Vale the vile Hoyo! As is tradition for the Harem, I provide you now with an essential piece of consumer advice: a mostly complete ranking, from best to worst, of the special edition cigars from the hole of Monterrey.
Of course, when it comes to Hoyo there is one piece of consumer advice I should offer you before all others: “do not buy.” To your host they have near unanimously proved to be insipid cigars: cedar, light tobacco, and nothing much else. When considering a purchase of any Hoyo, my recommendation is that you take a few steps to the left and buy a Monte 4 instead. If they’re all out of those then I guess you need to hope that they still have the 2004 HdM Humidor.
Below, gentle readers, lies a mostly complete cross section of the exotic cigars released under the marque of Romeo y Julieta. It is exactingly ranked in descending order from zenith to nadir, and no Romeo cigar can be rationally purchased without first consulting it.
Notable absentees are the 2001 Edición Limitada Robustos, the 2004 Edición Limitada Hermosos No. 2, and the Wide Churchills Gran Reserva, all of which I was unable to obtain in sufficient quantity for this series. I will add them to this list in the event that they ever cross my ashtray. If you think you can help, by all means, please reach out.
The below list, ranked in order from best to worst, comprises the definitive, essential guide to exotic and limited H. Upmann cigars. One note: compared to my Partagás and my Montecristo roundups, this Upmann one covers a much narrower field. The highly ranked cigars are excellent, but not life changing; the lowly ones are mediocre, but not disgusting.
The only notable absentee from this list at time of writing is the Magnum 50, Edición Limitada 2005. It, along with the as yet unreleased Butifarra, will be added just as soon as I can lay my hands on them. On that note, the exotic fires described in Dusky Beauties are made possible entirely by the generosity of the collectors who contribute them: they have my eternal gratitude. If you would like to contribute something yourself, please reach out.
*although in fairness, I think my example may have been contaminated.
This list is the cigars from the first ten years of the Colección Habanos series, ranked in order from best to worst. It may be updated at some stage to include cigars released post-2011, but at the moment I deem them to be too young.
The list above does not represent a complete roundup of the Partagás special releases, even at the time of publication, as unfortunately, I have yet to obtain some cigars. These are listed below, and will be added to the ranked list if and when I smoke them. A fan of Dusky Beauties? Here is your chance to perpetuate it: send cigars. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partagás Serie D No. 3 Edición Limitada 2001
Partagás Royals de Partagás 510 Aniversario Humidor
Partagás Serie D No. 1 Edición Limitada 2004
Partagás Serie D No. 4 Reserva Cosecha 2000
Partagás Serie D No. 3 Edición Limitada 2006
Partagás Serie C No. 3 Edición Limitada 2012
Partagás Lusitanias Gran Reserva
Presented below is a list with which I attempt to place every Montecristo cigar reviewed in this column into an extremely subjective ranked order, from best to worst.
Should another Montecristo cigar ever appear in these pages, I will update this list to include it.
It’s worth noting, I suppose, that while you should certainly take this list as absolute gospel (and conduct no purchase without first referring to it), the greater pleasure in cigar smoking is to be found in good company, in warm afternoons outdoors, and in the bottom of quality glassware (not to mention in the composing of self-indulgent prose). Your experience may vary is what I’m getting at. I’ll endeavour to revisit a few of these from time to time and report back if mine does.