The tobacco of Cuba is considered the finest in the world. Cuba’s best tobacco-growing region is in the Vuelta Abajo, part of the Pinar del Rio area located in western Cuba. What makes Cuban tobacco so desirable is the strong and full-bodied tobacco taste it delivers without any harshness. Add to that that suppleness of the leaf and spicy and aromatic flavors. You can see most factories of premium hand-rolled cigars in or near Havana, the capital of Cuba.
Originally famed for mild and smooth cigars the cigar output of the DR has changed dramatically over the last two decades. Today’s cigar makers’s grow and blend an array of tobaccos that offer cigars from the mildest to the most full-bodied available today. Most DR tobacco is grown near the city of Santiago in the northern half of the country. Santiago is a small city surrounded mostly by agriculture and serves as a home base to the majority of Dominican cigar makers. “Cuban Seed” is a frequent claim seen on most Dominican cigar brands. While located near Cuba the Dominican tobacco grown from Cuban seed is just not as strong as the original.
Centered in the south eastern city of Danli, the tobacco industry of Honduras has grown steadily over the years. Known for the high quality Cuban tobacco varieties grown there, Honduran cigars makers are quite accomplished at blending delicious medium to full bodied cigars.
Perhaps no nation has come farther in terms of quality and quantities of cigars produced than the beautiful nation of Nicaragua. The nation recovered from a bloody civil war that was primarily fought in the area between the northwestern town of Esteli and the Honduran border. Esteli has become the hub of cigar business there. Many rich flavor tobaccos are grown there in the style of Cuban growers. Some of the US market’s most desired brands are made in Nicaragua, like Padron, Oliva, and Don Kiki.
Ecuador has worked steadily to establish itself a quality cigar producer. It is know for its quantities of high-quality tobacco, both filler and wrapper, shade- and sun-grown. Most popular with Growers are the Connecticut- and Sumatra-seed varieties.
Cigars manufactured in Mexico are at one time made with 100-percent local tobacco. This rule limited the blending that cigar makers could experiment with, thus limiting the output to but a handful of brands and even fewer successful ones. Recent law changes have permitted more liberal blending and the result has been worthy of any cigar buyers interest. The San Andres Valley growing region is known as a premier source for a sun-grown variety of Sumatra tobacco. Perhaps the greatest contribution to the cigar industry is these Mexican leaves, used widely as binder and filler in many cigars. Mexican leaf also is known for its ability to stand up to the cooking and sweating process often used to create a maduro wrapper
Located on some of the richest real estate in the nation are the best tobacco land of the US. The Connecticut River Valley produces some of the finest wrapper leaf tobacco in the world–Connecticut Shade Grown. A drive through this region will treat you to acres and acres of tobacco grown under white shade tents. The result is a brownish-yellow leaf that creates a mild- to medium-bodied smoke. This leaf is popular on premium cigars. Another US variety located in the same region is known as Connecticut Broadleaf most commonly used on maduro cigars, it offers a thicker veinier texture than its shade grown cousin.
This area of West Africa is known for a highly prized wrapper leaf. Sadly the crop can be inconsistent due to unstable or corrupt governments and bad weather. It is prized for its neutral characteristics, which make it an ideal wrapper for full-flavored filler tobaccos. Cameroon wrappers range from greenish-brown to dark brown, with a distinct grain, known as “tooth.”
Sumatra tobacco comes from the series of islands that make up Indonesia. The tobacco may also be referred to as Java. A distinct flavor and generally a dark brown appearance are common to Sumatra wrapper.