Gamechanger Releases


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Ken and I had a brief discussion on this at our video review Monday. 

From 2000 to current. 

Two questions. You can answer one or both. 

1. Which cigar or cigar release do you think had the most impact in moving/changing the global Habanos market?

2. Which were the LE and Regional Releases that broke the pricing mould (ie set a new pricing standard). 

 

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1 hour ago, dvickery said:

1) upmann half coronas ... best new release from HSA ever .

 

This is just one too many endorsements for me- I must try them at this point.  The only reason I've held off before is because of the length.  I just kind of felt that I'd be finished with the cigar just as I was getting into it.  But I keep reading emphatic statements like this (or calling them "crack sticks", etc).  

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Gotta be the PSD5 for 1 & 2. Started the Petite Robusto trend, started the 'charge the more money for half the cigar' trend that countless REs have followed. I'm sure the behikes and grand reservas are cash cows, but in terms of volume sold and number of releases, I think the PSD5 deserves the nod.

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37 minutes ago, Notsocleaver said:

Gotta be the PSD5 for 1 & 2. Started the Petite Robusto trend, started the 'charge the more money for half the cigar' trend 

Wasn’t that Hoyo in 2004?  Partagas continued the trend with the D5.

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14 minutes ago, JohnS said:

1768225525_PetitRobusto.thumb.png.cdbf9966462fe39aa15bd131a2d76618.png

It was indeed the Hoyo de Monterrey Petit Robustos that started the trend, however, looking at the screenshot above of current production Petit Robustos, if I had to choose the one cigar that was a game changer in this vitola, then I'd make the case that it was the Montecristo Petit Edmundo that influenced the trend towards shorter and fatter cigars.

Montecristo also followed and continued that trend but it was still Hoyo that started it.

Note: I don’t think there’s anything particularly game changing about Petit Robustos.  A new format/size doesn’t equate to a game changer for me as Habanos SA is always creating new sizes.  I was merely pointing out that Hoyo was the first PR, and that credit cannot be given to any other brand.

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41 minutes ago, cookj1 said:

Montecristo also followed and continued that trend but it was still Hoyo that started it.

Note: I don’t think there’s anything particularly game changing about Petit Robustos.  A new format/size doesn’t equate to a game changer for me as Habanos SA is always creating new sizes.  I was merely pointing out that Hoyo was the first PR, and that credit cannot be given to any other brand.

Stating that the Hoyo De Monterrey Petit Robusto started the trend is effectively what I've also intimated, wouldn't you agree?

In regards to the Petit Robustos size being a game changer, take another look at the year these releases have all come out and then compare the discontinuation of coronas and petit coronas in the last 15 years below...

758665143_DiscontinuedPetitCoronasetal.thumb.png.792e1bc70a54d64c2d935bec9552ebad.png

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1. Behike

2. I think this has to be something fairly recent so probably Talisman.  But, to be honest, with social media, we may not yet be at that price shattering trend setter - much like the old Willett Family Estate bourbons and ryes have broken through the Stitzel-Weller ceiling and keep. on. going.  

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If we're talking RE, the 2011 Selectos Finos definitely was a game changer.  Pretty pricey when they were released and super expensive now if you can find them. Quality of these was exceptional though, and I don't know if there have been many REs that were near as good.

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30 minutes ago, JohnS said:

Stating that the Hoyo De Monterrey Petit Robusto started the trend is effectively what I've also intimated, wouldn't you agree?

In regards to the Petit Robustos size being a game changer, take another look at the year these releases have all come out and then compare the discontinuation of coronas and petit coronas in the last 15 years.

I almost like to think, two+ seasons of crop issues in Cuba helped shaped this vitolas' "popularity".  Many longer cigars suffered due to lack of large, quality wrapper leaves. I think this vitola helped them put out decent #'s of cigars, even though they were smaller. So, climate/weather/crop damage was a "game changer" for HSA.

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I'll certainly concede that the PSD5 was not the very first petite robusto, but when it rolled out with a price point at or above the PSD4 it became clear that Cuba knew they could charge more for less and they were going to do it. In that sense, it was the petite robusto that changed the game.

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Here's my take.

The La Escepcion Selectos Finos definitely raised the bar on RE's.  Solid release.  Fantastic blend.  Excellent execution on reviving an old marca.  Highly sought after and the cigar just seems to get better.  The limited to 200 jar release also spurred things on.

Cuban Regionals.  This definitely upped the ante'.  From Delicions to Infantes and onwards. The trend of having to go to Cuba to get these really made them highly sought after.  Many of us know people around the world who are willing to help get RE's to those who want them.  Some vendors, did sell these through their shops directly at a hefty markup. But also, many travelers took to flipping these cigars to insane heights.  I've seen it with the ERDM's, the Dips, the SLR's to a degree as well.  Especially the Infantes.  They could be bought for 59CUC on release.  They were flipping for well over $250USD weeks later.  The Cuban RE's were like chum in shark infested waters.  Lots of activity everywhere.

