A Havana Cigar Specialist is a shop selling cigars that has achieved the standards set by Habanos s.a., the Cuban company that distributes all Havana brands worldwide, and Hunters & Frankau, its appointed Exclusive Distributor for the United Kingdom.
Gold Havana Cigar Specialists will carry a wide range of vitolas (sizes) from the principal Habanos brands whose logos are listed on the right along with a selection of Specialities such as Habanos Limited Editions and UK Regional Editions. They will generally stock other Habanos brands as well.
Each accredited shop displaying the Specialist logo, guarantees Havana enthusiasts an extensive range of Habanos brands and sizes which all carry the EMS stamp (English Market Selection), cigars stored and displayed in the correct conditions of temperature and humidity and knowledgeable personnel to advise and guide choice.
Silver Havana Cigar Specialists will have a slightly smaller range but guarantee to stock a selection of vitolas from the main five Habanos brands (Cohiba, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, Partagas and H.Upmann) as well as usually offering the best selling sizes from other lesser known Habanos marques.
Part of the conditions of joining the Specialistnetwork is good staff cigar knowledge. To address this, Hunters & Frankau operates a training programme for Specialist accounts called the Havana Cigar Academy that offers three levels of qualification for shop owners or managers and counter staff.
There are over 70 shops located around the UK who have achieved the standards set by Habanos SA and Hunters & Frankau so look out for the Havana Cigar Specialist signage (click here to search for one near you).