The history behind cigars is one that dates back as far as the 10th century. Ancient ceramic pots discovered in Guatemala prove that Mayans were among the first people to smoke tobacco leaves, which used to be tied together with string and called “sikar”. Later on in 1492 when Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas he saw the natives of the land smoking tobacco leaves that were twisted into cylindrical bundles and wrapped in dried palm or corn husks.
It was soon discovered that Cuba’s fertile land and suitable climate allowed for the harvest of all three components necessary for a cigar: the filler, binder, and wrapper. Columbus claimed Cuba for Spain and soon after ships were transporting Cuban tobacco to Europe and Asia. The cigars became so popular that by the 17th century Spain forbid Cuban growers from selling tobacco to anyone but Spain, creating a monopoly that lasted until 1817.
By the 19th century cigars were booming in popularity and the U.S. alone had consumed roughly 300 million Cuban cigars. Famous individuals such as Mark Twain, King Edward VII of Great Britain, and even Sigmund Freud were known for their heavy cigar smoking habits. By the early 20th century so many Cuban cigar makers had migrated to Tampa, Florida that the city became known as “cigar city”.
While these cigars continue to be the most desired cigars in the world today, they are no longer imported into the United States. This has been the case for the past 50 years since Fidel Castro’s communist party revolted and took control of Cuba. However, recently there have been rumors of President Obama’s willingness to repeal the 50-year trade embargo on Cuban goods.
Although the embargo is still in place and Cuban goods are still not allowed to be imported into the United States, it is legal to take the seeds of Cuban tobacco plants and grow them in nearby countries, such as Nicaragua. This is how the Briarmont Reserve cigar is made and is the reason for its rich and highly desired smoke. The Briarmont Reserve is among one of the most popular blends of cigars that Custom Tobacco distributes and customizes. After all, who wouldn’t want a quality cigar with their own custom label?