The Portmann Group Havana 2015 Festival Trip Briefing

18 Jan


nfc capThe shock came the day before the joy of picking up the Ramon Allones Perfectos humidor – the Swiss Franc had become 20% more expensive.

Which means also a shock to my friend Urs and his cigar business. From 1,65 CHF when shopping in Switzerland was still attractive to 1,20 CHF when it became expensive to 1 CHF/€ parity now, the Euro decline has been whopping.

But we have reason to celebrate – Just five weeks to go until we leave for Havana again !!

It was great fun as always and highly interesting as well, as there will be several very exclusive events planned.

The Portmann family had invited all members of the 2015 Portmann group to the briefing at the Griffins cigar lounge in Kreuzlingen last Friday to review the trip, the events, the visits and excursions and share all the information for the trip.

We were around 20 friends in the lounge sipping excellent red wine, eating from a plentiful hot and cold buffet and enjoying good a San Luis Double Corona from a vinatge 50’s cabinet.

Thomas, the leader of the pack and in charge of organizing the trip explained the details of trip and the visits to various factories such as La Corona, El Laguito, Romeo y Julieta and El Rey del Mundo as well as to the Despalillo, the central tobacco warehouse and the Partido tobacco region.

Arranged through Hannes is a historical city tour tutored by an official from the Oficina del Historiador and possibly a meeting with Eusebio Leal Spengler, the noted city historian in charge of Havana.

Hannes also gave information to the visit to the Despalillo as we had toured it together last November.

My part was to pass information on our visit to Hector Luis’ farm and the lunch there. Hector has promised to surprise the group with aged farm rolled cigars as well as freshly rolled ones so we can do a comparison tasting. The big roasted pork lunch will be as memorable as always.

But my main moment of pride was the opening of two vintage cigar boxes that were sent to me by our friend Min Ron Nee from Hong Kong for a Portmann group tasting at my Casa in Havana next February.

These are a box of Partagas Presidentes in cellophane from 1950 and a box of Rafael Gonzalez Lonsdales from 1987.

Both boxes were in pristine condition and unopened. They come from the authors collection and were originally shipped to Santander, Spain, the Habanos central distribution warehouse there at the time.

Urs opened and inspected the boxes and the cigars were passed around the group. Then they were brought back to the humidor so the optimum smoking humidity of ca. 70% RH can be obtained and Urs will take them to Havana.

MRN was kind enough to send me a wide selection of vintage cigars from his collection as well to be tasted by my friends – I will go into their details in a separate upcoming post.

It was great to meet so many friends again and enjoy a good time. I was specially happy to meet Yannick, my November travel-mate and we have decided to do a repeat performance of our brilliant travel this year again.

Michel “Johnny” was there and we exchanged cigars and details as he will be staying around the corner from me in Havana and I have organized a few things for him.

Hannes, Urs and I finalized details on our planned trip to Hong Kong and a visit to Min Ron Nee where Frank will come along and I was specially grateful to Horst “Ocho”, my Havana housemate next month for driving me down from Stuttgart and offering me his house for the night.

Last but not least : Of course I took home my Ramon Allones Perfectos humidor despite the price increase and was extremely happy.

A beautiful piece of art by Jose Ernesto Aguilera and a treasure I will cherish.

Next month Jose Ernesto will manufacture a new and personalized central inner lid cover for me to make this jewel even more personal.


3 Responses to “The Portmann Group Havana 2015 Festival Trip Briefing”

  1. Keith Rowson 18/01/2015 at 11:26 #

    Beauties those cigars Nino!! Shame about the Swiss Franc 🙁 See you in Havana 🙂

    • Nino Munoz 18/01/2015 at 17:21 #

      Thanks Commander !

      See you in Havana soon – happy landings !!


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    […] and very rare cigars from Min Ron NEE, which we can taste. The exact details you can read at his flyingcigar blog. At this place: Thank you very much Mr. Min Ron NEE for these cigars. I’m very ecited to have […]