Partagas Festival 2010

Just back from my 49th trip to Havana 🙂 . This time to enjoy the Festivities of the annual Partagas Festival. We had some confusion regarding the numbering of the Festival but my group of smoking chums finally concluded that it was the 20th Amigos of Partagas Festival as well as the 165th anniversary of the brand of Partagas.

165 limited edition Partagas 165 humidors have been made to mark the occasion with each containing 25 -109’s and 25 Sublimes, all specially banded and sure to fast become a collector’s item.

On this trip I had a wonderful tour of El Laguito (the Cohiba factory) where the quality control has hit new heights with draw testing machines just about everywhere I turned! Cohiba Behike of all sizes were being rolled including I am delighted to report – plenty of 56’s. I understand that BHK’s are also now being rolled at Partagas. I understand the integrity of the blend has been maintained in these incredible cigars regardless of which factory they are rolled at.

It was a hard 5 days herfing all over Havana including the Hotel Nacional terrace, Partagas VIP room, Robaina shop and Palacio shop. Staple cigar of the trip was Cohiba BHK’s in all sizes 🙂 but I also tried the Bolivar book cigars which show great promise.

Had a smoke or two with many characters including Valerio Cornale (LCDH Cayman) and Salvatore Parisi from Italy who has just completed his wonderful book (only in Italian at this time) Dinner with Colin Ganley (European Cigar Journal) and friends including Ajay from LCDH Teddington and Amir Saarony whom is working hard on his book about Partagas (can’t wait to see it!)

This years gala dinner was held at the Habana Libre Hotel (previously the Havana Hilton) and it was great to catch up with friends (Aficionados and Cigar Specialists ) from all over the world to celebrate the 165th anniversary. We enjoyed an excellent evening of entertainment as well as many splendid Partagas cigars and Havana Club rum. Massimo from Italy conducted a very successful auction with proceeds as usual going to charity (Cuban Health Service) Very grateful to Partagas for recognizing me as an Amigo and presenting me with a cigar book/box gift again this year.

Looking forward to trip no.50 in January and 51 for the February Festival del Habanos 🙂

Finally back to cold London and our offices where I continue to sample the UK regional edition Por Larranaga Regalias de Londres which is fast becoming our best seller of the year. No sign of the UK regional 2010 La Flor de Cano sadly so it looks like we will have to be patient till next year, though it will be well worth the wait.

Auction fever is now hotting up with just a week to go. Bidders expected to come to the event from all over the globe. If you can’t join us for a cigar and a glass of champagne- you can still bid online till Sunday midnight

We are delighted to have one final auction Lot generously donated by Jennie Churchill, the great granddaughter of Winston Churchill with all proceeds going to 2 most worthy charities. See the details here I’m looking forward to having a cigar with many friends at the fabulous Boisdale cigar terrace in Belgravia

If you would like to attend the auction pleased remember you have to register

Peaceful puffing