Stories & News

THREE BOXES AND THE OLDEST CUBAN CIGAR BRAND

Oct 11, 2016

THREE BOXES AND THE OLDEST CUBAN CIGAR BRAND

Cabañas was born in the century of Handel and Hogarth, which is quite remarkable considering we view brands like Por Larrañaga (1834) and Punch (1840) as pioneers in the Cuban cigar industry. Cabañas predates these by decades. Officially registered in 1810, Francisco Cabañas actually launched his eponymous brand in 1797, despite the Spanish crown’s prohibition of...

Partagas Jewellery Launch

Apr 1, 2015

Partagas Jewellery Launch

On a hot Havana afternoon, midway through the 17th Festival De Habanos, we launched the first official Partagas Jewellery Collection at our villa in Miramar. The launch was the culmination of 11 months of talks and meetings with Habanos S.A., who, I must say, were brilliant throughout. The signatures of Habanos’ two co-presidents appeared on the contract just days before the launch and the...

Partagas Barrel Cigar Box, 1961

Oct 26, 2014

Partagas Barrel Cigar Box, 1961

Another wonderful discovery that speaks of a Cuba fresh from Revolution and just beginning to feel the full force of the US trade embargo. This barrel (scroll down for images) – almost certainly the only one in existence – was presented to Fidel Castro to commemorate the Campaña Nacional de Alfabetización en Cuba, a year long campaign to abolish illiteracy in Cuba after the...

Sanctum Rocks

Oct 20, 2014

Sanctum Rocks

Pictured here are hard rockers Rick Zsigmond and Richie Sambora, wearing their Cigar Sanctum smoking skull plectrums. We couldn’t ask for cooler brand ambassadors. Richie loves his plectrum, not just because it’s a strong rock image that references cigars – a great combination – and not because it sits comfortably above a host of bead and cross necklaces. No, he loves it...

Memento Mori

Jul 31, 2014

Memento Mori

It’s not by chance that the Smoking Skull has become the face – so to speak – of Cigar Sanctum. The gold signet ring that carries this reminder of our mortality was designed for a fraternity of friends on their way to Havana to drink too much rum and smoke too many cigars. When we all met up in the Plaza De San Francisco that first night, I remember breaking open a bottle of...

Fidel Castro Cigar Box, 1959

Jul 20, 2014

Fidel Castro Cigar Box, 1959

Every so often, an object of historical importance comes along – a piece that relates to and captures a time, while offering an insight into a country’s social and political path. Several months ago, I obtained a small wooden cigar box, gifted to and inscribed by Fidel Castro in 1959, the year of the Revolution. The box is an unlikely survivor of those early years and speaks directly...

The Hunters And Frankau Gig

Jul 3, 2014

The Hunters And Frankau Gig

We’re proud to announce that Cigar Sanctum has been working with Hunters And Frankau to produce their coveted sterling silver Master Of Havana Cigars lapel pin. Just a very small group of people can say they’ve attained this level of knowledge within the industry; the Master Of Havana Cigars exam represents the highest achievable status of Cuban cigar knowledge in the UK – from...

Orson Welles

May 10, 2014

Orson Welles

There is a wonderful 1974 Michael Parkinson interview, in which Parkinson asks a cigar smoking Orson Welles about his friendship with Ernest Hemingway. The screen colossus, with signature baritone voice and a twinkle in his eye, recounts how they first met in a screening room in 1937. Hemingway had asked Welles to narrate his film, The Spanish Earth, and unbeknownst to him, Papa sat behind him at...

Cigar Sanctum Launch

Mar 15, 2014

Cigar Sanctum Launch

On February 25, in a leafy garden that offered protection from a fierce Havana sun, Cigar Sanctum officially started life. The city was buzzing with more than a thousand cigar smokers who had descended on it for the Festival Del Habano and the week offered the perfect opportunity to launch Cigar Sanctum in the presence of all the top shakers and groovers of the cigar world. More than 60 cigar...

A Moment In Time

Oct 6, 2013

A Moment In Time

Yesterday, in a studio in Fulham, central London, we held the Cigar Sanctum Rogues Gallery shoot. We used a young photographer called Joe Giacomet for the project. His brief was to create a series of portraits of cigar smokers, in black and white, that had a timeless quality. The mood board included portraits by Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, which we liked because of the strong bond that...

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