Named after Simón Bolívar, Latin America’s great revolutionary hero, this brand appeared on the market in 1901 when the Rocha Cuban Cigar Company began production. Robust, strong, powerful and full-bodied, Bolívars are considered to be a seasoned smoker’s cigar. The Rocha Cigar Company was notorious for producing world’s smallest Cuban cigar, the Delgado, measuring only 1 7/8 inches by 20 ring gauge, the smallest of the Havanas.
Introduced in 1968 Cohíba cigars were meant only as protocol cigars made solely for Cuban officials and diplomats. Cohíba was not widely distributed until 1982 when 3 sizes were launched: Lanceros, Coronas Especiales and Panetelas. Then, 3 more vitolas were added to the brand in 1989: Espléndidos, Robustos and Exquisitos, completing what is known as "La Línea Clásica". In 1992, 5 more vitolas were added creating the "Linea 1492": the Siglo I, II, III, IV and V and recently the long awaited Siglo VI was released. Cohíba remains the "King of the Cubans" as well as Castro’s favourite smoke, before he gave up smoking.
The name of this cigar is very old, and dates back to the times of the early Cuban settlers. This was the name of an indigenous tree in the island, featured by its excellent burning properties, that is still grown in the country. These cigars, which stand out by their pleasant aroma, outstanding construction and rich flavors. The cigars are pointed on both ends which lends outstanding combustion to the experience.
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Introduced in 1966, primarily as a less expensive alternative to the Montecristo, Diplomáticos is one of the few Havana brands which is exclusively dedicated to hand-rolled cigars. It’s cigar sizes mirror the Montecristo nomenclature and they are duly produced at the José Marti Factory, as most of the Montecristo line. Since its inception and due to the special blending of tobacco, Diplomáticos has become a most respected cigar with distinctively nutty flavors and a medium body. A most enjoyable smoke for cigar connoisseurs worldwide.
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"The King of the World", or El Rey del Mundo was developed in 1848 under the direction of Antonio Allones. Renown for its silky smooth wrapper it was one of the most expensive and successful cigars of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Due to the success of the brand the company was soon renamed to "El Rey del Mundo". A classic medium-bodied Cuban cigar good for smokers of all levels, El Rey del Mundo boasts a mixture of the finest tobacco, rich bean flavors, and a distinctively floral aroma.
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The Spanish poet Federico García Lorca loved Fonseca cigars. Founded in 1891, Francisco Fonseca was the first producer to introduce the metal tube for individual cigars. A pioneer in his time he also created the first tasting room within the factory for his clients to test the selected blends as he also specialized in creating cigars for banquets and receptions. Since the early years, the Fonseca brand became renowned and cherished for the quality and appearance of its cigars. It is the only Habano in the market which is wrapped in very thin and almost transparent silky paper.
The history of this brand began around 1840 when Herman Upmann, a banker and cigar aficionado invested in a cigar factory which served dually as a bank and cigar business. Following the failure of both companies in 1922, a British firm by the name of J. Frankau & Co. took over the factory until 1935 when it was sold to the Menendez y García Company... and so was the legend reborn. Characteristically, H. Upmanns are mild to medium-bodied cigars great for the beginner’s palate. Their larger sizes are among the most coveted and sought after cigars in the world. A promising smooth, subtle and mild to medium smoke.
Established in 1865 by José Gener, a tobacco leaf grower in the Vualeta Abajo region, Hoyo de Monterrey is one of the greatest Cuban cigar factories on the Island of Cuba. Roughly translating to "Valley of Monterrey" this cigar is made from an extremely fertile area in the famed Vuelta Abajo region. Due to its silky richness, complexity of taste, great draw and balanced fragrance and flavor, some believe Hoyo de Monterrey Double Coronas to be the most sought after Cuban cigar ever made. Produced in 7 factories, Hoyo de Monterrey vitolas and the magnificent Hoyo de Monterrey Double Coronas are made with only the finest Cuban tobacco. The Hoyo Série was introduced about 1970 and presents a stronger, full bodied flavor. For a real treat, try the Hoyo de Monterrey Double Coronas or the Hoyo de Monterrey Épicure No. 2.
Juan López Sena created this brand in 1880. Manufactured in very small quantities, these cigars are characteristically woody and very pleasant on the palate. A mild cigar by Cuban standards, when allowed to age about 10-15 years the aromas become quite impressive.
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Introduced in 1885 by the Sociedad Cabañas y Castro, it was soon a success amongst cigar cognoscenti for their being well-manufactured Havana cigars of an excellent aroma, strength and palate. This brand has similar traits to those of El Rey del Mundo and of Rafael González. Together, they make up a triad of very well presented cigars in mid sizes and mild-mid to mid-strong palates, and an excellent quality-price ratio.
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Launched in 1935 by the H. Upmann factory, the given name was a tribute to famed "Count of Montecristo", the cigar smoking hero of Alexandre Dumas’s novel. Today, Montecristo is the most sought after cigar in the world, currently accounting for almost 25% of Cuba’s annual cigar exports. Known by cigar lovers as "Monties", these cigars first appeared in 5 sizes: No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. The sizes "A" and Especiales were added in the early 70s. Delicious, full-flavored and highly recognizable to the palate due to their unique tobacco blend and distinctive flavor. The Montecristo brand is also highly popular as the result of it’s exceptionally consistent quality.
