The Partagas line was first developed in 1845 in Cuba, a history that suggests any Partagas cigar is going to be a great smoke. Long before Fidel Castro came into power in Cuba, Partagas cigars were handcrafted in Havana under the supervision of Ramon Cifuentes and his father. Ramon Cifuentes was one of the last of the legendary cigar-makers to leave Cuba. He did so in the early 1960s when he discovered Santiago, Dominican Republic and deemed it the ideal place to manufacture the line. There he continued to produce Partagas and contribute greatly to this nation’s reputation as a producer of fine cigars.
One of the newer editions to Partagas’ already long and impressive portfolio is the Legend. Hailing from the Dominican Republic, this one of a kind smoke is striking down to the label, which after close inspection has a ton of elaborate embossed details. Underneath the band is a naturally sweet Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, a Honduran Olancho binder, and premium Piloto Cubano long-fillers. Boxed pressed to perfection, this smoke will lend flavors of spice and leather. Medium in body, try pairing it with a Riesling.
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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