Havana February 27 to March 4 Incl Photos


Recommended Posts

After 18 months away from Havana I was again able to go for a few days with a small group of the cigar gang here in Toronto. This seems like a good opportunity to provide a quick update and also include a few photos from the trip. The photos are mix of phone and DSLR, so the quality will be different. The colour/lighting/exposure are based on my preferences so that may not appeal to some.
Considering the weather we've been having in Toronto it was an excellent reason to get away. Here's what I was leaving behind on the day of the flight to Varadero from the back of the cab:
IMG_0358.thumb.jpg.2e575479f1ab90e656e078e41a2211b7.jpgIMG_0359.thumb.jpg.8bd1e855b43163ecef5653347ffcefb9.jpgIMG_0360.thumb.jpg.fc792c240c7b63229540af9bb01b0fda.jpg
I thought for sure that the flight would be delayed quite a bit but as luck would have it we only took off 2 hours past the scheduled time. Of course leaving on an afternoon flight to Varadero with a two hour bus ride to Havana meant we would not make it to the hotel until late Wednesday/early Thursday. But, that's no matter when the thought of Havana beckoned. We got into the hotel around 12:30-1:00am. Check in, drop off bags and head straight to the back of the Nacional for a quick night cap. 
The next day i got up early, had a quick breakfast and again headed out to the back for the first morning smoke of the day - can never get enough of this place:
IMG_0364.thumb.jpg.06b398de57c956e1bd1982122c6f3a10.jpgIMG_0365.thumb.jpg.163d8f4ccc6eeb813efc783ef45192b1.jpg
First smoke all done, the rest of the gang started to stumble out into the 30 degree (celsius) heat (sorry all, that's up to the attendees to post their own photos). We had to figure out what our day was going to shape up to be like, cigars then shopping, shopping then cigars or shopping cigars and food or some other combination. We decided to have a couple of more cigars at the back then head out to the old city to visit Conde de Villanueva. 
546975176_4200Project-4687.thumb.jpg.d763b355786e761d783c2bc847f96729.jpg950522526_4200Project-4691.thumb.jpg.28c2cb262c0f39750855e0c5fbbed75d.jpg1404203136_4200Project-4692.thumb.jpg.eace95c356068793ac987ee97ad4f56d.jpg1668130757_4200Project-4722.thumb.jpg.fa4aff42265bb4493aed3532a838038e.jpg
That is a Reynaldo custom sublime - great cigar. 
That done we decided to walk around a bit and head over to the Partagas store. It's sometimes nice to get there when there's no festival going on to get the fill of the place, and that we did. We almost had the back room to ourselves. A nice small cigar (sorry no photos, and I can't remember what I smoked) and an espresso rested us well from the heavy workout we had with walking over from the Conde to Partagas. Quick update; neither Conde nor Partagas had anything other than regular production cigars. This was true of most everywhere we went.
After the walking trip around the old city what could we do but head back to the Nacional for more smoking before dinner. Again, not many photos of this as I was too busy blissing out on the cigars and cocktails. When dinner time came we headed out to La Guarida:
IMG_0371.thumb.jpg.edd87a01de8f4f297b8c49328783896f.jpgIMG_0372.thumb.jpg.2b80f651c83c5cf207649b1704cce04f.jpgIMG_0373.thumb.jpg.0757320edb6367e81932ed6e50b54662.jpgIMG_0374.thumb.jpg.731f5fac4fd9c61d4709dfb84540bb49.jpgIMG_0377.thumb.jpg.923e4cc51b65696c9973789b46b0c298.jpg
(sorry about the cutoff fidel quote, I was too busy trying to get the flag into the frame and missed)
And of course, after dinner back to the Nacional for more, you guessed it, cigars (and some music):
IMG_0378.thumb.jpg.9d8cbe994fabb9cb6934969d9cafd6aa.jpg
(like the cut off head?)
 
