This month we are privileged to hear from Julian of Montefortuna Cigars! Julian brings a wealth of knowledge on a topic that’s near and dear to all of our hearts…the Cuban Cigar. Montefortuna specialized in this area in particular, so we’re truly fortunate to get such an informed perspective. Thank you, Julian, for sharing your insights with us here at the Modern Day Gentleman!

Please do check out Montefortuna if you’re interested in purchasing a Cuban of your own. They have a great selection, and are a trustworthy brand offering a superior product! – Buy Cigars Online


The History of Cuban Cigars:

They were discovered in Cuba in 1492, when the Spanish expedition commanded by Christopher Columbus arrived at the island and saw tobacco for the first time. In Cuba the native tribes, the Tainos, rolled and burnt some mysterious leaves, which they called Cohiba, as part of their ceremonies. From that starting point more than five hundred years ago, tobacco has been traded and planted throughout the world. The Cuban Black Tobacco has been considered the best in the world due to its taste and appearance. This is due to the unique growing conditions in some areas of the Island.

The unique growing conditions that happen in the island of Cuba are: the soil, the climate, the varieties of Cuban black tobacco seed and the know-how of the tobacco growers and cigar makers. Other places may have acquired some Cuban skills, even some Cuban seeds, but never the natural gifts of the Cuban soil and the Cuban climate. These you will find nowhere else.

Nor will you find anything that matches the centuries-old culture of cultivating Cuban tobacco: the extraordinary labor that the tobacco farmer invests in his crop; the months and years of patient waiting before his leaf is deemed fit for a Habano.

You will find nothing that matches the centuries-old culture of cultivating Cuban tobacco: the extraordinary labor that the tobacco farmer invests in his crop; the months and years of patient waiting before his leaf is deemed fit for a Habano. Click To Tweet

Habanos and Cuban Cigars

A further distinction lies in the definition of the term “Habanos”. All Habanos are Cuban, but by no means all Cuban cigars are Habanos.

The title is the Denomination of Origin (D.O.P.) reserved for a selection of the most outstanding brands. The Habano cigars are manufactured to the most demanding standards and from tobaccos grown only in particular areas.

All Habanos are crafted totally by hand using methods that were pioneered in Havana two centuries ago. These methods remain virtually unchanged to this day.

More than 500 manual tasks are performed in both the agricultural and manufacturing processes. This goes from the planting of the seeds until the Habano is set in the box.

Every cigar must pass through the most stringent quality control processes established by the Regulatory Council for the Protected Denomination of Origin (D.O.P.).

That is the reason why smoking a Habano is an experience like no other. You can find Cuban Cigars at the Montefortuna Cigars shop.

The Cuban Revolution

When Fidel Castro became the leader of Cuba, a lot of changes started to happen. The most important one related to Cuban Cigars was the expropriation of the Vegas (Tobacco Fields) from its owners, making them state owned factories. A lot of families lost their fields and years of work. However, they maintained their reputation and prestige by keeping the factory names.

Most important Cuban Cigar Brands

Probably, the most famous brands of all time are Cohiba and Montecristo but for cigar aficionados there are many more high quality Cuban cigar brands available. Find the full list below:

Bolivar

Bolivar was founded in 1902 in La Habana and it was named after Simon Bolivar “El libertador”. Its flavor and strength are remarkable, symbolizing the values of Simon Bolivar. The tobacco comes from the Vuelta Abajo region in Cuba and it is one of the most demanded cigars by cigar experts.

Cohiba

Cohiba is the most prestigious cigar brand of all time. The Cuban brand is filled with tobacco that comes from the Vuelta Abajo region of Cuba which has undergone an extra fermentation process. It was founded in 1966 and it was used for diplomatic gifts and to be distributed among high-level officials from the communist regime. The name Cohiba derives from the Taíno word for Tobacco. The most remarkable cigars from Cohiba are: Linea Clásica, Linea 1492, Línea Maduro 5 and Behike

H. Upmann

With Tobacco from the Vuelta Abajo region, H Upmann was founded in 1844 by Herman Upmann. Characterized by its light to medium strength and flavor

