Fine dining and prized wines at the Baku resturant Jakonda made for a perfect warm-up when Azerbaijan hosted its second ever Cigar Smoking World championship qualifier. Jakonda is reportedly one of the best cigar places in the capital and besides local talent the competition attracted guests from three foreign cigar clubs, Kazakhstan Cigar Club, Astana Cigar Club and the Moscow Aficionados Cigar Club, as well. Twelve participants managed to make it past the one-hour mark, but there can only be one winner and this year his name was Elnur Adilov. At 1 hour 42 minutes and 29 seconds he was way ahead of the others, and the most exciting battle was that for second place. In the end less than one minute separated Yevgeny Zhuravlev from Moscow Aficionados and Azer Mirtagavi from Aficionados of Baku, who came in second last year.
A special treat for the winner was a limited edition of the first araq in Azerbaijan.
“Araq is an ancient Azerbaijani drink, and it was ordered and branded specifically for the Azerbaijan CSWC qualifier,” judge Evgeniy Zhidkov says. “For the wider audience you can describe it as rice vodka. It disappeared after the arrival of the Russian Empire and was replaced with vodka, but now we’re reviving it.”
· Elnur Adilov 1:42:29
· Yevgeny Zhuravlev 1:19:28
· Azer Mirtagavi 1:18:34