A few words about the most famous cigar brands :
Introduced back in 1901, the rich flavour of the Bolivar cigars is almost as famous as it's namesake, Simon Bolivar, the celebrated Venezuelan general who liberated all of what is today Venezuela, Columbia, Peru and Bolivia. The cigar brand has been developed by the Jose Rocha Company and manufactured at the El Crepusculo factory, but was later bought by Menendez, Garcia y Cia.
This brand is new, it was introduced only in 1968, but Cohiba quickly became one of the most famous brands in the cigar world. Cohiba was marketed widely beginning in 1982. The Cohiba series was initially made in the El Laguito factory in Havana, but production is now also in the Fernando Perez German factory.
The image of Francisco Fonseca, the creator of the brand in 1906, is still on the box today. In limited distribution only, the Fonseca brand is supposed to exhibit a rich but mild flavour.
One of the most famous brands in the world of cigars, H. Upmann was founded in 1844 when Herman Upmann (a German banker) started using specific cigars boxes as promotional items for his bank. His clients liked it, that's why the brand was bord and is still alive. It has received 7 gold medals in 7 (strange?) international exhibitions, these are the medals you can see on the logo and on the boxes. The famous request of John F. Kennedy to his press secretary, Pierre Salinger, to obtain cigars on the evening prior to the declaration of the American trade embargo in 1961, was for Petit Upmanns.
La Gloria Cubana
A very old brand that dates from 1885, "The Glory of Cuba" presents a wide variety of cigars sizes in a small, but beautifully made range. This is one of the few brands which is only hand-made.
The most famous of the many famous Havana brands started only in 1935 as a new brand from Menendez, Garcia y Cia., then the owners of the H. Upmann brand. The name has most probably inspired by Alexandre Dumas' 1844 novel Le Comte de Montecristo. With a strong marketing effort from Alfred Dunhill of London, this brand became the most popular of all Havana exports. There are no machine-made shapes in this range and the strength is medium; in fact, it has become the standard by which all other Havanas are now judged.
This brand is named for it's founder, Don Jaime Partagas, who began manufacturing cigars in 1827, but put his own name on his line of cigars in 1845. After his death, the brand passed to Ramon Cifuentes in 1889 and was owned by Cifuentes y Cia. prior to nationalization. There is no doubt about the strong, intense flavour of this line and it is still produced in the Partagas factory, renamed Fernando Perez after nationalization. The range is really wide and everyone can find a Partagas which fits his or her interest in size or shape.
Created in 1840 by Manuel Lopez, this line takes its name from the popular character of Punch so widely seen in English puppetry in the 19th century. Today's lithographed boxes still show the comically-dressed Punch enjoying a cigar while his faithful pet stands by, questioning why he is wearing a rainbow-coloured collar. The cigars are quite popular, with the Punch Punch model the object of affection by many devoted followers.
Romeo y Julieta
Developed in 1875 by Inocencio Alvarez and Mannin Garcia, this brand immediately showed its quality by winning gold medals in four universal expositions between 1885 and 1900. But it really took off after its acquisition in 1903 by Jose Rodriguez Fernandez, known as "Pepin." Named for the lovers in William Shakespeare's tragedy of the same name (written circa 1596), the brand also is traditionally credited with the introduction of the "Churchill" shape in honour of the British statesman Winston Churchill (note the name of the factory shape for this size: the "Julieta 2."). Romeo y Julieta brand is one of the most widely known and appreciated in the world today.
The brand features five, hand rolled sizes, classified as: Don Alejandro (Double Corona) Famosos (Robusto), Classicos (Lonsdale), Unicos (Piramide), and Familiares (Corona). Vegas Robaina is named after D. Alejandro Robaina, who is known for growing the finest wrapper in the Vuelta Abajo, region of Cuba for more than fifty years. The cigars are only made from the best tobacco in Cuba, and feature wrapper grown on Sr. Robaina's farms. They are described as a medium-strong blend, characterized by an excellent aroma, wonderful presentation, and a fine burn.