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XII Habanos Festival

The itinerary for the twelfth annual Festival del Habano has been confirmed. The week-long festivities represent a vital opportunity for manufacturers, distributors, retailers and aficionados from all over the world to meet up and celebrate the finest cigars in the world. It also provides an invaluable networking opportunity for experts and enthusiasts to share ideas and plan for the year ahead.

The event traditionally pays tribute to particular Habanos’ brands, with this year attention being awarded to Cohiba and Romeo y Julieta. The two brands are known to be launching a total of five new cigars this year.

Cohiba are adding a fourth line to their collection, with three new sizes being released under the Behike name, which was last used in 2006 for the special, limited edition cigars that celebrated the brand’s 40th Anniversary. The new cigars are completely different vitolas.

At the same time, Romeo y Julieta is set to build on the impressive performance of their Churchill and Short Churchill and will also release a cigar aimed specifically at ladies.
All of these cigars will be tasted during the festival week and are expected to arrive in the UK market within a few months (we’ll give you more information when we have it).

As always the festival includes a wide range of activities. There will be a special event aimed celebrating women cigar smokers, with a brand new cigar to compliment the occasion. This year will also include events such as visits to key plantations and factories, cigar rolling master classes, blind tastings and the world final of the Habanosommelier Contest. Hunters & Frankau’s Simon Chase will conduct a talk on the subject of how to date Habanos boxes from 1889 onwards, James Suckling is chairing a panel on vintage cigars and there is an intriguing cigars and tequila contest.
The week will then conclude with the famous gala dinner and accompanying charity cigar auction, with Simon Chase once again raising the auctioneer’s gavel for the evening.

Please see below for a full listing of the week’s activities.

Sunday 21st February

Attendees register at the Havana International Conference Center

Monday 22nd February

Press Conference – Submission of the Press Dossier

Registration at the International Conference Center

Preliminary rounds of Habanosommelier competition

Inauguration of the Fair-related Exhibition

Preliminary of Habanos/Tequila Contest

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 23rd February

Visit to Vuelta Abajo plantations, Pinar del Río

Free evening

Wednesday 24th February

Inauguration of the International Seminar

Main commercial results of Habanos S. A. in 2009. New Products for 2010

Mr. Manuel García Morejón, Commercial Vice-president Habanos S.A

Master conference: “How to date Habanos boxes?” Conducted by Mr. Simon Chase

Panel: Habanos-Vintage. Conducted by Mr. James Suckling

Lunch at “El Bucán” restaurant

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

“Flavours and aromas”: For the enjoyment of combinations of Habanos with coffee, Armagnac Brandy, Cuban rums and other products

Evening: “Women in Habanos”, including the presentation of a new size specially dedicated to women

Thursday 25th February

Visit to Habanos factories: La Corona and El Laguito

Lunch at “El Bucán” restaurant

Final Habanos/Tequilas Contest. Conducted by: Mr. Adargelio Garrido, Habanos S.A. and the Tequila

Regulatory Council

Free evening

Friday 26th February

Final of the Habanosommelier Contest

Master Conference: “The Spirit of Smoke. A Taino Ritual for Cohiba”. By historian José Antonio García, researcher from the “José Martí” National Library of Cuba

Festival closing ceremony

Awarding of Prizes: Best stand by category & Winner of the Habanosommelier Contest

Farewell lunch at “El Bucán” restaurant

Gala Evening dedicated to Cohiba and its new line

Gran Teatro de la Habana. Presentation of launches 2010

Charity Cigar Auction (hosted by Simon Chase)

For further details on the upcoming event click this link to view the official Habanos website.

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