Date: January 2021
Author: Inspector Z

If you speak and read German, you can download and read the new eBook about José L. Piedra via the German cigar blog Vasilij Ratej, the owner and editor of wrote the eBook. With help of the Habanos distributors in Austria and Germany, the book is available online, for free. Intertabak AG and 5th Avenue’s support for information, photographs, and sponsorship made this possible.

The idea

Somewhere during the lockdown, Vasilij Ratej lit a José L. Piedra cigar. A cigar that had never been on his radar. And he fell in love with the brand. It is one of the lesser-known Cuban brands, maybe because of the price. Ratej just felt he had to write a book about the brand. And so he reached out to Intertabak AG and 5th Avenue. Both Habanos distributors were on board quickly.

The book has five chapters. Chapter one is about the fame of the brand. The second chapter is all about the flavor profile. Retrohaling and umami are the subjects of chapter three. The fourth chapter is about aging. And in chapter five, Ratej dives into the brand news.

José L. Piedra

The brand is about 140 years old. It was very popular before the revolution of 1959. But the popularity faded after Castro and his clan chased out the original owners and nationalized aka stole the brand and factory. The numbers went on the decline and in 1990 the production went to 0. In 1996, Habanos brought the brand back. But as a budget brand, and not as a premium handmade Longfiller. José L. Piedra cigars are ‘Cuban sandwich’ cigars, with both Longfiller leaf as short clippings.


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