The cigar world has a lot to offer to enthusiasts who want to try the more potent types of cigars from cigar-producing countries. The United States of America imports hundreds of millions of cigars annually, and the majority of that comes from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
Nicaraguan cigars are generally on the more robust end of the flavor spectrum. Recently, Dominican cigars have been known for being stronger cigars, too. Famous brands have released cigars with high nicotine content that became bestsellers and received positive reviews from Cigar Aficionado. If you are an enthusiast of strong cigars, plenty of options are available from both countries.
This article will dive into the comparisons between the cigars from the two countries.
A Shared History
Both countries elicit the same tradition of rolling cigars from Cuba. During the diaspora of cigar plantation owners and blenders during the Cuban revolution, many settled in the fertile lands of Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic got a headstart over Nicaragua in its tobacco revolution because Nicaragua also had political unrest in the 1970s and 80s.
Nevertheless, both countries benefitted from the cigar boom of the 90s that catapulted many brands into the limelight. Some failed, while some continued to this day. Meanwhile, some Cuban heritage brands rebuilt in these two countries got their time in the spotlight during the 90s boom and continue to this day.
Table Comparison of Dominican vs. Nicaraguan Cigars
|Dominican Cigars||Nicaraguan Cigars|
Cigars from the Dominican Republic
The most celebrated cigar brands in the world are hand-rolled in the Dominican Republic. Arturo Fuente, Ashton, Macanudo, and Davidoff have found a home in the South American country. In addition to these brands, heritage brands like Cohiba, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, and H. Upmann also found a niche in the country’s cigar industry.
There were many creamy and mild cigars associated with the country before the boom of the 90s. After the cigar boom, many options came into the market that offered higher nicotine content. Nonetheless, there are still premium brands known for their mild flavors from the Dominican Republic.
The original Ashton blend and Arturo Fuente Chateau Series are complex cigars with a range of cocoa, oak, cedar, and coffee that hits with the proper smoothness. There are plenty of Dominican cigars wrapped in Connecticut Shade, Connecticut Broadleaf, and Ecuador leaves.
After the boom, famous cigars like Ashton VSG and Fuente Fuente Opus X provided a new avenue for stronger flavored and full-bodied cigar enthusiasts. Carlito Fuente, the legend of the industry who blended both cigars, planted the tobacco for these cigars from his own family’s plantation in the Dominican—Chateau Fuente. Both are complex with strong flavors of pepper, leather, and nougat.
The Cibao Valley produces the majority of Dominican tobacco leaves. The microclimate in the Yaque valley between the Cordillera mountains teems with excellent topsoil, drainage, and sunlight. The most special leaves are grown in these areas within Yaque: Navarette, La Canela, and Villa Gonzalez.
Cigars from Nicaragua
The political unrest in Nicaragua ended just in time for the cigar boom in the 90s. Nicaragua was poised to become a powerhouse cigar producer for the decades to come. They already had a growing industry in the 70s after the US imposed the Cuban trade embargo, and this time the country was going to stay on course.
After the 90s boom, the brands that came out strong and are still strong are My Father, La Aroma de Cuba, Padron, San Cristobal, Oliva, Rocky Patel, and Perdomo. There are many other brands, but these mentioned are more well-known.
The blends of the cigars rolled in the country are diverse. On top of the Cuban growers who migrated to Nicaragua, some Dominican growers brought their blends to the country and set up shop there. Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, Davidoff, Cohiba, and the Fuente family have all invested in the potential of the Nicaraguan tobacco industry.
The country is known for its potent tobacco blends. Examples of strong tobaccos from Nicaragua are My Father Le Bijou 1922, Oliva Serie V, and La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor. Rich, earthy spices and notes of leather, cayenne, espresso beans, and dark chocolate are prominent features of some of the top Nicaraguan cigars. Nicaraguan brands are also prolific in blending their tobaccos with Ecuadorian wrappers, San Andres, and Connecticut. These blends form the variety of strengths and flavors found in world-class Nicaraguan cigars.
The primary tobacco-growing regions are Jalapa, Esteli, and Condega.