Festival del Habanos

This blog comes to you from warm and sunny Havana where I am doing one of my usual fast as lightening 4 day trips…this time for the annual Festival

A pilgrimage to the Mecca for cigar smokers where friends from all over the world meet up to find out what’s happening in the industry generally and what are the plans for new cigar releases for this year…. as well as herf the Festival week away

There is still no sign of the Romeo antique humidor although I understand it may be available from next week…. strange as the Festival will be over on Saturday.

I took a tour round El Laguito (the Cohiba factory) today and was more impressed than ever at the layers of quality control in place. All vitolas of Cohiba were being rolled including the new Cohiba Siglo VI Reserva which is being introduced tomorrow evening at the Gala Festival dinner.

I had the opportunity to smoke one of the Cohiba Reserva and the difference that 5 year aged tobacco makes is simply incredible. The presentation of this cigar in black lacquered boxes of 15 cigars is breath taking and only 5000 boxes will ever be made.

I also broke down and opened a Cohiba book of Sublimes Extra and smoked 2 of these fine cigars which were indeed… extra sublime.

The Hunters and Frankau Group toured the Pinar Del Rio today but I chilled out at the Partagas LCDH and herfed with numerous friends whilst sipping HC7 which worked very well with the La China Ideales that I was smoking

The new Montecristo “Open” range has also been introduced and looks interesting but I’ll reserve judgment till I have had the chance to try all the new vitolas

I tried the new Trinidad robusto and can confirm that it will be a most welcome addition to the range, soft and subtle with typical Trinidad flavours. Presented in tubes as well as hinged cabinets of 12 and 24, this cigar will be a big success.

The usual cigar stores are full of “regular” cigars so nothing much to get excited about.

Met up with some of my antique dealer friends and as ever will be importing some incredible one off 1950’s humidors that are quite breathtaking.

This evening I bumped into David Soul at an evening organised by Boisdale at 18/30 to introduce some great apartments that are being sold in Varaderro. There was also a whisky tasting but couldn’t stay as I had to meet clients for smokes on the veranda of the Nacional (the best place in the world for a cigar)

Had a quick chat with the Managing Director of Hunters and Frankau Jemma Freeman and if all goes to plan I understand that the UK exclusive Por Larranaga humidor of 50 Magnificos will be released early April. Pre register interest fast as we will sell out within nano seconds! …oh and C.Gars Ltd will ask Jemma Freeman, Ana Lopez and Simon Chase to kindly sign the humidors for us as well…. talk about a collectors item! wowwwwww:-)

OK have to dash as I still have time to smoke one more Cohiba Sublimes extra 🙂

Saludos from La Habana