The manufacture of the humidors
The humidors were manufactured by DeART S.r.l. situated in Calvenzano near Milan in northern Italy. Massimo de Munari, whose family owns the company, has built an enviable reputation over the last five years for making exceptional humidors, which he has supplied to many clubs, restaurants and private homes in Britain.
DeART’s skills in making fine furniture of the highest quality left them with no doubt that Massimo and his team were the right people to make the humidors. The project started in the summer of 2013 and since then has been through many phases of prototypes and design changes to reach the finished product. Manufacture commenced in January 2015 and the humidors were delivered at the end of March.
Jemma Freeman paid a visit to Italy during the production run and was able to witness the extraordinary care and attention to detail that went into the humidors; a fitting compliment to the quality of the cigars that they will contain.
The Commemorative Humidor & 225 Anniversary Rum by Havana Club
In days gone by it was customary to buy Havanas in cedar cabinets containing anything from 100 to 10,000 cigars, or more. They were much in vogue between the 1880s and the 1940s. This type of presentation gave rise to the expression “Cabinet Selection”, which came not only to describe the Habanos of exceptional quality that were selected to fill them but also the Slide Lid Boxes in which they were shipped.
To commemorate Hunters & Frankau’s Anniversary, they have commissioned two hundred and twenty-five, numbered replicas of this style of presentation each containing four boxes (100 cigars) of the Ramon Allones Hunters & Frankau Aniversario 225.
The cabinet, every one of which is personally signed by Jemma Freeman, is equipped with two Xikar Crystal humidifiers and comes with one hundred commemorative cigar spills. The lid at the top lifts up to reveal a humidified compartment for dispensing single cigars topped with a ceramic plaque on which the Ramon Allones insignia is emblazoned.
Each humidor is delivered with a complimentary 50cl bottle of very special rum prepared by Havana Club’s master blender Asbel Morales to marry with the taste of the cigar. Also called the Hunters & Frankau Aniversario 225, Hunters & Frankau thank Havana Club for supporting the celebrations by producing 500 numbered bottles of this precious spirit from selected vintage casks. None will be for sale, but if they were, the value would be some £300 per bottle.
The final selection of the rum to match the cigar took place in November 2014 when Jemma Freeman travelled to Havana with some of the Aniversario 225 cigars that had already benefitted from some eighteen months of ageing in England. Commenting on the pairing Morales said, “I’m defending my rum’s notes and the cigar is defending its notes. They should not mirror each other, nor contrast too much. It’s like a perfectly balanced marriage.”
Also present was Odelaine Paneque, the head taster at Partagas. It is a rare event for the catadores (tasters) at Havana’s factories to light up a cigar that they last smoked a year and a half before. She was very impressed with the way in which the cigar had retained its strong flavour and had gained a perfect balance between its aroma and its strength whilst losing its early aggressiveness.