On Thursday at the Partagas Festival I hooked up with the FOHers and the Cigar Underground Network Terrorists led by Rob Ayala – Australia’s cigar czar and extreme cigar fundamentalist.
Following on from last year’s success, the James Fox and cigars.ie cigar smokers headed west for a Rum and Cigar tasting. As we arrived in town, dressed in army fatigues, it was clear that a storm was brewing out in the Atlantic – with Surf smashing over the headland protecting Kilkee harbour. Ominous.
After last year’s festival being a big success, Kilkee will be hosting the second Ché Do Bheatha festival between September 28th and 30th 2012. This year, Che do Bheatha Latin-American Cultural Festival will celebrate the Latin American culture, along with the 51st anniversary of Che’s visit in Kilkee in September 1961.
Well those Guys and Gals in Hunters know how to throw a cigar party.
Thursday morning started off with an early trip to the airport, with a quick stop off at the election centre to cast our votes in the European Election, but it wasn’t long before we were rummaging through the vintage cigar wall in the walk in humidor at our shop in St James’s Street. From there it was a skip up the stairs to the sampling room, 1997 Hoyo de Monterrey Churchills in hand, Andy had brought a bottle of Yellow Spot with him, Pete and Paul, our UK cigar forum counterparts had brought a bottle of Glenfiddich 12yo, so we spent the rest of the morning arguing which was better, with both sides claiming victory as we broke for lunch.
7pm. 20 degrees centigrade. Glass of chilled Cava in my left hand. Romeo Wide Churchill fired up in my right. Relaxing on a smoking deck. Tapas offered by friendly waiting staff. Is this Havana, or am I really in the Porthouse Ibericos in Dundrum?
I am in the Porthouse. Where our Pot Still Whiskey and Romeo Wide Churchill tasting was a huge success.
Following the success of the Fox Upmann Sir Winston Centenary Selection & Greenspot 10yo tasting conducted in Havana during the Partagas Festival in November 2011, the directors and managers of Fox Cigar Merchants were delighted to host a Partagas Fox Seleccion No 1 & Knapogue Castle 16yo tasting at the Habanos Festival in February 2012.
The venue for the tasting was La Moraleja Restaurant in Vedado, just up the road from the Habana Libre Hotel. This is a beautiful, privately run restaurant which offers an excellent menu of top class dishes. Olga Lidia is the proprietor, and as an avid cigar aficionado she has an open door policy for cigars smokers.
Casa Cuba is a company which hosts Cuban themed parties throughout Dublin. With authentic Cuban cuisine and live Cuban entertainment, it will be a night not to be missed.
A three course Cuban dinner will be available from 7:30 to 9:00 @ €20 per person, while the Cuban Band “Sabor Cubano” will be performing live from 9:00pm.
For more information and reservations, please call the Bia Bar on 01 475 1988.
Drury Court Hotel,
28-30 Lower Stephen’s St.
At the Festival in February 2012 I had the pleasure of once again meeting up with Hirochi Robaina at his family’s tobacco plantation in Pinar del Rio. Hirochi took time out to show us around his facilities, which includes what appeares to be a religious shrine. Religious shrines are a common thing in Ireland, but not so much in a socialist state, so I asked about it. The plantation tour was organized by a good friend, and his story about the shrine was intriguing, so much so that I asked if he would document it so that I could share it online. He was delighted to oblige.