The Swiss Habanos Day 2015, the second one after the premiere back in 2013, took again place in the Giardino Verde organized by Intertabak AG, the official importer for Cuban cigars in Switzerland.
Doors opened at 2.30 pm, non-alcoholic drinks, Cuba Libre and Mojito were offered and the first clouds of smoke filled the air of that beautiful event location in a greenhouse. 200 aficionadas/os were expected, I'm sure a few more would've liked to attend too.
The guests arrived as the event's planned to start officially with the opening speech of Silver Gmür, CEO of Intertabak AG. A lot of well know faces, people you haven't seen for a while, others you meet regularly. The biggest surprise for me was my friend Marc from Canada walked in. I was in contact with him a few days before the event. He told me that he will be in Switzerland for a few days but had to inform him that we cannot meet because of my attendance at the Habanos Day. He's a very lucky guy and so he was able to attend too... remembering some nice time we spent during his last visits, we went to the first workshop after the official opening was done.
Aging of cigars, the influence of storage on cigars... a very interesting topic presented by Marc Andre. We'd 3 cigars that we'd to smoke simultanously to judge them in comparison to each other. They only thing you know was the fact that they're from 2008, 2011 and 2015. Very interesting tasting, especially smoking three cigars at the same time... and trying to listen to the presentation itself... time flew by like crazy and I wondered how quickly 1 hour was gone... The verdict was very different for all participants, I'm definitely curious for the final result that we should get in a few days.
For me the order was:
- No. 1: 2015
- No. 2: 2011
- No. 3: 2008
The second workshop I attended was "Rolling a Cuban cigar". I definitely was aware that it's not as easy as it often looks but when you try to do it on your own you rapidly realize what skills and training you need to roll a perfect cigar. Another hour flew by like the blink of an eye and the final result was not too bad. Originally we were told that we will roll now a Mareva sized cigar... hrmmm... mine looked more like a Double Robusto with a very rough wrapper but surprisingly it had a good draw - not too tight and not too loose - and a pleasant taste... so I enjoyed my first custom rolled cigar until the end. My personal insight after that workshop: it's fun to try it but I better leave it to the professionals to roll the premium cigars...
After the workshops - and before the dinner many of us were waiting for - we moved to the apero in another part of the location where some finger food and more drinks were served. A good occasion for some chatting with the people which was intensively made use of.
Around 8 pm the Cuban Night and the buffet dinner were opened. Really good food with a wide range of salads, appetizers, meat of different kinds, fish and sides, offered a good range for everybody. Different speakers, like Heinrich Villiger, among other functions being the Vice President of the board of Intertabak AG, and María del Pilar Fernández Otero, the Cuban embassador in Switzerland held their speech. A few items, like a special Vegas Robaina humidor, signed by Don Alejandro himself, different bottles of Havana Club Rum etc. were auctioned for a good cause, to support Mark Kuster and the children's charity organization Camaquito, All those programm points were scattered in regular intervals by Cuban music and the show of some impressing dancers. Of course we smoked some more cigars and the - cigarwise - highlight was the presentation of the brandnew Punch Supremos ER Suiza 2015 which should hit the shelves soon. Another big RG of 53 but tastewise it was a really good cigar. A few of those cigars will be on the market in 100 numbered special humidors, let's see which price they'll ask for that.
All in all it was a fantastic event which ended for me late after midnight! I'm already looking forward to the next Swiss Habanos Day...