By: Juan Jesús Machí González
Few things can be described as the best of their kind: for sparkling wines, champagne and cava; for spirits, cognac and Armagnac. In the world of cigars, the only one to hold that distinction is the Habano.
What are Habanos?
The highest-quality Cuban cigars, protected by their certification as Designation of Origin (PDO) products, reserved for a selection of the most prominent brands whose cigars are made following the most rigorous norms, using tobacco leaves grown in certain regions, which are also covered by Protected Designation of Origin. Habanos are made “100 percent by hand” with Cuban methods used for more than two centuries and passed down from generation to generation, almost unchanging to the present.
More than 500 processes in agriculture and in the factory are the reason that Cuba’s black tobacco is considered the best in the world. This is due, essentially, to the unique flavor and aroma of our tobacco, based on a combination of four factors that exist solely in our country: soil, climate, Cuban black tobacco varieties, and the know-how of our planters and cigar rollers. Years of wisdom and patience are required before a leaf is considered ready to make a Habano.
Another distinctive trait is the definition of a Habano. All Habanos are Cuban, but not all cigars made in Cuba are Habanos.
The P.D.O. is also valid for the fine, top-rate tobacco farms of San Luis and San Juan y Martínez, located in the heart of the Vuelta Abajo tobacco-growing region, the source of all of the types of leaves needed for making our elite product.
Recommendation for after lunch/dinner with intense and complex flavors, where you have at least an hour to relax after eating and for expert and assiduous smokers.
Recommendations for enjoying a HABANO
–Never light your Habano with a gas lighter or directly with a candle or anything else other than a cedrillo, which is a piece of cedar sheet separator from the cigar box.
–To relight, remove the ash by lightly tapping your cigar’s outer layer, or wrapper, close to an ashtray.
–Only the first two-thirds of a Habano should be smoked; the other third is discarded.
–You should never snuff out a Habano by pressing it against an ashtray; it is a king, and should die peacefully.
Classic marriages, backed by professional tastings during different activities of:
–Balcón del Habano or “Bayamanaco” (named after the god of smoke in the Taíno pantheon)
–National and international Habanosommelier contests
Partagás Series P no. 2, full-bodied
(52 x 156 ring gauge)
Coffee Gourmet Montecristo Delegend
Rum Selección de Maestros Havana Club
Coronas Gigantes de Bolívar, full-bodied
(Julieta no. 2 | 47 x 178)
Coffee Gourmet Cohíba Atmosphere
Rum Santiago Extra Añejo 20 años
In future issues, we will publish further recommendations related to Habanos.