A Perfect Marriage


The fame of habanos has long been making the rounds across the continents for the delight of the most selected smokers and the pride of the Cuban people. The whole world bowed to the finest tobacco under the sun, stunned by the distinctive hallmark of its most emblematic brands. But there times –only a handful of special and proper occasions- when excellence takes extraordinary twists.

This Tuesday, within the framework of the 17th Habano Festival, luxury showed up by the hand of an undisputed pleasure when the Intl. Conference Center was home to a special tasting session in which the Romeo y Julieta Pirámides Añejados and the Montecristo Churchills Añejados were paired with two glamorous Havana Club rums: Selección de Maestros and Añejo 15 Años.

Both vitolas came out with exclusive editions in limited numbers and in a one-and-only rollout. It’s all about two habanos that have endured an aging process of five to eight years, a brand-new concept that has awed both cigar aficionados and the most seasoned smokers. This time around, the tasting-pairing session was emceed by celebrated professor and sommelier Fernando Fernandez, who led a panel of Habanos S.A. execs made up of Luis Sanchez-Hurguindey Pardo de Vera and Inocente Núñez Blanco, co-presidents; Jorge Luis Fernandez Maique, Marketing vice president; Fidel Sanchez Triana, Logistics vice president, and Antonio Pascual Garcia, Financial vice president.

The aged condition is linked to the habanos’ period of preservation –under the most optimal temperature and humidity conditions- from the moment they were rolled at the factory to the time they were lit up. The timespan following the placing of the habanos in the box –six years and seven months for the famous Montecristo, and six years and three months for the most romantic and tragic of all habanos- guarantees a more refined smoke and more complex scent without letting the habano lose its initial organoleptic features.

Both products were aged in their original boxes, a process that results in a much clearer and more consistent burning ash, to such an extent that it can be held in the hand as attendees to the tasting session witnessed yesterday.

Most participants agreed in handpicking the alliance between the Montecristo and the Havana Club Añejo 15 Años as the perfect marriage, yet without fully ignoring the tasty tie-up between the Romeo y Julieta and the Selección de Maestros.

“The Añejo 15 Años reveals the innermost fabrics of the rum-making culture and provides an ideal match for the Montecristo. But Selección de Maestros is one of Cuba’s all-star products. These are two great rums with different styles and formations,” said Fernando Fernandez.