There’s nothing like smoking an authentic Cuban cigar. The following brands have established themselves over the years as some of the finest the world has to offer. While there are plenty of brands that rival them in terms of quality, these 5 names are certainly the world’s most famous and well respected.
You can find out more information on choosing the right at a tasting event on this page.
Cobiba definitely holds the top spot for being the most well-known cigar brand in history. In fact, they are one of the reasons why Cuba is often considered the cigar capital of the world. Due to political issues, it’s now illegal to bring Cuban cigars into America; and when the Cuban government nationalized the cigar industry the Cohiba operation relocated to the Dominican Republic, taking their seeds and knowledge with them. These non-Cuban Cohiba’s are still held in very high regard around the world.
Romeo y Julieta
Established in 1885 and originally based in Cuba, like Cohiba, Romeo y Julieta moved to the Dominican Republic when the Cuban government took over the industry. While Romeo y Julieta still operates under the same brand name, the government has their own division in Cuba; simply put, they are two separate brands with exactly the same name. Most cigar smokers don’t know or care about the difference. One of the reasons why Romeo y Julieta is so famous abroad is due to their association with Winston Churchill, who often cited them as his cigar brand of choice.
The Monte Cristo name shares exactly the same story as Romeo y Julieta and was established over 75 years ago. They are considered by many to be the most finely balanced cigars in the world due to their very particular texture and consistency. The taste is very rich, providing a unique flavour that can’t be matched by other brands. According to Cuban themed bistro and bar Agozar, Monte Cristo cigars account for approximately 25% of all Cuban cigar sales.
Padron have been around since 1926. The main difference between Padron and other brands is that they allow the seeds to age for roughly 2 ½ years before plantation. This results in a very smooth consistency and flavour. They have a square-press shape and are known for their subtle hints of coffee and cocoa, which provides a sweet after taste.
Gurkha was established during the colonial era. They are hand-rolled and have very exquisite packaging, which is one of the reasons for their success. They are known as His Majesty’s Reserve cigars; a phrase once used as a tribute to the King of England. Gurkha cigars are fused with cognac, which makes them a rare commodity and one of the reasons why they’re so expensive.
With so many counterfeit cigars in circulation it can be difficult to determine what’s fake and authentic. To ensure you don’t get ripped off only purchase from reputable sellers such as The Cigar Club.
Image Credit: Cigar Inspector