Top Five Cuban Heritage Brands
Unless you are deeply involved in the cigar industry, the term Cuban heritage may seem a bit confusing, so allow me to explain. A Cuban heritage brand is a cigar that began in Cuba, but since the Cuban embargo, the names were used on other cigars outside of Cuba.
Basically, most of the large cigar names you are familiar with, Montecristo, Partagas, etc., are all Cuban Heritage brands. Following the embargo, many manufacturers and farmers left the island and started their brands again in other locations such as Nicaragua or the Dominican Republic.
Seeing as there are hundreds of Cuban heritage brands available, I thought it would be cool to showcase some of the most popular and highest-rated ones. So here are five of the top Cuban heritage cigars.
Montecristo Epic Craft Cured
Montecristo is probably the most well-known cigar brand in the world, being recognizable even by non-cigar smokers. The Dominican version is among the best-selling cigars in the country and has several different lines for various flavor and strength preferences.
While I am a big fan of the entire Montecristo line, I would have to say the Montecristo Epic Craft Cured is my overall choice. It is hand-rolled in Nicaragua by the legendary Plasencia family. It uses a Rosado Oscuro wrapper for a rich and zesty flavor, while its Ometepe binder adds in a deep, smokey taste as well.
The Epic Craft Cured is, in my opinion, has the most balance of any Montecristo cigar. Its rich profile, top-notch construction, and enticing aroma make it an easy choice.
Ramon Allones by AJ Fernandez
The Ramon Allones line is not as well-known as some of the other heritage brands, but to true aficionados, it has always been a respected line. General Cigar was responsible for making the non-Cuban version for years until they eventually gave it over to legendary blender AJ Fernandez.
In the summer of 2018, AJ released his version of the Ramon Allones, and it has since been heralded as not only one of the finest cigars to carry the name but also one of AJs finest cigars. It uses a Habano Oscuro wrapper, giving it deep notes of espresso and sweet spice. Its construction is nearly perfect and it is incredibly visually appealing.
Not only did the new Ramon Allones showcase the talents of AJ to an even wider audience, but it also helped breathe life into a brand that many felt was on its last legs.
Cabañas may not be the most popular Cuban brand in history, but it was, in fact, one of the first. Dating back to 1820, the Cabañas line was a small, local Cuban brand that was eventually shelved in 2004.
The new Cabañas is a Nicaraguan puro that uses a Habano Rosado, the same variety used on the original My Father line. It is bustling with flavor and has that signature My Father construction. Being that it is a private label for us, the price of this premium smoke makes it even more appealing.
H. Upmann Hispaniola
H.Upmann is what I like to call a historic boutique brand. While it may not be recognizable to the general populace, any cigar smoker knows the brand. The Cuban version was the favorite smoke of President John F. Kennedy and was the last Cuban cigars he bought before singing the embargo.
For years AUSA has been making its own version of the H. Upmann. While they have had some very popular releases such as the H. Upmann Cameroon and the Banker, this year saw the release of two of the best cigars the brand has ever released.
The H. Upmann Hispaniola takes its name from the island that composes both Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It is made from tobaccos grown by the Mendez family, the first family of Dominican tobacco. It is medium to full-bodied with a complex profile with notes of spice, leather, and coffee.
Besides Montecristo, it is easy to say that Cohiba is the most recognizable Cuban heritage brand in the world. The Cuban Cohiba’s are considered the finest in the industry, while the Dominican version is a best-selling, top tier premium cigar.
While the Dominican Cohiba’s have always had a versatile portfolio, this year we saw the release of the first Connecticut wrapped Cohiba, and it was surprisingly one of the best ever created.
Many Connecticut wrapped cigars are known to be smooth and creamy, but the Cohiba Connecticut also adds in flavor and complexity not usually seen in such a cigar. Notes of cedar, cream, light coffee, and subtle sweetness makes this among the most flavorful Connecticut cigars in the industry, and the most well-rounded Cohiba available.