Everything you need to know about Culebra cigars

April 22, 2024

Everything you need to know about Culebra cigars

The traditional cigar is a straight, long, brown tube of expertly rolled tobacco with a tapered end that is ready to be perfectly cut and smoked. As such a familiar sight in the aficionado community, you’d be forgiven for thinking this was the only form a cigar could take. We thought the same thing until — we came across the Culebra.

Join us in discovering the twists and turns of the history of Culebra cigars.

What is a Culebra cigar?

Culebra is Spanish for snake, which makes sense when you see the unique shape these beauties hold.

A Culebra is a braided cigar that appears twisted when unraveled. The braid is made from three cigars twisted around each other and then banded together. As you can probably imagine, this unusual shape is quite striking.

These intriguing smokes typically boast a length of 5 – 6 inches, a 38-ring gauge, and is held together by a ribbon or band (depending on your chosen brand).

The history of Culebra cigars

In truth, we don’t have a clear history of the history of Culebra cigars. However, the most common story is they were initially made to prevent factory workers from taking more than their daily allowance of three cigars. Whether that is the real beginning of these twisted smokes is still up for debate.

When Culebra cigars are separated, they appear bent and crooked in shape, so anyone seen smoking a straight cigar would be considered a thief. The informal shape was also a deterrent for factory workers who wanted to sell the cigars for their own profits, as people were less likely to purchase a twisted cigar.

Many scrutinize the truth of this story, believing it unlikely any cigar roller would have created them just workers and to prevent theft.

Another story about the history of these unusual smokes comes from sources in the Philippines. During the 19th century, many believed weaving a few thin cigars would assist with maturing and enhancing the flavors.

If this were true, many cigar factories would have been likely to adopt the braiding method. Of course that wasn’t the case, with most opting for traditional tobacco plant maturing processes and singular rolling methods.

The history of this remarkable cigar is not very clear, but one thing we can be sure of is how they are put together.

Cluebra Cigars

How Culebra cigars are made

Culebra cigars are generally smaller and thinner than traditional stogies. The sizes available are often a panatela, but they can be offered in a range of cigar shapes and sizes.

The process begins by having the individual cigars rolled smaller than usual, adding extra moisture to ensure the wrapper doesn’t split open when the cigars are braided.

Next, the three cigars are intricately assembled into a distinctive braid and neatly tied with a ribbon or band at the cap and another at the bottom. The cigars mold together as they age, and the extra moisture evaporates.

The cigars remain twisted and can later be pulled apart to smoke.

How to smoke Culebra cigars

At first glance, you may think that because they’re banded, you should smoke the whole thing as one. Although possible, we wouldn’t recommend it, as that’s really three cigars.

To properly smoke a Culebra, unwrap the ribbons to separate the cigars, and then you can smoke them individually.

Once you’ve selected your first twisted cigar, you can begin the usual process of lighting and then kick back to appreciate the nuanced flavors.

If you’re celebrating something, a Culebra is an excellent choice to separate and share with two friends, offering a tremendous social smoking experience.

Despite their unique appearance, Culebra cigars are not the most popular choice and are generally produced as special editions. However, these rare novelty cigars are considered collectibles for any cigar lover’s humidor.

The top brands that have created Culebra cigars

Culebra’s are generally Cuban cigars and only three big brands have offered the shape on the cigar market since the Castro revolution. If you want to pick up a Culebra, check out who is known for this exclusive offering.

Partagas Cigars are among the oldest and most famous Cubans available on the market today, so it’s no surprise this brand decided to explore the Culebra’s. The brand’s commitment to tradition and quality ensures an exceptional smoking experience with every draw. Partagas bind their Culebra with a scarlet-red ribbon. Smokers ready for something this full in strength can enjoy its distinctly earthy flavor with light, wooden notes.

Alec Bradley Cigars carries an award-winning brand portfolio encasing many highly rated gems, and of course, they needed to add a Culebra to the collection. This particular Culebra sits slightly shorter than is common at five inches and slightly wider with a 39” ring gauge. A burgundy ribbon neatly holds the three Honduras seco-wrapped sticks in place, with three Nicaraguan-Honduras blend binders hidden inside. Smokers will notice crisp, wooden notes that are sweetly muted by accompanying hints of brown sugar and crème brûlée.

Romeo y Julieta Cigars are dedicated to the high quality and luxury production of cigars, ensuring each is specially blended to please the most discerning palates. Each cigar from this brand promises a memorable smoking experience. The brand’s Culebra option is machine-made without a band and sits at the typical panatela size. While no longer in production, some rare finds can be bought by specialist collectors.

Culebra cigars are often produced in limited-edition collections, and availability lasts only a few months. Seize the opportunity to acquire them where you can.

Whether you’re a seasoned smoker or a newcomer to the world of cigars, all smokers should try the unique experience of a twisted Culebra cigar.


One response to “Everything you need to know about Culebra cigars”

  1. john bnosco says:

    Very cool article Everything you need to know except where to buy them, Does JR ?

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