There are things that, without a doubt, are considered the best in their respective areas. Such is the case, for example, with the famous Havana cigars, also called Habanos. Although all Habanos come from Cuba, not all Cuban cigars are automatically Habanos. Here is a global overview of the product and location concept of Habanos S.A., which was founded in 1994 as a subsidiary of Cubatabaco and operates worldwide for the distribution and marketing of the Havanas.
The protected denomination of origin “Denominación de Origen Protegida” (D.O.P.) is reserved for only a few of the most important cigar brands. The cigars must be manufactured according to strict guidelines and with tobacco varieties from special growing regions, which in turn are subject to the quality label D.O.P. All Habanos are entirely made by hand and according to the Cuban method, which was first used more than 200 years ago in Havana and since then has been passed on un- changed from generation to generation. From the tobacco sowing to the packaging of cigars, more than 500 procedural steps are undertaken by hand. This involves both the agricultural processes as well as the processing steps within the factory. Before they can justifiably carry the Habanos title, each cigar is tested according to the strictest quality controls (as determined by the control committee of the trademarked denomination of origin, D.O.P.).
Habanos S.A. regularly releases special productions that stand out through special presentations or vitolas, which are then usually produced by a specific brand. These exceptional products are often presented in cabinet boxes or humidors. Many of these are produced and designed by famous Cuban craftspeople or artists.
Since the year 2000, limited special editions have been produced for the most important Habanos brands. These Habanos cigars, produced in limited quantities, are rolled from tobacco varieties that have been aged for two years. A warranty seal affixed to the cigar box as well as a second ring on the cigar refer to the year of production and to the fact that this is an Edición Limitada.
The regional editions are usually produced for the lesser-known brands of the 27 Habanos brands, which have special associations with differ- ent countries. Although they are made with the standard tobaccos and blends, so-called ligadas, of each brand, they are exceptional vitolas sold in numbered boxes. Each Habanos cigar is adorned with an extra silver-burgundy ring and each cigar box has an additional cigar seal indicating the territory of the regional edition.
Porcelain or glass jars are produced on special occasions or as limited editions, such as in 2000, when the Cohiba, Montecristo and Cuaba ceramic jars were produced to mark the new millennium. Over the past 15 years, several humidors and cabinets have been launched in limited and numbered editions. For these, rare and precious woods from Cuba are used, such as cedar, acana or majagua. These exclusive humidor productions include, for example, the Colección Habanos, which resemble books, or the Replica Antigua humidors, which faithfully reproduce antique designs and anniversary humidors. They are crafted to celebrate the most famous Habanos, with Cohiba, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta and Partagás being the brands that are most often honored in this way.
LA CASA DEL HABANO
La Casa del Habano, as the franchise network of Habanos S.A. is called, comprises more than 140 tobacco shops specializing in Habanos worldwide. Each one guarantees the best possible service as well as a wide selection of Habanos of different brands and vitolas as well as walk-in humidors with ideal temperature and humidity conditions. In addition, you can also store your own cigars there in a personal humidor locker.
Several productions are exclusively reserved for the La Casa del Habano shops, such as the Colec- ción Habanos and Replica Antigua humidors. Many of these tobacco specialty stores have smoking salons, which offer the perfect atmosphere for tasting a good Habanos cigar.
Habanos Specialists are independent retailers that support the prestige of Habanos by offering excellent service and a wide assortment of Habanos. Here, of course, the specific quality standards are maintained by the local distributors Habanos S.A. and regarding perfect storage and a profound knowledge of the cigars. Wherever you are in the world, when you see the Habanos Specialist sign you can count on meeting experts who can advise you on choosing the right cigar. Some Habanos Specialists also have their own smoking salons, where you can enjoy your own favorite Habano cigars in a great atmosphere.
Another name to look out for is Cohiba Atmos- phere. These establishments offer high-end service for enjoying a wide variety of brands and sizes of the best Habanos cigars. Furthermore, you can choose from a selection of drinks that best match your cigar. Several Cohiba Atmosphere establishments also offer haute cuisine.
HABANOS LOUNGE & HABANOS TERRACE
Habanos Lounge and Habanos Terrace are the two new concepts launched this year by Habanos S.A. to its partners all over the world.
It aims to identify and promote the best venues – both indoor (Habanos Lounge) as well as outdoor venues (Habanos Terrace) – where cigar lovers have the opportunity to enjoy a good Habano cigar and pair it with the best drinks, of course with world-class service.
So far, the first establishments to be decorated with this special distinction are exclusively in Italy, thanks also to Diadema S.P.A., the Italian Habanos importer, with the exception of the Habanos Terrace in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, opened in October this year.