Brand histories It is over 200 years since the first cigar trademark was registered in Cuba. In that time countless brands have come and gone, reflecting the rich and colourful history of Havana cigars that is unrivalled anywhere else in the world. Many of the current 27 brands have been in production for well over a century and each has a story to tell.
Brand histories It is over 200 years since the first cigar trademark was registered in Cuba. In that time countless brands have come and gone, reflecting the rich and colorful history of Havana cigars that is unrivaled anywhere else in the world. Many of the current 27 brands have been in production for well over a century and each has a story to tell.
Brands are divided into four different categories, depending on their availability around the world, from global brands that are available everywhere to the smallest brands that are only found in a few countries.
Havana’s flagship brand was created for the late President Fidel Castro. Production began in 1966, but the cigars were not released to the public until sixteen years later. Cohiba is an ancient Taino Indian word for the bunches of tobacco leaves that Columbus first saw being smoked by Cuba’s original inhabitants. So it was the first name for a cigar – in Cuba at any rate.
The best selling hand-made cigar brand in the world. Named after the Alexander Dumas’ novel “The Count of Montecristo”, which was a firm favourite when read to the cigar rollers at the factory where it was founded. The brand was launched almost exactly 100 years after the book was first published.
ROMEO Y JULIETA (1875)
Named after Shakespeare’s play that had proved popular when read to the rollers. At one point Romeo y Julieta produced up to 20,000 different bands for its cigars. It is also the brand that made the first cigar named after Sir Winston Churchill.
Don Jaime Partagás is the man widely credited with starting the tradition in 1865 of having rollers read to while they worked. Sadly Don Jaime was fatally wounded on one of his tobacco fields several years later. Today the Partagás Serie D No.4 is the best selling Cuban cigar in the world.
HOYO DE MONTERREY (1865)
Established by a Spaniard named Jose Gener, Hoyo de Monterrey takes its name from the world famous plantation in Pinar del Rio. “Hoyo” means “hole” and refers to the low lying position of the field next to the San Juan y Martinez river, while “Monterrey” is the name of the first farmer to cultivate tobacco there.
Named after the 16th Century city on Cuba’s south coast, La Santisima Trinidad, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Launched publicly in 1998 but privately presented to visiting dignitaries and diplomats since 1969.
Founded by Don Francisco Fonseca, a handsome man who cared deeply for appearances, he passed his sartorial precision onto his cigars, which he dressed in silky tissue paper – a tradition that continues to this day.
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