Fresh from Havana and the Habanos Festival is that Slawomir Bielicki from The Churchill Bar & Terrace, London was runner up at the 2017 World Habanosommelier final.
Beilicki fended off stiff competition from sommeliers gathered from around the globe to claim second place in a competition that has, in its 11th year, become a mainstay of the annual Festival del Habanos in Cuba.
He may not have received 1st Place, but to come 2nd in a global competition is pretty good going.
The first stage of the competition involved blind tastings of Havana cigars and spirits and then the presentation of a drink and cigar pairing to the panel of judges.
Beilicki chose a Partagas Serie E No.2 (from 2014) with Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill Cuvee 2004 champagne served in tankards, based on the style famously used Sir Winston Churchill himself. To further compliment the pairing the judges were also presented with roasted coffee beans dusted in chocolate.
In the final, and in front of a packed auditorium, each of the four finalists had to serve two “dummy” guests based on a scenario devised by the panel of judges, selecting an appropriate Habanos and a drink for each. They each also had to prepare and serve the cigars to their “guests”.
Slawomir Bielicki represented the UK admirably throughout the competition and can be found looking after people’s cigar requirements at The Churchill Bar & Terrace at the Hyatt Regency, London, One of Our favourite cigar bars in town.
2017 Habanosommelier final results
Winner: Felipe Rojas (Chile)
Runner Up: Slawomir Bielicki (UK)
Third place: Krystian Hordejuk (United Arab Emirates)