Like the other countries that experienced a boom in their tobacco industries after Cuban communist rule, Honduras had benefited from the flight of Cuban families, too.
As the story goes, Cuba is the origin of the cigar industry. The tradition got handed down from generation to generation, while growers perfected growing, cultivating, and rolling the cigar through the centuries. As the Cuban communists led by Fidel Castro took to power, the industry’s pioneers were scattered and fled to other countries. They brought the seeds and the know-how to roll the cigars Cuban-style.
Moreover, the civil war in Nicaragua in the 1970s also led to Nicaraguan cigar makers taking refuge in Honduras.
Honduras is one of the recipients of these waves of migration, helping set the stage for a global expansion of the tobacco industry from the rest of the Americas.
Table Comparison of Cuban vs. Honduran Cigars
|Cuban Cigars||Honduran Cigars|
Honduras has its native variety, which is called Copaneco. Most of this tobacco is grown from the country’s northern part, around Sta. Rosa Copan. This location is where the variety derived its name.
Today, most of the production is driven by plantations in Jamastran Valley in the south, along a border it shares with Nicaragua. The varieties planted there are mostly Connecticut Shade, Corojo Shade, and Cuban-seed sun-grown fillers.
Compared to the Honduran native variety, the Cuban seeds grown today with the other types are more to the liking of cigar enthusiasts. Much of the exports of Honduran tobaccos come from the Jamastran Valley. The climate and quality of the terrain in Jamastran Valley are comparable to Vuelta Abajo in Cuba. Cuban cigar-makers cleared forests in the area to start their cigar production to maximize the benefits from the terrain.
The main types of tobacco grown in the region are Connecticut Shade and Corojo Shade, but much Cuban-seed sun-grown filler is also cultivated.
For years, the tobacco grown in Honduras has been in the milder range. This flavor profile evolved today to reflect the trend towards stronger cigars.
Cuban cigars are famous for their strength. Cuban cigars have also evolved to include milder flavors, but for many, Cubanos are enjoyed with the strength of nicotine.
Cuban cigars are also known for the puro standard. This approach is a way to preserve the tradition and help local farmers. This strategy is also one reason why their reputation for their unique flavor has captured the imagination of cigar enthusiasts for a long time.
Trying a Puro is the best way to assess the unique taste. Punch Gran Puro is unique among Honduran-grown tobaccos. The fillers and wrappers for this cigar are grown near the Guatemalan border. The cigar ranges between medium to full body and strength, while it delivers earthy and spicy flavors. Cedar, oak, and leather flavors highlight this balanced profile. Moreover, Cigar Aficionado rated his cigar in its Top 25 list a couple of times.
Honduran Cigar Brands
After the US trade embargo on Cuba, Honduras offered an alternative to Cuban cigar fans: Hoyo de Monterrey, one of the best Honduran cigars. The flavors of this brand have inspired the Hoyo de Tradicion, with its more floral, French-pressed aroma. It blends the Jamastran Valley-grown wrapper with Dominican, Honduran, and Nicaraguan fillers to achieve a caramelized taste.
The Camacho Triple Maduro is a good option, too, for a Maduro flavor that is light and smooth. This cigar is made entirely of Maduro leaves from its fillers to the wrapper.
Rocky Patel also has signature cigar lines that are bestsellers from Honduras. These rich and complex cigars include Renaissance, RP Decade, RP Ocean Club, and RP The Edge. A combination of earth, leather, coffee, and spice will light up your palette.
Bargain-hunters will also find excellent cigar brands made from Honduras, such as Gran Habano, Padilla, and Baccarat.
Honduran or Cuban Cigars?
Considering the many cigars offered from Honduras, you can find many blends rich in flavor and complexity. These are good Cuban alternatives. If you want the strong nicotine flavor that is distinctly Cuban, Cuban puros are still worth a smoke once in a while.