On Monday February 26th, the XX Festival of the Habano began. At the welcoming dinner the new Habanos 2018 cigars were presented; this year, the place of honor belongs to the Cohiba, Partagás and Hoyo de Monterrey brands. The new Cohiba Robustos Reserva Cosecha 2014 is the guest of honor at the Welcome Night of the XX Festival, celebrated in the Salón de Protocolo El Laguito, located in the municipality of Playa.
On Tuesday, among the many activities, there was possibility to visit the fair, on two floors, which includes more than 180 exhibitors including producers of humidors, rum and spirits, clothing and of course the spreads of Cuban cigars. In the afternoon the preliminary rounds of the Habanosmmelier started.
On Wednesday the Festival participants had the opportunity to test their skills by rolling a figurado (pyrmaid shape) cigar; under the watchful eyes of the master Miguel Barzaga and with the help of the expert hands of torcedores from the factories La Corona, Partagás, H. Upmann and El Laguito, the master class for the creation of a Short Pirámides was held. Another master class available was the conference “History of the genetic improvement of Cuban tobacco” that had Eumelio Espino Marrero as speaker, author of the book “Habano: From Seed to Cigar”.
On the same day there was a session of tasting of Habanos cigars paired with Torres brandy; participants could smoke Partagás Serie D No.4 (cepo 50 x 124 mm long) and Romeo y Julieta Short Churchills (cepo 50 x 124 mm) accompanied by Torres distillates aged in oak barrels for 10, 15, 20 and 30 years.
In the early evening we moved to the Teatro Marti in Havana, and then to the Gran Teatro de La Habana, where we could attend singing shows with prestigious performers such as Alain Pérez, Edesio Alejandro, Descemer Bueno , Damas and Rolando Luna and dances of the dance companies Carlos Acosta and Liszt Alfonso.
Thursday was a transitory day, between seminars, visits to the plantations and the cigar factories the day came quickly to the end.
So we arrived on Friday, March 2nd, the day that marks the end of the XX Festival of the Habano. During the day the winner of the seventeenth edition of the International Habanosommelier Competition was announced, the English Darius Namdar. The highlight is the Gala evening dedicated to the Partagás Maduro line. Participants in the event were able to smoke the entire series including: Maduro No. 2 (55 x 120 mm), Maduro No. 3 (50 x 145 mm) and the Maduro No. 1 (52 x 130 mm ), the latter launched in 2015.
The evening was enlivened by the music of popular artists such as Elain Morales, Yaser Manzano, Carlos Varela, Edesio Alejandro, Laritza Bacallao, Waldo Mendoza, Irene Rodríguez and Habana Compas with an honorable mention to the Cuban hip-hop group of Havana Orishas.
The most awaited moment, like every year, is the humidor auction; on this occasion, the humidor from Cohiba, El Rey Del Mundo, H. Upmann, Hoyo de Monterrey, Montecristo, Partagás and Romeo y Julieta were sold. The total amount collected was € 1.485.000, donated for the Cuban public health system.