A Woman Wins the Habanos Blindfolded Tasting


A Cuban cigar roller walked off with top honors in the first blindfolded tasting session of habanos held during the 13th Habano Festival that came to a close last week in Havana.

The winner of the first blindfolded tasting session of habanos was Cohiba cigar roller Ana Ester Mederos who had took part in the preliminary round in which only half a dozen contesters of some 30 participants –including workers, sommeliers and aficionados- advanced to the grand finale.

This singular demonstration of high professional mastery brought together –the preliminary round kicked off on day one of the festival- a dozen factory cigar tasters and a trio of sommeliers.

Contesters were bound to identify by the touch of their hands the three proposed habanos –what factory vitola they belonged to.

Then they puffed on them with no outer elements that could tell them apart –what brand they belonged to.

The preliminary round spun off the finalists: Noel Castro and Agustin Sany Martin (both from La Corona cigar factory), Judith Sabrino (Partagas), Ana Isabel Mederos and Mercedes Gonzalez (El Laguito), and Alain Rodriguez (a sommelier at the National Hotel).

In the final stretch of the competition, the competitors had a chance to identify the unmarked Partagas Shorts, Cohiba Siglo IV and Montecristo Edmundo vitolas.