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Still a bit pricey, but about 30% less than the only vendor that's showing them available (and has for weeks now, quite strangely). I expect the price will improve as these become more available in other less expensive markets.

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3 hours ago, NSXCIGAR said:

Still a bit pricey, but about 30% less than the only vendor that's showing them available (and has for weeks now, quite strangely). I expect the price will improve as these become more available in other less expensive markets.

Received an email from a European LCDH advertising these for 125.00 Euros this morning, however clicking on the link it appears they are already sold out.  

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Received an email from a European LCDH advertising these for 125.00 Euros this morning, however clicking on the link it appears they are already sold out.  


They had pre-orders that were to ship out mid March, and as of yesterday still had some available on their website, but not any more. With the current exchange rate it comes out to about 135 usd. They have a pretty good QC inspection at that shop, but I was still a little hesitant to be the tip of the spear. I have a feeling HSA is going to be making quite a few of these so I'll pull the trigger a little further down the road.


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Well, that's a bummer. I'd revisit it in a few months, but I doubt it's going to become stronger. Perhaps it will pick up some nice flavors that bode well for the future, albeit in a lighter package. How HSA drags their feet for a year only to finally come out with something light and low on flavor is nothing short of astounding. With Punch Punch stock high right now, I was really hoping these would showcase the best Punch had to offer. It appears it won't be this cigar.

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1 hour ago, Fugu said:

- Punch Punch, 46 x 143 - < $ 9.00 (Rob's most recent PSP/HQ offering)

- Punch 48, 48 x 140 - $ 13.50


Why and what for ?!

My opinion is because all the Habanos Specialist Exclusivo releases since the first one, the San Cristobal de La Habana Torreon in 2012 have all had 'special' marked up pricing.

http://www.cubancigarwebsite.com/list3d7d.html?&specialtype=Habanos_Specialist_Release;&sortorder=releaseyear

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True John, but still - why?! Why does HSA expect me to buy it?

The Torrreon and the ConA (and even the dreaded Party Maduro1...) at least are somehow special within their brand's portfolio, and both have been excellent and true additions to their respective marcas (with the Torreon being way overpriced as well...)

But, come on, the Punch 48, really...? I don't get what should make me buy that one at 50% markup while I can still get a 50-cab of PPP?

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Here's what it comes down to. From an economic standpoint, you're paying more for +2 ring gauge and some fancy packaging. From an emotional standpoint, it's a new release from a well liked marca that historically has seen many more deletions than additions. Would I prefer it as a regular production in a $220 dress box? Yes (assuming it's any good) but that's not an option. So I guess I'll have to take it at a pricey, but not prohibitive 13.50$ a stick and decide if it's worth going deep on.


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True John, but still - why?! Why does HSA expect me to buy it?

 

The Torrreon and the ConA (and even the dreaded Party Maduro1...) at least are somehow special within their brand's portfolio, and both have been excellent and true additions to their respective marcas (with the Torreon being way overpriced as well...)

 

But, come on, the Punch 48, really...? I don't get what should make me buy that one at 50% markup while I can still get a 50-cab of PPP?

 

 

 

I think it's because it sells. At least they think they can charge that. As far as I know HSA is the only one who has a true insight in terms of sales, how fast different cigars sell, quantities etc ( and they don't release these numbers as far as I know). If they see that these special edition cigars have good sales numbers, or even sell better then many regular production at a certain price they're gonna charge that. I wouldn't sell my product at certain price if I know people are willing to pay more for it then the price I put, I would raise the price. When I look at instagram it's completely flooded with pictures of special editions, especially regionals... I think many people here can agree that these double banded sticks are in high demand. When I look at many of the quality NCs they have a little higher price then most quality cubans. I think HSA knows this and tries to tap into the market of the people who are willing to spend a little more. That's why I think even the new regular production releases have a slightly higher price then I think they should, like the medio siglo for example, it has the same price as the siglo 3 here in Sweden. Imo they're pushing it with a price like that but they do it because they think they can. As far as the these special edition, like the punch 48 for example, It's easy to divert the price by showing the extra band, refer to fact that's a limited production, have these numbered boxes, and a unique size (us geeks go crazy for these unique sizes in the different marcas, or is it just me?) and have that little higher price tag.

Not to get off topic but I just bought a box of bolivar Tesoros (only because of the unique shape btw) and I would preferred if they put a brooch clasp on the box instead of a individual number plate but my cynical side says that it has to be a reason for it. I mean cmon, a individual number plate to show exclusively and then put a simple nail to seal it...? My spontaneous guess is that a brooch clasp doesn't generate the extra money that the numbered plate does.

I didn't mean to get carried away, I just been pressing this thought for while now..

 

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55 minutes ago, Fugu said:

True John, but still - why?! Why does HSA expect me to buy it?

The Torrreon and the ConA (and even the dreaded Party Maduro1...) at least are somehow special within their brand's portfolio, and both have been excellent and true additions to their respective marcas (with the Torreon being way overpriced as well...)

