When people talk about Cuban cigars; one brand will always come up, the Montecristo. The cigars of the brand is considered the standard to which all other cigars are now judged and its popularity is unmatched the world over. These venerable cigars have a rich history and it fully explains how the brand has become the premier cigar the world over.
The Montecristo brand was created by Alfonso Menendez after his purchase of the Particulares Factory. Particulares itself was a popular brand in 1935 but Menendez decided to create a new brand. The cigars were reportedly named after the most popular story read to the torcedores, the employees that roll the cigars, on the factory floor, for entertainment namely “The Count of Monte Cristo” written by Alexandre Dumas. The brand’s logo, still in used today, was made by the distributor of the cigars in the UK. It is a fleur-de-lis surrounded by six swords arranged in a triangle.
Rise to International Fame
Because of the rapid increase in popularity of the Montecristo brand, Menendez purchased the H. Upmann Factory and transferred production. Cigars review, tastings, and competitions around the world recognized the brand for its full, distinctive, and rich flavor. Dunhill was one of the largest tobacco product promoters in the world and helped make the brand the most popular in the world. Even now, the brand makes up over one-fourth of the total number of Cuban cigars sold in the world market and its market share has never faltered for over fifty years. Even the price of the brand’s cigars is the standards to which all other cigar products in local markets are compared to.
Current Production and Availability
Today, because of the nationalization of the Cuban tobacco industry and the continuous US embargo on the country, there are two producers of cigars with the Montecristo Brand. One is based in Cuba as part of Habanos SA which is the national tobacco company of Cuba, and the other is produced in the Dominican Republic at La Romana for Altadis SA which distributes and markets the brand in the United States. Montecristo no 4 and Montecristo no 2 are the most popular products of the brands vitolas and are often recommended to those trying out Cuban cigars for the first time for a real and authentic Cuban cigar smoking experience.
Except for the historical connection, the production of both cigars in Cuba and the Dominican Republic has no relation. However cigar enthusiasts’ opinions are split on the matter of which of the two is better but only the Habanos SA cigar is an actual “Cuban” cigar. Authentic Montecristo cigars are all handmade and come in vitolas like the “A” Gran Corona, Edmundo, Joyita, Panatela, No 1 Cervantes, No 2 Piramide, No 3 Corona, No 4 Mareva, No 5 Perla, Corona Grande, Petit Edmundo and Petit Tubo.
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