The president of Habanos SA, Francisco Linares officially launched the Cuaba brand of cigars on Nov. 19, 1996. The official launch was held in London, England at the Claridge Hotel. The brand was presented as the “perfect” line of cigars.
The Cuaba was launched as an effort to revive the figuardo shaped cigar. This style was very popular during the early twentieth century, but the demand began declining around the 1950s. As part of the launch party, Carlos Izquierdo Gonzalez, the creator of the revived cigar line, along with fourteen other extremely skilled cigar rollers (torcedores) presented a demonstration of how the figurado cigars are made.
Because they were all hand made without the use of a cigar mold, the original Cuaba cigars sold in the same box differed slightly in size. About a year later a mold was finally created to press the cigars into shape to make them all uniform. The early, non-molded cigars became very sought after by avid collectors. Collectors believed the non-uniform sizes gave the cigars more character, and made them really stand apart from other cigars produced. These cigars are not smoked, but stored and preserved, and especially cherished by the owners. Plus, coveted by collectors that were not able to secure a few for their collections.
Gonzalez claimed the blend of the Cuaba was inspired by the Montecristo, however cigar connoisseurs believe the flavor and the blend is more similar to the Romeo y Julieta brand cigars. Coincidentally, the majority of Cuaba cigars are produced in the Briones Montoto (manufacturer of the Romeo y Julieta cigars) factory.
The Cuaba was honored in 1998 by being chosen as one of the brands to be included as a special release vitola (the Distinguidos) in the unique ceramic jar humidor, the Millennium Reserve and has since been chosen several times for various special releases and included in humidor collections.
Cuaba Line of Vitolas
This is the list of commercially sold vitolas under the Cuaba brand.
Vitolas made by hand:
- Diademas – measures 9 ⅛ inches long (232 mm) x 55 ring gauge. Officially named the Diademas, commonly called the giant perfecto by smokers
- Distinguidos – measures 6 ⅜ inches long (162 mm) x 52 ring gauge, officially named the Romeos, commonly called the perfecto by smokers
- Divinos – measures 4 inches long (102 mm) x 43 ring gauge, officially named the Petit Bouquet, commonly called the petit perfecto by smokers
- Exclusivos – measures 5 ¾ inches long (146 mm) x 46 ring gauge, officially named the Exquisitos, commonly called the perfecto by smokers
- Generosos – measures 5 ¼ inches long ( 133 mm) x 42 ring gauge, officially named the Generosos, commonly called the perfecto by smokers
- Salomónes I – measures 7 ¼ inches long (184 mm) x 57 ring gauge, officially named the Salomónes, commonly called the double perfecto by smokers
- Tradicionales – measures 4 ¾ inches long (121 mm) x 42 ring gauge, officially named the Favoritos, commonly called the petit perfecto.
The Cuaba was chosen several times as part of a special release edition. Special releases of the Cuaba brand of cigars:
- 1999 – The Millennium Reserve Series (Reserva del Milenio) – measures 6.4 inches long (162 mm) x 52 ring gauge. The Distinguidos was chosen, officially named the Romeo, commonly called the perfecto. The hand made cigars, in a new special release size, used a Millennium Reserve band with minor embossing, and were packed in groups of twenty-five in a ceramic jar. A total of 4 000 cigars were made for this release, which debuted at the 1999 Havana Festival in order to celebrate the millennium.
- 1999 – The Commermorative Release with the Salomon II cigar – measures 6.9 inches long (174 mm) x 57 ring gauge. Officially named the Salomon II, commonly called the double perfecto. The cigars were packed in a humidor of forty-five cigars. Only forty-five were produced. The reason for this release isn’t known.
- 1999 – The Siglo XXI Millennium Humidor. The cigars were presented in free standing, electric, special numbered humidors containing 2000 cigars each – made up of twenty different brands. There were twenty-one units made. They were released to commemorate the millennium. The brands included were the Distinguidos, Divinos, Exclusivos, Exquisitos, Generosos, Soberbios and the Tradicionales. All of the cigars are made by hand.
- 2001 – The Habanos Collection Series (2001 Coleccion Habanos). The hand made Salomones cigar was chosen for this release. It used a standard “A” band and was presented in a book shaped Nature Box containing ten cigars. There were 300 made for this release. The reason for the series was to begin the tradition of the Habanos Collection Series.
- 2001 – The Diademas Selección Limitada (Limited Edition for Italy). The Diadema cigar was chosen for this release. It maesures 9.2 inches long (233 mm) x 55 ring gauge. It is commonly called the giant perfecto. For this release, 300 cigars were produced, and each one was wrapped in a special star patterned foil paper, then packed in groups of five in Dress Box or in an individual slide top box. The dress boxes were not numbered, however the individual sliding lid boxes did get numbered.
- 2002 – The Commemorate Humidor Release. The hand made Distinguidos – measures 6.4 inches long (184 mm) x 52 ring gauge. It is officially named the Romeo, and commonly called the perfecto, is one of the cigars in the release. The other cigar is the Salomon – measures 7.2 inches long (184 mm) x 57 ring gauge. It is officially named the Double Perfecto and commonly known as the perfecto. The cigars wore a standard “A” band and were packed numbered humidors containing ten cigars – five of each type. In total, six hundred cigars were made fro this release.
- 2008 – Limited Edition Series (Edición Limitada). This 2008 release used the hand made Piramides vitola cigar – measures 6.1 inches long (156 mm) x 52 ring gauge. Officially named the Piramides, it is commonly called the Pyramid. The cigars wore a standard “A” band as well as a special 2008 Edicion Limitada band and were presented in Dress Boxes of ten cigars.
- 2009 – This multi brand release is a replica of the exquisite commemorative boxes of cigars given to guests of the tenth Habanos festival in Cuba. It is called the X Edicion Festival del Habano. The black lacquered Nature boxes contained ten cigars each, comprised of nine hand made brands – a selection of ten standard production cigars released within the past ten years. A total of 20 000 cigars with a standard “A” band were produced for this release.
- 2011 – The Habanos Collection Series (2011 Coleccion Habanos). The hand made Salomones was chosen for this release. It measures 7.2 inches long (184 mm) x 57 ring gauge, officially named the Salomon, commonly known as the Double Perfecto and used the standard “A” band. The cigars were packed in numbered book shaped nature boxes containing thirty cigars each. In total, 1 000 cigars were produced for this release.
- 2012 – The Habanos Collection Series (2012 Coleccion Habanos). The hand made Bariay was chosen for this release using the standard “A” band. It measures 9.1 inches long (232 mm) x 47 ring gauge for many hours of enjoyment. Officially the cigars are named Dulcineas, but cigar aficionados refer to them as the giant perfecto. The cigars were wrapped in aluminum foil and packaged in a book shaped nature box of twenty cigars in each box. In total, 2 000 cigars were produced for this collection.
Whether you buy cigars to enjoy the wonderful flavor, to add to your cigar collection, there is the perfect Cuaba for you. The exquisite humidors add a great touch to your décor, and an interesting conversation piece. While the cigars put the perfect touch to the end of a marvelous meal, or add a delicate flavor to your night-cap.
The smoking experience may not be for everyone, but if you love the indulgence of a true Cuba, the smooth Cuaba brand of cigars is sure to fit the bill.