Cigar 101 : Why Are Nicaraguan Cigars In Such Demand?
Why Are Nicaraguan Cigars In Such Demand?
Recent reports have shown that Nicaraguan cigar imports climbed to 317.6 million units in 2013, up from 305.1 million in 2012, the highest reported sales since the Cigar Boom of the 1990′s. Clearly, the popularity of Nicaraguan cigars is on the rise, and for good reason.
Many believe that Nicaraguan Cigars have a very distinctive taste like no other cigar from any other region. In fact many experienced cigar smokers believe that Nicaraguan made cigars are now superior to Cuban cigars in terms of overall quality and flavor.
This didn’t come easy for the country. Nicaragua endured a ten year civil war in the 1980’s between the Sandinista government and the resistance group Contras. Much of the fighting took place around the northwestern region of Esteli, which is one of the main tobacco growing regions. Many plantations were destroyed or converted for military use, the war finally ended in 1990.
According to the United Nations, 48% of the population in Nicaragua live below the poverty line but the country has excelled in several areas, such as tourism where about 60,000 U.S. citizens visit Nicaragua every year, and of course Tobacco where many of the best cigars on earth are created there.
Every cigar company has it’s own way of growing tobacco and preparing it, then the actual construction of the cigar differs from company to company and country to country. Nicaragua Tobacco started in earnest when many of the Cuban cigar factory owners fled Cuba in the 1960’s and setup camp in Nicaragua, bringing with them extensive skills, seeds, and overall knowledge of how a proper cigar should be grown and crafted. These skills coupled with a very favorable tobacco growing environment allowed for very exclusive and unique types of cigars.
There are four main tobacco growing regions in Nicaragua: Esteli, Jalapa, Condega and Ometepe. Each of these regions have a very differing type of soil and even weather patterns, all which affect the way the tobacco grows. The varieties of tobacco found in the northern tobacco corridor have mostly Cuban origins, having been smuggled out of Cuba directly into the hands of the Nicaraguan tobacco growers.
Esteli is known for producing the most powerful Nicaraguan tobacco, it happens to be the place where many of the Cuban tobacco growers settled after the revolution in Cuba. Tobaccos from Esteli are known to be particularly rich in flavor.
Condega produces the second strongest tobaccos in Nicaragua. The Condega region’s rocky soil is known to produce a “thinner” type of tobacco. The cloud cover in the region produces a natural shade grown tobacco, often without the need of a physical shade.
The soil in Jalapa has red clay, which produces very high quality wrappers that are considered to be some of the most flavorful in the world. The unique of a red clay soil allow the tobacco flavor to be enhanced with the properties of that type of soil. They have been described as elegant, thinner and better for wrapper use than anywhere else in the country.
Ometepe is a volcanic island which allows for a very unique type of tobacco flavor, as the earth is filled with minerals that typically you will not find in non-volcanic areas. Volcanic soil has always been prized for tobacco growing where fresh rock from the earth’s core occasionally rises to the surface, giving the Tobacco a very distinctive taste that would not otherwise exist. Ometepe tobaccos have a reputation for being bold and spicy.
Tobaccos used in Oliva, Padron and Perdomo cigars are grown in Nicaragua , and these popular brands take advantage of the unique type of environment that Nicaragua provides.
Cigars made in Nicaragua are considered to be some of the best in the world. It’s well worth to seek out these cigars and give them a try. The chances are you will find them to be amazing.