An Ambassador Answers: Antonios Giannousakis

Cigar Keep's global community requires legendary figures from all over the world to join us in spreading the news and championing the cause of togetherness. This time we speak to our latest ambassador, Antonios Giannousakis.

What kickstarted your passion for cigars? 

Before I discovered the world of Habanos I thought that smoking cigars were only a habit for people of high social status or people who had a very good financial background without knowing the culture, the production procedure, the history, and the labour work behind this product. A few years ago, I was studying high-end spirits, wine and champagne. I asked a colleague of mine when working at the Ritz, to give me my first study notes, at which point I realised that cigars are a unique product with so much history and information. And of course, when we talk about cigars, we also talk about its people. Cigar smokers belong to a wonderful category of people, both men and women, they are always willing to discuss and exchange opinions and experiences with others. Being able to enjoy and appreciate these times is the most precious asset everyone has.

What is your favourite cigar? 

My favourite cigar is always the result of an equation. In an equation, you need to put a lot of parameters in place such as smoking time, mood, the people you are with, the time of the day and even the occasion. If you factor these in, you will eventually discover a cigar you love. I enjoy a lot of Habanos, and I try to savour every moment whilst I smoke. Some of the very first cigars that pop up in my mind are Partagas 8-9-8 or Cohiba Siglo V (I love this Vitola de Galera – “Dalias”), Ramon Allones Specially selected, Bolivar Belicosos Finos, Vegas Robaina Unicos & Don Alejandro, Trinidad Fundadores, Cohiba Lanceros, Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona and the Partagas Lusitanias.

Do you have a favourite lounge or terrace to smoke in?

There are quite a few lounges and terraces, especially in London where I enjoy smoking a cigar. Many of which are an inspiration for the cigar industry. However, I am from Greece, a very hot and sunny country with many outdoor spaces where people can enjoy a cigar. I would say that my favourite place is a very nice beach near our country house that I always go to when I am in Athens during my holidays. It is not a popular spot, but, it has everything you need when you want to relax, isolate and enjoy a Habano.

What is your most memorable cigar moment?

It was in Greece this past summer. My day started with a nice breakfast and a phone call when I announced the results of my exams for the Masters of Havana Cigars. I had an amazing time during the day and a wonderful dinner that evening, all whilst smoking some lovely cigars that I had prepared for such a day. It included a fantastic Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona right after the phone call, a Trinidad – La Trova, a Cohiba Siglo VI and a Cohiba Robusto Reserva after dinner. I will never forget that day.

What cigar do you think is underrated?

Instead of a cigar, I would like to mention a brand. Vegas Robaina is a brand relatively new in the market. Launched in 1997, almost two centuries in the cigar industry from the Robaina family who have provided wonderful wrappers for Habanos. The Robaina family always work with such passion they seem to surpass all difficulties. As soon as I began studying I started to fall in love with this brand.

View Antonios's keep here.