Mr Cigarman visits Cuba for Habanos Festival 2015

John Alexander (Mr Cigarman) and colleagues visited the land of cigars earlier this year, for the 17th Annual Habanos Festival which took place from February 23rd to 27th in Havana, Cuba.

More than 1650 cigar-lovers from around the world conjoined for this exclusive event. The festival is an ideal venue for both cigar enthusiasts and the cigar industry to enjoy gala events, plantation tours and experience what is new, and old, in the cigar world.

The Habanos Festival officially kicked off with the opening night gala dedicated to the launch of the Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill Gran Reserva, Cosecha 2009.  The event was held in Old Havana at the former Tobacco and Wood Warehouse. Guests received a beautiful black lacquered box with 2 of the new Wide Churchill Gran Reserva, along with the Romeo Y Julieta Piramides Anejado, and a Petit Corona Mille Fleur.

Habanos dedicated its Wednesday night to celebrate La Casa del Habano’s 25th Anniversary Party to highlight the 25 years since the first opening of the franchise’s first store in Cancun Mexico. To celebrate the 25-year history, Habanos presented a Humidor with an intriguing design. Participants were able to sample the exclusive cigars selected for this humidor, each receiving a case which housed one of each of the cigars being showcased.

The closing gala of the Habanos Festival 2015 was dedicated to the 80th anniversary of Habanos’ most iconic and recognized brand – Montecrsito. More than 1000 guests arrived at PabExpo Fairgrounds to celebrate the closing of the week’s festivities. The closing gala is annually frequented by international celebrities and this year was no exception with Paris Hilton, Naomi Campbell, Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart (Fidel’s son) drawing  paparazzi style attention.

The evening showcased 2 new releases from the Montecristo line. The “80 Anniversario” with its impressive 55 ring gauge  x 165 mm long is the biggest size ring gauge in the brand’s current production. At the other end of the size spectrum, a small but powerful “Media Corona” was presented.  This half corona was a hit with many guests whom all agreed was packed with flavour and smoked “like a bigger cigar”.

The overall experience was a very pleasant one for the majority of the friends and colleagues who attended. La Casa Del Habano shops were well stocked, with the exception of Cohiba Behikes, Cohiba Supremo Robusto 2014, and the recently released, Trinidad Vigia.  It should be noted that most of the box dates on the cigars was 2014.

The addition of new restaurants, new boutique shops, and new construction that is seen all over Old Havana, Vedado and Miramar, are a sign that change is coming.  It might be just want the Cubans need for a higher quality of life. 

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