Every year, much ado is made about the Academy Awards gift bag, which is an over-the-top treasure trove of high-priced party favors given to each Oscar nominee. This year's bag was valued at $236,000 and contained everything from trips to Japan to cosmetic surgery to—well—a few dubious items (we'll just leave it at that). If the cigar industry has anything even remotely close to this tradition, it would be the gift bag handed out to each guest in Havana at the Habanos Festival's final gala dinner. This year, the evening was dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Cohiba.
Like the Oscar's, the Habanos gala dinner presents awards to the glitterati of the Cuban cigar industry. There is plenty of live entertainment, and it's not such an easy dinner to get into.
Because of the anniversary, everything in the bag was themed around Cohiba. That eye-catching Cohiba 50th anniversary logo was created by Nelson Alfonso, a young and talented designer. (He also designed the Atabey packaging and the Padrón 50th anniversary humidor.) He is responsible for the newer Cohiba logos that you see today, and has helped Habanos S.A. bring Cohiba's image into the 21st century. He was also there at the dinner.
The contents of the bag included a lighter and cutter produced by Comercial Iberoamericana S.A. of Madrid, Spain, as well as a shadowbox of mounted reprints of every Cohiba band from the '60s all the way to present day. Those bands were made by Vrijdag Printing in the Netherlands. Everyone also received a mini-case of two Cohiba Majestuosos 1966 cigars, each measuring a massive 5 7/8 inches by 58 ring gauge. Only 1,966 humidors of 20 cigars will be produced.
While the retail value of the gift bag's contents did not go into the six figures, some of these accessories will never be commercially available. And once those few Majestuosos are smoked, they'll be gone forever. How can you put a price on that?