Cuba to host 18th cigar festival

HAVANA. — Cigar enthusiasts from around the globe will gather in Havana this week for the 18th Habanos Festival.

The trade fair is expected to attract more US buyers and aficionados than ever before, since Washington has relaxed travel and trade restrictions as part of a year-long bilateral push to normalise ties.

Renowned among the world’s cigar sellers and consumers, the annual festival attracts about 1 500 visitors from some 50 countries.

Highlights of the five-day festival usually include tours to award-winning tobacco plantations, visits to cigar factories, a cigar rolling class, a sommelier contest, and an auction of choice humidors containing limited edition cigars. This year’s festival will bring together the winning sommeliers of the past to compete for the title of “Master of Masters” in pairing Habanos with fine liquors and cocktails. It will also mark the 50th anniversary of the Cohiba, a premium brand that had been popular in the United States before an expanded trade embargo banned the importation of Cuban cigars in 1962.— Xinhua.

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