Day four of the 2015 Havana Cigar Festival saw Phoenicia, the regional distributor of Habanos in the Middle East, continental Africa, Cyprus and Greece, organize a cigar tasting session at El Laguito cigar factory, where many Cohiba cigars are manufactured. The sampling included a comparison of two cigars aimed at deciding which one would be released as a regional edition for Lebanon later this year under the Ramón Allones brand. The idea is for the release to mark the celebration of the 35th anniversary of Phoenicia this year. The final cigar will be made with a carefully selected wrapper, binder and filler from the Vuelta Abajo in Pinar del Río – Cuba’s finest tobacco-growing area.
The two cigars shared the exact same ring gauge and length – 55mm by 130mm. In fact, both share dimensions with the Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill. The 18 tasters in the morning meeting were simply asked what their preference was: a dark wrapper or a light wrapper. Yet the choice was not obvious.
It was a long morning of discussion and debate over what cigar was the best. In the end, Phoenicia finally decided on the cigar with the dark wrapper because the owners believed the cigar would be better accepted in their markets. We agreed. Check out the video featuring the event and also an interview with Walid, CEO of Phoenicia.