Ever wondered if one is better than the other? This is a fairly common question, with the answer not as straight forward as you might expect. Let's start with Edicion Limitada Cuban cigars released by SA Habanos. Every year, three different brands are chosen to release an Edicion Limitada cigar and are normally aged three years at the factory, in a size the brand does not normally feature in its regular production line. It is normal but certainly not a requirement that these cigars have a much darker wrapper then their regular production cousins. A special curing and fermenting process can be attributed with the color of the wrapper and helps to create a bolder flavor profile. As such, the wrapper is more difficult to create and thus more costly. The color of the wrapper being as dark as it is makes the task for sorting the cigars by shade more difficult. When you open box of cigars you will notice that although tobacco is a completely natural, the cigar color is completely uniform. This is no easy task! Edicion Limitadas, like any other cigar are subject to two main contributors with regards to flavor; growing year and the ability of the blender
Aged cigars are those with at least 3 to 5 years of age on them after the cigar is rolled. This is a an important distinction. Using old bays of tobacco is good, but not the same as aging the cigar post rolling. The three stage maturation cycle that I will discuss in another post. Many aficionados agree that collectors should age their cigars for a lot longer than normally done. What is more often considered well aged is between 10 and 20 years. Like wine, many cigars can age for even longer! Numerous cigar collectors have complete boxes that are pre-embargo, making the cigars over 60 years old and highly sought after.
The question remains, which one is better, the short answer, neither. While age can greatly enhance the flavor profile of a cigar, it can only make a good cigar, a great cigar. Age cannot make bad cigars good. Again, going back to what are the two key elements of a great cigar, growing-year and the blender. A well aged, regular production cigar can be as good or better then any Edicion Limitada, it all depends on the climate of the pectoral growing year, the ability of the cigar blender and long term proper aging.