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Cigars are an art-form. Tobacco is carefully grown in soil that is nurtured for generations in varying regions across the globe. What’s a better way to finish a day than with a sungrown hand-rolled, meticulously aged stogie? You’ve got options as well, sizes come in all sorts of sizes, flavors, and price points.
Following is our regularly updated comprehensive cigar guide that we hope will answer all your questions. If not, don’t hesitate to ask us in the comments, or share with us your favorite smoke.
History Of Cigars
Who smoked the first cigar? According to historians, the ancient Mayans wrapped tobacco in a plantain or palm leaf and smoked it. It’s very possible that the Mayan cigar was the forebear of today’s cigar. How far back do these cigars go? Archaeologists discovered a 10th century Mayan pot with a man puffing on a cigar. In other words, over 1000 years ago!
The tradition continued on the continent, as Native Americans showed Christopher Columbus how to smoke tobacco leaves. He brought the concept to Europe, where it spread quickly. The French ambassador to Portugal, Jean Nicot, had nicotine named after him. Spain scaled the business and brought it to the masses by wrapping tobacco in paper rather than leaves1.
But when you think of a fine cigar, the island country of Cuba probably comes to mind before Europe. The soil in Cuba bypassed the industrial revolution and all the chemicals associated with it. In fact, family farmers from the U.S. today travel to Cuba to learn soil maintenance practices for organic farming. A combination of this pristine soil and the warm climate lent itself to an environment to support the ultimate tobacco quality. It didn’t take long for a tobacco-growing industry to take hold, with product distributed across the globe.
But Spain dominated the industry, not Cuba. Why? Because Cuba was at the time under Spanish colonial rule. Their monopoly on Cuban grown tobacco, forbidding Cuban farmers to sell their crop to anyone else, lasted until 1817.
Globally the cigar trade grew, but the most growth happened in the United States, with Tampa, Florida being the hotspot thanks to Cuban immigrants residing there. As you probably know, the Cuban embargo of 1962 makes it difficult for a United States citizen to obtain a genuine Cuban cigar. The Obama administration relaxed restrictions some, and I was able to travel to Havana and cigar country a couple years ago, watch a Cuban farmer hand-roll a cigar, and learn all about the cigar making process. I was also allowed to bring home cigars, back into the United States. I have only a handful left in my humidor.
The good news is, with Cuban farmers opening up businesses in various countries from Honduras do the Dominican Republic, and more and more tobacco growers joining the trade, it’s now possible to get some of the worlds finest cigars without having to go to Cuba.
Cigar Of The Month Clubs
A great way to enjoy a premium cigar is via a monthly club. Find out which one our experts chose as the best, in their comprehensive review of the top monthly cigar clubs. You’ll be able to compare member benefits, pricing, pros, cons and real user feedback compared.
Have a favorite cigar?
Sources:  Truly Experiences
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