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A Cohiba and a Press Conference

Feb 29, 2016 | By David Savona
A Cohiba and a Press Conference
Photo/David Savona

I walked into the conference room at the Cuban convention center and was handed a stack of papers and a Cohiba Siglo III in a shiny metal tube.

Now that's how you get me interested in a press conference.

The annual Habanos Festival has begun, and the press conference was the first official event. As a group of reporters fired up their Cohibas, officials from Habanos S.A. spoke about new cigars and reported on last year's results. There are more than 200 journalists here from around the world, and most of the festival events have been sold out for quite some time.

My colleagues Gordon Mott and Greg Mottola, who are joining me here in Cuba, reported on the two activities. The big news? The 50th anniversary Cohiba, a grand smoke that is Cuba's first 60-ring-gauge cigar.

The bad news? It's limited. Only 2,500 cigars will be made, individually numbered and packed in humidors. There are 50 cigars per humidor and 50 humidors will be sold. No word on price, but the humidor contains tobacco leaves treated with actual gold, so expect these to swell for extremely dear prices.

The good news? There will be more Cohibas coming out, including a regular production smoke known as a Medio Siglo, a hybrid between a Siglo I and a Siglo VI. It's short and fat and will be the first Siglo sold without a Roman numeral.

Cuba needed a crown jewel to celebrate 50 years of Cohiba, but I'm sad that the commemorative cigar will be one that most people will never, ever smoke. Perhaps one day the line will be expanded, much like Behike was, to make a version available on a regular basis.

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