuba responsibility dilemma. (No offense mate.)

Did Tabacuba not just kill the Upmann PC? Funny, when I go to the Altadis USA sight I can find the Upmann PC in their catalog.

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... these are just a couple of examples! Funny, I see the Demi Tasse and the coronas as well....! What the hell is going on here, one should ask? Why is HSA, the half partner in a marketing company being hung the with the responsibility of killing cigars when they, that partner, when 'they, Altadis' owns the full f-ing company on the USA side are still making and apparently still selling them???

The question is then, if this is Altadis' doing, why are they not doing it at home as well???

Because they are not doing it!

People... please! No one is telling the Cubans what to roll... They are making these mistakes and it is being hung on HSA... This is just some of the proof.

These guys, the private partner in HSA believe in making a full range of cigars to sell to the people that want the different sizes. I see coronas and lonsdales... here too.

Do you see them folks?

A successful company makes room for a varied clientele and does not spit on those that want something not currently in the mainstream. Why??? Because in the free world there is a thing called competition... And when that exists your customer goes elsewhere if you don't make what they want.

I am constantly reading that HSA is killing my favorite cigars. Bullshit! When I go look at the private partner sight, I look in their catalog and I still find them. There is a paradox here and someone is not following the bouncing ball. If this is good for the Cuban cigar market, and it is Altadis' idea, how come they don't do it at home?

Food for thought?

Tabacuba kills cigars because they are shortsighted and don't know what a free market looks like. They put 'party members' in charge instead of marketing professionals.

Should I add they (Altadis that is)... make a profit and they seem to pay their farmers, ones that are not slaves that grow actual tobacco in the USA, where labor is not exactly free!!!

And this luxury cigar bullshit that is getting hung on Altadis as well. How about that?

So if I am an Upmann smoker and I smoke Altadis cigars, I did not just get the Buster Brown in the buttocks from my company Altadis, the HSA partner.

I got that from the Cuban partner... not because I am a HSA partner cigar smoker, because I am a Tabacuba cigar smoker...

Need a little more help understanding?

I can go get my Altadis dog rockets right now at JR Cigars and get an Upmann Lonsdale for about $2.50 a stick...

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You guys still want to hang this on Altadis?

Altadis knows what they are doing folks... It is Tabacuba that is Taba-clueless!

 

-the Pig

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Good point, and that point is really that this type of marketing/packaging/presentation is highly effective as shown by the NC market for the last 20 years. This is modern cigar marketing, like it or not. And I do not. But it is the future (and present, apparently). Remember, Imperial owns half of HSA and actually cares about that thing called profit. I would not be surprised if they have some brilliant cigar marketing minds working for them at this point constantly pointing out that the NC approach has proven highly effective and to abandon the old classic Cuban Cold-War era approach of the same vitolas and same lineas decade after decade. 

Large cigars, flashy multiple bands, lacquered boxes, new lines, lots of gimmicky goodness and, unfortunately, commensurately higher prices is what's in store for us from here on out. And with the constant cutting of classic vitolas, I'm not sure we're going to be able to resist assimilation forever. Outside of the Global Brands, I'm not sure if a sub-46 RG cigar will remain in a decade's time. QdO is introducing the new fatties--we'll see how long the Coronas last after that. We'll see if QdO serves as a model for other brands' futures. 

I don't know if your assertions are true. NCs battle among themselves for market share. Thus, lots of doodads to catch people's eye. - -

HSA has a monopoly, obviously, on Cuban tobacco, history, and culture. If/when the U.S. market is ever opened up, you'd think the marketing geniuses would play to their unique advantages and lead . . . rather than follow the market.

But what do I know about selling cigars. I just burn them.

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P.S. - I have been involved with companies that tried to play their competitors' game, rather than play to their own strengths. That strategy failed while wasting time & money. Afterwards, I wondered if management was just looking for something to do in order to justify their salaries. - -Of course, I have no idea what's going on inside HSA.

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@pigfish I think many of often use HSA/Tabacuba interchangeably, probably because nobody seems to know who is making the decisions, and why. Perhaps it might be more appropriate to just call it the Cuban Cigar Autocracy, or simply CCA.


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1 hour ago, Philc2001 said:

@pigfish I think many of often use HSA/Tabacuba interchangeably, probably because nobody seems to know who is making the decisions, and why. Perhaps it might be more appropriate to just call it the Cuban Cigar Autocracy, or simply CCA.


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Understandable, but not interchangeable!

This is always coming back to a 'free-market' money grubbing, private sector argument. And frankly, it is not... My point is that everyone wants to make money, and that is not the argument, Tabacuba should make money just like any other company.

