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 The 17th edition of the Habanosommelier Contest held its grand finale on Friday and it was attended by outstanding connoisseurs from the Habano and cocktail realms.

The last test in the important event was based on pairing Habanos with exquisite national and international drinks. British Darius Namdar was the undisputed champion.

His rival, Cuban Mabel Duran, showed high-level knowledge and skills in the vast universe of Habanos, which highlights the excellent work of the Habanosommelier school on the island nation.

The jury was made up of Mr. Jose Ilario, Editor of EPICUR magazine and president of the jury; Felipe Rojas, winner of the 2017 Habanosommelier Contest; Yves Balaubre, a renowned French writer, researcher and journalist; Jose Miguel Salvador, owner of the Casa del Habano in Santiago de Chile, and Fernando Fernandez, National Coordinator of the Program for habanosommelier training in Cuba.

Interesting suggestions were born from the competitors’ innovative approach in a practical situation where they had to serve and wait on two patrons. A leading role was played by Romeo y Julieta and Partagás brands, with some of their most famous vitolas: Wide Churchills and Partagás Serie D No.4; in contrast with Habana Club Internacional’s Selección de Maestros rums.

The winner surprised everybody by pairing Partagás and Salomón cigars, in their excellent figurado (torpedo) formats, with Selección de Maestros rum in an exclusive cocktail that delivered unrepeatable taste and texture with prevailing aged notes.

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