16th Habanos Festival

16th Habanos Festival

On the 24th of February and for the four days that follow, Cuban cigar lovers from around the world have gathered together in one place to celebrate Cuban cigars. Last year’s Habanos Festival drew crowds from eight different countries. Seventy-two exhibitors showed off their products to 2,000 visitors. This year, more than three times as many countries will be represented, and 273 journalists will be covering the event. If you are not lucky enough to be present at the event, keep your eyes peeled for blog posts and video journals online, as many visitors are bound to share their experiences.

What are some of the event highlights this year?
  • At the opening dinner, two new cigars were celebrated, the Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo de San Juan, and the Partagas Serie D No. 6. The Le Hoyo cigar measures 5 7/8 inches with a 54-ring gauge, making it one of the thickest produced in the Hoyo de Monterrey line. The Serie D measures 3.5 inches long with a 50-ring gauge.
  • Guests had a chance to pay a visit to the famous tobacco plantations in Vuelta Abajo and Pinar del Rio. Tours were also conducted through famous cigar factories for premium hand-rolled stogies.
  • Seminars, tastings, classes, and contests will be held throughout the week, including the world’s first offline official contest to achieve the longest ash. Conference topics will include “Habanos in the Cinema” as well as “The Germans in the Habano. Origin of the H. Upmann Brand.”
  • Wednesday featured a special tribute dinner to the Trinidad brand. World-renowned chef Ron Blaauw from the Netherlands served up delicious gourmet cuisine, and famous wine and food writer Cuno Van’t Hoff took care of the wine.
  • The Habanos Alliance features some of the most celebrated beers on the planet, including Belgian brands like Duvel and Leffe. The Cuban brand Bucanero is also present.
  • The event will conclude on Friday, February 28th with a final Gala Dinner as a tribute to H. Upmann. There will be an auction that night to benefit the Cuban Public Health System.

The Habanos Festival is one of the most prominent events in the cigar world, and continues to grow in popularity every year. With so many promising activities planned for Cuban cigar lovers, this year is sure to be the most incredible yet.

Cigar Release: Partagas Gran Reserva Lusitanias

Partagas Gran Reserva Lusitania

After Cohiba and Montecristo, Habanos SA is releasing Partagas Gran Reserva, la crème de la crème of Cuban cigars.

Partagas Gran Reserve single

Partagas Lusitanias Gran Reserva has a limited production of 5,000 numbered boxes of 15 cigars each, and the tobacco has been aged for at least 5 years.

Partagas Gran Reserva Box

Lusitanias (ring gauge 49 x 194mm in length) is the majestic vitola that enhances the richness and aroma that characterize the Partagás blend. The Ligero leaves used in the blend of this first Gran Reserva, comes from the San Juan y Martinez Tobacco district, where the rich San Juan soils provide the blend with the Partagás brand’s distinctive strength. The Seco leaves, meanwhile, have been selected from the San Luis Tobacco district, which provides an unparalleled aroma to its Tobacco, a reason to be famous in Cuba and around the world. The extremely meticulous work in selecting leaves from the Cosecha 2007 for these Lusitanias were carried out by the legendary Ligador Master Blender at the Partagás Factory under the supervision of the Instituto del Tabaco-Tobacco Institute.

Cuban Cigar Prices Climbing in 2014

Cuban Cigar Prices Increasing in 2014

Cuban cigar smokers won’t be happy to hear this, but according to LCDH Knokke we’re going to see a dramatic increase in the price of Habanos over the course of 2014, continuing through 2015. Why? There are several reasons, all of them unavoidable:

  • The market is being flooded with more and more premium cigar products.
  • Nonetheless, demand remains high.
  • Cuba’s status is being upgraded to that of a developed nation next year.

The third reason is probably the most prominent one. Developed country status changes import customs taxes. In Europe, those taxes will jump from 9.10% to 27%. With such a significant leap, we cannot expect prices to remain as low as they have been. In fact, over the years to come, this is likely to result in a retail price jump of around 15% for all Habanos.

In the meantime, European distributors of Habanos have agreed to help with the tax increases in order to facilitate a more gradual transition. So in 2014, Habanos should only increase in price by around 4%. That increase will likely be a gradual one over the course of the year, but it’s going to feel very fast.

So, if you have been planning on a large order of Habanos, now is probably the time.

Cuban Cigar Collectors Launch

Cuban Cigar Collectors

We just got news from our friend Frédéric (the person behind the LCDH Knokke & Gent) that a new online shop, specialized in rare & hard to find habanos was launched. Called Cuban Cigar Collectors, it features regular releases too. Another feature of CCC is auctions with even more exclusive items.

Feel free to have a look at the site and if you decide to place an order, Frédéric will throw in a free ashtray and a free La Escepcion Selectos Finos Regional Edition Italy as a gift. Just mention "Cigar Inspector promo" in the comments area of the order to qualify.

