Last Saturday saw the Habanos Festival drawing to a close with the Gala Evening, an event dedicated to the Montecristo brand, with global stars among the guests.
Socialite Paris Hilton, and Model Naomi Campbell (obvious cigar smokers), dazzled everybody with their presence after a hugely enjoyable week that included new activities, charming evenings, and the exclusive tasting of the new vitolas that Habanos s.a. will launch in 2015.
Over 1,650 people from more than 60 countries flew into Havana for the week of cigar festivities.
One of the highlights of the evening was the tasting of the new Montecristo 80 Aniversario, a unique vitola (ring gauge 55 x 165 mm in length) whose blend, with its special strength, has been created for smokers who enjoy intense flavours.
The cigar is limited to 30,000 units to commemorate the founding of the legendary brand, which was established in 1935, and is presented in an exclusive, uniquely designed box of 20 Habanos, with each cigar bearing a band with a gold finish.
Made ‘Totalmente a Mano con Tripa Larga’, -Totally Handmade with Long Filler- after selecting exquisite wrapper, filler, and binder leaves from the best fields in the Vuelta Abajo (Pinar del Río), the Montecristo 80 Aniversario vitola has special dimensions that cannot be found in any other standard Habanos size range.
During the closing gala more than 740,000 dollars will be donated in full to the Cuban Public Health System, with the money raised from the traditional Grand Humidors Auction, where six unique lots from the Cohiba, Montecristo, Partagás, Romeo y Julieta, Hoyo de Monterrey, and H. Upmann brands went under the hammer.
The evening also saw the award of the 2014 Habanos Prizes. The award in the Communication Category went to Gary Heathcott, the speaker and editor of publications such as Smoke and Tobacco Journal. The Habanos sub-distributor in Chipre, George Fereos, was awarded the prize in the Business Category, and Rogelio Ortúzar, who has spent almost 40 years growing the best tobacco in the world, was the winner in the Production Category.
Brazil, represented by Walter Saens Rodríguez Neto, was victorious in the XIV Habanosommelier International Contest. Andrés Piñón from Cuba, and Lucas Tramontana from United Kingdom, came second and third, respectively. One of the most popular activities was the second edition of the longest ash competition, which was won by Ali Alrami from Kuwait.
From social media we also saw that visitors were also handed a Ramon Allones Hunters & Frankau 225th Anniversary which is scheduled for release this year in the UK to celebrate 225 years of Hunters & Frankau.