In the Taguasco region of Cuba, Juan Sosa was a small tobacco farmer around the turn of the 20th century. By the 1920s, Mr. Sosa’s farm was one of the largest tobacco producing estates in Cuba. Mr. Sosa’s son Arturo and grandson Juan started manufacturing cigars for retail in Cuba and abroad, but the family left the island due to political unrest. Mr. Sosa spent several years looking for soils as rich as those in Cuba to restart his tobacco and cigar business and eventually settled in an area near Santiago, Dominican Republic. Once there, he set up his factory in his new home, and then operations in Miami, Florida. Today, his grandson Juan, along with his family, continues the legacy of handcrafting traditional Cuban-style cigars. The Sosa Belicoso is a simple, elegant cigar that is full with flavor and yet extremely smooth. It starts with a tantalizing combination of Dominican and Honduran long-fillers that’s held together by a Honduran binder and finished off with a dark Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper that’s dripping with oily goodness. Once lit, the medium-bodied bouquet of cocoa, earth, and pepper are met with a tobacco core. Since it’s warming up, try it at your next barbeque with a stout.
Honduras has been a tobacco growing and cigar manufacturing area for hundreds of years, but it was the Communist revolution in Cuba that really put Honduras on the map. In the 1960s, many Cuban cigar makers fled their homeland and arrived in Honduras to re-establish their way of life. The immigrants took advantage of the climate, soil, and geography, which were well-suited to tobacco growing, and began producing high quality cigars. The center of the Honduran cigar industry is the city of Danli and the nearby Jamastran Valley. The majority of the world’s pure Corojo tobacco is grown here, now that Cuba has stopped production of this iconic, spicy, and rich variety in favor of Corojo hybrids. Other important areas of Honduran cigar production include the Talanga Valley, Copan, and Trojes.
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