Archive for the ‘Brazil’ Category

The 7 Main Countries for Fine Cigars

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

When you think about a premium cigar, your first thoughts might be about Cuba, and for good reason. However, there are many other countries that produce fine cigars that rival the Cuban experience.

Here are the seven main countries for fine cigars – Mexico, Ecuador, Honduras, Brazil, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, and including the most famous, Cuba.


The history the Mexican cigar dates back to the Mayans, who smoked tobacco in pipes, as well as in loosely-rolled bundles that looked similar to a primitive cigar. Due to the volcanic soil in the San Andreas region of Mexico, some of the finest cigars are produced here. The soil is rich in potassium and that yields premium tobacco as well as the dark Maduro wrappers and sleek San Andreas wrapper.


Ecuador doesn’t have a long history like some of the countries when it comes to cigar production. That doesn’t mean that the cigars are of less quality; in fact, the cloud cover and humidity in Ecuador yields a spicy and delicious cigar wrapper like the exquisite Ecuadorian Habano wrapper.


Known for its fertile soil and excellent climate for tobacco, Honduras produces cigars with usually a stronger, more dark and earthy flavor. It is an area that even has wild tobacco fields used by its people for hundreds of years. Using mostly Cuban seed, the region is windy and mountainous, with acres of vivid green tobacco plants.


This is a country that produces bold, strong, and dark tobacco that is full of flavor and sun-grown tobacco wrappers that have a neutral, sweet taste. If strong is your preference then you can’t go wrong with a Brazilian Cigar like the CAO Brazilia. Almost all of the Brazilian tobacco is grown in the area of Bahia. However, all of the regions within this area on the Atlantic Coast have their own micro-climates and curing methods – which gives unique tastes to the cigars.


Cigars from Nicaragua are superior tasting due to volcanic soil that is full of nutrients. The weather conditions there are ideal as well, so you get an alternative that is full of flavor and is considered some of the best tobacco in the world. What makes it unique is its soil and minerals which produce spicy and full-flavored cigars.

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic was the first to cultivate tobacco for cigars and the flavor is usually mild and smooth. Recently, however, the Dominican Republic has produced some strands that are amazingly powerful so no matter your preference, this is a country where you can go bold or go smooth. And keep in mind that they use the finest aged long filler tobaccos and top-quality wrapper leaves.


The Cuban cigar has long been a favored among many and for good reason – the weather is perfect and the soil is quality. According to an article at the Chicago Tribune:

Tobacco grown there takes on the flavors of the soil and is influenced by the micro-climate in that particular region. You can take the same seeds and grow them elsewhere. There will be similarities, but only Cuban tobacco tastes like Cuban tobacco.

While you cannot import Cuban cigars into the United States due to the trade embargo, you can enjoy alternative cigars or cigars from any of the other fine countries listed, where the flavor is comparable to the Cuban.

Monte Pascoal Corona

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Earlier this year I reviewed the Robusto size of this cigar. The blends are the same, but it is said that each size provides a different smoking experience. These cigars are Brazilian puros. You don’t run across that very often. When Wesley from Tabacos Mata Fina USA asked if I’d like to try the Monte Pascoal Corona I jumped at the chance.

I’ve been a fan of Dona Flor, another Brazilian puro, for years. I wonder what ever happened to them anyway. Anyone out there know? They literally just went quiet and dropped off of the face of the earth.

Anyway… I was sent a five pack and smoked a few before doing this review.


Wrapper: Brazil Mata Fina

Binder: Brazil Mata Fina

Filler: Brazil Mata Fina and Mata Norte

Size: 5 5/8 x 42

Price: Around $6.00


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

It is common for these wrappers to look very rugged, yet they look velvety at the same time. This was no exception. The odor from the wrapper was a smooth, sweet earthiness. The foot was basically the same. The cigar was pretty evenly packed, and had a slight give when pinched. The pre-light draw had slight resistance, and there was a smooth sweet earthiness with notes of cedar.

The ash held for about an inch, and the burn required no corrections.

1 Monte_Pascoal_Carona cigars


The first third was woody with wispy earthy notes. There was something else going on with the aftertaste, but my palate may be too crude to find something to compare it to. When passing smoke through the nose, I picked up an easy pepper and wood.

2 Monte_Pascoal_Carona cigars

The second third kept the same dominant woody flavor with earthy notes. What changed was the smoke feel became thicker and clung to the mouth and lips. The aftertaste hung around for awhile, and eventually developed a nice sweet note. Like before, the pepper didn’t go anywhere when passing smoke through the nose. Occasionally I got bitter sweetness, similar to what you’d find in dark chocolate (not the Hershy candy bar), if you know what I mean.

3 Monte_Pascoal_Carona cigars

The last third developed into a focused combination of wood, chocolate, and peppery spice. The smoke feel became creamier and sweeter. Basically the flavors blended together and became more focused.

