Cigar Aficionado

A Special Factory for Special Cigars in Havana

I thought I was going to the Partagas Factory on Friday but I was told it was closed. So I ended up hanging with some friends and smoking some cigars (as usual) in La Habana.

It made me think about the new specialty factory that the Cubans are developing at the moment. It will be located in the old El Rey del Mundo factory, next door to the Romeo y Julieta factory. I went there years ago when it was still primarily making machine-made smokes. The machines, most that were brought into Cuba in the 1930s, put together the bunches and then rollers added the wrappers. The machines are long gone now from El Rey del Mundo.

“2009 we think that we will have the new factory,” said Manuel Garcia, commercial director for Habanos S.A., the global distribution and marketing organization for Cuban cigars. Check out my last blog for Manuel’s interesting perspective on the U.S. market. “It was traditionally for premium cigars, but after the Revolution, it was also for machine-made cigars. We want to make all specialty cigars there, such as regional editions, Edición Limitadas and special humidors.

This is a great idea, and I think that the factory will look something like El Laguito, where there are only about 100 rollers who take their time making superb smokes. Check out my video from El Laguito, the mother factory for Cohiba and formerly Cuban Davidoff cigars.

Garcia said that the regional edition smokes are a huge success and that he expects to see more and more. This year there are already close to two dozen. I hope to smoke them all in Havana in October.

I agree that the regional smokes are a success and they seem to be getting better all the time. In the beginning, I thought that they seemed a little bit too alike in flavor, but the few new ones I have smoked recently indicate otherwise.

In any case, I look forward to visiting the new specialty factory next year and smoking a cigar fresh from the rolling tables there.