But, come on, the Punch 48, really...? I don't get what should make me buy that one at 50% markup while I can still get a 50-cab of PPP?

Agreed, and even more so after thinking about some of these cigars.

The Connie A is fairly large, unique vitola, isn't outrageously priced, and above all is a very consistent, well-constructed, flavorful cigar that has also helped fill the gap left by the absence of the SW. The Torreon is a bit similar except for its utterly absurd price. Jar, I know, but $700+? Really? The PM1 is not that great IMO, although it is a bit distinct. And it's a unique vitola for Partagas. The price is too high, and I think it was the weakest of the three Specialist releases--until the Punch 48, which is pretty much a bust on all counts. Vitola--no. Price--no. Flavor--no.

At least there's some redeeming features to the other three Specialist releases. There's absolutely no reason not to buy a Punch Punch over this Punch 48. I can't believe I'm criticizing a 48 RG release, but I would actually have suggested a "Punch 50" Robusto/Robusto Extra format for this release. Or a 44 would have been kind of cool--maybe a 44 x 6.0". This Punch 48 is just too close to the Punch Punch which appears to be outperforming it.

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18 hours ago, Nico said:

I think it's because it sells... 

Oh, it will sell, but Fugu's question (and mine) is why would they expect us to buy it? I guess the answer is (and has been for a while) they expect us to buy it because they make it. And that's the HSA attitude. 

Everything HSA puts two+ bands on and prices high sells big while true greats that are beyond reasonably priced like the BCG, HUPC and SCLF collect dust on shelves. 

I think we all need to accept that the future of Cuban cigars is going to be special releases with a continuous phasing out of regular production. This strategy is effective for multiple reasons from a technical and profitability standpoint. I guess as long as we get more Connie A/Mag 56 quality and less Anejados quality I can live with it. 

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31 minutes ago, NSXCIGAR said:

I think we all need to accept that the future of Cuban cigars is going to be special releases with a continuous phasing out of regular production.

A means to boost returns by bumping prices in a quicker and more concealed way. Price increases done on regular production are simply less obscure and easier to track and compare.

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On 19/03/2017 at 3:32 AM, Nico said:

As far as the these special edition, like the punch 48 for example, It's easy to divert the price by showing the extra band, refer to fact that's a limited production, have these numbered boxes, and a unique size (us geeks go crazy for these unique sizes in the different marcas, or is it just me?) and have that little higher price tag.

Agree with most what you say Nico. But you can't really lump together all those "double-banded" releases. They are - whether Limitada, Regional, LCDH- or HS-releases - representing very different concepts.

For instance, both the LCDH- as well as the HS-lines had been announced by HSA as being released in particular as a "speciality" for promoting the different HSA-sales-franchises by providing an attractive offer to their (loyal) customers. But while the LCDH releases have indeed always been coming up at a very competitive pricing, quite frequently even being cheaper than comparable standard production vitolas (see RA Superiores, Party Salomones), the Habanos Specialists where not. And the HS releases are even less exclusive, for being distributed through LCDHs and HSs, while the LCDH-range only through LCDHs alone (should be, theoretically....). Neither of them being truly limited, let alone coming with a numbered box plate. And as for a special format - that's exactly what's to be critizised here, the Punch 48 is nowhere near anything special (granted, the design of box and second band being nice, indeed). Like NSXCIGAR, I am not at all against such an additon to the brand, fine, but not at a price bump of nearly 50%. And, please, no one tell me it were made of special tobacco and a unique, secret blend....

On 19/03/2017 at 3:32 AM, Nico said:

Not to get off topic but I just bought a box of bolivar Tesoros (only because of the unique shape btw) and I would preferred if they put a brooch clasp on the box instead of a individual number plate but my cynical side says that it has to be a reason for it.

As for brooch clasp to nail - certainly a matter of personal liking. Some markets prefer the classic or let's say traditional packaging for the traditional marcas. You'll find them in a lot of Regionals. Apart from cab-boxes Bolívar has usually come in dress boxes (Cajón Corriente, CB), so using a brooch CBB (as e.g. in the Monte 520) had appeared a bit "strange" to me. Couldn't care less, but if asked, prefer the plain version. Some of the best came in simple CBs.

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On 3/18/2017 at 4:54 PM, Fugu said:

True John, but still - why?! Why does HSA expect me to buy it?

The Torrreon and the ConA (and even the dreaded Party Maduro1...) at least are somehow special within their brand's portfolio, and both have been excellent and true additions to their respective marcas (with the Torreon being way overpriced as well...)

But, come on, the Punch 48, really...? I don't get what should make me buy that one at 50% markup while I can still get a 50-cab of PPP?

If I were to venture a guess, Fugu is not representative of the target market for this vitola...!

