Cuban Rejects – and other Brands
Last weekend we went up north to Esteli – a town known for its leather, cooler weather, and cigars. Many of the cigar makers that fled Cuba after the Revolution in 1959 ended up in Nicaragua in the late 60’s because of the similar soil and climate conditions. They brought their tobacco seeds with them. Now about a fourth of the citizens living in Esteli are employed by the cigar industry, which makes some of the best cigars in the world. Cigar Aficionado has ranked Nicaraguan cigars in the number one spot for three of the last five years – with Cuban cigars winning the other two years.
Just like coffee or tea, there is a whole vocabulary and classification system in cigar making. Where the leaf was grown, was it on the top or bottom of the plant, whole leaves vs. broken bits, and many more factors influence how the cigar tastes and burns. Our guide, a plant manager, said he smokes almost 10 cigars a day – but only two inches at a time for quality control purposes.
The factory we toured makes a variety of brands, one of which is called Cuban Rejects. A pretty good smoke for the price. Or so they say, we didn’t get to sample this kind – but I love the name!