Best Honduran Cigars & Popular Brands
Popular Honduran Cigar Brands
While not as well publicized as their counterparts from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, cigars made in Honduras are nothing to look down upon. The country’s temperate climate is perfectly suited for growing bold, flavorful tobacco, which in turn creates a robust, characteristically-Honduran smoke. Here are a few of the fine, but often-underrated, cigars from this Central American nation that every enthusiast should try.
Simon Camacho founded the brand in 1961 – it is one of the many cigar names that originated in pre-Castro Cuba. Following Camacho’s exile from the country, he moved his operations to Miami, Florida. In 1995, after Camacho’s death, the Eiroa family acquired the company and moved harvest production from Nicaragua to the factory’s current location in Danlí, Honduras. Although the factory has now been sold to the Oettinger Davidoff Group, the Eiroa family still owns the Honduran tobacco fields that provide the materials for Camacho cigars.
Another Honduran brand with roots in Cuba is Punch. Dating back to 1840, the company was named for a puppet in a traveling show. The brand changed hands several times before being bought by Fernando Palicio, a cigar maker who fled Cuba following the trade embargo. Today, the renowned cigar outlet is owned by Villazon & Company, which also holds two more Honduran lines: Hoyo de Monterrey and Belinda.
Today’s Punch cigars are manufactured in Honduras from Cuban-seed tobaccos grown in Central America. The brand is best known for its full-bodied premium smokes like the original Punch and the Punch Gran Puro. On the other hand, Punch also produces two lines of machine-made cigarillos for those with a lesser budget.
Hoyo de Monterrey
In 1851, Spanish émigré Don José Gener y Batet began producing cigars under the brand name La Esceptión in Havana. A few years later, he transitioned the name to Hoyo de Monterrey. The brand remained in the Gener y Batet family until being sold to the Fernandez, Palacio y Cia firm, which already owned Punch and Belinda.
Soon enough, the company was taken over by the Cuban government and in turn the brands were sold to the Villazon family. Today, the Villazons produce all three cigars – Punch, Belinda and Hoyo de Monterrey – in a Tampa factory using premium tobacco grown in Honduras. Specifically, Hoya de Monterrey cigars include the La Hoyo series, Certified Vintage, and the Edición Limitada releases.
Like most Honduran cigars, the Belinda brand got its start in Cuba under direction of the legendary Estelo Padron. There is still a machine-made cigar produced in Cuba named Belinda, but the non-Cuban, Honduran Belindas are all 100% handmade.
Another brand owned by the Villazon family, Belinda cigars are made from high quality tobacco leaves grown in Honduras with a special Ecuador Sumatran wrapper. A second line called the Belinda Black wraps Honduran tobacco in a dark Medio Tiempo leaf grown in the Connecticut River Valley. Each Belinda piece presents a rich, enjoyable smoking experience that harkens back to the old days in Cuba.
If you haven’t already, get your hands on a Honduran cigar today. After all, with a characteristically rich smoke and personality all their own, these gems are definitely worth trying.