The Entreacto - a brief moment of Cuban brilliance.

The Entreacto - a brief moment of Cuban brilliance.

by Nick Hendry
photography by Monica Molto
Model - Malena Rivalta

The fashion for Cuban Cigars in the modern age tends towards large cigars, perfect for an hour or more of relaxation and reflection.  The world moves at such a pace these days it can easily leave us stressed, tense and irritable – a long period to unwind is therefore of paramount importance.  That same pace of life, however, can mean the busy aficionado finds it hard to spare so much time in their day.  For such occasions, be they in the middle of the day between meetings or that fleeting part of the evening after dinner but before putting the kids to bed, a perfect solution is the Entreacto vitola.

The entreacto, variously known as a small panatela or demi-tasse, has been a fixture of the Habanos portfolio for many years.  Its name literally translates as “between acts” as it was designed to be enjoyed at the theatre, allowing cultured smokers to pair their mid-session refreshments with a smoke without having to miss any of the play while their cigar was still burning.  These days only half of the brands which once made these delightful little sticks still have them in their portfolio.  Luckily for us, those that do are among the most historic Cuban names and present a broad range of flavours.


The Cuban model Male Rivalta enjoys a Romeo y Julieta Petit Julieta


The Romeo y Julieta Petit Julieta is a fine example of how the entreacto can still serve today’s cigar enthusiast, despite tastes having evolved so much over the years.  The medium-bodied blend of the brand is perfectly encapsulated in the slim format and will deliver delicious notes of earth and leather to the palette.   The 15-minute smoking time will allow you to enjoy these flavours in even the shortest of windows.

Hoyo de Monterrey are another of Cuba’s 6 biggest brands to embrace this shorter format of their sticks.  Their Hoyo du Maire brings the light-bodied blend, with its notes of fruit, hay and pepper, to a brief smoking window.  This makes this cigar ideal not just for experienced smokers with little time to spare, but to novices who want to ease themselves gently into the wide world of the Habano.



Once the most expensive cigar brand in the world, El Rey del Mundo have perhaps become a little less famous in modern times, but their Demi-Tasse is still one of the best small cigars around.  It will bring creamy, buttery flavours with just a touch of spice to your break, again with a body light enough to not discourage the inexperienced smoker.  If you have not yet had a chance to try out this wonderful, but sometimes overlooked, brand this is the perfect place to start.

While we may all love the indulgence of devoting a serious chunk of our time to exploring our passion for cigars, we must accept that it is not always practical.  The humble entreacto is there to ensure that, even when we at our most busy, we can still find a moment to centre ourselves with a truly world-class cigar.

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