I recently took a business trip to Madrid, Spain and like always, I like to venture out and find a local cigar shop to see what I can find. This particular time it was a Cava de Magallanes that I discovered through a recommendation from my good friend Arnold Serafin here in Florida. . To start with, I have to say -upon entering this shop I was blown away by the wide selection of popular Dominican, Honduran, and Nicaraguan cigar brands. In fact, there was just a very small selection of Cubans. So it goes in Europe these days, as Cuban cigar prices skyrocket and the European palate shifts to other regions.
The shop dates back to 1968, and was owned by José Martínez Franco, known to many as Pepe Magallanes, until 2018 when he decided to retire and sell the store to a new owner and entrepreneur Pablo Montorio. Pablo renovated the shop and added more space in the humidor to carry as many brands as he can. He named the humidor Bohío [Spanish. for hut/small house] de Magallanes.
Upon entering the shop, the first thing that catches your eye is the immaculate cleanliness and the vast array of accessories meticulously arranged. In addition to the exquisite collection of cigars, the shop boasts an impressive selection of pipes and pipe tobacco. Furthermore, the shop offers an unparalleled selection of top-shelf spirits, which is a feature of high end European cigar shops.
Regrettably, the laws in Spain prohibit smoking in public buildings, leaving no place to indulge in a fine cigar indoors. However, this is not a fault of the proprietor, but rather a legal mandate across the land. Nevertheless, the law permits you to savor your cigar outdoors at a café, and I took advantage of this opportunity on numerous occasions during my visit.
As mentioned in the opening paragraph, stepping into the humidor is akin to entering one of the finest shops or lounges in the United States. The space is replete with a multitude of brands that we, in the States, hold dear. Moreover, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the prices were quite reasonable, even when accounting for currency conversion from Euros to Dollars.
The humidor was impeccably humidified through a meticulously controlled humidification system, ensuring that the cigars were kept in pristine condition. The cigars were arranged with utmost care and attention to detail, each displayed with a small placard that indicated the brand and price.
In regards to Cuban brands, the selection was limited, and many were either sold out or available in limited quantities. I was informed that obtaining Cuban cigars, even in Spain, is exceedingly difficult, a situation which is largely attributed to high demand in the Chinese market. Moreover, even the few Cuban cigars that they carried reflected the current exorbitant prices set by Cuba, which is a significant departure from prices just a few years ago. For instance, a Montecristo No. 2 would set you back around 26 Euros.
Nevertheless, I did treat myself to a Montecristo No. 2, despite the high price. However, I ultimately opted to purchase a box of Nicaraguan brand, El Viajo Continente, with which I was not previously familiar. You can read my review of the El Viajo Continente Maduro Lancero here.
The Spirits Section
Located at the back of the humidor is another room that features an exquisite selection of spirits, ranging from whiskey to rum and everything in-between. The collection was nothing short of impressive, featuring notable brands and rarities that are hard to find elsewhere. For instance, there was a jaw-dropping 7,500 Euro bottle of Macallan Edition No. 1 and a 3,600 Euro bottle of Luis XIII Cognac.
Despite the high-end pricing, Cava de Magallanes offers a wide range of spirits to suit different budgets and tastes. During my visit, my work colleague purchased a 100 Euro bottle of rum as a gift for her husband.
I would like to extend my gratitude to Verildo D’Amico, the shop attendant, and the rest of the staff at Cava de Magallanes for their invaluable assistance in selecting cigars that I have never tried before. Their expertise and knowledge of the different brands and types of cigars made my visit all the more enjoyable.
I would also like to express my appreciation to my good friend Arnold Serafin from Serafin de Cuba Cigars here in Florida for recommending this fantastic establishment to me. Without his suggestion, I may have missed out on this unique and exceptional experience.
If you ever find yourself in Madrid, Spain, a visit to Cava de Magallanes is an absolute must. The prices are reasonable, and the selection is unparalleled. In all of my recent travels across Europe, I have not come across a cigar shop with such an extensive and diverse collection.
Cava de Magallanes is located at: Calle de Magallanes, 16 28015 Madrid España
Phone: +34 659 90 67 60
Hours of Operation: