Nicaragua, A Little Cigar History

Some of the best cigars in the world are Nicaraguan cigars.  The cigar reviews will all support that fact.  The fertile volcanic soil in the mountains of Esteli, the pure artisan ground water and near perfect climate  produce an environment that rivals old Cuba and cuban cigars which were known to be the best.

The next time you are in a smoke shop or cigar lounge and you are looking for the best cigar you will hear that other countries like Honduras, just north of Nicaragua and Dominican Republic also produce fine cigars, and this is true.  The author has some favorites from Nicaragua like Joya de Nicaragua and From Honduras, I have to admit, one of the most famous today is Rocky Patel.

On a recent trip to Esteli, Nicaragua I learned so much about cigars that I believe Nicaragua is the mecca of cigar production.  The land spawns vibrant rich green tobacco plants.  I saw hundreds of acres of them.  The tobacco farmers are blessed!

Young Tobacco Fields in Esteli, Nicaragua

Young Tobacco Fields in Esteli, Nicaragua

The seeds are nurtured to life in small cups in green houses.  When the plant has just grown enough, it is transplanted to the farm where it draws it nutrients from the soil with the help of the intense Central American Sun.  When the plants have matured to a certain age and color, the leaves are picked and hung to dry.  As they age they mature and gain their distinct flavor and personality.

Nicaragua is a very resilient place.  Both the people and the land have gone through a lot in the last century.  Civil unrest, wars, and natural disasters have all tested its strength.  And, it has prevailed.  It is no wonder that the Cuban cigar industry found exile in the 1960s in Nicaragua.

In the 1980s many tobacco farms ceased production due to civil unrest.  Fighting between the Sandinista government and the resistance group Contras lasted ten years.  Unfortunately, most of the fighting happened in the Northwestern part of Esteli where plantations were used for military use or even destroyed in the fighting.

In the 1990s with a new government, stability came and there was a rebirth of the cigar industry.

In 1998 Hurricane Mitch destroyed most of the tobacco crops and caused a tremendous amount of damage and loss of life.  Thousands of people perished in that storm.  Rainwater and floods made tobacco fields disappear.  it was devastating!

Again the resilient tobacco farmers came back, only this time with a stable political environment and much confidence.  What they have done is nothing short of a miracle.  In the past 15 years, Nicaragua has revamped and reinvented itself as one of the top producers of premium tobacco in the world.  There are many regions in Nicaragua that produce tobacco.  There is even an active volcanic island (The Island of Ometepe) on the East coast that produces a rare sweet and spicy tobacco.  But, Esteli has black fertile soil that produces a truly full-flavored tobacco leaf.  Its characteristics are rich, dark and full bodied with lots of aroma and flavor.  The strongest of all tobacco grown in Nicaragua comes from Esteli.  It is deemed one of the most important cigar producing cities in the world.   You can be sure the nicaraguan cigar is a premium cigar; It’s the cigars cigar!

CLS-013