HABANOS: TIME FOR PLEASURE - Golden Phoenix
It is said that Havana smells of Habanos , and the fact is that the city hosts the most important Habanos festival in the world – and it is home to some of the most illustrious factories producing this product made Totalmente a Mano con – Totally handmade with Long Filler.
It takes four of the five senses to choose an Habano (Protected Appellations of Origin (A.O.P.); or as the most knowledgeable claim, all five, because if you bring the cigar close to your ear, the Habano emits a unique sound as you roll it. The smell is surely the most outstanding feature – as pleasant before lighting it, as it is during the lighting and smoking. The selection of an Habano, the way in which it is cut, lit and smoked, are all decisions that depend solely and exclusively on the personal preferences of each person for their own enjoyment.
For Inocente Núñez, Co-President of Habanos, S.A., there are two aspects that are important when choosing an Habano: “How much time I have available and the time of day I’m going to be enjoying it.” And once we know how much time we have available, which could be from twenty minutes to an hour and twenty minutes, it is important to select the vitola . “This refers to the shape of the Habano, its length, and what we call the ring gauge, which is the diameter of the cigar,” says Núñez.
On this basis, Inocente Núñez gives his personal recommendation: “If I don’t have much time and it’s in the morning, I would prefer a Hoyo de Monterrey, from the Línea Le Hoyo de San Juan. But if, for example, it’s the weekend and I have time to savour it, I would choose a Cohiba Lanceros, which is in a stronger flavour Habano”.
Once you have chosen the Habano you can move on to the pleasurable enjoyment of the lighting ritual, which brings a feeling of great serenity and prepares you for the final enjoyment of the aroma of the smoke. “You always have to light it from the outside in, around the edge, taking great care not to make the Habano smoky“, recommends Alexis Menéndez, Havana’s Cohiba Atmosphere Habanosommelier. In addition, the Co-Presidents of Habanos, S.A. Inocente Núñez and Luis Sánchez-Harguindey, prefer to light the cigar with cedar “since it provides a fantastic aroma and smell“. Once lit, it only remains to enjoy and appreciate the full range of characteristics.
The Habano can be paired and enjoyed along with other products such as, for example, a good spirit that provides and enriches new sensations that increase the pleasure. However, there are an increasing number of experts who claim that an Habano can also be paired with products as special as tea, coffee, chocolate, beer or a good wine.
Now all you have to do is relax and savour the subtle flavours and aromas of the Habano blend chosen. “And when the sad moment of leaving your Habano arrives, don’t put it out, just leave it in the ashtray.” Or as lovers of this premium product say, “let it die with dignity“.