THE SPECTACULAR PERFORMANCE BY TOM JONES AND A GRAND AUCTION CLOSE THE 16th HABANOS FESTIVAL
Havana, Cuba, February 28th, The Habanos Festival, the long-awaited annual meeting of lovers of the best tobacco in the world, last night successfully closed its curtains. People from more than 80 countries, including 300 journalists and photographers, travel every year to Cuba to learn more about the origins of the Habano and enjoy a full activity programme that includes exclusive evenings.The XVI Festival began with a spectacular Mapping projected onto the façade of the Club Habana opened the Welcoming Evening of the XVI Habanos Festival. Focusing on the Hoyo de Monterrey and Partagás brands, it included a synchronised swimming show in the Club pool, and ended with the spectacular performance by Juan Formell, winner of two Latin Grammys in 1999 and 2013, and his legendary Cuban band Los Van-Van.The Festival reached its halfway point on Wednesday, with a tribute to the Trinidad brand in the Havana Museum of Fine Arts. The guests had the exclusive pleasure of being the first to sample the new Trinidad Vigía vitola (ring gauge 54 x 110 mm long), with a heavy ring gauge and short length, which makes it possible to enjoy the exclusive Trinidad flavour in an innovative format. In addition, the new Edición Limitada 2014 Cohiba Robustos Supremos (ring gauge 58 x 127 mm long) was presented, the first ring gauge 58 made by Habanos. An unforgettable evening amidst the City's colonial setting, against a backdrop of the best gastronomy. Ron Blaauw, a prestigious Belgian chef with two Michelin stars, and the sommelier and wine and food critic Cuno Van't Hoff offered the guests a delicious menu and drinks that had been specially chosen for the occasion.In the last day of the sixteenth edition of the Festival del Habano, there was the competition for the longest ash where competitors have had to grapple with an H. Upmann Sir Winston (ring gauge 48-pos. 178 mm), while there was a very interesting conference on the combustibility of Habanos. The competition was won by the Cuban journalist Olivia Terry has managed to keep the ashes for a full 169 mm.The long-awaited Gala Evening was held on Friday the 28th February, paying homage to H. Upmann. Guests had the opportunity to be the first to sample in exclusive the first Reserva made by the brand in its 170-year history. Many celebrities will take part in an evening full of surprises, during which the Habanos 2013 Awards will be presented in their various categories. The international music star, Tom Jones, was one of the celebrity guests in the event. Jones sang such well-known songs as It's not unusual, Help yourself, and a very personal version of Bésame mucho, in a performance which was followed by an ovation from the almost thousand guests in the last main event of the 16th Habanos Festival. The British performer, who was visiting Cuba for the first time, said: "I became a great Cuban cigars aficionado in the 60s, and I continue to be one".One of the moments which had raised most expectations was the presentation of the first Reserva of the historic H. Upmann brand, founded in 1844. Selected Vuelta Abajo leaves from the 2010 harvest were aged for 3 years to create the Upmann No. 2 Reserva Cosecha 2010 (ring gauge 52 x 156 mm long), the Pirámide that constitutes one of the brand's symbols. This landmark vitola, which allows fully enjoy the classic and elegant blend of H. Upmann, was produced Totalmente a Mano con Tripa Larga -Totally hand made with Long Filler- by the most experienced torcedores -cigar rollers- in the H. Upmann factory. The first H. Upmann Reserva comprises a single production of 5,000 individually numbered and lacquered cases. A total of 1,102,210 dollars will be donated in their entirety to the Cuban Public Health System after being raised in the traditional Grand Humidors Auction. Six lots, masterpieces from the most prestigious Habanos brands (Cohiba, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, Partagás, Hoyo de Monterrey and H. Upmann), were auctioned, as well as a painting by the Cuban painter Zaida del Rio.
Le Hoyo de San Juan: Hoyo de Monterrey Reinvents Itself
La Habana, Cuba 28th February. A historic line within a brand that's pure tradition in itself, like Hoyo de Monterrey, is now featuring the brand-new Le Hoyo de San Juan, a vitola that promises to be one of the revelation of the 16th Habano Festival.As of 2014, the Le Hoyo de San Juan will be biggest ring gauged Hoyo de Monterrey in current production. What's interesting about this release however, is that the Cigar would be part of the Le Hoyo series, that is dominated by thinner ring gauged Cigars. The size of its factory vitola (Geniales, ring gauge 54 x 150 mm long), augurs quite a huge acclaim for Le Hoyo de San Juan among not only the brand's enthusiasts, but also lovers of thick ring-gauge and midsize cigars, not to mention for scores of people who prefer a consistent and well-balanced habano in the same breath.Le Hoyo de San Juan will be available in the brand's classic sliding box (SLD), of 10 and 25 cigars.What's more, these boxes add innovations in the brand's image. Firstly, the adhesive outer paper inlays for the 25- and 10- boxes. Also the wrapping ribbon that spruces up the 25-cigar bundle is now white, a token that would definitely help identify the new Hoyo de Monterrey vitola among the brand's enthusiasts.Last but not least, Le Hoyo de San Juan will carry the new Le Hoyo Series band that tells this vitola apart, still featuring the traditional red color and the brand's image on the lower side.
