Cuban Cigars Versus Non Cuban Cigars: What Is The Difference

There is a great mystique surrounding Cuban cigars. Mainly because from the 1962 embargo to just recently in 2016, Cuban cigars – in fact, anything made in Cuba – had been illegal in the United States. So it was only natural to want what we couldn’t have.

Although Cuba has very rich tobacco-growing soil and produces some excellent cigars, there are often quality control problems. Sometimes they roll the cigars too tightly or do not age them properly. Primarily because there is a rush to get this much-in-demand product to market. It is especially more so today. With the United States aficionados clamoring for something so special that they can purchase in free trade.

Until 1960, Cuba had a monopoly on premium cigar tobacco because no one else in the world was growing it. It was only after 1960, when many Cuban people, including some of the country’s most respected tobacco growers and cigar masters, left Cuba. Those farmers then cultivated that premium tobacco in other countries such as the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Nicaragua. As a result, consumers will always compare premium cigar tobacco to Cuba. Simply because Cuba was the first place where it was cultivated.

Also, the tobacco’s flavor derives from the soil and the climate of a particular location before harvest. Some Caribbean and Central American countries have soils very similar to Cuba. Although not exactly the same, they can produce tobaccos that are equally rich in flavor, strength, and depth. But to be clear, the soil imparts the flavor. Nothing tastes like a Cuban cigar other than a Cuban cigar. Just as nothing tastes like a Nicaraguan cigar except a Nicaraguan cigar.

A good comparison between Cuban and non-Cuban cigars is to liken them to French and California wines. Each is different. But is one better than another? That is a matter of opinion, taste, and perception of value.


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Nick Ficorelli
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