Hoyo de Monterrey

Founded by Jose Gener in 1865. He growed tobacco before founding the factory. The company rapidly grew becoming one of the most famous cigar brands, especially in the british market. Hoyo de Monterrey has a wide selection of cigars including and outstanding number of Ediciones Limitadas

Jose L. Piedra

Jose L. Piedra was founded in 1880 and it is characterized for being produced in the Remedios region in Cuba, the oldest tobacco producing region. Its strength is medium to full and its price is very competitive which makes it very popular in Cuba. Cazadores, Brevas and Conservas are some of the most remarkable cigars they’ve produced

La Gloria Cubana

La Gloria Cubana was founded in 1885. Its history has had ups and downs. Its production ceased after the revolution it was resurrected in 1965. Their variety is small, but it is considered to be one of the best Cuban brands. Among their selection you will find the Medaille d’Or line and Paraiso 2014 Regional Edition Caribe.

Montecristo

Probably the most famous cigar brand. It was founded in 1935 and the name was inspired by the Alexander Dumas’s book “The count of Monte Cristo”. They are characterized for its strength (medium to full). The Montecristo Cigars are filled with tobacco from the Vuelta Abajo region, known as the best tobacco in the world. Montecristo has 3 lines: Línea Clásica, Línea Open and Montecristo Petit Edmundo

Partagas

Founded in 1845 by Jaime Partagás and located in the heart of the city of Havana. Partagás is famous for its wide selection of shapes and sizes from the Vuelta Abajo region. Serie D, Serie E, Serie P, Serie Connoisseur are some of the most remarkable lines they have produced

Punch

Punch was founded in 1840 and it is one of the oldest brands alive. In 1931 its production was moved to Hoyo de Monterrey’s. Both brands are still produced in the same factory. Its strength is medium, and its tobacco comes from the Vuelta Abajo region in Cuba.

Quai D’Orsay

The brand was created exclusively for the French state tobacco monopoly in 1973. Quai D’Orsay is one of the least known cigar brands which makes it special. It is characterized by its smooth flavor and light to medium strength.

Ramon Allones

Ramon Allones was founded in 1837 and it was the first brand to introduce the decorated cigar box concept we see today. The brand is one of the most famous and respected ones. Its tobacco comes from the Vuelta Abajo region. Its taste and strength are strong, ideal for the most experienced cigar smokers.

Romeo y Julieta

Romeo y Julieta was founded in 1875 and its name comes from William Shakespeare’s tragedy. Winston Churchill was a devoted smoker of Romeo y Julieta cigars which led them to create the Serie Churchills. After more than a century of history, Romeo y Julieta has released a wide selection of cigars of different sizes and shapes. Cedros Deluxe, Serie Romeo, Serie Julieta and Churchills are some of the best lines they have produced

San Cristobal de la Habana

The original name of la Habana was San Cristobal de la Habana when it was founded in 1519. The brand was launched in 1999 to commemorate Habana’s long history. It first launched with 4 lines: El morro, La fuerza, La punta y El principe. The tobacco used comes from the Vuelta Abajo region. One of the best productions they’ve released is the tower shaped porcelain Jar of 25 cigars called Torreon.

Trinidad

Trinidad was founded in 1969 and as well as Cohiba, at the very beginning it was only used as a diplomatic gift. Then in 1998 the production was commercialized. At first, it was produced in the famous factory El Laguito where Cohiba was produced. Today, the factory is located in Pinar del Rio. The number of cigars produced has always been very limited

Vegas Robaina

Since 1845, Vegas Robaina has been producing in the Vuelta Abajo region. The brand was created in 1996 in honour to Alejandro Robaina the famous veguero.

In the next articles we’ll go brand by brand showing you the most remarkable cigar of each of them.

Julian Kunimine

Montefortuna Cigars is a joint venture between the founder of one of the most reputable Swiss Cuban cigar stores and online commerce experts. This allows them to provide Cuban Cigar aficionados the hardest to find Habanos. They have been in the Cuban cigar business for over 35 years and due to their extensive network they're able to offer the best, most limited Cuban cigars straight to your doorstep.
Julian Kunimine

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