Smoking the Competition

Move over Cuba. Hasta la vista Honduras.

Smoking the Competition image

Move over Cuba. Hasta la vista Honduras. When it comes to premium cigars, the Dominican Republic is smoking the competition, in terms of both quantity and quality.

Over the past several decades, the DR has experienced a boom in the cigar industry, thanks to a number of factors the Revolutions in Cuba and Nicaragua, both of which led to a flood of cigar makers into the DR, and the increased popularity of cigar smoking in the US coupled with the emergence of free trade zones in the 1970s. As a result, today, over half of the cigars imported into the US come from the DR, and many are made with a large amount of Dominican-grown tobacco, making some ag areas prime Caribbean real estate.

The large amount of cigar exports isn't the only thing the DR has to be proud of. Once dubbed as "mild cigars," today, premium Dominican cigars are produced with a level of quality that rivals other top cigars of the world. Among best of the best of these cigars is the Fuente OpusX X3, also known as the "Power Ranger." The Opus X line is considered to be among the chief cigars responsible for putting the DR on the map for cigar production, and is always highly ranked and acclaimed by critics and experts. Other popular brands such as Romeo y Julieta, Macanudo, Fonseca and Monetcristo are following suit by offering stronger varieties of what were once milder smokes (try the Montecristo Platinum or the Montecristo White). The oldest cigar factory still in operation is La Aurora, in Santiago, which is the cigar capital of the DR. Other major brands such as La Flor Dominicana, Davidoff, Arturo Fuente and La Gloria Cubana also have factories in the area.

The main productions sites may be in Santiago, but the Samana offers its share of quality cigars for the savvy smoker. Using fine Dominican tobaccos and years of expertise, cigar makers can be seen on the streets of Las Terrenas ready to roll quality cigars especially for you. Enjoy one after an evening at one of LT's fantastic restaurants, while you stroll along the endless stretches of white sand, or even with a Presidente beer or glass of Dominican rum at one of the tropical bars. For the cigar aficionado, the DR is truly a smoker's paradise.