Habanos S.A. has released the first details of the upcoming Festival del Habano XXII, and it will be Bolívar, Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta that will be this year’s featured brands, while La Casa del Habano, the network of Habanos retailers, will celebrate its 30th anniversary.

Bolívar will get the festival’s most notable release, the Bolívar Reserva Cosecha 2016. Specific details about the cigar have not yet been released, but the tobacco used for the cigar will all come from the 2016 harvest. The opening dinner where the cigar will be presented will be held on Mon., Feb. 24 at Club Habana on the western end of Havana.

On Wed., Feb. 26, the evening’s dinner will celebrate two milestones: the 30th anniversary of La Casa del Habano and the 85th anniversary of the Montecristo brand. That event will be held at the El Laguito Reception Hall, part of the famed El Laguito factory.

The Festival will conclude on Fri., Feb. 28 with the Gala Evening that will be dedicated to the Romeo y Julieta brand, which celebrates its 175th anniversary. Additionally, the night will feature the presentation of the Habanos Awards and the traditional Humidors Auction, which has in recent years generated over $1 million for the Cuban Public Health System.

Throughout the week, attendees will be able to go on tobacco plantation tours in the area of Partido, San Antonio de los Baños, in Artemisa, as well as tours of the La Corona and Partagás factories to see firsthand the process that goes into creating a Cuban cigar. The week will also include a trade fair featuring tobacco industry professionals worldwide, exhibitors from luxury goods makers as well as craftspeople, artists and manufacturers of smoking accessories and gourmet products. This year’s series of Habanos-related seminars will feature a presentation on Habanos and its brands by Ciro Bianchi, a Cuban journalist and author. The week will also feature events
that showcase Cuban gastronomy and an international assortment of beverages.

Finally, the Festival will be the site of the third Habanos World Challenge, which pits contestants from around the world in a test of their general knowledge of Habanos across the various phases of the process, from cultivation and production to enjoyment, through a series of challenges that participants will have to overcome throughout all stages of the competition.

The Festival del Habano XXII runs from Feb. 24 – 28 in Havana, Cuba.

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.