Oliva E-Tasting: cigar tastings despite the coronavirus

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Zwevegem, 10 april 2020 – Cigar brand Oliva is now arranging weekly e-tastings, involving the virtual sampling of cigars along with importers and customers from around the world. Every week we’re using Zoom, the remote conferencing service that enables video calls with multiple participants, to taste a different cigar and share out experiences.

Now that countless people around the globe are in lockdown or isolation, virtual cigar lounges have suddenly become popular among cigar connoisseurs. These are virtual lounges configured using video conferencing software like Zoom, with many people connecting at the same time to smoke cigars together.

Exclusive E-tastings

Cigar brand Oliva has also recently started hosting these lounges, but has gone a step further by arranging global, exclusive e-tastings. All sessions are organised in conjunction with importers. Along with the Export Manager, an importer chooses a cigar from the Oliva range and sends this cigar with an exclusive invitation to a number of customers. Participants are asked to configure their setup and prepare the drink that – in their opinion – matches the selected cigar.

Frederik Vandermarliere explains the initiative: “As part of the e-tasting, the Export Manager and importer will share information about the J. Cortès group, about Oliva Cigars, and obviously about the cigar in question too. Then the participants and organisers taste the cigar together and share their impressions across Zoom. Especially in times like these, it’s important that we keep enjoying life and continue sharing experiences with like-minded people.”


The first e-tasting took place on Friday 3 April with Danny Ibrahim from Fidel Cigars in Beirut, Lebanon. He chose the Oliva Serie V Melanio Double Toto for this premiere. Over the coming weeks, 1 to 2 e-tastings per week will be held in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, the USA and Africa.

For further information or interviews, please contact Laure Boisbouvier,

Marketing Manager J. Cortès (Laure.Boisbouvier@jcortes.com) or Olivier Mottrie, Marketing J.Cortès (Olivier.mottrie@jcortes.com/+32 (0) 472 42 36 21)

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About J. Cortès

J. Cortès is a family run company with a passion for cigars. Cigars in all shapes and sizes. It's a never-ending story of dedication and craftsmanship that started in 1926. Don't smoke but enjoy! Our prime brands are J. Cortes, Country, Neos and Amigos. For the major European countries we have strong in-house sales teams; for other markets our brands are in the hands of our export managers and sold over 80 countries globally. In 2016 CEO Fredje fell in love with artisanal cigar company Oliva Cigars, based in the US and Nicaragua. A business marriage was set and it turned out to be the party of the year. The Cortès family business now spreads across two continents.

Don't smoke but enjoy!