How to Get the Longest Ash


San Cristóbal de La Habana was the cigar of choice for the contest, with the Morro (factory vitola, ring gauge 49, 180 mm long) and a burning time of approximately 45 minutes. Before ringing the bell that marked the start of the competition, Luis Felipe Milanes, chief of the Tabacuba Quality Division, advised participants to put both their minds and cigars at ease and simply enjoy the smoke. A few minutes later and amid the desperation of some of the competitors in their effort to get the longest ash as quickly as they possibly could, Eloisa Castellanos, senior marketing executive at Habanos S.A., explained there was no time limit for the contest and that the rush could make some suffer from sudden dizziness and other disorders. Men and women, rookies and veterans, went the extra mile to achieve that goal: turning a cigar into a full body of ash. This Friday and after a thorough check and measuring by experts, a winner will be announced.