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This does seem like a strange release in that it is very close in size to the Punch Punch and it is not a +52 RG. As a marca Punch has been stripped down to the bare minimum over recent years, I don't understand why they would discontinue all the corona gorda options then release this which is essentially the same?

I do hope that these either improve with a bit of age, or as production continues. Recent Punch Punch has been of a high standard so these will need to be something special to justify the higher price.

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2 hours ago, David88 said:

This does seem like a strange release in that it is very close in size to the Punch Punch and it is not a +52 RG. As a marca Punch has been stripped down to the bare minimum over recent years, I don't understand why they would discontinue all the corona gorda options then release this which is essentially the same?

Surprised me too. Like I said above, I can't believe I'm criticizing a 48 RG special release, but I think a Robusto/Gordito/Dobles format would have been much more effective, particularly as Punch has never had a 50 RG in regular production and none in special production since 2010. Call it the Punch 50. I would much rather have seen even a Hermosos No 1 or No 2--which have proven to be very popular vitolas--over a Hermosos No 3 which is maybe one of the worst vitolas possible, especially when you have a real cracking Corona Gorda in your lineup which is going to cannibalize sales.

I think this was also a bit of a phenomenon with the RACA and the RAS recently. The RACA is a very funky size at 47 x 5.3", but they really were able to capitalize on the fact that it was very good and the RAS have kind of hit a bit of a rut this year. Also, ELs have a pretty high demand regardless and the price was absolutely outstanding for the RACA, being an EL. So the RACA had a lot going for it, which kind of saved it. This Punch 48 apparently does not. 

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22 minutes ago, NSXCIGAR said:

Surprised me too. Like I said above, I can't believe I'm criticizing a 48 RG special release, but I think a Robusto/Gordito/Dobles format would have been much more effective, particularly as Punch has never had a 50 RG in regular production and none in special production since 2010. Call it the Punch 50. I would much rather have seen even a Hermosos No 1 or No 2--which have proven to be very popular vitolas--over a Hermosos No 3 which is maybe one of the worst vitolas possible, especially when you have a real cracking Corona Gorda in your lineup which is going to cannibalize sales.

Unfortunately people are suckers for a second band/limited/special release so I can quite easily see an average consumer buying this over the Punch Punch, particularly when they come in boxes of 10 so the price is lower.

I guess we shouldn't bemoan a sub 50 RG release but I think I would actually prefer to pay the premium for a re-release of the Black Prince or RS 11 and have it as a 'premium' option to the PP than this.

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Agree with most what you say Nico. But you can't really lump together all those "double-banded" releases. They are - whether Limitada, Regional, LCDH- or HS-releases - representing very different concepts.

For instance, both the LCDH- as well as the HS-lines had been announced by HSA as being released in particular as a "speciality" for promoting the different HSA-sales-franchises by providing an attractive offer to their (loyal) customers. But while the LCDH releases have indeed always been coming up at a very competitive pricing, quite frequently even being cheaper than comparable standard production vitolas (see RA Superiores, Party Salomones), the Habanos Specialists where not. And the HS releases are even less exclusive, for being distributed through LCDHs and HSs, while the LCDH-range only through LCDHs alone (should be, theoretically....). Neither of them being truly limited, let alone coming with a numbered box plate. And as for a special format - that's exactly what's to be critizised here, the Punch 48 is nowhere near anything special (granted, the design of box and second band being nice, indeed). Like NSXCIGAR, I am not at all against such an additon to the brand, fine, but not at a price bump of nearly 50%. And, please, no one tell me it were made of special tobacco and a unique, secret blend....



You're absolutely right. It is different concepts and some of the double band cigars had good pricing. The SLR Tesoro and ERdM PR were sold at 90-100$ if I remember correctly. I think that it was around the same price as the HdM PR and monte PE when I visited Spain this christmas. Like someone mentioned above, the RACA is another example of a reasonable price tag when it came out. But like you said in the post above, they use this limited production, double banded, number plate, unique vitola thing to conceal the fact that they put a higher price. Overall this special/limited production concept is way of confusing us when they're raising the price weather they choose the extra band, numbered plate or anything else. This sales tactic seems to be working so that's why they keep using it. That's my point. They expect people to buy it because this sales tactic has worked before. Regarding if it's a special vitola, I agree it's not so special. Only difference is 2rg thicker then the punch-punch, but many of the ERs have been the same. If there's a robusto in the brand they release a Edmundo (or the other way around). At the end of the day, if it's as bad as people here have described it and the aging doesn't help, I'll pass. If I hear that it turned around after 6 months. I'll buy at least 3 to see for myself. Till then, it looks like I will be spending my hard earned $ on a box of the new HdM LCDH.

Regarding the brooch clap thing. It's funny you mentioned the monte 520 box because when I rearranged in the tupperdor to fit in the Boli Tesoro's I picked up the monte box and had that exact thought about the brooch clasp. But you're explanation makes perfect sense. I guess I'm still a little to young to realize some of these concepts and traditions in the industry.



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