The Smoke Shop Africa and Kempinski Villa Rosa are hosting together the first blind cigar tasting in Nairobi. This unique event will take place at Lucca and will offer you the opportunity to discover 8 cigars from Cuba to Dominican Republic.
We spoke to one of the organizers, Philipe Cauviere who gave us an in-depth insight on what the event was all about.
What was the inspiration behind the event?
Passion, Passion and Passion about cigars which I would like to share with others. I would like people to understand cigars not only reading the names. This is the same principle that we apply for wines and whiskies ie tasting people on the true road to discovery. Understand the cigar, appreciate its taste, the flavors, then look at the brand! We also wanted something special to launch the Cigar Lounge at villa Roas Kempinski so I think this is the perfect event for this launch!
It is the first of its kind in Kenya?
This is certainly the first of its kind in two respects – as a cigar tasting event as well as a blind tasting Around the world there are a lot of cigar tastings, though very often from one brand. In our event, we will showcase several brands from different origins – Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua! It is a multi brand and multi country event!
Are you going to do more of these tastings?
Numbers for these tasting as limited to 10/12 people so we will do more of these events with different venues from Nairobi to Mombasa and hopefully further! The one we are launching on 7th February at Villa Rosa Kempinski is mare directed to men and aficionados of cigars.
We will also start Ladies ONLY events as I feel that ladies are intimidated of smoking a cigar in public. So by doing a ladies ONLY event, I hope to bring the cigar culture closer to them. Contrary to what people think, cigars are not necessarily strong, there are a number of cigars that are very well suited to ladies!
What kind of cigars are on the tasting list?
The principle of this event is simple. We will do 4 sets of 2 cigars over 4 sets of canapés paired with Macallan Single Malt Whisky, Remy Martin Cognac and Zacapa Rum. We will start with small cigar size and move up to larger format! ! Currently The Smoke Shop Africa ltd has over 90 different cigars from approximately 20 different brands! So we certainly have a choice and we will keep the selection for this event secret until the cigars are smoked! Each participant will be given a small note book for him to write his notes and comments and each cigar will simply be labelled with a number! As for the rest, this is a secret for the time being, join us to discover more!
Why these particular brands as opposed to others?
Several brands will be present, though I am trying to show the end consumer the differences and hopefully make him understand these differences! The world of cigar is like the world of whiskies or wines. There are a lot of fantastic products around and one needs to learn to appreciate these as well as adapt his smoke according to his mood, the atmosphere, time of the day and time of smoke!
Any guidelines to cigar tasting?
None whatsoever, just follow your guide and come with no prejudice or preconceptions! Simply taste, enjoy and then recognize!
Based on the trend, are there that many Kenyans that appreciate high quality cigars?
Our business started just a short while ago and we have seen a great increase in our sales. Cigars is still quite new in Kenya, though by introducing events such as cigar tastings we are aiming at bringing knowledge to the market as well as ensure one smokes responsively!
Who is invited to do the tasting? Any criteria?
There are no specific criteria though we want to keep these events intimate! Smoking a cigar is something you do on your own or with a small group of friend. Limiting the numbers to 12 people is a way for us to keep within this spirit. Anyone who is interested to learn more, discover and appreciate cigars is welcome!
What aspects are you hoping to achieve from the event?
Fun, discovery, be surprised, learn from each others, networking and making new friends!