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David Savona archive

May 2011

Hidden Gems

Posted: May 20, 2011 12:00am ET

On my latest trip to Cuba, I was reminded of my first visit to the island, back in 1996. I was a relative cigar rookie back then, and the first time I stepped into a Havana cigar store I was awed at the sight of all those great Cuban cigars staring at me when I walked into the humidor. To me, it looked like paradise.

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Inside Cuba's Newest Factory

Posted: May 12, 2011 12:00am ET

When we arrived in Havana last week, Gordon and I were expecting to hear that the Partagas Cigar Factory had closed for its much-needed renovation. When we were in Cuba in February, everyone was talking about how Partagas would soon be shut down, the jackhammers brought out and workers would start the arduous task of undoing the damage done by years of hot, Cuban summers, drenching tropical hurricanes and years of salty sea air on the Real Fabrica Partagas, which has stood since 1845.

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Inside the World's Busiest La Casa del Habano

Posted: May 4, 2011 12:00am ET

I'm back in New York after my week in Cuba. I spent most of the time in Havana, visiting 14 cigar shops, including each of the city's nine La Casas del Habanos. These are stores that sell Cuban cigars, of course, but there's more to a La Casa than just cigars. Being a La Casa del Habano means you have to stock a certain number of smokes, have a staff that is well informed about them, need a place where your customers can smoke and a bar serving drinks. They're wonderful places.

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The Locker Lowdown in Havana

Posted: May 4, 2011 12:00am ET

This is day four of my week-long trip to Havana, Cuba. I've been here all week with Gordon Mott on assignment for Cigar Aficionado. During my trip I've visited just about every quality cigar shop in the city and toured three cigar factories. I've done quite a bit, but there's still more to do.

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First Cigar in Havana

Posted: May 2, 2011 12:00am ET

Cuba begins to get quiet in May. The onslaught of snowbirds from Europe and Canada who flock here during the winter months in the northern hemisphere begins to slow down, and the weather begins to turn from pleasantly warm to downright hot. Thick, gray clouds climb higher in the sky during the afternoon, often releasing a cooling rain. The tourists might not be here in droves, but, as always, this is a great time to come to Havana to smoke cigars.

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