World Habanos Days 2021 - Celebrating the 55th Anniversary of Cohiba
For lovers of Cuban Cigars, a trip to visit the annual Festival de Habanos in Havana must be a dream holiday. The 23rd instalment, planned for February this year, would surely have been an occasion to remember, as the celebrations of the 55th anniversary of Cohiba took centre stage and every effort was made to top the extravagance of previous years. Sadly, world events had their say, as they have with so many gatherings in the last 14 months, and the decision was taken to cancel. Yet another moment of joy for so many had fallen victim to the pandemic.
Happily for all of us with a passion for Habanos, this drove innovation rather than commiseration. The inaugural Habanos World Days festival was quickly announced as replacement – an entirely digital affair to ensure that, even in difficult times, the world of cigars continues to move forward and the new releases we look forward to each year still see their arrivals heralded. Communication with aficionados is at the heart of the concept, with fans from all over the world able to register their details and get involved. Virtual tours of plantations, factories and La Casa del Habano franchises, videos introducing pairings by some of the world’s leading cigar sommeliers and a contest to test your knowledge of the Cohiba brand – possibly winning an invitation to the next in-person festival in the process – all added to the experience and the chance for people across the world to unite over their shared passion for premium tobacco.
The line-up of Limited Edition releases for 2021.
Of course, the main focus each year for observers around the world is on the new releases planned for the coming months, and this year did not disappoint. In addition to the 3 new Cohiba vitolas, it was confirmed that 2021 is to have a total of 3 new Limited Edition cigars. The line-up is completed by the Hoyo de Monterrey Monterreyes No. 4 and the Bolivar Regentes, 2 new vitolas for 2 of the most revered marcas. Each is sure to become immediately collectable when they arrive to the market.
The Montecristo Wide Edmundo and the Partagas Serie E No. 2 Gran Reserva
In addition to the yearly Limited Edition releases, it was also confirmed we are to be treated to a new Gran Reserva – the Partagas Serie E No.2 Cosecha 2015 – and an extra addition to the most popular cigar brand in the world. While the Gran Reserva will be limited to only 5,000 boxes of 15 cigars, the Montecristo Wide Edmundo will be regular production, joining the 3 other Edmundo vitolas in the Montecristo offering and introducing a new second band bearing the name of the vitola. This is a new tradition to be rolled out across the entire Montecristo house.
At the press conference directly following the unveiling of these new cigars for us all to become excited about, the co-Presidents of Habanos SA proudly announced that, despite the downturn in spending across the world during 2020 and the particularly dramatic halt to tourism and the duty-free cigar market, sales of Cuban cigars reached $507million. This was aided in part by a large increase in Chinese consumption, with China the largest individual country for sales of Habanos for the first time. There can be no doubt this is to some degree thanks to the beginning of a series of Limited Edition Habanos to commemorate each Lunar New Year, and Senor Leopoldo Cintra González was happy to tease us with the news he will “surprise us with other novelties” for the region in the near future.
The Cohiba Ideales Book Humidor will be perhaps the most collectable of the series so far.
World Habanos Days 2021 was more than just a vehicle for the announcements of new cigars, or an excuse for the press conference telling the world that Habanos sold well through a global shutdown. It was a chance for the aficionados who may not usually have the chance to come to Havana to engage with their favourite brands, and favourite products. A “virtual fair” allowed guests who registered to tour digital stands from companies making products to enhance the smoking experience, such as ST Dupont lighters and cutters or DeArt luxury humidors. This fair also allowed visitors their first glimpse of a new cigar watch created by Swiss horology experts Zenith – branded with the livery of Cohiba and with only 55 numbered units produced to continue the theme of celebration of this anniversary for the flagship brand. The best of Cuban art was also showcased at a digital stall introducing four of Cuba’s most celebrated painters and sculptors to a new global audience.
The website for the festival will be available for another 30 days for those wishing to catch up with announcements or take advantage of the opportunities to learn more about their passion. While the now-traditional festival will be reinstated as soon as is possible, the co-Presidents have decided that World Habanos Days will continue in the future, making use of technology and innovation to reach many more of their loyal supporters around the world. Already, we can begin to build excitement for what the next edition will bring us.