A Balcony to Excellence




The prestigious interchange and socialization space for professionals, enthusiasts and experts in the incredible world of Habanos –Balcony of Bayamanaco- took place at the Memories Miramar Hotel in Havana, where a pairing between Ramón Ayones, a premium cigar of the regional brand, and Havana Club Rum, specifically with two products of its Iconic Selection –Havana Club 15 Años and Havana Club Unión- was held.


The afternoon was marked by reflections and debates on the best premium cigars in the world. Several habanosommeliers, bartenders, celebrities, beverage marketers and experts on gourmet matters were delighted by the fine art of pairing and tasting with excellence.


The gala kicked off with a keynote speech delivered by prestigious sommelier Juan Jesus Machin, president of the Habano Balcony. This presentation was followed by outstanding professor Fernando Fernandez, who described Robusto de Ayones as a classic and emblematic Habano.


“This is quite a special Habano and it’ll be paired with two of the finest rums ever distilled. These are two guiding threads in Cuba’s culture: rum and tobacco. We owe it all to the Cuban master rum makers and cigar rollers,” he said.


“We’re in the presence of two products that were created over a hundred years ago, and that’s really something to be enjoyed and honored,” he pointed out.


Mr. Fernandez guided the tasting session, offered a grand tour throughout the history of rum and tobacco in Cuba as he explained their main characteristics. “This is the first time that we put together two rums of Havana Club’ Iconic Collection,” he underlined.


“Elegance stands out in this pairing, with woody notes that also recall cinnamon. This is one of the few Havana Club rums that don’t specify aging years on the labels, and that speaks volumes of the master rum makers’ interest in keeping this magical secret airtight. The quality is also related to the suspense, knowing and not knowing.”


As for the 15 Años, we perceive some naturally-marked tears and a riveting aroma,” Mr. Fernandez stressed.


The experts agreed that Ramón Ayones is the favorite Habano in terms of the British market and, therefore, the North American niche, although it’s also enjoyed in other regions across the world because of its quality and character. This cigar features a strong taste and is one of the oldest members of Habano vitolas.


The gala was also attended by Jorge Luis Fernandez Maique, Co-President of Habanos S.A.; celebrated Dr. Angel Perez Herrero; Damian Dominguez, ambassador of the Havana Club brand, and different professionals related to the realm of Habanos.