The tradition of tobacco production in Nicaragua dates to the Colonial period of its history. Beginning in 1522, conquering Spanish explorers plundered the natural resources of the country much like the work of Cortes in Mexico and Pizarro in Peru. By the second half of the 16th century, in addition to slaves, indigo and gold, tobacco became an important export to Europe.
There are three distinct agricultural regions in Nicaragua, the Pacific Central Plain, the Central Highlands, and the Atlantic Coast. Although the Pacific Plain, characterized by fertile volcanic soils and tropical rainfall, is one of the richest agricultural areas in Central America, it is in the Central Highlands, with cooler temperatures, lower rainfall, and alluvial soil, that the tobacco plant thrives.
The best tobaccos of Nicaragua come from the Esteli area of the Jalapa valley. Here, tobacco growers produce long leaf filler, wrappers, and binders for cigars. While some of the tobacco grown is of the Connecticut seed variety, the majority is Cuban seed. These seeds are the same that were first grown in the Dominican Republic and then across the Caribbean in Honduras and Nicaragua. Many serious smokers in the industry only smoke Nicaraguan cigars, believing them to be the best produced anywhere. This month we're very excited to share with you two very different Nicaraguan cigar lines.
The Reyes & Benicio cigar line is hand rolled from the finest Cuban seed tobacco, grown in the Masatepe highlands of Nicaragua, a growing region that gives these cigars a rich earthy flavor with a hint of spice. With years of experience, they've perfected the aging and blending process of the Cuban seed tobacco, ultimately producing a fine handcrafted cigar. Ordinarily, the line is offered only in a natural or maduro wrapper, however, we were fortunate enough to come across a limited production run that utilizes a 4 year old aged Colorado Claro wrapper that our panel believes really sets this cigar apart from the standard line. In addition to the three shapes featured this month, the line is also offered in a Churchill, Corona and Robusto.