Habanos Festival 23 / XXIII Festival del Habanos

After a two-year hiatus from Cuba’s and the Habanos S.A calendar The Habanos Festival, the World’s most extravagant premium cigar event returned on February 27th 2023 to great rapture. There have been global launches of cigars in Havana and across the world in that time, like the Cohiba Siglo de Oro (Year of the Rabbit) and Cohiba 55, but the extravaganza of Festival del Habanos is something particularly special to cigar aficionados across the world.

The Habanos Festival is the grandest stage of all cigar events, and we are delighted that Cuba have been able to return at their earliest convenience. The cigar and luxury product paradigm has changed significantly in the last few years and Habanos is considered to some as important a luxury lifestyle product as whisky and wine. It is not just the cigar aficionados arriving for the festival, they welcome all comers with a keen eye on Cuban cigars.

During this week it is quite easy to forget that Cuba has an extremely precarious relationship with the Western world - and if you haven’t forgot, then it is difficult to comprehend. But politics plays no part during this celebratory week as they offer a wonderful showcase to the culture and cultivation, a welcoming population of Cuban natives and some of the best hand-rolled cigars in the world, certainly the world’s most sought-after cigars.

Habanos Festival XXIII

New Announcements

Whether you’re in Havana, London or Shanghai, the anticipation for the announcements of new Habanos cigars is often an emotion that heightens during the festival week. On day one of the festival Habanos announced the launch of:

Partagás Línea Maestra

  • Maestro (5 ¼’’, 132m, x 56)

  • Origen (6’’, 154mm, x 46)

  • Rito (6 5/8’’, 168mm, x 52)

Partagas Maestra cuban cigars

The showcase cigars of the festival, the Linea Maestra is a new premium subline with the Partagas brand. With the recent additions of the Montecristo Linea 1935 and Romeo y Julieta Linea de Oro, Partagas’ Linea Maestra will set itself apart from the regular portfolio, but at the same time it is not as exclusive as a limited, regional, or special edition.

What is unique about this trio of cigars is that they are rolled entirely with tobacco grown in San Luis, Pinar del Rio– a first for Habanos S.A. cigars.


Montecristo Open Slam Cigar

Montecristo Open SLAM (5 5/8’’, 142mm x 52)

This will be the fifth vitola within Montecristo’s Open series. Following on with the Golf reference names, the Slam will have the second largest ring gauge of the series, 52 – the master being the largest with 54. This cigar launch also showcased the brand new branding for the Montecristo Open series. The Slam will incorporate this new branding and the other cigars will have the new logo going forward as the current stocks move on. The Slam will be released in 20 count boxes.


La Gloria Cubana Turquinos (5 ½’’ 141mm x 50)

Because La Gloria Cubana is one of the more obscure Habanos brands this cigar went a little unnoticed. This vitola is the exact same as the popular Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial. Release date is yet to be announced, but we do know they will come in boxes of 10.


Bolivar New Gold medal cigars

Bolivar Gold Medal (LCDH Exclusive) (6 1/2’’, 165mm x 48)

This cigar was celebrated during the mid-week evening, as Habanos honoured their La Casa del Habanos franchise and Bolivar as a brand of utmost importance despite not being a part of the “Global Six” (Cohiba, Partagas, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, H.Upmann and Hoyo de Monterrey). From this appreciation, Habanos has decided to resurrect an old cigar, albeit in a different size.

The original was the same length, 6 ½’’, but the former was a slim 42 ring gauge, and the new release is 48. This will be a LCDH exclusive and will come in boxes of 10 cigars.


Cohiba Esplendidos - Gran Reserva (Cosecha 2017) (7’’, 178mm x 47)

Cohiba will produce the next Gran Reserva for a 2023 release. The last time Cohiba was bestowed with this privilege was in 2009 for the very first Gran Reserva, Siglo VI. The format of the Gran Reserva is the same as previous incarnations; The tobacco has been aged for five years before being rolled, with this tobacco coming from Cosecha (Spanish for harvest) of 2017, limited edition production of 5000 boxes and the special Gran Reserva packaging.

There was no real indication of actual release dates, but it is somewhat apparent that the Partagas Linea Maestra seems like an imminent release, or at the very least a release the one likeliest to become available first out of these announced cigars. However, a curious omission was the announcement of the next Edicion Limitadas.

Cohiba Humidor Auction Havana

The Humidor Auctions

The end of the week comes to fruition at the main gala. Here everyone who is anyone in the world of Habanos and cigars arrives in their finest evening attire to celebrate the conclusion of the week. Surprisingly, the guests were joined by the President of the Republic of Cuba, Miguel Diaz Canel and other government officials. Undoubtedly Habanos recent growing success on a global stage is what is piquing the interest of the people at the helm.

The government officials would have been mightily impressed with the auction segment of the evening, too, raising more than €11.22 million euros (approximately £9.95 million pounds) from the humidors. This Cohiba Humidor blew the previous highest-priced humidor auction out of the water with a final bid of €4.27 million euros. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Cuban Healthcare System.


Hopefully Coming Soon

We have no doubt that there will be a few more cigar releases from Habanos before Festival del Habano XXIV. There are so many that will, or, at the very least, should be in the later stages of production ahead of being released. There are many to come and should Habanos be able to catch up with their current announcements it will be a busy year of releases. There are many different reasons for Habanos being behind their schedule, but we hope that this year will see a few more of their exciting vitolas and projects come to the fore.