Top Brands to Discover
Cuban cigars have long been the epitome of luxury and sophistication, but did you know that there's a whole world of non-Cuban cigars that rival their Cuban counterparts in taste and quality? In this blog post, we'll explore the rich history of non-Cuban cigars, introduce you to legendary cigar makers, and recommend some of the best non-Cuban brands to discover. So sit back and let us take you on a journey through the flavorful alternatives to classic Cuban cigars.
- Explore non-Cuban cigars from renowned makers for a unique flavor experience.
- Discover top brands like Arturo Fuente, Drew Estate, Tatuaje and Padron to enjoy tobaccos from Nicaragua, Honduras and Dominican Republic.
- Store your cigars properly with humidity control, temperature management and rotation/organization techniques for optimal freshness & flavor.
The Art of Non-Cuban Cigars
In the 1960s, Fidel Castro's regime took control of Cuba. As a result, generations of tobacco-growing and cigar-making knowledge moved from the island to the Dominican Republic and Central America. As a result, many non-Cuban cigars today reflect the Cuban cigar-making hallmarks, offering a unique smoke experience that rivals their Cuban counterparts.
The rich and varied terroirs of Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic have given rise to some of the finest non-Cuban cigars in the world. These countries are renowned for their distinctive and abundant terroir that is conducive to the cigar industry, providing a unique flavor profile that is highly sought after by cigar aficionados.
The Legendary Cigar Makers
Some of the most renowned cigar makers in the industry include Carlito Fuente, Don Pepin Garcia, and AJ Fernandez. Carlito Fuente, the founder of the esteemed Arturo Fuente cigar brand, is known for his commitment to quality and consistency, with his cigars being highly sought after. Don Pepin Garcia, a master cigar maker, has crafted some of the most sought-after cigars in the world, utilizing Nicaraguan tobaccos and dedicating himself to excellence. AJ Fernandez, another renowned master cigar maker, is acclaimed for his use of Nicaraguan tobaccos and his dedication to perfection, creating cigars that are highly coveted by aficionados.
These legendary cigar makers have crafted unique blends that cater to various tastes and preferences. From the smooth and mild Ashton, to the rich and bold My Father and Joya de Nicaragua, there is a non-Cuban cigar to suit every palate. As you venture into the world of non-Cuban cigars, you'll discover a vast array of flavors, aromas, and blends that are just as exquisite as their Cuban counterparts.
Tobacco Terroir: Nicaragua, Honduras, and Dominican Republic
Tobacco terroir refers to how the growing environment influences the flavor of the tobacco. The unique terroirs of Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic contribute to the distinctive flavor profiles of the non-Cuban cigars produced in these countries. The soil, climate, and other environmental factors all play a role in the flavor of the tobacco, thus creating a distinct taste compared to other countries.
Nicaragua, for instance, is known for its rich, volcanic soil that imparts a bold, earthy flavor to the tobacco. Honduras, on the other hand, is renowned for its full-bodied, flavorful tobacco that is ideal for cultivating Cuban and Connecticut seed tobaccos. The Dominican Republic, with its smooth, creamy tobacco, has become a popular choice for blending with other tobaccos to create distinct flavor profiles.
As you explore the world of non-Cuban cigars, you'll come to appreciate the artistry and skill that goes into crafting these unique smokes.
With so many exceptional non-Cuban brands to choose from, it can be a daunting task to decide where to begin your journey. To help you navigate the world of non-Cuban cigars, we recommend starting with these top brands: Arturo Fuente, Drew Estate, Tatuaje, Padron, and AJ Fernandez.
Each of these brands offers an array of cigars that showcase the diverse flavors and complexities of non-Cuban tobaccos, providing you with a unique and satisfying smoke experience.
Established in 1912 by Don Arturo Fuente in West Tampa, Florida, Arturo Fuente is a highly respected, family-owned cigar company. Today, the business is run by his grandson, Carlos Fuente Jr. The company's commitment to quality and consistency is evident in their cigars, which feature aged Dominican binder and filler tobaccos, and toothy Cameroon wrapper leaves.
The Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Edición de Aniversario is a special Dominican puro cigar created with an aged Sun Grown Habano wrapper and a bit more strength and depth, based on the personal blend of the late Don Carlos Fuente Sr.
Another noteworthy cigar produced by Arturo Fuente is the Ashton VSG Cabinet Selection, a non-Cuban cigar made for Ashton. This cigar is known for its dark, oily sun-grown Ecuadorian wrappers, five-year-old Dominican filler tobaccos harvested from the Chateau de la Fuente farm, and an aging process of six months in cedar and two months in an artificially cooled environment.
