A garden paradise for cigar smokers
Overlooking the Bedford Estate Gardens, the Montague Cigar Terrace is often noted as one of the best cigar terraces in London. Regular cigar dinners have been hosted on the terrace, in association with Hunters & Frankau, the UK’s leading importer and distributor of Cuban cigars.
A master class in the fine art of rolling Cuban cigars
Señora Hernandez began her career in the cigar industry over 20 years ago and has achieved the highest grade of torcedora (cigar roller) within the Cuban industry structure, meaning she is capable of crafting any size or shape cigar within the Habanos S. A. portfolio.
More recently she has risen to the position of “Despalillo Chief” within the H. Upmann factory. It is within this part of the factory that wrapper leaves are stripped of their central vein and classified by their colour, size and quality before being passed on to the rollers. Naturally this position demands acute attention to detail, an in-depth knowledge of quality control requirements and a keen appreciation of the inherent qualities of Cuban tobacco.
Five steps to heaven
A true Cuban cigar requires five separate types of leaf. Three are blended to form the filler, or tripa, source of the rich flavours and aromas that immediately distinguish a Habano (a handmade Cuban cigar) from all other cigars. These are:
Volado: The light flavoured leaf, taken from the bottom of the sun grown plant, especially valued for its combustibility, but extremely light in flavour.
Seco: Then the medium flavoured leaf taken from the middle of the sun grown tobacco plant, especially valued for aroma.
Ligero: Last there is the full-flavoured but slow burning leaf taken from the very top of the sun grown plant.
Then the Binder (Capote) is added. This is used primarily for construction, wrapped around the three filler leaves to hold them together. However, it also helps the cigar to burn evenly. The Binder leaves are taken from the bottom levels of the sun grown tobacco plant.
Finally comes the Wrapper (Capa). These leaves are taken from plants specifically grown under the shade of a muslin cloth to protect them from the powerful Cuban sun. Due to this process the plants produce exquisitely thin and supple leafs that form the outer surface of the cigar.
For more information on the Cigar Terrace, click here.