4 Monte_Pascoal_Carona cigars


This was a very good, solid medium bodied cigar. I can’t recall if the other 3 I smoked were this rich. I only recall getting that from the large ring gauges. No matter, this cigar hit the spot. As always, I have to point out any negative aspects, and that would be the price. I’d hope to pay a little less for a corona size, but these Brazilian puro’s tend to cost a little more. Since my old favorite Dona Flor went MIA, these would easily satisfy a craving for Brazilian tobacco. Although the flavors are common, something about tobacco from this region is unique. I can’t quite explain it. Monte Pascoal is definitely worth checking out.

Monte Pascoal Robusto

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Wesley from Tabacos Mata Fina USA, LLC contacted me asking if I would like to review the Monte Pascoal. I’ve been a fan of Brazilian puro’s for years now, and gladly accepted his offer. They claim the different sizes of the Monte Pascoal offer a different smoking experience. Of all the sizes, I prefer the this one. That’s just a personal preference. The flavors just felt thinner in the smaller sizes. I let the cigars rest in the humidor for awhile, and finally got to smoking. I paired with water, and here’s my review.


Wrapper: Brazil Mata Fina

Binder: Brazil Mata Fina

Filler: Brazil Mata Fina & Mata Norte

Size: Robusto 4 7/8 x 50

Price: $6.79


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

I’ve noticed that most cigars with a Mata Fina are a little tooth and rugged yet velvety looking. This was no exception. There were no real flaws, and a few small to medium veins. The wrapper and foot had a mild, sweet barnyardish odor. The cigar was solidly and evenly packed, with only a slight sponginess when squeezed. The pre-light draw had some resistance, but fell within tolerance. The flavor of the pre-light draw was sweet and almost cocoa.

The burn got a little wavy but I never had to correct it. The ash held for almost two inches.

1_Monte Pascoal Robusto


The first third started off with a simple earthiness. After a little time passed, the earthy flavor filled out. It just tasted more fuller and satisfying. Through the nose, there was a nice peppery spice. Coffee joined in and rounded out the first third.

2_Monte Pascoal Robusto

The second third: The coffee seemed to dominate the flavor profile. The earthiness didn’t go away either. At times the earthiness would fade away, but for the most part it stayed. There were nutty flavors in there as well. The smoke became very thick and had a sweet creaminess. There was something else going on that I can’t describe. This happens often when I smoke a Brazilian puro. Tobacco from that region often has something unique that I can never put my finger on. The aftertaste lingered on the palate for awhile.

3_Monte Pascoal Robusto

The last third was basically the same as the second third. The only change was a sweet tingle on the lips. It wasn’t quite cinnamon, but I was similar.

4_Monte Pascoal Robusto


This was a very good medium bodied cigar. It had that unique flavor that only tobacco from Brazil can offer. I usually find it when smoking something like the Dona Flor Selecao. This one was a little different as it didn’t have that candy bar chocolate I am used finding in Brazilian puros. In the end this was a good cigar, and I recommend it.

Fogo – Connecticut

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Fogo is a fairly new brand from the same guys who own Brazil Cigars and Tobacco. If that sounds familiar, these are the same people who make Dona Flor Brazilian puro’s. I’m a huge fan of those cigars. Ed and I have reviewed them a few times. When Dana Sheldon, the president of the company, came to Ed’s 5th anniversary celebration, he let me know of this new line. I was surprised that there was not a drop of tobacco in it from Brazil. What does Fogo mean? I think it translates to “Fire.” Hence the volcano on the band. Dana was kind enough to give me samples of two blends, the Connecticut and Habano wrapped version. Stay tuned for that review. In the mean time, I offer you my thoughts on the Fogo Connecticut. As always, I paired this cigar with PUR filtered water.


Wrapper: Connecticut seed grown in Ecuador

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Size: 5 x 54

Price: Around $5.00


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The light brown wrapper had a nice appearance with minimal flaws. A few small veins and a little bit of a toothy appearance is about it. The wrapper had an odor of earthiness and natural tobacco, while the foot had more of a wood with mild spice aroma. The cigar was very firm and evenly packed. The pre-light draw was a little snug, but within my tolerance. The pre-smoke taste was toasty and woody.

The ash held for an inch, and the burn required a couple minor corrections.




First third was mild in body with simple flavors. Mild earthy notes were in the background. A toasty nuttiness was up next, with a slight peppery spice on the retro-hale.


The second third was very similar to the first, but there were some differences. Some draws had a creamy feel, and others were crisp and toasty. Passing smoke through the nose, that spicy pepper slightly increased in strength. The smoke coated the inside of the mouth and the body increased into the upper mild range. Otherwise, the earthy and nutty flavors were the same.


The last third increased in strength a little. Although the flavor profile didn’t really change, it seemed more refined and smooth. The smoke feel became a little creamier with a nice spicy aftertaste.



This was a good mild bodied cigar. The flavors were simple but good. If I were to complain, the flavor profile was one dimensional and similar to many Connecticut wrapped cigars. Personally, I really enjoy this smoke with coffee. This is quite a departure from my coveted Dona Flor brand, but I see the market that this cigar is aimed at. If you like mild and reasonably priced cigars, I would have to recommend the Fogo Connecticut.

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