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Richard's Diary

February 2006

A few facts about the El Laguito factory, Havana, Cuba

By Richard on February, 28th 2006 - 10:35 am

Programmed on Wednesday 01 March, the factory visit at this year's Festival de Habano will be to the world famous El Laguito factory. Easily recognizable by its red tiled roof, yellow exterior and sweeping marble stairway, Cuba's most exclusive cigar factory, is located in Havana's most exclusive suburb, Miramar, a posh neighborhood populated with embassies and protocol houses managed by the Cuban government that rival any Beverly Hills mansions. Before becoming a cigar factory in 1967, the mansion was the home of the former Marquez (Prince) of Pinar del Rio. In the factory more than 100 workers, mostly women, produce Cuba's most expensive and exclusive cigars, the Cohiba and Trinidad brands. Ask anyone in Cuba or elsewhere, connected with the Cuban cigar industry and they will tell you that El Laguito is a cigar factory unlike any other. The El Laguito factory is located a 25 minute ride from Havana Vieja (old Havana) where you will find the H. Upmann, Partagas, Romeo y Julieta and La Corona factories. Besides its more suburban location, El Laguito also has the distinction of being managed by a woman, the infamous Emilla Tamayo.

// jerry // November, 07th 2010 // 6:25 pm

how do I contact the owner?
My american express card is fine but why wouldn't you accept it???
Must I purchase cigars from another source??

Festival del Habano !

By Richard on February, 27th 2006 - 3:06 pm

Day one. We are off and running for the greatest cigar show on earth. Extremely busy this year, possibly due to the Cohiba 40th Anniversary. Look out for our daily post card from Cuba.

Hail the Champions

By Richard on February, 21st 2006 - 4:52 pm

Join us in celebrating the XX Winter Olympic Games, currently being held in Torino, Italy. We have put together a fantastic selection of Olympic Deals on your favorite Cuban cigars, to pay tribute to the champions from all round the world. Kick back, relax and be entertained by great sports, while you smoke through a great Cuban. Can't get much better than that !

Don't want to waste your money on fake Cubans ?

By Richard on February, 01st 2006 - 5:49 pm

I often get asked 'How can you guarantee that your cigars are authentic Cubans ?'. It is always a questions that surprises me, in so far that, the answer lies in one factor and one factor only. If you do not want to get taken for a ride, loose money and end up with fake cigars, the only way to guarantee total authenticity, is to buy your cigars from an Official Habanos S.A. Distributor, on or off line. All Official Habanos S.A. distributors will have the Habanos S.A. logo clearly in view. I hear you say, 'that's easy, anybody can put a Habanos logo on their site.' This is true, but a verification is just as easy, as you can find each Official Habanos S.A. Importer, per area, along with all the local official Habanos S.A. Distributors per country on the Habanos web site ( The second factor that one must remember is that hand rolled, long filler Cuban cigars are a top end luxury product and they come with a top end luxury product price tag. If you are looking for cheap deals, the simple answer is that you should not be smoking Cuban cigars. If you are wondering why you find merchants who have cigars at half the price compared to other merchants in the same country (it is important to compare prices between merchants in the same county, as the tax on tobacco changes from country to country and effects national price norms. Example - the UK and Canada have very high taxes on tobacco, whilst Switzerland and Spain have lower taxes on tobacco importation. Remember, an Official Habanos S.A. Distributor must be in the country, not in a tax free area. It is not permitted to be an Official Habanos S.A. distributor and be in a tax free area), then check if they are official distributors or not, chances are they won't be. Smoking hand rolled, long filler Cuban cigars is a life long journey of discovery, an accumulation of knowledge, a sharing of experience, a challenge to your senses, therefore take the time to properly choose your cigar merchant based on credibility, trust and enjoyment of the product and service and not on price alone, as you will find that the better deal you think you are getting, the higher the chances you run of being ripped off.

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