Been down with the flu (again) lately, so cigar smoking has taken a 2 week back seat on doctor’s orders. Probably shouldn’t have gone back to hardcore puffing so soon after recovering from the last bout of sore throats, haha!

The last week or so has been dominated by news of the Festival Habanos 2011. Held each year in February, it’s the pinnacle of the Cuban cigaristas’ annual calendar. A week long orgy of events, meetings, cigar tasting, new product launches, dinners, gala auctions and a collection of the who’s-who of the cigar world. Havana, Cuba — the epicenter of it all.

News from around the blogs of famed aficionados have starting trickling in. Mitchell Orchant’s account of the gala dinner and auction. The Cigar Aficionado team Gordon Mott and David Savano report of their experiences smoking some of the 2011 new releases. All around, it sounds like those fortunate enough to make the trip had a whale of a time! Cuban hospitality is legendary — couple that with great cigars, and it’s hard to see how things can go wrong.

For me, i’m interested in news surrounding the special humidor auctions. Looks like Habanos SA put up a great lineup of gorgeous custom made humidors this year. The Cohiba one in particular is a real work of art, and it reportedly sold for $450,000! What a price to pay for a work of art and tobacco. Check out the full listing of auction humidors here.