The Dunhill Signed Range Selección Suprema is a limited edition cigar that commemorates the 80th anniversary of a cigar called Don Candido. Don Candido is a cigar that is significant because it was the first cigar manufactured for Dunhill. The Selección Suprema is positioned as Dunhill’s most exclusive offering to date. At the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show, the Selección Suprema was officially launched. Since Dunhill is distributed in the U.S. by General Cigar, it was on display at General’s 2015 IPCPR booth. The Dunhill Signed Range Selección Suprema has recently made its way to stores and I’ve recently had an opportunity to smoke this cigar. Overall not only did I find this to be a standout cigar by Dunhill, but I also found it to be one of the best cigars released under the General Cigar Company umbrella in 2015.
The Dunhill brand can be traced back to Alfred Dunhill’s tobacco shop that opened in 1907 on Duke Street in London. In 1935, the company entered into an agreement to distribute and market the Don Candido brand. Following the Cuban revolution, Dunhill maintained a relationship with Cuba’s nationalized Cubatabaco company and would have exclusive rights to distribute lines such as Don Alfredo, La Flor del Punto, and Don Candido. By 1982, Dunhill decided to work with Cubatabaco to produce Dunhill-branded cigars. It was at this point, the Don Candido line was retired.
By 1984, the Dunhill-branded cigars started hitting the market and expanded into 30 countries. While the brand expanded, they soon started facing competition and by 1991, Cubatabaco and Dunhill went their separate ways. Dunhill did not find a new manufacturing source and eventually British American Tobacco would acquire the rights to the brand with production now occurring outside of Cuba. Following the merger of Swedish Match and Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG), distribution in the U.S would be handled by General.
In a press release that announced the Dunhill Signed Range Seleccion Suprema, Steven Kron of Dunhill Cigars explained.
“Don Candido was the first cigar ever manufactured solely for Dunhill, thus beginning the brand’s legacy of exclusivity. It is with great pride that we debut Selección Suprema, a cigar that honors Dunhill Cigars’ commitment to bringing the very finest handmade cigars to connoisseurs throughout the world.”
Without further ado, let’s break down the Dunhill Signed Range Selección Suprema and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Dunhill Selección Suprema features a three country multi-national blend. The cigar is finished with a Nicaraguan Shade grown wrapper from the Jalapa region.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Jalapa Shade
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaraguan (Jalapa, Esteli), Brazilian Mata Fina
Country of Origin: Not Disclosed
The Dunhill Signed Range Selección Suprema is available in one size – a 6 x 50 Toro. The cigars are packaged in eight count boxes.
The Jalapa Shade wrapper of the Dunhill Signed Range Selección Suprema has a chocolate brown color to it. There is some oil on the surface of the wrapper. The wrapper is quite smooth. Any visible veins are on the thin side, while the wrapper seams are decently hidden.
There are three brands on the Dunhill Signed Range Selección Suprema. The primary band features a gray shield with white trim. On the shield is the text “OPTIME SIT 1907” (i.e. Latin for “1907’s Best”) – all in white font. Above the shield is a gold crown and to the left and right of the shield is a gold lion. There is a metallic stripe on the upper and lower part of the band. Depending on how the light hits it, it may come off as gold, copper, or a combination of the two colors. The lower stripe contains the text “SELECCIÓN SUPREMA” in white font.
The secondary band sits below the primary band. It has a black background. On the center of the band is a gold medallion design with gold etched font. On that medallion design is the text “CELEBRATING” arranged in a curved fashion. Just below that is the text “80 YEARS” and on the lower part of the medallion is the text “EXCLUSIVE” – arranged in a curved fashion. To the left of the medallion is the text “LIMITED” in the a gold / copper metallic font (similar to the primary band) while to the right is the text “EDITION” – also in that gold / copper metallic font. This text is bordered by a gold / copper pinstripe on the upper and lower portion of the band.
A third band sits around the footer. It is black in color with the text “Dunhill” in the gold / copper font. A pinstripe above and below that text is also in a gold / copper font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting the Dunhill Signed Range Selección Suprema, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. It was then on to the pre-light draw phase. The dry draw delivered notes of semi-sweet chocolate, cedar as well as a generic wood note. Overall I considered the pre-light draw of the cigar to be satisfactory. At this point I was ready to light up the Dunhill Signed Range Selección Suprema and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Dunhill Signed Range Selección Suprema started with notes of earth and unsweetened chocolate. There were some nice flavor nuances in the background including cedar, citrus, and brown sugar. The retro-hale produced a mix of spices including pepper and cedar.
Throughout the first half, the combination of earth and chocolate was the primary flavor. During this stage, there were some moments where the the citrus, brown sugar, and cedar notes crept into the forefront.
By the second half of the Dunhill Signed Range Selección Suprema, the earth / chocolate combination had a subtle change into more of a earth / coffee combination. In the background, the cedar spice increased and also now also had a slight pepper component to it. The citrus and brown sugar notes significantly diminished.
By the last third, I found the earth notes remained primary. The coffee and cedar notes were now close secondary notes. I also still detected some pepper in the background. Meanwhile, the citrus and brown sugar were no longer a factor. This is the way the Dunhill Signed Range Selección Suprema came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
From a burn perspective, the Dunhill Signed Range Selección Suprema performed quite well. The cigar maintained a straight burn path from start to finish. There was some curvature on the burn line, but this was easily remedied with some touch-ups. The resulting ash had a silver gray color with some darker speckling. The ash wasn’t overly tight, but it wasn’t a loose or flaky ash. The combustion was excellent as this cigar had an ideal burn rate and ideal burn temperature.
The draw performed quite well. It wasn’t too loose, not was it too tight. This was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
The Dunhill brand is not known for producing cigars that are fuller in strength and body. With the Dunhill Signed Range Selección Suprema, it holds to the brand’s reputation, At the same time, it is probably is fuller than most of Dunhill’s offerings. In a nutshell this is a medium strength, medium-bodied cigar from start to finish. Overall I found the strength and body balanced each other nicely with neither attribute having an edge over the other.
In today’s cigar market, many are trying to find the next big brand. As a result, many older brands sometimes get forgotten about. I think its safe to say that Dunhill has been one of those brands. About three years ago, Dunhill started breathing new life into its brand by developing several new regular production and limited releases. With the Dunhill Signed Range Selección Suprema, this cigar stands at the top of these releases. This cigar delivered excellent flavor, had excellent construction, and had enough complexity to keep things interesting. While this cigar has a higher price point ($20.00), I was impressed with what was delivered from this cigar. It’s a cigar I could recommend to a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, it’s a cigar I would smoke again – and even with the higher price point, the eight count boxes make this a box worthy purchase.
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy
News: Dunhill Signed Range Selección Suprema Showcased at 2015 IPCPR
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer
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