Sunshine, coffee, cigars and rum – a great Nicaraguan mixture. But this time they were ingredients for an afternoon extravaganza in Birmingham, UK, which saw cigarmaker Drew Estate represented among the exhibitors.
Keith Marsden, landlord of the Prince of Wales, voted British Institute of Innkeeping Pub of The Year 2015, welcomed guests to his fantastic cigar terrace in Moseley.
And even the Nicaraguan Ambassador to the UK, Ms Guiselle Morales-Echaverry, was on hand to explain to gathered retailers just what a positive impact the cigar industry is having in Nicaragua.
In a speech which outlined how geography, terroir and climate also made Nicaraguan tobacco unique, Ms Morales said better healthcare, jobs and living conditions were now being provided, with help from manufacturers, in cigar growing country.
This was backed up by Fabien Ziegler of Drew Estate who explained that all company employees got access to on-site healthcare and good rates of pay. Listening guests puffed on Undercrown Shade, newly released into the UK market by TOR Imports.
Keiran Cusker, brand Ambassador for Flor de Caña, was generous with his 12, 18 and 25-year-old bottles of outstanding Nicaraguan rum and he told gathered guests how each is lovingly created ‘slow-aged’ in the company’s distillery in Chichigalpa.
Finally, as guests helped themselves to more cigars and fresh cups of Nicaraguan coffee, Andrea Woolverton, who co-founded Twin Engine Coffee alongside Cigar Journal contributor Colin Ganley, told of the very personal mission they had undertaken to bring these great coffee beans to the world.
The vastly improved payment arranged for coffee growers through Twin Engine was highlighted, along with Andrea’s obvious passion for a truly artisan product.
The afternoon was warmly received by UK retailers from Birmingham, Harrogate, Scarborough, Chester, London, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Norfolk, Liverpool, Bedford and Cambridge, with many choosing to continue the fun with dinner alongside landlord Keith Marsden, himself a dedicated cigar man and follower of Nicaraguan tobacco.
The day’s events were organised by Tor Imports, the UK importer of many New World cigars including Alec Bradley, Ashton, Drew Estate, Dunhill, Joya de Nicaragua, La Flor Dominicana, My Father Cigars, Oliva and Padron.