Onto Friday. The big day. Rent a car and go cigar shop hopping. First up Melia Cohiba for a quick look at the humidor, all regular production. We then went to Club Habana to pick up some customs there (and I found the first stack of 50 cab Punch DCs. Of course I had to get one). Then onto El Aljibe for some chicken. Too busy eating to take photos (mainly). Popped into the shop there, not much to see. After lunch we headed over to 5y16, again mainly regular production but there we a couple of boxes of Libertadors there. After that onto Comodoro for some puntillas and talk to Alex for a few minutes. Then onto Melia Habana for some coffee - a few more Punch DC 50 cabs here too. Then back at the Nacional for a quick drop off the cigars/coffee, and of course another cigar. Then off to Terazza for an early dinner and then back to the Nacional for a cigar and some more music (are you noticing a pattern here?).
IMG_0387.thumb.jpg.5fa6e9fb14669ef2dac8e162fef967b3.jpg
IMG_0388.thumb.jpg.3960e63f6789e8b91821177acf27d0a7.jpg
The next day was a bit lighter with most of our time spent at the Nacional, but we did make a jaunt out to Parc Centrale for lunch as well as a quick stop off at the Cohiba Atmosphere lounge to check out the stock there.
264566646_4200Project-4753.thumb.jpg.42d17dfaf01047f990f90d77b5e8e133.jpg885063583_4200Project-4762.thumb.jpg.90e63d3dbcd3ecf6662742edb57c4b36.jpg303909107_4200Project-4764.thumb.jpg.0e145aa995f95adddaae132c37a14d49.jpg
The Cohiba Atmosphere was the only place we saw the Monte Maltes and Dumas together, as well as the only place that had an open box of Cohiba Esplendidos @ 50% markup though (32 CUC). Which reminds me, for the first time in a long time there were many more Cohibas in Havana than the last few trips I made in 2016/17 - Robustos, I, II, III, IV, V and VI could be found in most places. There was one shop that had three pack Esplendidos but I forget which one. As for the Monte 1935 line, there were some Dumas at a few spots. Nacional had four boxes of the Maltes, but they were gone within a day. No Leyenda in any shops in Havana.
The last bit of the trip was pretty uneventful. Just lounged around the Nacional mainly. Monday (March 4) was the end of the trip so we headed back to Varadero for the flight back to Toronto. What could the trip be without walking around the airport to check the cigar wares there? There were a few boxes each of the Monte 1935s - Dumas, Maltes and Leyenda. There was a lone box of Cohiba Talisman at one of the counters. And, there were boxes and boxes and boxes of the Punch 2017 - Regios de Punch - LE in the main humidor at the airport.
Here are the final batch of random photos from the trip as well as the haul I brought back (the same as the one posted in the Cuban Haul thread).
2114052318_4200Project-4768.thumb.jpg.ef2eb1144ed68eb264355858a4df1f2c.jpg1113187355_4200Project-4774.thumb.jpg.6f10a5790d16d9fbc9fa86499c715d40.jpg1701294400_4200Project-4787.thumb.jpg.cd575c23d5aa27962e02e93e6dea8f69.jpg1539982407_4200Project-4791.thumb.jpg.1e9f4cb91fe46e8cafb506e34b617af4.jpg1693329925_4200Project-4793.thumb.jpg.ebabc41310f0b1928561eedde7f36929.jpg1640647464_4200Project-4878.thumb.jpg.74af9e660000a3a2d47b31899eb0e84e.jpg1157454407_4200Project-4886.thumb.jpg.3f5296402af1aff5a0751a91a72bb38c.jpg1381514831_4200Project-4903.thumb.jpg.f443f7d779fb11c7edad0ce209dd4c3e.jpg1589025712_4200Project-4904.thumb.jpg.b05c3c5d2590859ef8dc58bdfb93fd15.jpg
 

Great pictures . 5y16 was where the 3 packs of Esplendidos were.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎3‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 1:58 PM, Shelby07 said:

Thanks for the replay. Great pics. I’ve never been to Cuba but I’d really like to get there someday. Being a US citizen I’ve got to do some research. 

Its much easier than you might think. I live in Denver as well, if you want to get together and smoke/talk about Cuba, shoot me a PM. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/13/2019 at 8:03 AM, JY0 said:

It's easy and legal to go if you plan in advance and have a Visa. There are several categories to select from. I chose 'Support for the Cuban People', which are are doing by paying Cubans Vs. the Cuban Government. If you stay in a Casa Particular you are covered.

Not true.  You are required to keep a full time schedule.  Not saying that would get busted for not, but the law states we must keep a full time schedule for every day we are there.  You are not allowed to do anything touristy like go scuba diving, play at the beach etc . . .

Link to post
Share on other sites
Might ba a dumb question, but, do you take your own cigars to Cuba? Or just buy there and smoke, knowing that the aging process has not yet happened?

Often the cigars you buy there to smoke are over humidified vs what I prefer so I never used to take cigars there but I do take some now. I certainly do buy cigars there to smoke and same but having some of your own may not be a bad idea. I also think next time I go I’ll take a 62 Boveda for cigars I am buying there to smoke.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Link to post
Share on other sites
Might ba a dumb question, but, do you take your own cigars to Cuba? Or just buy there and smoke, knowing that the aging process has not yet happened?

Often the cigars you buy there to smoke are over humidified vs what I prefer so I never used to take cigars there but I do take some now. I certainly do buy cigars there to smoke and same but having some of your own may not be a bad idea. I also think next time I go I’ll take a 62 Boveda for cigars I am buying there to smoke.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 7 months later...
On 3/20/2019 at 5:53 PM, LLC said:


Often the cigars you buy there to smoke are over humidified vs what I prefer so I never used to take cigars there but I do take some now. I certainly do buy cigars there to smoke and same but having some of your own may not be a bad idea. I also think next time I go I’ll take a 62 Boveda for cigars I am buying there to smoke.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

This.  I've always brought along the 55%-62% little Boveda packets with me, and whenever I buy cigars down in Havana, I put the individual boxes or bundles into the large blue Glad Freezer zipper bags, with one of these lower RH Boveda packets.  Helps to sometimes "pull" a bit of this excess moisture out of the sticks before travel back home.  Also, helps to isolate them all, in case of beetles or any other issues, but pulling just that little bit of RH sometimes help enough to still enable to more enjoyable smoking experiences even then with "freshies" from that trip.

Regarding the bringing your own sticks...

On one of our first group trips, Art / maverickdrinker, brought along a couple of his own cigars, something from previous trips, so it was still a "bought in Cuba from a trip" stick, but it was something right away, right in hand, for the moment he got out of the airport and could light up a cigar to enjoy (with BAGS O' AIRPORT BEERS, YAY!!!!!)  Great idea, and one I've gladly borrowed from him.  I always bring 2 or 3 sticks with me, from a previous trip generally.  It's nice not to have to stress about actually shopping for something to enjoy right away, especially if you're coming in on a later flight or something.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Community Software by Invision Power Services, Inc.