Habanos – A Primer on the World’s Primo Cigars

No other name says premium cigars like Habano cigars from Cuba. They are named after Havana, the capital of Cuba, or La Habana in Spanish. Besides being near the site of tobacco farms started in the early 17th century, La Habana is home to the port from which the cigars were originally shipped.

Tobacco is grown throughout Cuba, but only a designated few farms are allowed to grow the tobacco used for Habanos. The making of Habanos in Cuba is an exacting process that involves aging the tobacco for approximately three years, followed by the careful assembly of each cigar (almost all Habano cigars are rolled by hand). The meticulous manufacturing rituals have been followed for hundreds of years.

What Makes Habanos the Best?

The prime area in the world for growing cigar tobacco is Vuelta Abajo in Cuba, although many other parts of Cuba grow premium-grade tobacco. The Cuban government ensures the quality of every cigar that leaves the country, as well. The fact that the commercial importation of Cuban cigars is blocked in the United States also adds to their cachet.

Genuine Habanos cigars are said to have a signature aroma and taste that is stronger than that of other cigars. However, the different brands of Habanos offer a range of tastes and complexity.

Habano Cigars – Brands

Learning about the various brands of Habanos is like taking a tour through Cuba, yesterday and today. The cigars’ names and labels each tell a story. Here is a sampling:

Montecristo is named for “The Count of Monte Cristo,” the famous novel by Alexandre Dumas. This cigar sets the standard of excellence in the opinion of many Habanos smokers.

Partagas is the famous cigar factory opened in 1845 in Havana that still welcomes visitors.

The Cohiba Habano cigar was created in 1966 exclusively for Cuban President Fidel Castro and other Communist government officials.

Admittedly, the smoking of a true Cuban cigar is what the experience is all about. There is a wealth of information about the individual Habanos brands, but nothing compares to conducting your own experiments in tastes and flavors. There are some allowances made for some people to bring cigars into the U.S. from Cuba, but be sure to check before you buy!

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