The famed Tabacalera Palma factory in the Dominican Republic first opened its doors in 1936. Although a lot has changed in this world since those doors first opened, in many ways the factory hasn’t with its similar production processes and its commitment to superior quality. La Galera was created by Master Blender Jose Arnaldo Blanco III, known to all as “Jochy”, a fourth generation tobacco grower and manufacturer and current owner of Tabacalera Palma. Hailing from the Dominican Republic, this cigar has a core of Dominican Piloto Cubano, Criollo 98, and Pelo de Oro fillers, which are hugged by a Dominican Corojo binder, and completed with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. Well-constructed and perfectly balanced, once lit notes of pepper, some earth, wood, and a touch of fruity sweetness will dance on your palate. Pair this Cigar Aficionado 92 rated smoke with a Blanton's Single Barrel Straight Bourbon.
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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