Out of the Humidor: La Vérité
While there are many parallels between the premium cigar industry and the wine industry, there are some glaring differences. Perhaps the most substantial one is that the cigar industry does not generally utilize the idea of a vintage. While wine connoisseurs understand and embrace the idea that every year a particular house’s product will be different than the year before, cigar enthusiasts come to expect the same flavor and same experience from a cigar year after year. In order to do this, cigars are manufactured in a non-vintage style similar to the way many whiskies and NV Champagnes are; in the case of cigars using tobaccos from different regions, years and leaf positions in order to maintain a consistent experience over time.
Occasionally though, cigar manufacturers will flirt with the Vintage concept for small run projects. Davidoff of Geneva released a “Vintage 2000” limited edition in 2003, Litto Gomez of La Flor Dominicana has released his “LG” series now as an annual vintage, but Pete Johnson has taken it to a whole new level by really embracing and paying homage to the wine industry with his new La Vérité line of cigars. These beautiful puros are made up entirely of tobacco from a single farm and a single harvest year, specifically the 2008 harvest from a farm in Esteli, Nicaragua by Jose “Pepin” Garcia; the star cigar maker who’s responsible for Johnson’s Tatuaje and Cabaiguan lines.
The finest of the tobaccos (a Habano seed Criollo) were rolled into Churchill sized cigars bearing the name La Vérité. The one size one blend special release was made in 2009 and has been aging ever since. The total production of La Vérité is 20,000 cigars packed in 4 styles of boxes; boxes of ten and 25 cigars as well as cabinets of 50 cigars and a full collector’s cabinet of 100 cigars. Only 100 boxes of 50 and 30 boxes of 100 were made, making these particular packaging options even more rare and collectible. Each cigar retails for $20 per cigar.
And like many great “houses”, he’s also launched a “second line” the “L’Esprit de Vérité” in a robusto format. These smokes (20,000 in all) are also from the 2008 harvest and available in either boxes of 10 or 25 cigars for $16.00 each.