Smokin' Hot

Get a taste of the world's best cigars at the Delhi international airport's swank new terminal

The Pashas of Puff emerging from the forward sections of the plane will be happy to find cigar nirvana at the two cigar stores-the Habanos-at the new Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi.

Invitingly termed walk-in humidors, these temperature-controlled wooden enclosures offer a fine selection of Cuban cigars. Choose from the fullbodied Cohiba Siglo VI, which blends chocolate, coffee and leather, Romeo y Julieta's mild medium-bodied Wide Churchills made with smoothtoasted tobacco and the full-bodied Bolivar Petit Belicosos whose spicy aftertaste lingers long after the ash has crumbled. For the seasoned smoker, Habanos also stocks the intensely-flavoured Partagas and the robust Hoyo de Monterreys.

Romeo y Julieta Duke limited edition cigars; Bolivar Petit Belicosos
Romeo y Julieta Duke limited edition cigars; Bolivar Petit Belicosos
With more than 80 varieties on display, the cigar buffet isn't restricted to Cuban stogies alone. Large-cut Davidoff cigars from the Dominican Republic share cabinets with Coronas and Robustos from the Honduras: with their low tobacco content, these are perfect for the dilettante looking to become a puff daddy. The nouveau cigar slave may also try the Punch Platino with a medium aroma, for starters. Those totally lost can rely on the welltrained sales persons standing by to help them choose the most palatefriendly smoke.

For gift and collectible-seekers, the humidors offer limited-edition collections of Cohiba Behike, H Upmann Magnum 48 and Romeo y Julieta Duke. Think of these as -singular snares for regulars as well as curious non-cigar smokers tempted to check out the wares.

Since it's important to store the cigar right once you've taken it home, the store also sells a range of leather and wood cigar cases with custom temperature controls. With prices ranging from $5 (Rs 225) for a pack of five to $1,000 (Rs 45,000) for a box of 25 cigars, the offerings at Habanos are priced 45-50 per cent lower than the smokes available at retail stores across the Indian metros and are reportedly in line with the prices at Dubai duty free.

Cartoonist Linda Barry said: "Love is an exploding cigar we willingly smoke." At Habanos, all the offerings are explosive smokes that cigaristas will willingly love.