Tracing the roots of cigar ancestry is a challenge, as everybody loves these tightly-rolled little bundles of joy. The dried and fermented tobacco wonders are definitely worth arguing over, but the origin of cigar smoking and/or giving the cigar it’s birth name is perhaps an unsolvable mystery. The tangled clamoring between countries will most likely continue.

A ceramic pot dating to the 10th century was unearthed in Guatemala. A Mayan is depicted smoking tobacco leaves tied together with string. One of the first smokers? Perhaps the name was inspired by the Mayan word for smoking, which is Sikar. Was the Spanish word Cigarro (meaning “to smoke rolled tobacco leaves”) derived from the Mayan Sikar? In Italian, they call their baby Sigaro, Cigarro spelled just a little differently. The English word Cigar (borrowed from Sigaro/Cigarro?) came into general use about 1730. We can claim neither parenthood or naming rights, but are grateful cigars are a part of our American landscape.

Where the first cigar tobacco was grown is unknown, but presently cigar tobacco is considered a significant agricultural crop in (alphabetical order): Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba, *The Dominican Republic, *Honduras, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, *Nicaragua, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Spain (Canary Islands), and in the Eastern United States. (* denotes top 3 producers).


Rarely seen without a cigar in hand (or mouth), Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965), Britain’s wartime leader, statesman and writer, is credited with the practice of dunking a cigar in port wine or brandy, allowing one to enjoy both tobacco and alcohol simultaneously. This inseparable closeness is why there’s a large cigar size named in his honor — the Churchill.

Take a Close Look at this Month’s Cigar Selections from NICARAGUA, THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC & HONDURAS

1. DUNHILL HERITAGE TORO – Nationality: Honduran   Appearance: FULL bodied, 6.0; 50 ring; Draped in an Ecuadoran Habano Ligero wrapper

Personality: A splendid mix of long-fillers, this tasty treat is a bona fide flavor bomb. Delicate essences of spice and pepper across the palate at lighting, before graham cracker, cocoa, coffee and cedar flavors settle in.

2. ALEC BRADLEY THE LINEAGE ROBUSTONationality: Honduran Appearance:  MEDIUM bodied, 5.2; 52 ring; Well cloaked in a milk chocolaty Trojes Honduran wrap

Personality: Finely aged long-fillers of dual Nicaraguan and Honduran ancestry make up this beautifully constructed smoke. She delivers notes of earth, cedar and citrus, with discreet spiciness all smokers will appreciate.

3. ROOM 101 CONNECTICUT “213” CORONANationality: Honduran Appearance: MEDIUM bodied, 5.5; 44 ring; In a top grade Ecuadoran Connecticut wrapper

Personality: Sassy and brimming with long-fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, her dual residency provides ample flavor with notes of cream, cedar, pepper and coffee. She delivers with plumes of thick, white smoke – but no mirrors.

4. : LA AURORA LEONINOS BELICOSONationality: Dominican Appearance: MEDIUM-FULL bodied, 6.2; 52 ring; Special, dressed in a Dominican Corojo wrap.

Personality: A deliciously wonderful rolled cigar of affordable but rich blended tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Brazil. A well-constructed good-looker, she dishes out a lively, succulent smoke that’s both silky and spicy.

5. JOHN BULL BULLDOGNationality: Nicaraguan  Appearance: MILD-MEDIUM bodied, 5.5; 52 ring; Features a silky Connecticut Ecuador wrapper

Personality: Her smoky bouquet of aged Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos announces her presence. Once discovered, she’ll billow thick, creamy, voluminous clouds, and will consume your palate, leaving behind pleasant notes of cedar and toast.




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Tracie Burket
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