10 weeks ago, we started publishing articles in the Stellar Stogies series by Karen. 10 major cigar brands were covered and we hope that it was a pleasant and insightful read for all of you. If you missed some of the articles, we had put together all the links in this post. Enjoy!
Premium cigar brand Hoyo de Monterrey is one of the oldest brands in the world. Of course, a cigar this old has got to have a pretty interesting history. And Hoyo de Monterrey is no exception. These cigars were born in Cuba when a 13-year-old boy came to work on his uncle’s farm. And they were reborn for the American market in Honduras in 1969, when a Cuban seed was smuggled out of post-revolutionary Cuba in a diplomatic pouch.
Bolivar cigars have been around for a little over a hundred years, and in that time they’ve developed a reputation for being some of the richest, most full-bodied Cuban cigars in production. This is another ultra-famous Cuban cigar that also has a Dominican namesake (or copy-cat, depending on how you look at it). But of course the true history and quality of Bolivar lie with the Cuban brand.
Produced in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, Macanudo Cigars are some of the number one selling premium brand in the United States. And while this partly has to do with the fact that they’re, well, available in the America (not being Cuban), it’s mostly because Macanudos are distinctive, subtle, and tasty - unlike some brands, I’d say they definitely live up to the word “premium.”
Partagas is one of the most well-known and best-selling premium Havana cigars on the market. These aren’t wimpy cigars, and if you consider yourself a serious cigar smoker, you’re probably fond of Partagas. These are strong, earthy smokes, made for people who smoke cigars because they love the flavor - not because they have a strange, Freudian desire to put something in their mouths.
Though you never know... Perhaps a cigar is “just a cigar” less often than we think.
The “Romeo y Julieta” above obviously refers to the famous Cuban cigar brand, not its unremarkable Dominican namesake. The brand is, of course, named after the star-crossed lovers of Shakespeare’s most famous play. Which I often take to mean that I should smoke a pair of them. I’m just romantic that way.
Romeo y Julieta Cigars was established in Cuba in 1875. And while it took awhile for Romeo y Julieta to become the worldwide star of the cigar industry it is today, the brand did win quite a few high-level cigar awards in its infancy. Among them were gold medals from exhibitions in Antwerp, Paris, and Brussels. Ever wondered about the gold medals on Romeo y Julieta bands? That’s where they came from.
Other than football (soccer) players, Padron cigars are probably the most famous thing ever to come out of Nicaragua. And unlike a lot of top-quality cigars, they’re not famous only because they’re good (though they certainly are). They’re famous because they’re reasonably-enough priced to smoke plenty of them... not something you could usually say about a cigar you’d actually want to smoke.
If you tend to smoke mostly Cuban cigars as I do, it’s practically impossible that you haven’t smoked a Montecristo. Montecristo cigars are the most popular Havana cigar, and account for 50% of the Havana’s yearly cigar export. If you like Cubans, not having smoked a Montecristo is like not having seen a John Wayne movie if you claim to love westerns. It just doesn’t happen.