Puro Sabor is back! Cigar lovers traveled from all over the world to attend this 5 – day annual event held in Nicaragua. Festivities started in Managua and from their the attendees were taken on a day trip to the Mombacho Cigar Factory in Granada, along with some sight seeing of the Isletas and Masaya Volcano. Afterwards, the festival continued on to the heart of the Nicaraguan cigar industry, Estelí! Once there attendees visited cigar factories and field tours from companies such as Oliva Cigars, Drew Estate, My Father, Padron, AJ Fernandez, and many others. These day tours were capped off nightly with fabulous dinners where participants were able to interact and share a cigar with some of the biggest personalities in the premium cigar world.
Opening lunch at Plasencia
Plasencia Cigars puts on an incredible lunch at the PuroSabor festival, and this year was no different. Guests came together to break bread with old friends and make new ones while enjoying great music, food, drinks and cigars. We got our festival goodie bags loaded with cigars, a cutter, lighter, and a good-looking Nicaraguan shirt. This year’s bag was actually a beautiful and highly functional backpack provided by Ortez Store. After lunch we split into groups and headed to the first factory tours of the festival.
Drew Estate factory tour
We were treated to a nowadays rare Jonathan Drew-led tour of the factory that bears his name in Estelí, La Gran Fábrica Drew Estate. The tour had something for everyone combining DE history, the economics of cigar making, technical demos, and a splash of hip-hop. Afterwards, we were led through Subculture Studios, where artisans create unique swag that sets Drew Estate apart from the rest of the cigar industry. After the tour, the group enjoyed snacks, drinks, and cigars on the terrace.
Some of the brands made at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate: Liga Privada, Undercrown, ACID, Herrera Esteli
After taking time to freshen up a bit, we went right back to Drew Estate for the welcome dinner party. There were more cigars, along with Flor de Caña rum being poured straight from the barrel for guests. Once we’d all eaten and gotten the first-day pleasantries out of the way, the crowd got to the very serious business of dancing the rest of the night. Pepín García of My Father Cigars even contributed to the entertainment with some singing of his own.
Nica Sueño factory tour
Skip Martin led a tour of Nica Sueño, the small but incredibly efficient factory that produces cigars for RoMa Craft Tobac. The time at the factory included a walkthrough of the facility and a deep dive into some of the finer details of cigar making from Skip’s perspective. We also enjoyed Flor de Caña rum and special cigars that Skip has made to help illustrate the effects that different varietals and primings have on the overall profile of a finished cigar.
Some of the brands made at Nica Sueño: CroMagnon, Intemperance, Neanderthal, and Baka
This festival’s all-white-dress-code affair was held at J.C. Newman’s PENSA cigar factory, which produces Brick House, El Baton, and Perla del Mar, among other brands.
Puro Sabor provided every festival guest with a traditional Nicaraguan shirt (in white, of course), and that’s what most opted to wear on this night. Tables were in a family-style communal set up, which made the dinner feel more social and intimate while also setting the tone for the party and folkloric dance show that followed.
Scandinavian Tobacco Group, which manufactures many General Cigar products, hosted the gala dinner that wrapped up this year’s Puro Sabor festival in one of its courtyards. The dinner began with an announcement that Claudio Sgroi of Mombacho Cigars had been named the new president of the Nicaraguan Tobacco Chamber (also known by its Spanish abbreviation CNT). That news preceded a great meal, loads of adult beverages, and dancing that didn’t stop until the party shut down at midnight.