My position is one using evidence to point out the monopoly and incompetence. It has to do with the difference on how the two companies, Tabacuba and Altadis see the market and therefore react to it. It has to do with the different outlooks based in capitalism and communism, competence and incompetence!!! It has to do with the arguments made here, time and time again... "Its Altadis, they are money grubbers and they are making the fat cigars and killing the good skinny ones... cause they sell for more!" Evidence such as I have provided makes this argument totally false. It is the Cuban government killing the traditional cigars, making the fat ones instead, and then charging too much for them.

My proof is above... If Altadis did this they would be out of business... You can still buy Upmann Lonsdales from Altadis and you can buy them retail at $2.50 a stick... This hardly represents the claims that Altadis is killing the Cuban cigar or squeezing every last dime out of every cigar because they are evil capitalists. This narrative belongs hung on the neck of Tabacuba, not the private sector partner. Look at the proof.

My point is only this. If the Cuban cigar is in decline, and I think that it is, it is not Altadis' fault. Look at their product line, their pricing and their profits. Now look at Altadis... Altadis makes money... and they can do it with lonsdales and coronas in their line up, and they don't need to charge $25.00 a stick for them.

Imagine what Altadis could to with Cuban tobacco... We would never have it so good and the Cubans would actually get paid.

I have backed my arguments up with the facts. If Altadis can make money selling Upmann Lonsdales at $2.50 a stick retail, guess what, with Cuban tobacco we could have the Upmann lonsdale back again at $2.50 a stick as well. What is more, everyone would make money, farmers, rollers and the rest. What Tabacuba needs is competent leadership and that comes by ditching this 'long in the tooth' communist monopoly mentality.

Tabacuba, and the whole Cuban government for that matter, should be burned in a pyre.

Cheers mate! -Piggy

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Understandable, but not interchangeable!

This is always coming back to a 'free-market' money grubbing, private sector argument. And frankly, it is not... My point is that everyone wants to make money, and that is not the argument, Tabacuba should make money just like any other company.

My position is one using evidence to point out the monopoly and incompetence. It has to do with the difference on how the two companies, Tabacuba and Altadis see the market and therefore react to it. It has to do with the different outlooks based in capitalism and communism, competence and incompetence!!! It has to do with the arguments made here, time and time again... "Its Altadis, they are money grubbers and they are making the fat cigars and killing the good skinny ones... cause they sell for more!" Evidence such as I have provided makes this argument totally false. It is the Cuban government killing the traditional cigars, making the fat ones instead, and then charging too much for them.

My proof is above... If Altadis did this they would be out of business... You can still buy Upmann Lonsdales from Altadis and you can buy them retail at $2.50 a stick... This hardly represents the claims that Altadis is killing the Cuban cigar or squeezing every last dime out of every cigar because they are evil capitalists. This narrative belongs hung on the neck of Tabacuba, not the private sector partner. Look at the proof.

My point is only this. If the Cuban cigar is in decline, and I think that it is, it is not Altadis' fault. Look at their product line, their pricing and their profits. Now look at Altadis... Altadis makes money... and they can do it with lonsdales and coronas in their line up, and they don't need to charge $25.00 a stick for them.

Imagine what Altadis could to with Cuban tobacco... We would never have it so good and the Cubans would actually get paid.

I have backed my arguments up with the facts. If Altadis can make money selling Upmann Lonsdales at $2.50 a stick retail, guess what, with Cuban tobacco we could have the Upmann lonsdale back again at $2.50 a stick as well. What is more, everyone would make money, farmers, rollers and the rest. What Tabacuba needs is competent leadership and that comes by ditching this 'long in the tooth' communist monopoly mentality.

Tabacuba, and the whole Cuban government for that matter, should be burned in a pyre.

Cheers mate! -Piggy


Can't really argue with that Piggy. The communist thesis is a good argument, and Altadis may have very little actual control over the Cuban brands and vitolas they produce. Note that Altadis also has NC Montecristo, Romeos, SLR and Trinidad, besides the Upmann brand.

There is another thought that I keep meaning to do more research on, but haven't got around to it... which is the possibility that Cuba may be shifting away in some measure from the brands that are trademarked or highly unlikely to be allowed in the US, should that day ever come. Some marquees were effectively stolen from their founders following the revolution, and many have been trademarked in the US and other parts of the world by other companies, like Swedish Match. If Cuba ever shifts from communism and wants to some day compete in the US, they may be facing a nasty dog fight over those brands. Strategically, it probably make sense to hollow out those brands they don't think they can defend.

But that probably gives Tabacuba too much credit.


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15 hours ago, PigFish said:

This, like so many posts I see, I believe conflates the HSA and the Tabacuba responsibility dilemma. (No offense mate.)

Tabacuba may indeed be calling all the shots, but they execute those decisions through HSA, so they are to whom I generally refer. But I can't dispute your belief that Tabacuba is dictating all of HSA's actions. 

