In 1995, business took owner Michael Chiusano out of his Wall Street investment firm and to the Dominican Republic. Loving the cigars he had tried down there, he thought he'd have a thousand made for clients, but as word spread, he soon had orders for 10,000. Thinking "Cusano" would be easier to say than "Chiusano," Michael called his company Cusano Cigars, and the line was primarily made by Davidoff’s Hendrick Kelner, although they did not have a financial stake until they acquired the brand in 2009. Once Chiusano left the cigar business in 2011 the brand stayed relatively dormant until early last year when Davidoff announced that they would be revamping, rebranding, and rebuilding Cusano.
In June 2016 the Cusano Nicaragua Estelí was released and this handrolled smoke is sure to please novices and veterans alike. This medium to full stogie features a stunning Mexican San Andres wrapper, an Ecuadoran Connecticut binder, and a bevy of Dominican and Nicaraguan filler leaves. Medium to full bodied, expect notes of pepper, warm cedar, and toastiness that remains balanced and bright throughout the smoke. Our panel recommended to pair it with a whiskey.
Though tobacco is indigenous to Hispaniola, the tobacco industry in the Dominican Republic existed in the shadow of Cuba’s dominance through the 1960s. When the exodus of Cuban cigar makers began in the wake of the revolution, many decided the Dominican Republic would be ideal for the resumption of their livelihoods. Unrest in Nicaragua in the 1980s fueled the Dominican cigar industry further. The country now makes more than half of the premium cigars imported into the U.S.
The Cibao Valley and the nearby city of Santiago are the center of cigar production in the Dominican Republic. Three main varieties are grown here: the mild and native Olor Dominicano; the intense Piloto Cubano, brought from the Vuelta Abajo of Cuba; and San Vicente, a milder and more acidic Piloto hybrid. Dominican puros were once unheard of as it was widely thought impossible to grow quality wrapper leaf on the island, but new growing techniques are now allowing some exceptional puros to be produced.
Outstanding Values On Top-Rated Cigars
cigars such as Rocky Patel's Decade Torpedo, rated 95 in Cigar Aficionado.