Partagás Serie D No.6: All the Taste in a Wrap
La Habana, Cuba 28th February. Partagás is once again reinventing itself. It enthralls and awes followers and smokers with a liking for intense tastes.It's once again making additions to the torpedo niche, a format that's all the rage now. And it also focuses on those smokers who want to experience a full explosion of sensations in a short span of time.That's what the new Partagás Serie D No. 6 is all about: intense, scented and concentrated. Partagás, whose Serie D only includes 50-ring-gauge cigars, has added three vitolas to the line with the new Partagás Serie D No. 6 (ring gauge 50 x 90 mm long, factory vitola D No. 6).It's about a short-size format that gives smokers the chance to unravel the aromas and enjoy the characteristic intense taste Partagás has to offer, and all that in just about 15 minutes -it's definitely suitable for the new circumstances affecting cigar lovers around the world.Like all Partagás Series, the D. No. 6 comes with the traditional red and golden band, quite a reference within Partagás and among the rest of the habano brands. In addition, the new Serie D brings a couple of innovative presentations: the traditional SBN (Semi Boite Nature) box the brand is known for, yet containing 20 cigars, with all those habanos laid out in double layers at a similar level; plus an eye-catching and user-friendly case of 5 units boasting the Series colors.Just another innovation at the image level is the sticker with the Serie D colors, something that will be progressively added to the other vitolas within the Serie: the No. 4 and No. 5.Also for the first time ever, the Serie D box shows an outer paper layer for better identification of the brand's wooden boxes, similar to the one introduced a few years ago to the Serie E.
Cohiba Robustos Supremos, 2014 Limited Edition The first 58 ring gauge Cuban Cigar
La Habana, Cuba 28th February. The Robustos Supremos is the first Cuban Cigar to have a 58 ring gauge, making this Cigar currently the thickest Cuban Cigar in living memory.. The Robustos Supremos follows in the footsteps of the Cohiba Behike and Pirámides Extras in utilising the new Cohiba Hologram band. When news broke regarding the Cohiba Robustos Supremos in late 2013, the ring gauge had been touted to be a thick 55 ring gauge, that would make the Cigar a magnificos. However, fast forward to the 2014 Habanos Festival, where it turns out that the Robustos Supremos is actually a 58 ring gauge behemoth! Factory Name: Robustos Supremos Ring Gauge: 58 Length (mm): 127mm David Savona from Cigars Aficionado -"The Cohiba Robusto Supremos is a young cigar, but it's full of strong flavor. There are big notes of wet leather, roasted nuts, some sweet chocolate and a red pepper zing as you nose the smoke. The finish is a bit short, and there are some muddled notes on the palate from the youth of the cigar. I have great promise for this cigar, and suspect that it might turn into something quite nice with patience and age."
H. Upmann Reserva: Cosecha 2010, First H. Upmann Reserva in 170 Years of History
La Habana, Cuba 28th February. Maybe not even H. Upmann himself, the German banker who arrived in Cuba dreaming of making a killing in finance and wound up enthralled by his own habanos, ever imagined that 170 years later his brand would get its first reserve. Upmann No.2 is the emblematic vitola handpicked by Habanos S.A. to roll out that first H. Upmann Reserve in the world market, featuring the Piramides vitola (ring gauge 52 x 156mm long), a torpedo -tapered off on one end- that will guarantee smokers to enjoy the brand's classic and fancy blend from top to toe.These habanos -they are totally rolled by hand with long filler- are the result of a selection of tobacco leaves from the 2010 harvest, out of the finest plantations from the land of the world's best tobacco: Vuelta Abajo in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, The leaves for the filler and the binder (Volado, Seco and Ligero) used in this blend for the first H. Upmann Reserve, as well as those for the wrapper, endured a long and thorough three-year aging process. This first-ever H. Upmann Reserve will consists of 5,000 lacquered boxes with individually numbered cigars, as stated in the numbered plaques inside the lids of each and every case containing 20 units apiece.This Reserve has been conceived for the great habano lovers, let alone a collectible item out in the market given its limited output and exclusive character.
