Cuban cigars are a particularly unique cigar, due in part to the specific variations in soil that can be found in different regions throughout Cuba. Due to this soil diversity, five different types of tobacco leaves are produced and are then used for rolling cigars.
The first are used for the aroma of the cigar; the second are used for taste; the third dictates how the cigar draws; the fourth are used for binding together the previous leaves; and the fifth are used for wrapping the cigar.
Some of these mentioned leaves can be aged for up to seven years before they are deemed eligible to be rolled into a cigar!
MEDIUM TO FULL
‘Cohiba’ is derived from the Taíno word for tobacco. Produced in Cuba, this unique cigar brand is made from specialised tobacco grown in the Vuelta Abajo region, which has undergone extensive extra fermentation processes. The exact location of the Cohiba tobacco fields is a classified secret, and only a few know the details of their situation.
Established in 1966, Cohiba cigars started as a private production that was supplied exclusively to high-ranking Cuban government officials and to those who were members of the Cuban communist party. A few short years after its initial release, the Cobia brand had earned a cult-like status due to its popularity when being given as a diplomatic gift. The Cohiba Cuban cigars became commercially available in 1982, and are now a successful and popular global brand.
Bolívar cigars are a premium make of cigar produced in Habana in Cuba. The brand name comes from Simón Bolívar, who was a South American revolutionary partly responsible for achieving sovereignty for many countries under the rule of the Spanish.
Bolívar cigars are world-renowned for their incredibly strong, rich and full-bodied taste. This is primarily due to the incorporation of Ligero; the top leaves of the tobacco plant. Ligero possesses many different qualities to the leaves further down the tobacco plant, and takes much longer to mature. One Ligero has matured, the coarse leaf is used as a filler in the middle of the Bolívar cigars for a potent and spicy taste that adds to the cigar’s complexity and ensures a slow burn.
Established in the 1850s by José Gener, who emigrated to Cuba from Spain in 1831, the Hoyo de Monterrey brand produces many vitola in Cuba for Habanos SA. Once the cigar brand gained popularity, Gener registered the name Hoyo de Monterrey, which translates as ‘Hole of Monterrey’. Many experts believe this was in reference to the favourable concave terrain for growing tobacco within this area.
The Hoyo de Monterrey brand has grown to be incredibly popular since its inception, with a large proportion of its market being from Britain
MEDIUM TO FULL
Originally, the brand only had five cigar sizes available, with the addition of a tubed cigar which was produced during the 1940s. The Montecristo brand remained largely unchanged until after nationalisation occurred in 1960. After the brand moved production from Cuba to the Dominican Republic in the mid-1970s, the cigar brand was then open to the US market and customers were able to buy Montecristo cigars in five new sizes between 1970 and 1980.
To date, the Montecristo cigar brand accounts for approximately ¼ of worldwide cigar sales, and as a result is touted as being the most popular Cuban cigar in the world.
If there is one particularly famous cigar factory in Havana, it is Partagas. The factory was opened in 1845 by Don Jaime Partagas and it has been making the cigars that bear his name ever since.
A Partagas is immediately recognisable by its deep, earthy flavour. The character of its blend springs from a selection of filler and binder tobaccos grown in the Vuelta Abajo zone and chosen for their unmistakable richness of flavour and aroma.
First established in 1875 by Inocencio Alvarez and Manin Garcia, the brand was named after the Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet. During its initial inception, the brand won several awards for taste testing events that were held between the period of 1885 to 1900. This accolade is now represented by the gold medals in the logo of famous cigars like the Romeo Y Julieta No.2. The Romeo Y Julieta collection boasts a rich, full-bodied flavour alongside earthy undertones, all with the convenience of a smoking time ranging between 20 to 60+ minutes. The Romeo Y Julieta range is also ideal for the novice cigar smoker, thanks to its light to medium strength and toke.
One of the brand’s most arguably famous cigars is the Churchill Tubos, which was named after Winston Churchill.
LIGHT TO MEDIUM
The full brand name is San Cristóbal de la Habana, named after the original name for Havana and in honour of Christopher Columbus. San Cristóbal cigars were introduced in 1999 on the threshold of the new Millennium as a tribute to the city’s long history. San Cristóbal is a current post-Revolution brand.
It is classified by Habanos SA as a Niche brand. The range comprises light to medium-strength cigars, using tobacco from the premium Vuelta Abajo region.
The original 1999 release cigars were named after forts that protected old Havana in the Spanish Colonial days.
Special Releases commenced in 2004 with the release of the 5th Anniversary Humidor. Each of these cigars was named after an ancient street in old Havana.