Top Dominican Cigar Brands
Following the Cuban Revolution, several of the nation’s top cigar manufacturers and tobacco growers fled the island to start up elsewhere. They settled throughout the Caribbean, as well as both Central and South America. Of all these countries, the first to establish itself as a cigar powerhouse was the Dominican Republic.
Today, however, the leading cigar nations also include Nicaragua and Honduras, although the Dominican Republic was the first place to establish large scale growing and manufacturing to provide cigars to the United States.
Several of these companies not only continue today but are still considered some of the top manufacturers in the world. Let’s take a look at the top cigar brands from the Dominican Republic.
AUSA is one of the largest producers of premium cigars in the world. Their factory in the Dominican Republic, known as Tabacalera de Garcia, just celebrated its 50th Anniversary, being established directly following the Cuban embargo.
This factory, one of the largest in the world, has created some of the most popular and highest rated cigars of the modern era. This includes the legendary Montecristo brand, the historic Romeo y Julieta brand, and the boutique-style H. Upmann.
While all of these brands got their start in Cuba, the company was able to license the rights to their names to sell in the US. The Dominican versions of these brands are still among the best selling in the country and are consistently ranked as the top cigars of the year.
Arturo Fuente is a leading producer of high-end cigars, and unlike a lot of the AUSA portfolio, is able to be sold around the world. While they have been in business since the early 20th century, the company as we know it really began to take shape in the 1970s.
Lines such as the Hemingway and Don Carlos were considered revolutionary for their time and began to establish a high-end market for Dominican cigars. In the early 1990s, Fuente released the Fuente Fuente Opus X. This is still considered one of the finest cigars ever created and for over 30 years, is still highly coveted and hard to find.
The Opus X was a landmark cigar not, just in its marketing, but also in its blend. This was the first known Dominican puro cigar, meaning it uses only Dominican tobaccos throughout. Before the Opus X, no company was able to effectively grow wrapper tobacco in the Dominican Republic. Arturo Fuente has established both a dedicated general following as well as a cult-like fan base who will spend thousands on their limited editions.
La Flor Dominicana
The cigar boom of the 1990s was responsible for hundreds of cigar manufacturers coming onto the scene. Following the end of the boom, most of these eventually went out of business. However several companies were able to continue and gain prominence in the cigar industry.
Among these was the boutique brand La Flor Dominicana, created by jeweler turned tobacconist Litto Gomez Diez. The brand takes its name from the flower of the tobacco plant. Once the flower blossoms, this signals that the growing cycle is complete. The company is dedicated to smaller productions and really focuses on quality control and using only premium tobaccos.
La Flor Dominicana is a favorite of full-bodied cigar smokers everywhere. Lines such as the Double Ligero, the Air Bender, and the Oro are considered some of the top Dominican cigars on the market. The company’s limited edition Andalusian Bull was named the Top Cigar of the Year by Cigar Aficionado in 2016.
Along with AUSA, General Cigars is among the largest producers of premium cigars in the world. They have created among the most well-known and best-selling cigars in the industry and continue to work with some of the top blenders to create new and unique blends.
In a similar story to AUSA, General was able to obtain the rights to several Cuban Heritage brands and have continued to make these cigars in the Dominican Republic. These include such legendary lines as Partagas, Hoyo de Monterrey, and Punch.
Today, General is also known for buying smaller, boutique brands and bringing them to a wider audience. This includes La Gloria Cubana, formerly made by E.P. Carrillo and the Nashville boutique company C.A.O.
General Cigars is also responsible for the Macanudo brand, one of the best-selling and most versatile brands in the industry.
The Davidoff brand has quite a unique history. It started as a high-end retail store in Switzerland started by Zino Davidoff. After establishing itself as the premier European shop, Zino was approached by the Cuban Tobacco organization to create a line of high-end Cuban cigars carrying the Davidoff name.
After several years, the partnership eventually ended after Zino expressed several concerns about quality. He eventually began to produce a line of the top tier, cigars in the Dominican Republic.
Since then, Davidoff has been considered the highest of the high-end cigars, using the finest, aged tobaccos in the world and boasting some of the best construction you will ever see. Their factory in the Dominican is one of the largest and most advanced in the world and their lines are highly sought after, even with their larger than usual price tag.
Davidoff has also expanded its operation to include brands such as Avo and Camacho, which was purchased from the Eirora family in the 2000s. Davidoff is seen, to this day, as the equivalent of a Bentley or Rolex, and their cigars definitely back up such a claim.