Enjoy your week-end.

Cigar Release: Montecristo Petit No. 2

Montecristo Petit No. 2

UPDATE: Here is our review of the Montecristo Petit No. 2.

Habanos SA presents Montecristo Petit No. 2, a new vitola that enriches the historic Línea Clásica of Montecristo and designed for those who love the brand's figurados and want to savour the Montecristo flavor in less time.

Montecristo Petit No. 2 will be available in the points of sales around the world in the coming weeks.

Montecristo Petit No.2 single

Montecristo’s exquisite blend of tobaccos has been exclusively produced using selected leaves from Vuelta Abajo zone, (D.O.P) Pinar del Río, Cuba, land of the best tobacco in the world. The original blend of the Línea Clásica, with a medium to full flavour offers a distinguished aroma that continues to captivate both experienced smokers and novices alike.

Montecristo‘s classic range initially only comprised vitolas numbered from 1 to 5, gradually expanding to cater for the varied tastes of Habano lovers.

This is the first addition in the Línea Clásica in many years. Montecristo Petit No.2 (ring gauge 52 x 120 mm in length) is a figurado -tapered at one end- shape in keeping with the brand’s tradition, the classical Montecristo No. 2 being considered one of the references for the figurado category.

Montecristo Petit No. 2 in box

Montecristo Petit No.2 is a vitola designed for those who love the brand’s figurados – tapered at one end- formats can enjoy the Montecristo flavour in less time. Petit No.2 incorporates the new Montecristo band (also shown in the new Double Edmundo recently launched) which being innovative in its design keeps at the same time the classic look of the brand.

Montecristo Petit No.2 will be available in the brand’s classic labelled box of 25 and 10 units, as well as packs of 3 units. The packs will arrive to the markets shortly after the labelled boxes are available.

Montecristo Petit No. 2 Stats

Commercial Name: Montecristo Petit No.2
Factory Name: Petit No.2
Measures: 52 ring gauge (20,64 mm) x 120 mm in length
Presentation: Labelled Box of 25 units / Labelled Box of 10 units (the 3 unit pack will be arriving slightly after 25 and 10's boxes)

Fake Cuban cigars: curious to know what’s inside?

Ever wondered what you can find is those obviously fake Kohibas that you can buy on the Mexican beach in glass-top tubes? Courtesy of Andyp117 from r/cigars, whose boss brought a box of Montekristos from his trip as a gift to Andy, today you have the oppotunity to look inside. Enjoy.

Fine crafted

Fine crafted. Beetles seem to appreciate this cigar.

The best cap I have ever seen!

The best cap I have ever seen!

Click here to read the full article...

Limited edition jars: a tribute to popular smokers

Winston Churchill Jar

An interesting gift idea!

Great people and Cuban cigars are in the past century irrevocably linked to each other. In honour of some unique personalities, La Casa del Habano Knokke developed in collaboration with portrait artist Jorg Schelfhout a set of jars. These show each a sketch of a well known smoker of the 20th century: Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy and Fidel Castro (ranking according to Cigar Aficionado). The cigars in the jar are in accordance with the preferred brand of the person depicted on the jar.

Artist Jorg Schelfhout feels an inexpressible impulsion that forces him to realize ideas in a concrete matter what stirs him inwardly. This is the source of the poetry that inspires most of his works. Each of his artworks is a compromise between sensory perception and extra - sensorial feelings. Together they build the indeterminate element in his work. In most of his works, Jorg reaches an extreme gravity, a borderline between dream and reality.

> Link <

The Jars

Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchills (cepo 55 x 130 mm)
A 2010 release.
Price: € 495

H. Upmann Robustos (cepo 50 x 124 mm)
A 2012 Edición Limitada release.
Price: €495

Cohiba 1966 (cepo 52 x 166 mm)
(Cañonazo Especial)
A 2011 Edición Limitada release (Linea Clásica), in honour of the 45th anniversary of Cohiba
Price: € 1.095

Price for 3 jars: € 1.895

Cuban cigar industry performing strongly

Cuban cigar industry performing strongly

The Cuban tobacco industry is currently the most successful premium cigar industry in the world, displaying an eight percent increase in sales around the world according to a recent announcement. Despite the restrictions on importing Cuban cigars in various countries, Habanos S.A. continues to enjoy increasing patronage in Asia-Pacific countries, Russia, and the Middle East, as well as some growth in the UK, Germany, and France. Specific figures for those European countries have not yet been released.

According to Jorge Luis Fernandez Maique, co-president of Habanos S.A., the company has exceeded its 2011 production figures as well as its 2011 sales revenue. Why are Cuban cigars so popular? The excellent hand-made quality that goes into their premium tobacco products continues to push the Cuban cigar industry ahead. Cuban cigars remain a beacon of quality that other cigar makers around the globe envy and strive to match. Now, that sounded really good. Perhaps I should work in Habanos S.A. PR department?

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