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Richard's Diary

February 2010

Man on the Ground at the Festival.

By Richard on February, 27th 2010 - 2:40 pm

Have been at the festival for the first time in a while and it was crazy as usual. Lots of smokes, good company and able to feel guilt free in an atmosphere where people truly love their cigars. A highlight for me as always was the trip to the plantations. Anyone who is a fan of cigars or wine has to do this - go and see how it's all done from the planting of the seed to ending up in your mouth! The rich tobacco flavour from the fields was just divine.

There was another attempt by Habanos to try and woo the ladies with slender, light cigars this year. I always feel women enjoy a cigar because it's a sign of equality. If they've taken the trouble to try and smoke cigars they don't want to be singled out for special treatment do they?? There are plenty of light cigars (if that is what women want) out there as well as long thin ones already out there. Just another market which they have yet to crack I guess.

Back in sensible Switzerland now. Happy smoking!!

XII Habanos Festival Program 22nd-26th Feb

By David on February, 16th 2010 - 6:03 pm

Monday 22/02:

Preliminary Habanosommelier (Room 5, by invitation).
Inauguration of the Fair-related Exhibition.
Preliminary: Alliance Habanos/Tequila
Welcome Evening. Gran Teatro de La Habana.
Presentation of launches 2010.
Exclusive concert of Maestro Chucho Valdés and guest musicians.
Welcome Cocktail: Carpentier Room of the Gran Teatro de La Habana.


Tuesday 23/02:

Visit to Vuelta Abajo plantations, Pinar del Río.


Wednesday 24/02:

Inauguration of the International Seminar. Main commercial results of Habanos, s.a. in 2009. Novelties 2010. Mr. Manuel García Morejón, Commercial Vice-president Habanos, s.a.
Master conference: “How to date Habanos boxes?”, by Mr. Simon Chase.
Master class on the technique of rolling a Habano totally by hand. ”How to make a Laguito No. 2”? Conducted by Mr. Arnaldo Ovalles, Director of El Laguito factory.
Lunch at “El Bucán” restaurant.
“Flavors and aromas”: Combinations of Habanos with coffee, Armagnac, Brandy, Cuban rums and other products (Rooms 5, 6 and 7)
Evening: “Women in Habanos”. Presentation of a new size specially dedicated to women. Museo de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts).


Thursday 25/02:

Visit to Habanos factories La Corona and El Laguito
Lunch at “El Bucán” restaurant.
Panel Habanos-Vintage, conducted by Mr. James Suckling (Room 4).
Final Habanos/Tequila Alliance. Conducted by Mr. Adargelio Garrido of Habanos, s.a. and Mr. Ramón González of the Tequila Regulatory Council.
Private screening of “Cosi” with the presence of the Director Christopher Menaul, the producer Stephen Evans and the actresses Sarah Brightman and Mia Maestro.


Friday 26/02:

Final of the Habanosommelier Contest.

You can see:
James Suckling's diary

// Jockthe3rd // February, 23rd 2010 // 3:12 pm

Who goes to this event? I get the impression that this is a party for the Cubans and Mr. Suckling.

America's Cup. Will it ever happen?

By Richard on February, 08th 2010 - 10:24 am

After the in and out's of court of the last couple of year's, can the America's Cup ever be the same again. Gone are the days of honorable confrontations between different nations finest Navy ships and come are the days of the 'rich boys' whims and temper tantrums. After the farce of the Challenge process for the 33rd America's Cup, does anyone actually care who now wins this personal 'tit for tat' between the rich Swiss upstart and the soured American tycoon? Do other people have the same impression as I, that we have simply become an outside audience to someone else's private party? With the Face Off programmed to start on the 10th Feb in Valencia, Spain, I am sure we can still expect a number of twists and turns before we actually see the Alinghi and BMW Oracle Racing boats line up to race. Perhaps a Dom Perignon dink off between the two men or a demolition derby with Bugatti Veyrons? Time will tell if this great human sporting challenge can rise above the selfish interests of a couple of spoiled boys.

You can see:
Alinghi web site
33rd America's Cup
BMW Oracle Racing web site

What makes a great smoke?

By Richard on February, 01st 2010 - 2:50 pm

Having just reviewed our favorite smokes of 2009, the questions begs; how do you rate a great cigar? Is a great cigar a cigar that is expensive, rare or produced in very limited quantities? Does it's intended status of rare or limited guarantee it to be a great cigar? My personal belief is no. I have smoked many cigars that were produced in very limited series or were only produced for one specific event (Dinner of the Century, Habanos Festival, etc..) and they have not been great smokes and in many cases, these tended to be pretty average smokes. Does a properly aged cigar guarantee a great smoke? Again, difficult to say yes or no. The positive side is that when you smoke an aged cigar you will get the bouquet intended by the blend master when the blend was developed. But most people palates are not tuned to the subtlety of aged blends and find them light and lacking in depth. An aged cigar can be frustrating as they often suffer from draw problems. The criteria we used for classifying a great smoke is simple; Was it a memorable smoking occasion? I believe that the cigar itself is one aspect of this experience and it is the environmental influences that make the smoke great or not. I have smoked many regular production cigars that have been memorable experiences because of whom I smoked with and where and why I was smoking. On the other hand I have smoked special cigars (limited lines or aged) that have given me the ultimate 'Cigar smoke'. My belief is that there are special cigars and that there are special smokes. Both bring different pleasures and both could qualify as being great. Your memory will dictate which of the above ticks the boxes for your idea of great. Give us your thoughts.

// Harp // February, 06th 2010 // 8:24 am

Absolutly right i couldnt agree more , Id have to say my most memorable smoke was when i first smoked a Partagas Luisitania on a beautifull summer day just before the sun set while walking across the high level bridge in my city, and thought about acomplishments and life a truley enlightening expeirence before seeing some great friends.

// mike8569 // February, 04th 2010 // 10:09 am

I love my cigars. Every time I smoke it is a special moment, cause im alone!

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