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Habanos World Days draws to a close

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Habanos World Days draws to a close

The first in-person Habanos World Days to be held outside Cuba drew to a close on Saturday 22nd June with a spectacular gala dinner at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Hosted in the Rafael Court, surrounded by a set of seven full-scale designs for tapestry painted by Raphael, diners also participated in a charity auction that raised over £4 million for the Cuban Health Charity.

The three days of festivities, in honour of Trinidad’s 55th anniversary, were blessed with Cuban sunshine throughout and had well over a thousand participants across the three days.

Included here is a little more detail from each day, and some pictures from each occasion.

 

The Cocktail Party

Thursday 20th June

Guests were greeted at Belgrave Square with a gift bag containing, among other items, three Robusto Extras, two of which were presented in a unique Bosquet leather case. The cases, gold embossed with the ‘HWD London’ logo, were presented in a selection of different colours and styles. This was accompanied by a bespoke cutter and lighter, as well as chocolates provided by Birley Bakery.

They were also offered the Trinidad Fundadores, the first commercially available cigar from the brand. It was seen as a fitting place to start the three days.

A selection of bespoke cocktails and mocktails, created to pair with Trinidad’s famously approachable and aromatic medium-bodied blend, were available. Each one was named after a location associated with Trinidad and its 55-year history.

Guests could also enjoy magnums of Ruinart blanc de blancs and Whispering Angel, along with Dalmore and Eminente rum, fresh oysters and a host of other canapés.

The Cuban band Son Yambu were on hand to add a distinctive Cuban sound to the evening and cigar roller Juana Ramos Guerra was there to demonstrate the fine art of the Torcedora.

Guerra started working at the Laguito factory in 1973. She was part of the team that rolled the original Trinidad Diplomáticos, and in 1997 part of the team that produced the first Fundadores that would be launched in 1998. A true guest of honour.

 

The Seminar & Exhibition

Friday 21st June

The day started with a panel of experts gathered together to provide unique insight into the development and continued success of the Trinidad brand.  Guests enjoyed a Trinidad Reyes, Media Luna and Topes throughout the course of the day and also received a special tasting notebook, bespoke ashtray, lighter, pencil case and pencils.

The panel was made up of the following people.

 

Nicholas Foulkes (winner of the 2007 Habanos Award for Communication)

Foulkes chaired the discussion. He is the author of around 25 books on the arts, history and cigars. He is a contributing editor to The FT’s How To Spend It magazine; a contributing editor to Vanity Fair; a columnist for Country Life and luxury editor of British GQ.  He launched and edits Vanity Fair’s twice yearly watch magazine On Time and Vanity Fair on Art.

 

Miguel Barzaga (Tabacuba Director of Industry)

Barzaga has well over 25 years’ experience in the Cuban cigar industry. He started as a cigar roller at the H. Upmann factory and today, in his current role, oversees all Cuban cigar production. He, better than anyone, knows the care and attention to detail that is required to produce cigars of the quality of Trinidad. Barzaga witnessed the moving Trinidad production from El Laguito to Francisco Donatien in Pinar del Río.

 

Rodrigo Gonzalez (Habanos S.A Director of Strategic Marketing)

Trinidad’s future is safe in the experienced hands of Rodrigo Gonzalez. He is part of the team that works to ensure that this iconic brand continues to go from strength to strength.  Keeping an eye on current trends and developments without ever losing the core characteristics that have helped to create such a popular and well-loved cigar house.

 

Eumelio Espino (winner of the 2004 Habanos Award for production)

Espino, as a scientist who worked for the Cuban Tobacco Research Institute for more than 40 years, has played a key role in maintaining the Cuban industry’s commitment to use only the highest quality leaves in the production of Habanos. This is especially true for key brands such as Cohiba and Trinidad. The process of curing, fermenting and ageing tobacco is essential, and no one knows this better than Espino.

 

Edward Sahakian (winner of the 2017 Habanos Award for Business)

Edward Sahakian is one of the world’s preeminent Havana cigar retailers. His reputation for style, service and cigar knowledge is second to none, as is his famous charm and hospitality. He witnessed the launch of the Trinidad brand first-hand and, from the very beginning, was steadfast in his appreciation of the brand.

 

Ana Lopez (Head of Marketing for Habanos & Special Projects at Hunters & Frankau)

Ana Lopez became Marketing Director of Cubatabaco in 1993 and Habanos S.A. after its foundation in 1994. This is a role she held, through different periods, until 2014.  Lopez oversaw Trinidad’s world launch, first with the Fundadores in 1998 and later in 2003 with the brand’s range extension. She has witnessed the development of the brand over the last 25 years and had a great deal of information and anecdotes to share with the audience.

 

Max Gutmann (winner of the 2009 Habanos Award for Business)

Max Gutmann owns the exclusive Habanos S.A. distributor for Mexico, one of the first places Trinidad Fundadores were available after its 1998 launch. Since then, Gutmann has become an avid collector and devotee of the brand. He is said to be the person who bought the first-ever box of Cuban cigars signed by Fidel Castro, sold at auction in Cuba in 1995.

 

Kirby Allison (Owner and presenter of the Kirby Allison YouTube channel)

In 2017, Kirby Allison established his eponymous YouTube channel dedicated to exploring the world of craftsmanship luxury and tradition, which naturally led him to the world of Habanos. In 2023, Hunters & Frankau commissioned Allison to produce a documentary about the Trinidad brand.