Jars.  There's always been jar releases Pre and Post Revolution.  But the buzz over the LGC Delicios Jar (Cuba's 1st RE) and the Partagas P1 jar was intense.  The LGC is a bonafide "rare" collectors item having been an numbered RE.  More jars were soon to follow and even NC makers got in on the action.  People posting their jar hauls on social media left a lot of people "wanting".  The Cigar worlds' "METOO" movement perhaps?  :D Everyone wanted some sort of jar it seems.  And they still do. 

I agree with many on the CGR.  That definitely raised the floor of what people were willing to pay for "exclusivity".  And the Silgo VI was one of very few "jawbreakers" in the portfolio at the time. It appears that larger RG's were required to justify higher pricing brackets. The same goes with the BHK line. It was Cohiba's finest in the fanciest packaging they could put out there en masse and still be "affordable".  Interest in BHK continues to this day.  Especially with crop issues keeping production#'s down.

 

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Ken and I had a brief discussion on this at our video review Monday. 
From 2000 to current. 
Two questions. You can answer one or both. 
1. Which cigar or cigar release do you think had the most impact in moving/changing the global Habanos market?
2. Which were the LE and Regional Releases that broke the pricing mould (ie set a new pricing standard). 
 



1) The single most legendary cigar release that has changed the game and had the most impact would definitely be Cohiba Siglo VI release back in the early 2000s. No doubts about that. No competition. A mastercase of Siglo 6 is better than money in the bank really. It’s the most in demand cigar ever..... Monte 2 and Monte 4 might be HSA’s best sellers of all time but..... in this part of the world (Asia). It’s all about that sex. Sorry six.


2) Some RE’s are retardedly priced. Mostly the ones PCC decides to make. Ramon Silver Jubilee comes to mind. Other than that the Cohiba ELs definitely spiked the marked. The Robustos Supremos and the Talismans are insanity.





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1. Siglo 6 without question, although Behike is certainly up there.

2.RE's depend on the markets, as far as pricing goes. Spain still has very reasonably priced REs, UK/Canada/Asia Pacific pricing sucks, unless you know where to buy. EL pricing, the Monte C was the most bonkers of the lot. Though current Els in bigger han boxes of 10 formats are certainly pricy.

Keith.

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10 minutes ago, Coloniales said:

1. Siglo 6 without question, although Behike is certainly up there.

2.RE's depend on the markets, as far as pricing goes. Spain still has very reasonably priced REs, UK/Canada/Asia Pacific pricing sucks, unless you know where to buy. EL pricing, the Monte C was the most bonkers of the lot. Though current Els in bigger han boxes of 10 formats are certainly pricy.

Keith.

Same here

 

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I think everything we call "game changer" follows on from Altadis buying a 50% stake in Habanos in 2000.  It seems they brought a lot of free-market oriented thinking about marketing that previously did not exist in HSA.  The rumor / urban legend of Castro asking his cigar industry leaders why they don't just consolidate the entire industry into a single brand of cigars represented that old thinking, pre-Altadis.  Altadis also brought a pretty big infusion of cash ($500m).

It's no coincidence that the Edicion Limitada program ramped up after 2000.  And that many new sizes were introduced after that point in time.  And unfortunately, the discontinuations also ramped up. 

I know the tiny segment of us extreme Habanophiles that are represented by us on this board don't like the discontinuations and emphasis on higher-margin products.  But even we have to admit from HSA's point of view, redirecting quality tobacco away from low margin, low sales products into higher margin, higher demand products is good business management.

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On 1/17/2019 at 3:32 PM, El Presidente said:

I think the Cohiba Siglo VI  2002/03 was the beginning a market mind shift. To my mind it was the foundation upon which all future Cohiba Super Premiums (including Behike) flowed from. 

 

I’ve been pondering this for a day and I have to agree.  In terms of regular production, this was unique.  And I remember the small production at first.  When it was clear that the public bought into the exclusivity, it seems like a slippery slope in hind sight.

Do you remember the first year of LE’s?  There wasn’t anything memorable.  But I do remember paying some ridiculous retail price for the Cohiba Pyramides in 2002 (was celebrating a mate’s restaurant opening) and the subsequent Cohiba DC offering was no different.  In terms of LE’s, it feels like Cohiba was also the gamechanger, but I think the premium price was established before the original Behike.

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The most dramatic change for Cuban cigar is not in what they started making, not really from a connoisseur position, but what they stopped making!

I too have to go with the Siglo 6. One of these days I will sell my original release for a new Porsche! -LOL

I actually think that Cohiba (I think they called them Reservas as well) that combination box, was a catalyst. The Siglo 6 set in motion the "fat boy" craze with CC smokers, and that mixed box of Cohibas really started the price jacking. As I recall in '02 these were about $700 USD.

I don't see the Upmann HC as impactful, it just was a substitute for TPCs and the like but do feel that the short robusto was also impactful. While being relatively large ring for me, I think those cigars are for the most part very nice cigars and they are worth buying and smoking.

-the Pig

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