We all know that Nicaragua makes some great cigars. The brands there are famous…Padron, Joya de Nicaragua , Perdomo, Drew Estate, My Father among others. While the Dominican Republic still is the leader in terms of imports to the United States for cigars, Nicaragua is right behind according to the latest figures from the Cigar Association of America. Through July, the DR has sent in nearly 67-million premium cigars into the US while Nicaragua has sent 66-million—up one million cigars from 2013. And Nicaragua may continue to grow some more as new cigars are coming out of there.
Cohiba has been a brand that is a staple for General Cigar. It has been made, up til now, at General’s huge factory in the Dominican Republic. In fact, Cohiba has trumpeted its Dominican roots with the Puro Dominicana. But last week, the company launched a new Cohiba…the Cohiba Nicaragua. It is the first Cohiba to be made in General’s Nicaraguan factory and while not a total Nicaraguan puro, it is pretty close. The wrapper is actually Honduran, a Colorado Oscuro that comes from the Jamastran Valley, just across the Honduran border from Nicaragua’s famous Jalapa region. So it is close, but not too. The binder and fillers are all Nicaraguan. According to the company the new luxury Cohiba delivers on complexity and strength. The first shipments go out this week and there will be 4 sizes– N45 at 4” x 45 for $9.99, N50 at 5” x 50 for $12.99, N 54 at 5.5” x 54 for $13.99 and the N60 which is a 6” x 60 for $14.99.
ERDM crosses the border
But that is not the only new Nicaraguan. El Rey del Mundo has been a classic Honduran cigar. The ERDM is known for being affordable with its complexity, strength and true Honduran taste (never mind that the wrapper is either Connecticut Broadleaf for the maduro or Ecuadoran Sumatran, it is the binder and fillers that resonate here.) Well ERDM has crossed the border, but not totally. The new El Rey del Mundo Reserva Nicaragua is a bit of a misnomer because the wrapper on this new beauty is actually Honduran, it is an OSA wrapper (Olancho San Agustin) that is one of the oiliest wrappers around. The new ERDM uses broadleaf for the binder and then rich fillers from Nicaragua and Honduras to round out the flavors. The newest ERDM comes in 5 sizes –Choix Supreme at 6.125” x 49, Corona at 5.25” x 45, Robusto at 5.5” x 54, Robusto Suprema at 7.25” x 54 and Ronco at 6” x 60. MSRP is between $5- $6 but actual prices are around $4.
Monte Moves too
And finally the other biggie that was announced at the trade show and now is in stores is the newest Montecristo. Since its inception outside of Cuba, Montecristo has been made in Altadis USA’s huge Tabacalera de Garcia in La Romana, Dominican Republic. This year, Altadis did something it had never done before. First, it went into the factory of a legendary cigar maker Nestor Plasencia. Working together with Plasencia, the Grupo de Maestros from Altadis came up with the first Nicaraguan Montecristo called Espada by Montecristo. (Espada mean sword in Spanish.) It is made in Plasencia’s factory in Esteli using a 2010 vintage Habano Jalapa wrapper, a 2009 vintage Habano Jalapa binder and fillers from 2008 of Habano Jalapa Seco, Habano Condega ligero and Habano Ometepe. There are three sizes, Ricasso at 5” x 54, Guard at 6” x 50 and Quillon at 7” x 56. Then come in 10-count boxes with a list price of $11.25 to $12.50.