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A History of Dominican Cigars

A History of Dominican Cigars

Posted by Ana Cuenca on Sep 29, 2022

A History of Dominican Cigars

The Dominican Republic has long been a standard bearer in a thriving industry. Luxury cigars make up an $11.61 billion market around the world today, and the Dominican Republic has long been known as the cigar capital. 

This island nation has long had a history of cigar excellence, fact that  cigar afficionados, new and seasoned should know and embrace.   Dominican cigars are consider by most cigars lovers as the best in the world today.  

The Mystical History of Dominican Cigars

Tobacco has been an herb of leisure  and mystical connections for much of human history. Historical artifacts state that the practice of smoking cigars dates back to as early as the 10th century with the Mayans. Much of recorded history shows that the Dominican Republic has long been a big contributor to the cigar industry, and the art and culture of cigars as a whole. 

Here are some key historical eras to consider: 

Tobacco Use and Cultivation by Indigenous People

Prior to colonization, the indigenous people of what was then called Quisqueya, or "Mother of All Lands", were known to cultivate and enjoy tobacco. These Taino chiefdoms considered tobacco a sacred plant that was used both as leisure and in spiritual realms. 

They would hand roll cigars and smoke tobacco in pipes, allowing the smoke to carry their prayers to the ethereal realm. Even in pre-colonial times, the climate of this island was rich enough to cultivate some amazing tobacco plants.  

Big Business During the Slave Trade

The arrival of Columbus turned tobacco into a cash crop. After the Spaniard established a presence on the island in 1492,  Africans and aboriginals were the ones that cultivate tobacco, among other crops. This allowed the Dominican Republic, then called Santo Domingo, to emerge as the tobacco titan that it remains to this day. 

The production of cigar tobacco picked up in the 1800s during a period in which the Dominican Republic gained independence.  

Used as an Economic Bailout

During a period of the 1850s, tobacco was such a cash crop that it was essentially used as an economic bailout. The president at the time, Buenaventura Baez, ordered the printing of 18 million pesos of Dominican money to purchase all of the country's tobacco to sell around the world. 

While profitable, this extra printing of money caused inflation that significantly hurt tobacco farmers. These farmers eventually rebelled and expelled Baez from rule.  

Cigar Cultivation in the 20th Century

Once the 20th century rolled around, Dominican cigar brands emerged that would create the tobacco industry that we know today. The La Aurora cigar  was founded in 1903, and remains the country's oldest and original cigar house. It started with only six in-house cigar rollers, and today, distributes cigars in over 60 countries. 

The banner survived many geopolitical conflicts and periods of economic turmoil, and has diversified its portfolio to include adult beverages and other successful lines of products.  

Dominance in the Modern Cigar Industry

Since taking off throughout the 1900s, the Dominican Republic has remained a leader and mainstay of the cigar industry. A big reason for this is that the country has had longstanding political stability since the 1960s. 

The country is a tourism hotspot, with many people traveling to the Dominican Republic to enjoy the beaches and cigars. You can visit many cigar houses for a tour of the factories and have the experience of watch how each stick is made and what goes into the tobacco cultivation. 

Several successful cigar labels have sprung up throughout the Dominican Republic over the years. Some of the most notable cigar houses include:

  • Avo
  • Davidoff
  • La Gloria Cubana
  • Romeo Y Julieta
  • Arturo Fuente

The company has long been a driving force in the tobacco industry, and it has had several boom periods. When the United States placed an embargo on Cuba in 1962, the Dominican Republic picked up a sizable amount of the cigar business that Cuba lost as a result. This was yet another factor that led the Dominican Republic become the cigar mecca that is beloved and revered today.  

Characteristics of Dominican Cigars

Without question, some of the best cigars in the world are made in the Dominican Republic. This has remained true throughout history, largely because the island has year-round sunshine and some of the richest soil on the planet. 

The country also has the benefit of a longstanding history of cigar production, to the point of it becoming a sacred tradition. Cigar houses in the Dominican Republic pass down customs and secrets related to fermentation, drying, and treatment of tobacco, along with hand-rolling techniques that lead to the perfect smoke. 

The tobacco is robust and flavorful, and grown using nothing but the finest nutrients. There's something for every cigar lover in the Dominican Republic, whether you prefer a mild smoke or a bolder, more potent touch. You can find any type of cigar available in the Dominican Republic, such as the following types of Dominican cigars:

  • Robusto
  • Perfecto
  • Petite Corona
  • Toro
  • Cigarillo

You can purchase cigars in the Dominican Republic online and have them shipped to your doorstep without an issue. Consider purchasing some of the island's historic brands to get learn and experience the tradition firsthand.  

Build Up Your Cigar Knowledge

The facts above, will help you out when you're researching Dominican cigars. It's a country with pride and history that has led to them becoming a leader of the cigar industry to this day.  

Cuenca Cigars has everything that you need to get started. Take the time to contact us on our website, or by calling (866)417-9454 toll-free.