Just back from the annual Partagas festival in sunny Havana 🙂 I reckon this is the 19th (out of 20) that I have attended and this was in fact probably the one I enjoyed the most.
For a kick off, the weather was perfect in Havana. Hot and sunny days and warm evenings, perfect for herfing! We stayed in the new Manzana (Kempinski) Hotel which is so dramatically better than any other hotel I have stayed in over the last 20 years of visiting Cuba, I was quite amazed. Truly a 5 star hotel with service to match.
The roof top pool area had stunning views and were all set up for herfing too. I wasn’t impressed with the Cohiba Atmosphere shop and I understand many are calling it the No Atmosphere shop.
Zooming around all the usual cigar shops and lounges I can tell you that there was little of interest in terms of interesting cigars. No BHK’s or Siglo VI’s. Talisman and Romeo Gran Reserva are not available yet. No doubt this is due to the ongoing shortage of wrapper leaf. I understand that the agricultural problems may now be resolved but it may well take some years to filter the interesting product back into the market.
The gala dinner was the largest Partagas event I can remember with some 350 guests. This Festival differs from the Feb/March Festival as it’s really for aficionados and not trade so it has a different vibe completely. A lot of the crowd have come to the Festival for many years so it’s good to meet up with old friends as well as make new friends.
The event was held at El Laguito and unlike the Feb/March Festival the music volume was actually quite perfect so you could enjoy the fabulous band and still have a conversation with the people on your table.
A charity auction was held as usual with 5 Lots of magnificent one off humidors containing specially banded cigars, with proceeds going to the Cuban National Health Service.
We had some excellent Puro Uno Argentinian wines (TY FB) and 25 year old rum as well as 5 cigars handed out during the evening and another 5 cigars in a goodie bag to take home. Not bad value for 250 cookies 🙂
Back to grey and rainy London now and another tax increase from the chancellors budget today sadly although thankfully he left booze alone.
I’m just proof reading the vintage Cigar Auction catalogue and Lots will be online and bidding open 10 days before the sale. A magnificent catalogue with some of the rarest and most desirable Havanas known of.
Have a smokey week,