1943 – 2019
It was with great sadness that we learned of Simon Chase’s passing on March 11. Simon was our Cigar Editor from 2010-2016 and was also a friend, mentor and brother to many of our readers and club members. Recognised internationally as one of the leading sources of knowledge about the history of the Cuban tobacco industry, we were privileged to know and work with Simon. He contributed to Virtuozity with exclusive articles and supervised our cigar section with meticulousness.
Simon began working with Hunters & Frankau in 1977, the UK distributor of the world’s finest cigars. He was the keeper of an incredible amount of historical information about the Cuban cigar tradition and knew all product details, past and present. In 2009, he established his own consulting firm, Simon Chase Limited, specialising in cigar marketing and tobacco legislation. He wrote several books, collaborated on magazines and blogs and often spoke at industry events. Simon also remained on the Board of Hunters & Frankau as a non-Executive Director.
Simon was a permanent guest at the Habanos Festival, acting as MC at the annual auction that raised substantial sums for charity. In 1998 he was awarded the Hombre Habanos del Año (Habanos Man of the Year) award for communications by Habanos S.A.
When speaking about the pleasure of smoking cigars, he once said: “It’s all to do with the taste. Add to that the peace and enjoyment that surround cigars and you have the basis for a very pleasurable pastime.”
Despite his vast cigar knowledge, it is perhaps Simon’s jubilant attitude, warm smile and friendship that we will all miss the most.