Consider this mild-bodied baby the everyday cigar in this month’s collection. It’s also a good smoke for the uninitiated. A Connecticut-seed wrapper leaf—grown in Ecuador—cloaks an aged mixture of Cuban-seed long-fillers from four different Dominican plantations. Expect a smoke that’s balanced with a creamy core of sweet tobacco notes, with toasty nuances and a crisp, satisfying finish. The cigar is fairly tight and its light gray ash holds well past two inches. This is a good morning smoke to kick off the weekend or usher in a mellow Sunday afternoon. Enjoy with the Sunday paper and your favorite cup of java.
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.
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