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On Mon­day 2 Decem­ber Bois­dale of Canary Wharf host­ed the sev­enth annu­al Cig­ar Smok­er of The Year Awards Din­ner. The event recog­nis­es var­i­ous aspects of the cig­ar world, with award cat­e­gories includ­ing: Cig­ar, Som­me­li­er, Pro­duc­er, Com­mu­ni­ca­tor, Life­time Achieve­ment and cul­mi­nat­ing in Cig­ar Smok­er of The Year.

This year the top award which recog­nis­es a high-pro­file indi­vid­ual with great pas­sion for the pure enjoy­ment of cig­ar smok­ing went to actor, film­mak­er and mar­tial artist Dolph Lund­gren best known for his roles in Rocky IV, The Expend­ables, The Pun­ish­er and Uni­ver­sal Sol­dier. The win­ner received a bot­tle of Amb­har Ane­jo Tequi­la, which is 100% blue agave, quin­tu­ple dis­tilled and aged for two years in bour­bon oak bar­rel and the Win­ston Churchill Trav­eller Humi­dor con­tain­ing 20 Win­ston Churchill Robus­to and 20 Win­ston Churchill Late Hour Cig­ars, amongst oth­er exclu­sive gifts.

The evening host­ed by author and food crit­ic Tom Park­er Bowles saw two pre­vi­ous years’ win­ners in atten­dance — doyen of film indus­try James Cos­mo MBE and polit­i­cal jour­nal­ist and broad­cast­er Andrew Neil. The run­ner-up prize went to actor, pro­duc­er, screen­writer, mar­tial artist and musi­cian Steven Sea­gal who spoke to the guests gath­ered in the room via a video link from his home in LA. Also, in atten­dance were, pro­fes­sion­al box­er Luke Camp­bell MBE and pre­sen­ter and mod­el Jour­dan Riane who per­formed At Last, a song by Etta James and whose next ven­ture is a West End debut where she will be show­cas­ing her sub­lime stage talent. 

The auc­tion spear­head­ed by Starsky & Hutch star David Soul to restore Ernest Hemingway’s 1955 Chrysler New York­er con­vert­ible cur­rent­ly at the Fin­ca Vigia Cuba, now The Hem­ing­way Muse­um, raised £13,500 which is more than fifty per­cent of the total sum required to bring the car to its orig­i­nal glory.

Cuban Ambas­sador Her Excel­len­cy Mrs Tere­si­ta Vicente Soto­lon­go col­lect­ed The Pro­duc­er of the Year 2019 Award on behalf of Habanos S.A. — the Cuban state com­pa­ny, that con­trols the pro­mo­tion, dis­tri­b­u­tion and export of Cuban cig­ars world­wide — and deliv­ered a heart-warm­ing speech in which she announced the end of her five-year diplo­mat­ic ser­vice in the UK.

Guests gath­ered on Boisdale’s cig­ar ter­race for the Veuve Clic­quot Yel­low Label NV Cham­pagne, Amb­har Reposa­do Tequi­lacock­tails & sea­son­al canapé recep­tion. Each guest received four hand­made cig­ars on arrival: Casa Tur­rent 1973 Robus­to, David­off Aniver­sario Entre­ac­to, El Sep­ti­mo Excep­cion Light andParta­gas D6, cour­tesy of cig­ar retail­er David­off and an award-win­ning New World cig­ar sup­pli­er Tor Imports.

The recep­tion was fol­lowed by a sump­tu­ous din­ner of Dunkeld Smoked salmon, crab & arti­chokes, brown crab may­on­naise, Boisdale’s leg­endary Aberdeen­shire Beef Welling­ton, Air Dried Ham, Wild Mush­rooms and fin­ished by a selec­tion of British cheeses. The food was accom­pa­nied by out­stand­ing Viña Car­men Chilean wines: Car­men Sauvi­gnon Blanc Fumé Blanc 2018, Ley­da Val­ley; Car­men Gran Reser­va Caber­net Sauvi­gnon 2017 and Car­men Gran Reser­va Petite Sir­ah 2016, Maipo Valley.

The din­ner cul­mi­nat­ed with the Awards Cer­e­mo­ny fol­lowed by a spe­cial, long-await­ed and rare oppor­tu­ni­ty to taste the Cig­ar of the Year 2019 win­ner Plasen­cia Alma del Cam­po Tribu Robus­to from Nicaragua.

CAT­E­GORIES, NOM­I­NEES & WIN­NERS 2019

CIG­AR SMOK­ER OF THE YEAR 

  • Andy Gar­cia
  • Stephen Evans
  • Lord Carnar­von
  • Steven Sea­gal (RUN­NER UP)

WIN­NER Dolph Lundgren

CIG­AR OF THE YEAR 

  • El Sep­ti­mo Excep­cion Light
  • Casa Tur­rent 1973 Robusto
  • Inka Secret Blend — Red Robus­to Cigar
  • Oli­va Serie V Dou­ble Robusto
  • Arturo Fuente Don Car­los Eye of the Shark
  • David­off Win­ston Churchill The Trav­eller Robus­to LE 2019
  • El Rey Del Mun­do, La Reina – UK Region­al Edi­tion 2019

WIN­NER: Plasen­cia Alma del Cam­po Tribu Robusto

SOM­ME­LI­ER OF THE YEAR

  • Luca Tra­mon­tana, The Lanesborough
  • Vanes­sa Vieira, Bvl­gari Hotel
  • Adam Laj­ca, The Corinthia
  • Giuseppe Moc­cia, Bois­dale of Canary Wharf
  • Halil Osman, Alfred Dunhill
  • Dar­ius Nam­dar, Mark’s Club

WIN­NER: Giu­liano San­til­li, Arts Club

COM­MU­NI­CA­TOR OF THE YEAR 

Nick Ham­mond

Nick Foulkes

Aaron Sig­mond

Philip Sher­ring­ton

Ricar­do Cavioni

WIN­NER: Jim­my McGhee

PRO­DUC­ER OF THE YEAR

Joya de Nicaragua

Drew Estate

Casa Tur­rent

La Flor Dominicana

David­off

Sep­ti­mo

High­clere Castle

WIN­NER: Habanos S.A.

LIFE­TIME ACHIEVE­MENT AWARD 

Scott Vines

David Lewis

Mitchell Orchant

WIN­NER: Daniel Marshall