Habanos World Challenge. Rules


The Habanos World Challenge is a world contest for aficionados that will reveal which the team with best knowledge of Habano’s world really is

Distributors can select the couples that will participate in the final contest, which will take place within the Habanos Festival based on two criteria:

  • Carrying out a previous round of the contest organized by the distributors in their markets (optional).
  • Selecting the couple that will represent their own markets in the final round of the contest to be held in the Habanos festival based on the distributors criteria.

                                    Contest Rules:

  1. A) Local preliminary round (organized by the Distributor)
  • Teams will be made up of two aficionados
  • Junior and Senior aficionados graduated from Habanos Academy are also allowed to participate
  • Habanosommeliers are not allowed to participate because they are professional.

 The local test consists of the following challenges:

  • Test of Knowledge: 35 multiple-choice questions (Study documents: “The World of Habanos” Book and Habanos’ website). Value: 35 points. Questions must be comprehend different areas of Habanos: Agro-industrial and industrial, the history of the Habanos brands and recent and historical commercial launchings, knowledge about retail concepts and tasting.

Blind Tasting: (Habanos will not have brands nor ribbons) and each team will try to identify: Factory Name; flavor, brand, and commercial name.

Max value: 30 points.

  • Cutting and Lighting demonstration with one of the Habanos of the blind tasting. Max value: 10 points.
  • Pairing Proposal of one of the Habanos with a drink (spirits, cocktail, tea or coffee). Explaining their pairing selection based on the moment and best conditions to enjoy the proposal. Max value: 25 points.

                     Maximum Score: 100 points

Jury Composition: The jury will be made of at least three people in the preliminary round. A specialized media, a Habanosommelier (world champion) and a professional with commercial profile (retailer). The weight of the opinion will be: retailer 40% and 30% the other two members of the jury, respectively. In case of a tied vote, the retailer has the final say.

*Deadline for distributor’s registration: December 15th, 2022 B) Final Round in Havana.

The Final Round, to be held in Havana, will determine the winning team of the Habanos World Challenge and therefore, the team members will get the “official” title of champions wirh comprehensive knowledge of Habanos.

The contest in Havana will be divided into two rounds: A Eliminatory Round where all qualified teams will compete in local contests and will be held the first day of the Festival;  and A Grand Finale with the two best couples from the Eliminatory Round.

B.1) Eliminatory Round

This round procedure will be similar to that of the local preliminary round:

  • Test of Knowledge: 35 multiple-choice questions (Study documents:

“The World of Habanos” Book and Habanos’ website).  

  Value: 35 points.

Questions must comprehend different areas of Habanos: Agro-industrial, industrial, the history of the Habanos brands, recent and historical commercial launching and retail concepts.

Points Description: 35 questions/ 35 points Timing: 20 minutes

  • Blind Tasting: (Habanos will not have brands nor ribbons) each team will try to identify after the tasting of two Habanos: Factory name (12 points), flavor territory (6 points), brand (8 points), and commercial name (4 points). Max value: 15 points

Timing: 40 minutes  

  • Cutting and Lighting demonstration with one of the Habanos of the pairing proposal. Max value: 15 points.

Timing: 10 minutes 

  • Pairing Proposal of ones of the Habanos with a drink (spirits, cocktail, tea, or coffee) will help to understand #myuniquehabanosmoment

This pairing must be different to that performed in the local contest. Contestants should make it with their own efforts to be evaluated by the jury members. To this test, Habanos S.A. will provide a list of ten vitolas belonging to Habanos regular portfolio.

Max Value: 20 points.

Points with the following criteria: Habano, drinks, pairing. Couples in the Grand Finale must submit their Habanos and drinks’ proposal for the pairing in the final test and the Habano must be chosen within the list given by Habanos S.A. with first and second choices ( in case the Habanos selected by more than one couple coincide, the vitola will be adjudicated to the one who has sent his selection first, and the next one will be adjudicated the one he has chosen as second option).

The Habano chosen must be provided to Habanos S.A. before January 15th, 2023.

 At the time of the registration, contestants must inform if they want to enhance their presentations with photos or a PowerPoint that would require their projection on a screen. The material must be handed in on January 10th, 2023.

Timing: 20 minutes

Maximum Score: 100 points

In case of a tie among three or more couples: There will be held a “tie break” round consisting of three questions. The first two couples that answer correctly two out of the three questions will qualify for the Grand Finale. B.2) Grand Finale Habanos World Challenge.

