There are a lot of cigars produced around the world, but none are more infamous than Cubans. America’s 50 year old embargo on Cuba’s finest export has made them the ultimate forbidden fruit. Every year, cigar aficionados around the world clamor for the best Cuban cigars.
Since there are countless cigar producers in Cuba, the amount of Cuban brands is staggering. They range from small scale farms to massive world renown factories. Even though they differ in size, both operations produce outstanding cigars.
For years American’s have been forced to get Cuban’s on the black market. Fortunately, times are changing. The embargo has already been lifted, so tourists can bring $100 worth of their favorite Cuban cigars & rum. Unfortunately, cigar brands now have to comply with outrageous FDA regulation to sell their masterpieces on American soil. So for now we will have to stick with what we can bring back.
Now that the market is opening up slightly, it’s time to educate yourself on the best cigar brands. You can only bring back $100 worth of sticks, so make them count. For this reason we have compiled a list of the best Cuban cigar brands on the planet. Explore Cuba’s finest cigars with this eye opening article!
3 of Cuba’s Finest Cigar Brands
Best Cuban Cigar Brand #1: Cohiba – Out of all the Cuban cigar brands, this is the most revered throughout the cigar smoking community. This is due to the fact that it was the go to brand for Castro. Legend has it, in 1963 Castro’s driver enjoyed a special smoke that was rolled by a friend. Castro was so impressed by the aroma that he ended up trying one. After the first few puffs, Castro was hooked. He summoned the cigar’s roller, Eduardo Rivera, & history was made. Eduardo was given the honor of personally rolling Castro’s cigars.
Since the CIA was trying to assassinate Castro, this was a high security job. Rumors were circulating that an exploding cigar would help America topple Castro’s empire. For this reason, Eduardo was randomly moved between factories.
By 1966 this legendary brand became known as Cohiba’s. The word “Cohiba” stems from the Taino word for the bundles of tobacco leaves the natives smoked with Christopher Columbus. For years only Castro, Che Guevara & high level Cuban administrators could enjoy these cigars.
That all changed when they started selling limited quantities to the public in 1982. To this day the brand is produced at a high security factory in Havana called El Laguito. If you want to experience a cigar so sublime that it seduced the world’s most notorious revolutionaries, look no further than Cohibas.
Best Cuban Cigar Brand #2: Montecristo – When it comes to Habanos, few are as revered as Montecristos. Since their founding in 1935 they have set the standard for international connoisseurs. The name stems from the hero of Alexandre Dumas’ novel ‘The Count of Montecristo’. This was a favorite that was religiously read by lectors to the torcedores as they rolled cigars. Even though they started with only 5 sizes, over time they expanded their arsenal. Today they produce a wide range of vitolas that are revered by anyone who is lucky enough to try them.
Best Cigar Brand #3: H. Upmann – Cohiba’s may have swooned Castro, but these brilliant cigars won over JFK. On top of seducing America’s most beloved president, they also pioneered storing cigars in cedar boxes. This legendary company was founded by German banker Herman Upmann. In 1844 he started a bank & a cigar company in Havana, but only one survived. The bank went under, but these cigars continue to impress any respectable smoker.
Smoking a Cuban cigar? Don't forget the handy cigar holder to serve as your third hand !