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Cuban cigars – the forbidden fruit of the cigar industry. Home to where the long leaf tobacco used in cigars was born, Cubans were crafting cigars as early as 1492 when Christopher Columbus introduced tobacco to Europe. These masterfully crafted premiums were banned when President John F. Kennedy put an embargo of all things Cuban into law in 1962. The best product on the planet cigars-wise no longer available at your fingertips – the horror!
After the embargo went into place, Cuban cigar makers fled the country, and who could blame ‘em, and they smuggled the fine tobacco with them. From Nicaragua to the Canary Islands, Cuban tobacco was replanted, and eventually found its way to the Dominican Republic where it was refined, blended and improved. Leading the Dominican to the numero uno producer of premium cigars today.
While cigars were booming in the Dominican, it didn’t mean that the Cuban cigar industry vanished. Under Fidel Castro’s strict quality control standards and tobacco growing educational programs, a new generation of Cuban cigar makers emerged in the 1990s. Making these gems untouchable once again.
Fast forward to today, and now you can buy these prized premiums in any country except the United States. The embargo was lifted to be able to buy Cuban cigars outside of the U.S. for personal consumption only. I know this is music to your ears. So update your passport, pack your bags and get yourself outta here to pick up some high-quality Cuban cigars.
As the first cigars, you’ll want to stow some of these babies in your humidor. Especially with generations of tobacco skills the tobacco growers and rollers have and use to refine and improve the products that the Cuban seed produces. The result is a satisfying and flavorful cigar experience.
If you read this article with a heavy heart, longing for the flavors of Cuba but unable to leave the country, we have good news! Remember when I mentioned the cigar makers who fled Cuba and took their tobacco with them? They're still around, and we call them heritage brands. They have the same names as the original Cuban brands, and they use the same seeds, for the most Cuban-esque experience possible within the US. Check out Cohiba, Montecristo, Partagas, Romeo y Julieta, H. Upmann, and Punch. There are a lot more heritage brands out there, but those are a few of our consistent favorites.