Drew Estate was established in 1995 by Jonathan Drew and Marvin Samel in a second-story shop in Manhattan. They started by selling hand-rolled cigars across the city and have since gained recognition as a prominent cigar brand. Today, Drew Estate is known for its broad selection of cigars, including hand-rolled cigars, infused cigars, and limited edition cigars.
Drew Estate cigars are renowned for their unique flavor profile, characterized by a harmonious combination of sweet and spicy notes. This distinctive blend ensures that each Drew Estate cigar offers an exceptional smoking experience, setting them apart from other non-Cuban brands.
Tatuaje, a brand of handmade premium cigars owned by Tatuaje Cigars Inc., was established in 2003 by Pete Johnson in collaboration with Don Pepin. The name Tatuaje, which translates to "tattoo" in Spanish, was inspired by Pete Johnson's tattoos. Tatuaje cigars are composed of a blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos, with a Nicaraguan wrapper, and are known for their medium to full-bodied flavor profile, with notes of earth, leather, and spice.
Tatuaje cigars are available in a range of sizes and shapes, making them accessible to a wide audience of cigar enthusiasts. As you explore the Tatuaje brand, you'll discover a world of rich flavors and intricate blends that rival any Cuban cigar.
Padron is a family-owned cigar company established in Miami, Florida in 1964 by José Orlando Padrón. The family's tobacco business originated in Cuba in the mid-1800s, and they relocated their cigar production to Nicaragua in 1970. One of their most notable cigars is the Padrón 1926 Serie, a box-pressed cigar made from aged Nicaraguan tobaccos, showcasing the rich flavors and complexities of non-Cuban cigars.
As you sample Padron cigars, you'll come to appreciate the meticulous craftsmanship and dedication to quality that has made this brand a favorite among cigar aficionados. With their bold, flavorful tobacco and expertly crafted blends, Padron cigars are a must-try for anyone seeking a non-Cuban cigar experience.
AJ Fernandez, a Cuban-born cigar maker with a family lineage in the cigar industry, possesses one of Nicaragua's most prominent premium cigar operations. His creations are some of the most sought-after cigars in the world, thanks to his use of Nicaraguan tobaccos and dedication to perfection. Some of his popular brands include San Lotano Oval, New World, and Enclave.
As you explore the world of AJ Fernandez cigars, you'll be treated to a diverse array of flavors, aromas, and blends that showcase the best of what non-Cuban cigars have to offer. With each puff, you'll understand why AJ Fernandez has earned a reputation as one of the top non-Cuban cigar makers in the world.
Flavorful Alternatives to Classic Cuban Cigars
If you're craving a flavorful alternative to classic Cuban cigars, look no further than our recommendations, which include cigars with Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos, Dominican tobacco delights, and Honduran gems. Some of these cigars are Macanudo Mao, Fonseca Classic, Hamlet 25th Year, Winston Churchill–The Late Hour, Nat Sherman Host, Macanudo Inspirado Black, Flor de Silva Colección Aniversario No. 20 is La Aurora ADN Dominicano. This blend brings premium tobaccos from Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic together.
With such a diverse selection of non-Cuban cigars to choose from, you'll be sure to find the perfect smoke to satisfy your palate.
Nicaraguan Binders and Fillers
Nicaraguan binders and fillers refer to types of tobacco leaves grown in Nicaragua that are used to wrap and fill cigars. The binder serves as a structural component that holds the filler in place, while the filler determines the cigar's strength. Nicaraguan binders and fillers are available in Corojo, Criollo, and Habano varieties, each with its own distinct flavor profile, with Corojo being the strongest and Criollo being the mildest.
These Nicaraguan tobaccos offer a bold, earthy flavor with subtle notes of spice and sweetness, providing a unique and satisfying smoking experience.
As you explore the world of non-Cuban cigars, don't hesitate to try cigars featuring Nicaraguan binders and fillers to truly appreciate the depth and complexity of flavors they have to offer.
Dominican Tobacco Delights
Dominican tobacco delights are premium handmade cigars crafted with the finest Dominican tobacco. Some well-regarded Dominican cigars include Fuente Fuente Opus X, Ashton ESG, and Arturo Fuente Hemingway. Dominican tobacco is renowned for its smooth, creamy flavor and its ability to be blended with other tobaccos to create distinct flavor profiles.
As you venture into the world of Dominican tobacco delights, you'll discover a variety of cigars that cater to different tastes and preferences. From the smooth and mild Fonseca Classic to the rich and bold Flor de Silva Colección Aniversario No. 20, there's a Dominican delight to suit every palate.
Honduran gems are high-quality cigars crafted from tobacco grown in Honduras, such as Alec Bradley Prensado and Camacho Corojo. Honduras is renowned for its bold, flavorful tobacco and is considered an ideal environment for the cultivation of Cuban and Connecticut seed tobaccos.