The Grand Finale will be held like a TV show contest to the delight of the hundreds of people attending the Festival.

The opening of this Grand Finale will be a brief presentation made by the finalists of the pairing and such #myuniquehabanosmoment that took them to the Finals. This presentation will be open to the creativity of contestants and will help the public understand why they are in the Grand Finale.

The host will introduce the couples in the Finales. These couples will start the competition all over again.

The Grand Finale will consist of three different tests from the ones both couples faced in prior rounds and will display a direct challenge between the two final teams. In this challenge, the final couples will show once again their knowledge, but also their rapid response, communicative and synthesis skills, and finally, their sense memory when facing another practical test.

Grand Finale Challenges:

  • The Duel: Led by the host, the couples will face each other by answering a series of 30 questions grouped in five areas of knowledge : Agroindustrial, industrial, brands, launchings and tasting.

Each area of knowledge will have 5 questions with two kinds of answers allowed. The modality of multiple-choice questions where couples must select the right answer , or the modality of True or False answers. Once the question is read, the fastest team to press the bottom will have the option of answering. In case of a wrong answer, the opposite team will enjoy the “rebound” option and may answer it. If the reply is correct, the team will earn the point or points awarded in the questions. At the end of the contest, each team will score as much points as the number of correct answers given.  Max Value: 30 points

  • Subject Presentation: By means of a digital System, contestants will present briefly one of the three subjects picked randomly and included in the areas of knowledge; namely: Trands, Launching and Tasting. Each will have 5 minutes to fine-tuning the presentation and 5 more minutes to present it to the jury and public ( the countdown will be on a screen with a buzzer-ending sound indicating the team’s presentation time is up). The jury will assess the content, structure, communicative skills, and their ability to illustrate the presentation with examples or humor.

While one team is giving its oral presentation, the over will be isolated so this couple cannot listen to the presentation of the rival team.

While the host explains the rules of the contest, one Habano will be given to the contestants and they will taste it as long as the competition lasts. These Habanos will be part of the next challenge.

Max value: 40 points 

  • Blind Pairing: One Vitola and one liquor/spirits or drink to be used in the contest will be given to each team.

Once the two teams get the floor again, the last challenge will begin. A liquor and a spirit will be served to the finalists and all of them must taste both carefully along with the Habano they are already smoking. A new sample of that same Habano will be given to them in order to be checked once again. Contestants will have 15 minutes to taste the pairing. They will be asked to identify:

  1. Factory name, flavor territory, brand and commercial name
  2. Type of liquor/spirit or drink; and what contributions do this liquor or spirit provide to the Habano.

Contestants will deliver their answers in a sealed envelope,simultaneosly.

Afterwards, they will read them aloud to the public after being verified by the jury.

Later, the jury will have 15 minutes to deliberate the scores for each presentation as well as the correct answers given the pairings. Max Value of the Presentation: 10 points

Score for the Pairing Proposal in the sealed envelope: Max Value 20 points.

In case of a tie: There will be held a “tie break” round consisting of three questions will be announced the Winner of the Habanos World Challenge.

Members of the Jury:

The jury will be composed of four or five members. All of them will be specialists in the world of Habanos. Besides, each will have some degree of expertise in a very specific area: communication, industry/quality process, business, and a Habanosommelier.

The weight of their opinios will be equal. There will be back-up experts in case of indisposition of any jury member.

 Contest Languages: 

The language in the Preliminary Round will depend on the distributors’ geography. Spanish and English will be the official languages in the Eliminatory Round as well as in the Grand Finale in Havana. The event will provide the service of simultaneous interpretation.

 Participants per Distributors:

Each Distributor has the right to register a couple per territory/country in its market.

The Distributor will take care of the expenses generated by the couples’ lodging and trip.

Contestants Benefits:

Contestants participating in the Eliminatory Round and the Grand Finale will enjoy 6 invitations per couple to attend to:

  1. The International Seminar which includes the attendance to the Eliminatory Round and the Grand Finale.
  2. The Winner of the Grand Finale will be awarded a well-deserved recognition and 4 invitations for the Festival Gala Dinner.

Deadline for registration of the couples: January 10th, 2023.

Bolivar Belicosos Finos
Partagás Serie D No.4
Montecristo Master
Cuaba Exclusivos
Por Larrañaga Galanes
Trinidad Vigía
Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill
H. Upmann Magnum 46
Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial
Quai D’Orsay No.54


Habanos World Challenge. Rules


Habanos are made
completely by hand

Find your habano