Cigars Interviews

Cigars Interviews

Marko Bilic – Founder of CSWC with a Macanudo Inspirado Mareva

Marko Bilic CSWC (The Cigar Smoking World Championship) – Founded and hosted by Croatian Marko Bilic, CSWC is a global luxury lifestyle event with over 35 qualification rounds in cities around the world, which culminates in a grand final in Split, Croatia in September.

CSWC Competitors are challenged to smoke the Macanudo Inspirado Mareva, a mareva sized-cigar (42 x 5 1/8), for the longest period of time. The cigar must stay lit the entire time and once the flame goes out, so too does the competitor’s chances of victory. The Macanudo Inspirado Mareva has been especially created by Macanudo Cigars for the CSWC with superb quality control ensuring everyone has an equal chance to win.

Q. What was the inspiration to create CSWC?

A. Experience spiced with great moments with great people – living the life is all about experiences and emotions, of course positive ones, ones which are making you to feel alive. Mixture of excitement, friendship, fine atmosphere and great taste of cigar are guarantee of great experience that you want to experience again!! That mixture creates happiness in people and I like when people are happy…That is my motivation!!

Q. What do you feel is behind the success of this life style competition, eloquently described as the ‘slowest race on earth’?

A. I believe that package of emotions, excitement and positive experience which CSWC brings to individuals but on the global level, and making them as part of global story which they can experienced with creation of new friendships, motivation for traveling and following CSWC journey globally are success of this competition. CSWC is more than challenge, it is tool to discover and get connected with rest of the world trough same shared passion. CSWC is truly life changer and there are many individual stories which can prove and tell beautiful stories how CSWC change their life.

Q. How has the response been to the forth coming CSWC, celebrating its 10th anniversary, to be held at the Astor Bar, St Regis Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 16 March?

A. Discovering of Beautiful and different places of this planet make me to feel beauty of this World. Kuala Lumpur is one of the highest points on that journey…What can be better for CSWC than to celebrate it’s first decade on such beautiful spot on the World like Kuala Lumpur and to be honored to share emotions and important moments of life with Malaysian people. Add to that, that we will have one of the most beautiful cigar lounges, Astor Bar, St Regis Kuala Lumpur as place of event, and everything else will be just moments of pleasure which will stay forever like great memories.

Q. CSWC Competitors are challenged to smoke the Macanudo Inspirado Mareva, why did you select this cigar?

A. Macanudo is one of the oldest, most famous and well know brand of cigars!! Macanudo is one of the biggest and most global non Cuban brand of cigars… Macanudo is for sure one of the most top quality brand of cigars…and now Macanudo entered one completely new era of it’s own philosophy with new Inspirado line. That line brought new energy and new power trough amazing, rich and complex blends, beautiful new design overall, top quality of aged tobacco from all over the world, and vision how to bring this new beautiful product on the lips of smokers from all over the World. Macanudo, run by great individuals with all above mentioned elements was just perfect choice to be crucial part of CSW.

Q. Any trends you see for the cigar industry in the near or distant future? As far as taste, flavour, strength etc.,

A. Trends regarding taste, flavor, strength in cigar industry are really depend on different markets. USA and Europe for example have different trends regarding these elements, even do USA was more changing in last 10 -15 years while Europe and rest of the World are more stable regarding mild strengths, creamy smokes which are by my opinion still most wanted. Nicaraguan and Honduras tobacco, tobacco from Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Ecuador and other countries became richer, more complex and the cultivation of these ones became more sophisticated. Mixture of these tobacco in blends and playing with different combinations and mixtures are creating some new tastes and possibilities for creativity regarding taste which will for sure with new brands and power of social media bring some new trends and players on market

Q. What are your thoughts on all the recent talk of Cuba and ending the embargo?

A. This is long shot matter, very complex with many players from cigar industry and different interests connected with this question!! By my opinion it will be long time until we will see Cuban cigars on the shelves of US cigar shops. It is not just matter which is connected with US market, but also it is connected and with the rest of the World. Cuba has limits regarding production, and important Cuban markets from around the World will have their statement regarding this question, if ever US market as the biggest one in the World for cigars, will be open to Cuban cigars!!

Marko Bilic – Founder of CSWC

Q. Finally, anything exciting we can expect from Marko Bilic & CSWC in the near future?

A. One of my favorite moments is when I am alone with my cigar…in such moments my creativity is on highest level…in such moments was created idea of CSWC and Cigar Club Mareva…I still practicing moments like that, so I am sure that something will again come on my mind…. I will keep you posted with pleasure….but, psssst, there is one secret I will share only with you – we are opening one more Club Mareva lounge in Beirut Lebanon….and we are creating amazing main award for world Champion for Grand Final of CSWC 2019 which will be mind blowing….


Event details:

Cigar Smoking World Championship 2019 Kuala Lumpur Qualification Event

Astor Bar, St Regis Kuala Lumpur

7pm for 8pm competition start, Saturday 16th March 2019.


  • First prize for the CSWC Kuala Lumpur Qualification Event Winner is a Cuervo y Sobrinos Swiss watch (valued at USD3500.00
  • Second Prize: Les Fine Lames, cigar cutter (valued at USD500)
  • Third Prize: ST Dupont lighter
  • Other prizes:

Entry Fee:

Entry tickets to compete in the CSWC are RM285.00 and very limited. Ticket sales will be sold on a first come, first served basis. Please email for booking information.

Those not participating are invited to watch the event, enjoy drinks and cigars, and cheer on participants at Astor Bar, St Regis from 7pm

Media Enquiries:

Samuel Spurr, Trinidad Group Marketing Director,, 012 88 00 491


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