After the discussion guests were invited to take some time to view the exhibition ‘Trinidad Past & Present’. This included some of the rarest Trinidad pieces ever made, including celebratory humidors and boxes signed by Fidel Castro.

Finally, the winners of the Trinidad Perfect Pairing competition, Antonis Giannousakis and Robert Tomko, two Masters of Havana Cigars who work together at Birley Cigars, presented their triumphant combination. This was the Trinidad Topes with a twist on the classic rum cocktail Canchanchara. They also served a non-alcoholic mix called Canchancharita (using lemon verbena tea as a substitute for rum), and some almond chocolate bars made for the occasion by Birley Bakery’s Maître Pâtissier, Vincent Zanardi.

That evening Trinidad Tasting events were held at 55 locations the length and breadth of the United Kingdom.

Belfast, Bedford, and Bristol. Cambridge and Cardiff. Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, and Manchester were among many locations across the United Kingdom wishing Trinidad a Happy birthday from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales.

 

The Gala Dinner

Saturday 22nd June

The Habanos World Days concluded with an extravagant gala dinner held at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Unquestionably, it is one of the most spectacular venues to ever host such an occasion.

Guests enjoyed a cigar (Trinidad Vigia) and champagne (Krug) reception before being invited to dine in the Raphael Court, surrounded by a set of seven full-scale designs for tapestry painted by Raphael. This collection is considered one of the greatest treasures of the Renaissance.

The auction, consisting of five lots raised over £4 million for the Cuban Health Charity.

 

Trinidad 50 Aniversario by DeArt

This special edition was commissioned to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Trinidad. It is part of a unique series, with only 100 numbered humidors containing 50 Habanos being made.

This humidor was inspired by the Habana Libre hotel, birthplace of today’s successful Trinidad brand and so has become part of the brand’s history. Known as a symbol of the avant-garde, the hotel is arguably the most emblematic in Havana.

Sale price: €500,000

 

Trinidad House Reserve by DeArt

Habanos S.A. presents an exclusive humidor containing a selection of vitolas in tribute to the successful history of the Trinidad brand on its 55th anniversary. This unique humidor contains 204 Trinidad Habanos:

An original box of 24 Trinidad Fundadores from 1998. Donated by Max Guttmann.

60 Trinidad Ingenios Edición Limitada 2007. Donated by Hunters & Frankau from their House Reserve.

60 Trinidad Short Robustos Edición Limitada 2010. Donated by Hunters & Frankau from their House Reserve.

60 Trinidad Topes Edición Limitada 2016. Donated by Hunters & Frankau from their House Reserve.

Sale price: €1,000,000

 

Trinidad 55 Aniversario Habanos World Days by DeArt

Created exclusively for the Habanos World Days, this unique humidor has been crafted in collaboration with the renowned Italian firm DeArt.

This exclusive piece contains 110 Habanos, available in limited quantity to those who acquire this magnificent humidor:

55 Trinidad Robustos Extra and 55 Trinidad Cabildos Edición Limitada 2024.

Sale price: €550,000

 

Trinidad 55 Aniversario Fundadores Vintage 10 by Charaf Tajer & S.T. Dupont (No.1)

On the 55th anniversary of Trinidad, Habanos, S.A. launched the Trinidad Fundadores Vintage 10. In collaboration with the iconic Parisian firm S.T. Dupont, these cigars are housed in a special, commemorative humidor.

Just 1,000 numbered pieces have been made, each containing 55 Trinidad Fundadores Vintage 10. Each cigar is elegantly dressed with a special and unique band for the occasion, which signifies its ageing category, and an additional footband designed exclusively for this launch.

Of this series of 1,000 humidors, 55 pieces have been created under the artistic direction of the prestigious designer Charaf Tajer, founder of the fashion brand Casablanca.

Sale price: €600,000

 

Trinidad 55 Aniversario Fundadores Vintage 10 HWD by S.T. Dupont

This humidor was created for the Habanos World Days by the iconic Parisian firm S.T. Dupont, known for its elegance and craftsmanship.

The humidor is inspired by the magnificent travel trunks that became popular among the upper class in the early 20th century. It draws on S.T. Dupont’s historical experience manufacturing some of the finest original pieces from that era.

It contains 550 Trinidad Fundadores Vintage 10.

Sale price: €2,500,000

The evening concluded with the world launch of the 2024 Edición Limitada, the Trinidad Cabildos. These rare cigars were introduced in Premier Packs of five cigars.

The Premier Packs have been produced exclusively for the United Kingdom and will never be available in any other market. Just the second Premier Pack that Habanos has ever produced, there are only 10,000 numbered packs available. As each one contains 5 Cabildos, that means just 50,000 cigars have been made.

It is expected that boxes of 12 Cabildos will go on general worldwide sale in around six months’ time.

The Trinidad Cabildos measures 6 ⅜” (162mm) x 46 ring gauge and is known as an Ilustres in the factories of Cuba, it is a unique size within the Habanos portfolio. As with all Trinidads, it has an aromatic and approachable medium-bodied blend, beautifully framed by the slight sweetness that the dark wrapper provides.

Hunters & Frankau and Habanos SA would like to thank everyone who took part in these three days of celebration and helped to make them so enjoyable and memorable.

Images from the three days are included here.

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