TI JanFeb2016 • TPI Q1

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TPI 14 Q1 2016 S ome call it the world's largest and most prestigious premium cigar party. Others think of it as the best week to be in Havana, Cuba. Most simply refer to it as the Habanos Festival. This 18 th edition of the massive celebration in the motherland of tobacco arrives this year on the final day of February and runs through Friday, March 4. To be sure, there are many other cigar events held elsewhere, including the US, but the Habanos Festival is truly the gran padre of them all. This festival is dedicated to a couple of the world's better known cigars, including one of the most diverse and oldest brands—Hoyo de Monterrey and the pres- tigious Cohiba lines. After its initial creation and release in 1966, Cohiba rapidly became the flagship cigar for Habanos. Typically, more than 1,500 cigar enthusiasts make the annual pilgrimage to the island nation located only 90 miles south of Florida. Some predictions state this year's crowd could be even bigger than in years past due, in part, to the newfound inter- est from Americans following an easing of travel restrictions. The first day kicks off with the opening of the trade fair and Habanos Gallery, featuring more than 120 exhibitors of humidors, gourmet products, smoking accessories, Cuban crafts and art objects. The trade fair is the perfect venue for both experts and beginners to take a closer look at the realm of Habanos and its many integrated products. Immediately following the opening ceremony, the International Habanosommelier preliminary competition gets underway where attendees will be treated to an all-star line up of competitors. For Habanos Festival XVlll, eight for- mer winners of previous Habanosommelier contests will return for encore performances. These previous champions have proven that they are extremely qualified in pairing Cuban Counting Down to Cuba's 18 th Annual Habanos Festival Cuba's trade fair extrordinaire is dedicated to both the Hoyo de Monterey and Cohiba lines » BY PEDRO PIÑEIRO {Habanos Festival 2016} The Habanos Festival is considered the perfect trade fair for those seeking a closer look at the world of Habanos and its integrated products.

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