Ah, the fine premium cigar. There truly is nothing to compare to the experience of a fine cigar, a glass of really good cognac, and an evening in the shade. It is a peaceful experience to say the least.
However, have you ever looked at your high-profile smoke and wondered what the events were that led to the making of it? Most true cigar aficionados have at one point or another.
The chain of events that led to the production of the cigar that you now hold in your hand is a long one, spanning back over 500 years. It all began when a brave explorer by the name of Christopher Columbus decided to throw caution to the wind and risk it all to prove that there was more to the world than everyone knew at the time. In 1492, he found success, along with a little something in the new world called tobacco.
Ironically, Luis De Torres of a Spanish Envoy to America decided to take some back to his home for personal use. After spotted lighting it, he was arrested for witchcraft and sentenced to a decade in prison.
The presence of tobacco popped up again as Cortez stumbled upon a tribe of Aztec natives that are smoking tobacco. Through Cortez, the tobacco makes its way throughout Spain. From there, the pipe-smoked substance began to grow in fame and use. By the mid 1500’s, tobacco had made its‘ way all the way to France where the first seeds were planted and cultivated by a monk by the name of Andre Thevet.
From there, tobacco made its‘ way to the distant lands of Portugal, Russia, Turkey, and Italy. The Portuguese, via a trade route, introduce it to the Japanese. Onward it spreads to Morocco, Egypt, and even to the Philippines. Finally, in the early 1600’s, it makes a full historical circle as documents reveal that the husband of Pocahontas, John Rolfe, brings tobacco to the state of Virginia.
By the early 1600’s, Cuba has built a solid name for fine tobacco growth and becomes the major supplier for the majority of the known world.
In the mid 1700’s, the infamous Catherine the great creates the cigar band as a concept. It seems that Catherine would smoke cigars so often that her fingers would take on a brownish colored stain. Therefore, to avoid this, she had a band designed so she could hold her cigars without the irritating stain.
From there, it is only a matter of time until the major brands began to establish themselves. Cohiba, H. Upmann, Partagas, El Rey del Mundo, Sancho Pancza, Romeo y Julieta, Hoyo de Monterrey, Montecristo and the rest of the premium cigars that you and I enjoy today become very notable over the next century.
That brings us to the here and now. Today, we can sit back and enjoy our fine cigars knowing that they have a history that dates all the way back to Christopher Columbus. So when you enjoy that next high-profile smoke, blow a plume and say, „Here’s to you Chris!“.