After canceling last year’s event due to civil unrest within the country, Nicaragua’s eighth annual Puro Sabor cigar festival took place last week without any major complications. Premium cigar lovers from all over the world flew to Nicaragua, the leading exporter of handmade cigars to the United States, to participate in the country’s largest cigar and tobacco celebration.
According to the Nicaraguan Chamber of Tobacco, which is the collective of cigar and tobacco companies behind the Puro Sabor festival, about 21 countries, including Germany, Australia, Sweden and South Africa, were represented by roughly 120 attendees.
Puro Sabor 2020 spanned three cities: Managua, Granada and Estelí. The event began in the capital city of Managua on January 21, and some guests moved on the next day to Granada, one of the country’s more tourist friendly cities. The Mombacho Cigars factory, which is located inside a Spanish colonial mansion known as Case de Mario Favilli, was opened for tours.
The next day the group moved to Estelí, not only Nicaragua’s largest cigar-producing city, but also one of the biggest cigarmaking cities in the world. The first event on the schedule was lunch at a tobacco field owned by Plasencia Cigars. Traditional Nicaraguan dishes of chicken and beef were served along with Toña beer. That night, everyone gathered once more for a party hosted by Drew Estate at the company’s factory grounds.
During the daytime hours for the next two days, guests were shuttled to various fields and factories to immerse themselves in Nicaragua’s cigarmaking process. The groups were invited to tour the factories where their favorite brands are made and also see the tobacco fields that grow some of the world’s most prized cigar leaf.
On Thursday night, the festival held a party at J.C. Newman’s PENSA factory, where guests received a bag of award-winning Nicaraguan cigars as well as a special culebra of Brick House cigars from J.C. Newman.
Puro Sabor is a celebration thrown by the Nicaraguan Chamber of Tobacco, known as the NCT. The founding members of the NCT are: A.J. Fernandez, A.S.P. Nicaragua S.A., Drew Estate, Joya de Nicaragua, My Father Cigars, Nicaragua American Cigars S.A., Padrón Cigars, Puros de Estelí Nicaragua S.A., Plasencia Cigars, Procenisa, Scandinavian Tobacco Group, Oliva Cigars, Omar Ortez Originals and Tabacalera TaviCusa S.A.. Other NCT members include: Tabacalera Perdomo, Aganorsa Tobacco, Cigar Rings, Cigar Box Factory, Victor Calvo, Mombacho Cigars, Nica Sueño, TRC Cigars, El Galan Cigars and 1502.
The final night of Puro Sabor concluded with a gala event at STG Estelí, owned by General Cigar Co. At the beginning of the night, it was announced that Claudio Sgroi, owner of Mombacho Cigars, is the new president of CNT, replacing Anielka Ortez who served for the last three years.