Back in the 1850s, Admiral Victor Sinclair, after finding what he thought to be the perfect cigar, was sailing home aboard the frigate Oglethorpe just off the coast of the Dominican Republic when the ship was met by a vicious storm. The storm claimed his life, but some 140 years later, his great-great nephew, Victor Long, resumed his ancestor’s quest for the perfect cigar. As the story goes, Victor was able to locate a defunct warehouse on the island of Dominicana where he found varied remains of the Oglethorpe, including several boxes of perfectly preserved cigars that had been stored in glass vials. These original cigars were then used as the foundation for developing their current cigar brands. Victor Sinclair Cigars are really some of the most well-made, expertly blended cigars out there. Blended at Tabacalera Victor Sinclair by Jose Dominguez – Victor Sinclair’s front man and master blender – this Dominican handmade has a golden brown Ecuador Connecticut wrapper that is chocked full of Dominican fillers and a Broadleaf binder. All these combined equals a mild to medium smoke with crisp, clean, and creamy flavors of coffee, oak, tobacco, and hints of sweetness. Mild enough for any time of day, enjoy it with a cappuccino.
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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