The new cigar process....how the decision is made


El Presidente
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I hope our members will find this interesting.

Habanos s.a Marketing proposes new cigars based on a process of consultation with major distributors, sales figures/projections and major (top 5) brands requiring line support. Why top 5 only? well the answer comes back to end sales and market support based on sales for the final product. Also, regional releases can only be on brands outside of the top 5 (Top 5 being, Cohiba/R&J/Upmann/Partagas/Montecristo) which means that these brands are receiving limited line extensions of which Habanos s.a holds the option to take it to global distribution once the distributors exclusive time period expires (now only one year on regional releases).

Let's study the process of the R&J SHort Churchill.

Habanos s.a decised upon a new concept cigar being the R&J Short Churchill. TABACUBA (seperate to Habanos s.a. and owner of the fields, processing houses and factories) is then comissioned to come up with the cigar. TABACUBA is briefed on the vitola and marque which immediately gives them the parameters for blend.

TABACUBA selects a team of approximately 40 of their most experienced people and holds a series of meetings to discuss the new cigar. The questions covered are along the lines of:

"What will be the essential charachteristics of the cigar in order to remain true to the marque?"

"How will we define this cigar in terms of flavour?"

"From what districts will the tobacco for the blend be drawn?" (ie there are apporximately 16 districts in the Velta Abajo region. Take San Luis, it has 22 sorting houses to handle the tobacco grown from that district alone).

Remember, this process is seperate to Habanos s.a.

The TABACUBA team will decide on two different blends for the new R&J Short Churchill and commissions approximately 200 cigars of each blend to be rolled by the finest rollers available. Once rolled they are tagged and bundled seperately and aged for 1 month.

After the one month a tasting team is assorted of the best tasters available and a blind tasting of each cigar (each taster is given a pair of unbanded cigars) is completed to a strict tasting sheet. In the flavour profile the core flavours only are assessed such as :Salty, Sweet, Sour, Tannin, Acid. Additional comments can be made on other flavours such as coffee etc. The tasting sheets cover wrapper, commbustion, aroma, body etc. I will obtain one of these sheets and post to the forum at a later date.

Only half the cigars are tasted at this first session. A second tasting takes place exactly one month later. Tastings take place between 9am - around 1pm. Only luke warm tea is available to cleanse the palate.

The notes are collated and assessed and if the results favourable...the blend is chosen and final cigars submitted for final approval by Habanos s.a.

The blend is only known by a select few at TABACUBA. It is written. It is not disclosed to Habanos s.a.

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Thanks for the info Rob!!! Its really hard to come by this kind of "insider" info and it is truly interesting to know how some of these cigars come about.

That wouldn't be too bad a job to be a taster for the new cigars.....:-D

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» Thanks for the details! Keep it coming Rob!

Thanks fella's. All part of the Research and Development program which falls under my personal responsibility.

No corner will be cut :cool:

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» » Thanks for the details! Keep it coming Rob!

»

» Thanks fella's. All part of the Research and Development

» program which falls under my personal responsibility.

»

» No corner will be cut :cool:

Thanks for sharing this with us, Rob. The process is very interesting. I find it almost amusing that the blend is not shared with Habanos SA. I like the process of blending, tasting, etc. Very cool.

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» The blend is only known by a select few at TABACUBA. It is written. It is

» not disclosed to Habanos s.a.

This is very interesting to me. A cigar secret society!

Thanks for all the hard work(I use this statement very lightly) in getting us this "insider" info, Rob.;-)

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