Host Guide: Smoker's Triumvirate: Showstoppers
C.A.O. L’Anniversaire Box-Pressed Tubos
Cigars that come packaged in tubes are typically round, and square-cornered, box-pressed cigars are traditionally packed in boxes. C.A.O. mixed the two, creating the world’s first box-pressed, square-tubed cigar. Our favorite is the brown-capped tube containing the 7 x 50 eXtreme, which features a Sumatra seed Ecuadoran-grown wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filler.
When Cohibas became too widely available, Castro commissioned the Trinidad, which he named after the 16th-century Cuban town of Santisima Trinidad. The new state cigar is now available to the public and is among Cuba’s most expensive smokes. (Trinidads once sold for $25,000 a box at a charity dinner.) Two shapes are offered: a steely-strong Diplomate lancero and a slightly milder fundador, which we prefer.
Moore & Bode Miami and Flamboyán
Sharon Moore Bode and Roberto Bode have been making a small number of exceptional cigars in Miami since 1990, using tobaccos from 13 countries in two blends: the light and floral Miami and the slightly heavier and sweeter Flamboyán maduro. Because only 48 tobacconists handle their limited annual output, it is safe to assume that you will have the only box of Moore & Bode (pronounced Bo-day) cigars in the neighborhood.
Zino Platinum Crown Series
Named after the late Zino Davidoff, these cigars deserve an award for packaging as well as exclusivity (only 38 retailers carry them). Three of the same-shaped cigars come packaged in what looks like an oversize aluminum matchbox. The Chubby Especial perfecto is 57⁄8 inches long with a 61 ring at its fattest point. The Double Grande parejo (a straight-sided cigar) measures 71⁄2 x 50, and the Stretch, at 81⁄4 x 50, lasts for more than an hour. The medium-heavy flavor comes from Ecuadoran-grown Connecticut seed wrapper blended with Dominican and Peruvian filler. Inside each case is a metal card with a number to call should you want to order more.