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Sautter Cigar Library – Regentes
Sautter Cigar Library - Regentes
José María López Inchaurbe (Habanos S.A Vice President of Development)
Creator: Kris Piotrowski / Copyright: Kris Piotrowski Photography

Sautter Cigar Library – Regentes

NICK HAMMOND reports from a glittering launch party for the latest Cuban Limited Edition cab off the rank…

AT last! A gathering of the cigar clan, face to face, in numbers and in style.

Hunters and Frankau, the UK importer responsible for the distribution of Cuban cigars in the UK, threw a party in style last week, with more than 200 revellers gathering at Boisdale of Canary Wharf for a mighty celebration party to launch the Bolivar Regentes, a Limited Edition cigar which should have been released back in 2021.

Tardiness from Cuban cigars is nothing new, but the cigar itself certainly was, and let me tell you off the bat, that the single specimen I lit on the evening smoked beautifully. Attendees were dressed to the nines and enjoyed pre-dinner drinks on the chilly but still-packed terrace while us cigar Press types – only a handful of us exist, you know! – were treated to a very welcome Press Conference with José María López Inchaurbe, Habanos SA’s Vice President of Development. For those who are unaware, Habanos SA is Cuba’s state-owned marketing and distribution arm of the country’s premium handrolled cigar business.

It was lovely to get the chance to sit down with Sr Inchaurbe, alongside Jemma Freeman and Sean Croley of Hunters & Frankau, expertly marshalled by Jimmy McGhee, Hunters Marketing and Communications maestro. The icing on the cake at this Press conference was a simply sublime Bolivar Soberano, the brand’s Limited Edition from 2018. This had a cold draw like good gravy and, to this correspondent at least, was a very Bolivar expression of bold beefiness.

The subsequent dinner was delicious, the company grand, but unfortunately some guests were ignorant enough to carry on chatting loudly while the speeches were made. You can lead a horse to water…

Possibly the best part of the evening was simply seeing friends old and new from the UK cigar industry – and indeed, beyond. We are normally scattered far and wide, attending to our own busy lives and work schedules, so to have the chance to break bread and raise a glass to one another was wonderfully life affirming. The cigar business is a truly special one to be a part of.

Laurence Davis hosted a large Sautter table, where his guests enjoyed the atmosphere, camaraderie and not to mention drinks and smokes. And, talking of smokes, what of that Bolivar Regentes? It’s a 5 1/8ins x 52 Ring Gauge cigar known as a Discretos in Cuba’s factories. It comes in slide lid boxes (SLBs) of 25. Once again, it was flawlessly made and a deep, dark shade of coconut husk. Some light sweetness on the tongue gave way to trademark deep and earthy Bolivar notes – with great potential for further ageing.

Nobody throws cigar launch events quite like the UK, and Hunters & Frankau are to be congratulated for pulling off such a mammoth, glitzy event at such short notice. A little birdie told me they had just six weeks in which to put it all together. Kudos indeed, and I look forward to the Summer, where more cigar-laden shenanigans are being plotted.

If you’ve never attended one of these gatherings, I highly suggest you swallow the ticket price and do so. You’ll get more than value for money – and you’ll meet some wonderful folk.

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