28 Feb 2014

Long-ash contest at Havana Cigar Festival: Cuba

The XVI Havana Cigar Festival is running in Cuba with the presentation of the best Cuban cigars. Some 1,500 smokers from 80 countries are attending the longest ash contest in XVI Havana Cigar Festival.
Cuba producing cigars experienced an 8% growth in 2013 adding 447 million US dollars to country economy.

Contestants exhaled clouds of smoke and handled their cigars gingerly to keep the gray ash intact as long as possible. They lolled on luxurious leather chairs set amid tables holding dozens of ashtrays, lighters, chocolate-flavored hard candy and snifters of aged Cuban rum.

"This (contest) in particular is aimed at people being able to appreciate the quality of our product," said Ana Lopez, marketing director for Habanos SA, a Cuban-British joint company that produces and distributes Cuban cigars exclusively. "Only products of magnificent quality can make the ash take on a permanent consistency for a long time."

Andres Espinosa, one of the better finishers with a 6.2-inch (15.8-cm) ash.
Just over a half-hour in, only a handful of finalists remained. Judges milled about the room handing out rulers to measure the results.
The winner was to be announced Friday.

A woman is smoking a cigar during the XVI Havana Cigar Festival in Havana.
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Man is smoking a cigar during the contest for the longest ash, during the XVI Havana Cigar Festival, in the Cuban capital.
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 A man looks at his cigar during the contest for the longest ash, during the XVI Havana Cigar Festival, in the Cuban capital.
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Woman is smoking a cigar during the XVI Havana Cigar Festival in Havana.
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