Trinidad Vigía: A History-Flavoured Habano
La Habana, Cuba 26th February. The XVI Festival reached its halfway point, with a tribute to the Trinidad brand in the Havana Museum of Fine Arts. The guests had the exclusive pleasure of being the first to sample the new Trinidad Vigía vitola (ring gauge 54 x 110 mm long), with a heavy ring gauge and short length, which makes it possible to enjoy the exclusive Trinidad flavour in an innovative format.The new Vigia vitola wants to take up the slack left by others coveted dearly by enthusiasts of the Trinidad brand, such as Robusto Extra and Robusto T -they were discontinued in 2012.Both the names of the factory vitola (Torres) and the store vitola (Vigia) make us wonder about the city of Trinidad and the area next to the Valley of Mills in the southern coast of Cuba.There, the overpowering Vigia towers built in the 17th and 19th centuries to watch over the sugarcane plantations, still dominate the croplands and make people dream of the beautiful cityscape and the surroundings.The name of the Trinidad brand is a tribute to the village of the Holy Trinity, built in the 16th century and declared World Heritage by UNESCO, nestled on the southern coast of Cuba. Trinidad Vigía comes in the classic semi boîte nature (SBN) lacquered box of a dozen units. The thick ring gauge and short length guarantee the exclusive Trinidad taste, something the diehard buffs of this brand and size -it's been increasingly catching on in recent years- will appreciate.
Habanos 2014 releases!
Latest update!Havana, Cuba, February 28th, Dear Aficionado's, during the Habanos Festival that takes place every February in Cuba , they announce and showcase the releases for the upcoming year. Typically, every year they release a number of limited edition cigars to commemorate either the brands achievements, anniversaries, reserves or the selective blending of the specially harvested tobacco leaves.We would like to share the latest update on the foreseen Habanos 2014 releases:Regular production:- Partagas Serie D N°6 - D NO. 6 (50 ring gauge x 90 mm length) in cabinets of 20 and 5 packs- Hoyo de Monterey Le Hoyo de San Juan - Geniales (54 ring gauge x150 mm length) in cabinets of 10, 25 and tubed- Trinidad Vigia - Torres (54 ring gauge x 110 mm length) in cabinets of 12 and tubed- Romeo y Julieta Julieta - Julieta NO.6 (33 ring gauge x 120 mm length) in boxes of 25- Quintero Petit Quinteros - Petit Cazadores (43 ring gauge x 105 mm length) in bundles of 25- Selección Petit Robustos Mixed Brands - Petit Robustos (50 ring gauge x 102 mm length)La Casa Del Habano Exclusive:- Romeo y Julieta Cedros de Luxe - Gordito (50 ring gauge x 141 mm length) in boxes of 10- Por Larranaga Picadores - Hemosos No.4 (48 ring gauge x 127 mm length)Edicion Limitadas:- Cohiba Robustos Supremos - Magnificos (58 ring gauge x 127 mm length) in boxes of 10- Partagas Selección Privada - Magnum 50 (50 ring gauge x 160 mm length) in boxes of 10- Bolivar Super Coronas - Hermosos NO.3 (48 ring gauge x 140 mm length) in boxes of 25Premium Especial:- H. Upmann No.2 Reserva Cosecha 2010 - Piramides (52 ring gauge x 156 mm length) in cabinets of 20 Limited edition of 5000- H. Upmann Replica 2014 Humidor - Butifarra No.2 (50 ring gauge x 180 mm length) 450 humidors-Partagas Coleccion Habanos Serie E No.1 (54 ring gauge x 170mm length) limited edition of 1000 numbered booksThere might still be some changes but this info should be 90% correct.
Montecristo No.2 "Cigar of the Year" 2013
London England, January, The American publication, Cigar Aficionado, has awarded its prestigious "Cigar of the Year" accolade to the Montecristo No. 2. This is the third time that a Cuban cigar has topped the list and the first time it has been won by Montecristo, the world's favourite Cuban cigar house. Within the brand the No. 2 stands as the flagship vitola (size) and is instantly recognisable by its wide gauge and "pointed" head.Describing it as "the undisputed king of torpedoes" the magazine goes on to note that the cigar is "teeming with rich but not overwhelming flavors of leather", such sweet spices as cinnamon and nutmeg and the cigar's trademark tangy wood note."The cigar (sampled from April 2013 boxes) scored a hugely impressive 96 out of 100. To read their review in full, please Click Here.
New 2014 EMS Stamp
Londen, England, January 2014, New 2014 EMS Stamp Hunters & Frankau the sole importer of Cuban cigars in the UK have issued the new English Market Selection (EMS) badge for 2014. The EMS description has been used by Cuba for over a century. with many people contending that it originally reflected the reputation of the English market for accepting only the very finest cigars that Cuba had to offer. Others maintain it was used to distinguish cigars destined for England from those bound for the USA. At the time the English preference was for dark cigars while the American Market Selection (AMS) reflected a propensity for specially treated light green cigars (Candelas).Either way, the EMS stamp, in its current form, was launched by Hunters & Frankau in 1993 as a way of marking out boxes that have passed the UK quality inspection and of assuring customers of the cigars quality and authenticity.All boxes that carry this mark are guaranteed to have:1. Come directly from Habanos S.A. in Cuba to Hunters & Frankau. 2. Been shipped and stored by experts. 3. Passed a UK quality check.4. Paid all UK Duties. 5. The correct UK health warnings. For further reading on EMS please click here