Partagás cigars, were branded in 1845 by Don Jaime Partagás, and are known as one of the oldest and most well-known Cuban cigar brands. The supply of all these cigars always seems to fall short of the worldwide demand. These cigars are characterized as full, rich, and filled with earthy flavors. Following a heavy meal, a Partagás Lusitania is the perfect way to relax and enjoy the afternoon or evening. Because of the outstanding quality of these cigars, they tend to be relatively expensive, particularly the aforementioned and sought after Partagás Lusitania.
Por Larrañaga is a brand with a long history. Founded in 1843, it enjoys a well-earned reputation for quality. These cigars have an unmistakable sweet taste which is the hallmark of this brand. Excellent cigars to smoke young, but equally, perfect to age.
Originally intended for the British market and established in 1840 by Don Manuel López, these cigars have become the second oldest Havana brand still in production. The name was drawn from the famous comic book "Punch & Judy". Mr. Punch, with his unmistakably sly smile and cigar in hand, still adorns the box of these outstanding Cuban cigars. Standard bearers of quality, these cigars possess a spicy aroma and fragrant bouquet. They are medium-bodied cigars known for their superior construction and reliability. The tremendous popularity of Punch cigars amongst the British also trapped Sir Winston Churchill who, upon visiting the Monte y Zulueta factory during his stay in Havana, offered his name to a size of this brand.
Named for the famous bridge in Paris, this brand created in the 1970s was mainly produced for the French market. Light wrappers tend to adorn these smokes and the flavors are often of mild toasted tobacco and a mild sugary sweetness.
The first remarks on this brand date back to 1936 when it was registered under the name "La Flor de Márquez". It was object of a relaunch in style in Spain, to become a highly popular brand in the important Spanish market. This is a premium, mid-strength cigar presented in very beautiful and pleasing wrapper colors.
Rolled in the Partagás factory, which specializes in full-bodied cigars, these cigars will not disappoint those looking for complex and rich flavors. Characteristics of the brand include lovely dark wrappers, excellent construction, near perfect combustion, a rich flavor and wonderful aromas. Ramón Allones cigars tend to be the perfect after-dinner smoke. These cigars age beautifully.
Founded in 1873, the Romeo y Julieta brand used to print over 2'000 different cigar bands ! The "Romeos" are one of the most well-known and popular of all of the Havana brands. Over 40 shapes and sizes are produced, some of which are considered the very best in their size. With so many different sizes and so much pressure on production, it is especially impressive that the entire brand continues to be appreciated as one of superior quality. The brand is also credited with introducing the "Churchill" shaped cigar, in honor of the famed British Prime Minister. British lore claims that when Churchill would meet with foreign heads of state, he would insert a straightened paperclip through the length of his cigar, allowing for an unusually long ash to hold. Because of this unnerving trick he would often disarm his guests during delicate negotiations.
In 1940, this brand was registered under the name "Zamora y Guerra". Known for their flavor ranging from mild to medium, these Habanos are hand made by experienced rollers, with most celebrated leaves from the Vuelta Abajo. Bean flavors (vanilla, coco and coffee) are very present in all of these smokes. Made from the finest tobacco one will occasionally notice a subtle honeyed sweetness and a distinct grassy aroma typical to this line.
The latest, and probably the last, of the new Series of Havana brands. Launched in 1996, these cigars have been given the original name of the city of Havana, when it was founded by settlers back in 1519, San Cristóbal (Saint Christopher) de La Habana. The brand boasts 4 sizes, each of which is named after one of the fronts that defended the city in its heyday, as the hub of the Spanish empire in Latin America. 2 of the sizes, La Fuerza and El Morro, are entirely new and are unique to the San Cristóbal brand.
Founded in 1852, Sancho Panza was named after Don Quixote’s faithful squire in Cervantes’s famous novel. Sancho Panza is a uniquely delicate, elegant and very subtle cigar. They rank among the most consistently well-made Cuban cigars and are well suited to occasional, beginner, or daytime smokers alike. All sizes are relatively mild. The brand is well known for its enormous “A” size Sanchos cigar and the pointed Belicoso cigar.
Marketed for the first time in February 1998, when it was presented in Havana during the annual gala in which the "Hombre Habano del Año" Awards are bestowed, it was already known to connoisseurs all aver the world, since a variation of it, but with a 38 ring gauge, had been used since 1969 as a diplomatic present from the Government of the Republic of Cuba.
This brand bears the name of the property of the best Cuban tobacco grower: Don Alejandro Robaina. The San Luis area has the finest tobacco of the Vuelta Abajo region. Approximately 30% of the tobacco exported from Pinar del Rio province uses Vegas Robaina (Robaina Tobacco plantation) wrapper, making the plantation a tobacco legend. These cigars are almost always excellently constructed, full-bodied and rich in complex tobacco flavors.
An homage to the cultivators of the Vuelta Abajo plantations, Vegueros literally translates to "harvester". It honours cultivators of the tobacco plantations in Vuelta Abajo who were anonymous artists for hundred of years. These cigars are mild, slightly herbaceous and well balanced. They compare favourably to any of the more famous "major" brands at a fraction of the cost. Construction, quality and colors are second-to-none. Vegueros is a well-kept insider’s secret.