I also think that Altadis would never have bought their original stake without securing some level of operational control. $500 million was a lot of money to put up only to be a passenger on the bus with a property-expropriating government hovering over them. I think they also wouldn't hesitate to sell their stake if they felt Tabacuba/HSA was making poor decisions from a profitability standpoint. 

13 hours ago, JR Kipling said:

I don't know if your assertions are true. NCs battle among themselves for market share. Thus, lots of doodads to catch people's eye. - -

HSA has a monopoly, obviously, on Cuban tobacco, history, and culture. If/when the U.S. market is ever opened up, you'd think the marketing geniuses would play to their unique advantages and lead . . . rather than follow the market.

I don't claim to know either, nor am I a cigar marketing specialist. But keep in mind, the state of Cuban cigars today is far different than it was decades ago. I doubt Cuban cigars were ever as profitable per unit as they are today post-Revolution. Cuba coasted for decades on the Soviet Union's largess and a great tobacco strain with long periods of great weather. I doubt they cared much about profit at all. Much of tobacco production was make-work and national pride. 

Sure, Cuban cigars have the large market share in Europe & Asia, but I would imagine NC producers are aggressively pushing to change that. And Cuban cigars still need to compete in the North American market. With the mainstream media decidedly biased towards NC cigars, it's plausible to think that one could select a fancy box of much-hyped NCs over a relatively drab box of CCs. Remember, younger new smokers come into the fold every day. CCs do directly compete with NCs in many large markets--now more than ever. Even in the US where anyone who wants CCs can pretty much get them NCs are exceedingly popular. Cuba still has to fight to get some underground US market share despite offering what I think we all agree is a generally superior product at a reasonable price point.

NCs somehow got some degree of market share worldwide over the last 20 years. Keep in mind, this happened without the ability to sell the Cuban duplicated brands in many locations. Some of these producers are selling up to 20% of their product worldwide--directly competing with CCs. How is this possible? We know it's not superior quality and flavor, per se, although construction and consistency is likely overall better on NCs. It's not brand history or recognition. It's pretty much marketing, presentation and hype. 

When you believe your competitors are ahead, you don't just keep doing what finds you behind. Of course you do what they do--but try to do it better. The fact is that there is a large segment of smokers who buy based on appearance and presentation. Cuba wants those customers. There are also a large segment of smokers who buy a lot of large RG cigars. Cuba wants those customers. And since HSA's profit has risen by ~30% since 2005 with number of units shipped down by a whopping 60% I'd say the case can be made that HSA is making good moves from a shareholder perspective. I think we have to accept that cigar smokers like me who prefer tradition and the understated presentations that have been the Cuban way for decades are in the minority. That approach was likely only a function of unique economic conditions and monopoly. Pre-Revolution, CC producers were much more innovative and marketing-based and had much more in common with what's happening today, aside from the large RGs that simply weren't in fashion then. 

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23 hours ago, PigFish said:

My position is one using evidence to point out the monopoly and incompetence. It has to do with the difference on how the two companies, Tabacuba and Altadis see the market and therefore react to it. It has to do with the different outlooks based in capitalism and communism, competence and incompetence!!! It has to do with the arguments made here, time and time again... "Its Altadis, they are money grubbers and they are making the fat cigars and killing the good skinny ones... cause they sell for more!" Evidence such as I have provided makes this argument totally false. It is the Cuban government killing the traditional cigars, making the fat ones instead, and then charging too much for them.

My proof is above... If Altadis did this they would be out of business... You can still buy Upmann Lonsdales from Altadis and you can buy them retail at $2.50 a stick... This hardly represents the claims that Altadis is killing the Cuban cigar or squeezing every last dime out of every cigar because they are evil capitalists. This narrative belongs hung on the neck of Tabacuba, not the private sector partner. Look at the proof.

I am not sure I follow that notion, Ray. As much as I understand and share your frustration and anger - it may likewise be explained by other things. May - quite the exact opposite in fact - be explained by a portolio cleaning and avoiding a cannibalization (in particular when the NC-versions are much cheaper...) within the same "house", the parent company (Imperial Brands). More than that, it might even have a legal component involved (as Phil is also alluding to), be linked with an armament of Habanos S.A. / Imperial to fight branding and trademark issues that are to come, sooner or later.

Buy into it or not, but decisions of major deletions and portfolio adjustments within the "old lines" were brought about by Altadis and then Imperial Tobacco. There is a clear temporal link to it that is more than just plain coincidence. And all the new(er) stuff, from ELs (starting in 2000...!), ERs to BHK have been an "invention" of Habanos SA. I am not saying it's all been done by the new partners alone and Cuba didn't have a say in it, but the "capitalist", or let's put it "more market-oriented" partners surely brought some enticing "new ideas" to the show.