These Honduran gems offer a full-bodied, flavorful smoking experience that rivals even the most revered Cuban cigars. As you explore the world of non-Cuban cigars, don't miss out on the opportunity to try Honduran gems like Nat Sherman Host, La Aurora ADN Dominicano, and Hamlet 25th Year (salomon figurado), which showcase the unique flavors and complexities of Honduran tobacco.
Tips for Storing and Aging Non-Cuban Cigars
To ensure the optimal enjoyment of your non-Cuban cigars, it's important to store and age them properly. In this section, we'll provide you with tips for humidity control, temperature management, and rotation and organization, ensuring that your cigars remain fresh and flavorful for years to come.
Humidity control is essential for preserving the flavor and aroma of your cigars. Excessive humidity can lead to a soggy cigar that lacks flavor, while inadequate humidity can cause the cigar to become dry and brittle. To maintain proper humidity control for your cigars, a humidor should be utilized. Humidors come in a variety of sizes and styles and should be filled with a humidifying solution to maintain the desired humidity level.
In addition to using a humidor, cigars should be stored in a cool, dark place to help preserve the desired humidity level. This will ensure that your cigars remain fresh and flavorful, providing you with the best possible smoking experience.
Temperature management is essential for preserving the quality of your cigars. The optimal temperature for storing cigars is 70 degrees Fahrenheit, with a relative humidity of 70%. To prevent sudden fluctuations in temperature and humidity, it's important to store your cigars in a stable environment.
Measures can be taken to prevent sudden changes in temperature and humidity, such as storing your cigars in a temperature-controlled humidor or a dedicated cigar storage room. By maintaining a consistent temperature and humidity level, you'll ensure that your non-Cuban cigars remain fresh and flavorful for years to come.
Rotation and Organization
Rotation and organization in a cigar humidor involve regularly rotating the cigars to maintain their properties and organizing them according to their strength or age to ensure an optimal smoking experience. Rotation of cigars on a regular basis helps to avoid drying out or excessive moisture, while organizing them according to strength or age enables you to select the appropriate cigar for any occasion.
To properly rotate and organize your cigars, it's suggested to rotate them on a bi-weekly basis and to use the First In, First Out (FIFO) technique for organization. This ensures that you're always aware of the newest to oldest cigars in your collection, allowing you to enjoy them at their peak flavor and freshness.
In conclusion, the world of non-Cuban cigars offers a rich and diverse array of flavors, aromas, and blends that rival even the most revered Cuban cigars. From legendary cigar makers to unique terroirs, top non-Cuban brands to flavorful alternatives, and proper storage and aging techniques, there is much to discover and appreciate in the realm of non-Cuban cigars. So whether you're a seasoned cigar aficionado or just starting your cigar journey, don't hesitate to explore the vast and flavorful world of non-Cuban cigars.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are non-Cuban cigars legal?
It is important to understand that non-Cuban cigars are legal in the United States, but Cuban cigars remain illegal. President Donald Trump issued an executive order in 2019 that prohibits any imports from Cuba and imposes travel restrictions between the two countries.
As such, even if you find a non-Cuban cigar outside of the US, it still cannot be brought back into the country. To purchase cigars legally in the US, seek out authorized retailers and make sure they do not contain any Cuban tobacco.
What cigar is closest to a Cuban cigar?
If you're a fan of Cuban cigars, the closest option is to go for a Connecticut Shade wrapper cigar. Brands such as J.C. Newman Perla del Mar Shade, Padron Damaso, Undercrown Shade, Camacho Connecticut, Ashton Cabinet, Casa Cuevas Connecticut, and Alec Bradley Connecticut offer a milder taste close to that of a Cuban cigar.
These cigars are made with a Connecticut Shade wrapper, which is a light-colored wrapper that is grown in the Connecticut River Valley. This wrapper is known for its mild flavor and aroma, making it known for its mild taste and aroma.
What's the difference between Cuban and non-Cuban cigars?
Cuban cigars are made from Cuban tobacco, giving them a distinctive flavor and strength that sets them apart from other cigars.
Cigars, with the exception of Cuban ones, are usually handcrafted by skillfully blending different types of non-Cuban tobacco, often derived from Cuban Seeds. This meticulous process yields a delightful array of flavors that exude exquisite diversity, offering a truly exceptional indulgence for connoisseurs.
Are there real Cuban cigars in the US?
No, it is not currently possible to purchase real Cuban cigars in the United States. Despite diplomatic relations between Cuba and the US warming under the Obama Administration, the sale of Cuban cigars remains prohibited in the US.