Partagas, Myth and Excellence


20/02/2010

A thin thread of smoke draws figures in the air, giving out aromas that bring delight to the smelling sense and piques the imagination. That smoky figure wafting up in the air could perfectly be the bust of a beautiful woman who’s showing off her curly hair.

The symbolic silhouette of smoke is the trace of a Partagas, now turning 165 years old, a renowned cigar factory and legendary Habano House, a place sought after by celebrities and the great lovers of premium cigars worldwide.

Flor de Tabacos de Partagas, for Sybarites

The true name is Flor de Tabacos de Partagas, a brand that got its big break back in 1845 thanks to its deluxe blends and its ever-growing acclaim among smokers. Legend and myth embrace this brand that in the first half of the 19th century set out on an undisputed road by the hand of its founder, Don Jamie. 520 Industria St. was the original building, right behind the Havana Capitol, a bustling area where thousands of people come and go every single day.

A long variety of vitolas are produced there, including the 8-9-8, either glazed or not, Astorias, Charlottes, Chicos, Churchills de Luxe, Coronas, Culebras, Lonsdales, Lusitanias, Partagas de Partagas No.1, Petit Coronas, Presidentes, Royales, Series D No.4 and many more, including some extremely exclusive ones.

But in addition to its interesting and seducing monikers, the blend is just another standout, and so is the long taste, the magical formulas that only the best-quality tobacco leaves can actually chip in.

Even though Partagas is recognized everywhere, even in the Middle East, Spain, France and Benelux continue to be its top three markets. This is one of the most sought-after cigar factories by tourists visiting Cuba. The hall in the bottom floor houses the Partagas Habano House, usually attended by connoisseurs and celebrities like Jack Nicholson, Gerard Depardieu, Steven Spielberg. The long of boldface names is long and varied, as the history of this shelter of the ultimate smoke is as well.

The 8-9-8, for instance, is perhaps the best-known Partagas of all, with a very special aroma, a mild-to-strong taste, a pack of thoroughly rolled leaves and usually boasting a light-colored wrapper. The Lusitanias are the Prominentes (double coronas), highly coveted; and both have been credited with this brand’s fame and myth.

The Habano House

The Partagas Habano House is an intimate space where smoke is the name of the game. A place featuring a variety of allures where luxury is synonymous of soberness. Standing in front of the doorway just lets you take a peek at what you’ll see and feel inside.

Inside the locale, there’s a world of its own that reels in countless visitors, sometimes way too many and very distinguished ones. Well-stocked shelves, a bar to have the best Cuban rum and coffee money can buy, cigar rollers for the most demanding patrons and a table where the rich and famous have had a picture of them taken.

The air that you breathe in there is one of movement and plenty of vitality. That’s why the front hall of this habitation of sybarites looks like a beehive. The silence is the rhythmic noisiness that’s heard as people puff on their cigars, jaw it up and smile. In the rear, mystery and legend arise. That’s the place where cigars are protected in humidors and the customers’ lockers are located: the VIP Hall. It sometimes feels as if you were sailing on a boat over a sea of billowing smoke.

Furthermore, this House was one of the first to open back in 1993 when the name-like franchise –owned by international corporation Habanos S.A.- got going in 1990 with one of these establishments in Mexico.

Then, it became the bestselling house of all where the most outstanding customers are praises twice every year, people who come to Cuba more than three times in a single year just to give themselves the pleasure of smoking a habano among old friends at the place’s VIP Hall.

Then, it became the bestselling house of all where the most outstanding customers are praises twice every year, people who come to Cuba more than three times in a single year just to give themselves the pleasure of smoking a habano among old friends at the place’s VIP Hall.

The store reopened in April 1991 as the Partagas House, the same name it received at the beginning back in the 1930s. Furthermore, this House was one of the first to open back in 1993 when the name-like franchise –owned by international corporation Habanos S.A.- got going in 1990 with one of these establishments in Mexico.

We talked with director Abel Exposito, the 1999 Habano Man of the Year in the Retailing category. “We have customers from all around the world and each year we hold meetings of Partagas cigar lovers to celebrate our anniversary. It’s some kind of contact among friends and customers that in each edition gathers some 300 participants from Spain, Italy, France, Canada, Brazil, Grand Cayman, the U.S. and this year will take place from Nov. 15 to 19 to mark Partagas’ 165th anniversary.”