Just a few comments reg. the mentioned entities in this game, as there is a pretty good mixup in previous posts. The conglomerate of transnational companies, holdings and joint-ventures is really not easy to decode and not every information on it is freely accessible. But this all is not much related to Tabacuba, which essentially is the work bench only. It wasn't Tabacuba having killed formats. Decision-making is coming from HSA and, if at all Cubatabaco. And - most important - Altadis is not the joint venturer within Habanos SA! Altadis hasn't got any say in Cuba anymore (since 2008), today is in business for mass market cigars (NC) in Spain (and other low-profile products and cigarettes). Imperial's 50% HSA share is now being held and managed by the new (revived) Tabacalera subcompany (Spain), the sister company of which, Tabacalera USA, is handling the US American market, again through its subcompany Altadis USA (not in any way interrelated with HSA!). But here, we may indeed have a conflict as far as the same - Cuban and non-Cuban - brands are concerned within the IB/Tabacalera portfolio.

Anyway, I see very well where you are coming from, but in this case, and from what you present (as headscratching and interesting it is) there is nothing to prove any HSA partner being more "evil" than the other today. At least, the Cubans adopted those ideas very quickly as their own.... ;)

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1 hour ago, NSXCIGAR said:

I think we have to accept that cigar smokers like me who prefer tradition and the understated presentations that have been the Cuban way for decades are in the minority.

Yep, even here on this forum.

And good analysis NSX!

(but "Sure, Cuban cigars don't have a large market share in Europe & Asia, but I would imagine NC producers are aggressively pushing to change that."  ??)

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6 hours ago, Philc2001 said:

There is another thought that I keep meaning to do more research on, but haven't got around to it... which is the possibility that Cuba may be shifting away in some measure from the brands that are trademarked or highly unlikely to be allowed in the US, should that day ever come. Some marquees were effectively stolen from their founders following the revolution, and many have been trademarked in the US and other parts of the world by other companies, like Swedish Match. If Cuba ever shifts from communism and wants to some day compete in the US, they may be facing a nasty dog fight over those brands. Strategically, it probably make sense to hollow out those brands they don't think they can defend.
 

I've recently thought about this also. It was in light of the new re-branding of QDO, it seems such a strange brand 're-launch' so to speak. Why not Punch? SLR? They have far more recognition and history. And a flavour profile that would seem better suited to a wider market. Surely a re-branding of one of these would speak to a much wider audience.  Prior to the QDO announcement anyone would have thought it was only a matter of time before the corona got axed and QDO as a brand was gone altogether.

Maybe they've decided bar the main global brands with the majority market share, that the other brands with possible future legal issues aren't worth fighting for? Maybe the plan on introducing new brands like they did in the late 90's/2000's with SCdH and Cuaba etc.. It could explain the lack of love and gutting of historic brands such as Punch, SLR, ERdM etc... Who knows?

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3 hours ago, Blakes said:

I've recently thought about this also. It was in light of the new re-branding of QDO, it seems such a strange brand 're-launch' so to speak. Why not Punch? SLR? They have far more recognition and history. And a flavour profile that would seem better suited to a wider market. Surely a re-branding of one of these would speak to a much wider audience.  Prior to the QDO announcement anyone would have thought it was only a matter of time before the corona got axed and QDO as a brand was gone altogether.

Maybe they've decided bar the main global brands with the majority market share, that the other brands with possible future legal issues aren't worth fighting for? Maybe the plan on introducing new brands like they did in the late 90's/2000's with SCdH and Cuaba etc.. It could explain the lack of love and gutting of historic brands such as Punch, SLR, ERdM etc... Who knows?

I think you answered your own question there. I think it's precisely because QdO is on life support that they're choosing to "re-launch" it. And I support that. Punch is historically significant and is at least a "Multi-Local" brand for HSA. And they've really pumping out quite a few Punch REs and LEs and now a Habanos Specialist release. I do think SLR and ERDM is in the same boat as QdO, generally, but they have more models in the lineup. The marca that's most similar to QdO is Diplomaticos, and almost uncannily so. Local Brand, one model, poor seller, no history. I'd love to see Dip "re-launched" in the same way soon. 

I think a re-introduction of La Escepcion would be great, or at least do one special release a year. There's been talk of releasing Edmundo Dantes as a regular brand, or again, do one release a year. Both seem to bring something unique to the table, and I think it's worth producing. We'll see what happens over the next 12-18 months with the tremendous crop they've just been blessed with. There should be plenty of quality tobacco available for all sorts of projects and also to start ending some of these extended hiatuses like the MdO 2, HUSW, Hoyo DD and SLR DC. 

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