December 30, 2021
December 30, 2021





It is a remarkable feature of Cuban tobacco that a relatively small acreage (the vegas de primeras) can produce such a wide range of flavours from area to area, plantation to plantation and field to field. Literally the tobacco grown on one side of the road in Pinar del Rio can taste completely different from tobacco grown on the other.

In the world famous cigar factories of Cuba, the responsibility for ensuring  the use of the correct blend for each brand falls to the Master Blenders (Maestros Ligadores). They pass the recipe down to the blending department which weighs out the various classifications of tobacco into batches, ready for the cigar rollers at the start of each day. The quantities and classifications will vary depending on what cigars are being made.

Havana cigars are made entirely by hand by skilled cigar rollers using methods virtually unchanged for centuries.  There are a number of steps that must be taken to ensure the cigar looks appealing, burns evenly, has the correct blend and is well constructed.

First the roller lays out two or three ‘binder’ leaves onto their bench. These will be used for construction and also to ensure an even burn. Next the filler leaves are gathered together, strictly adhering to the Master Blender’s recipe, and formed into the ‘bunch’.

The attention to detail is such that not only are the richer, stronger-flavoured, slower burning leaves always positioned in the middle but all of the filler leaves are placed pointing in the same direction with the lighter-flavoured tips forming the open ended foot of the cigar and the more robust stem-end of the leaf at the head. This allows the flavour of the cigar to intensify and develop as it is smoked.

The bunches are then placed into a press for around 30 minutes where its shape is set. After this they are taken to be draw-tested on machines specially designed for this task. The bunch is then returned to the roller to apply the wrapper and then finally the cap is placed onto the head of the cigar.

Once the cigar has been made it must undergo several more steps including quality control, colour grading, banding and boxing before they are finally ready to leave Havana, more than three years after the oldest leaves were harvested.

Created in the 1970s exclusively for the French market, the old Quai d’Orsay brand came in a handful of sizes and was considered a fairly mild to medium-bodied smoke. But the Cuban cigar monopoly recently launched a completely new Quai d’Orsay, transforming it from a regional cigar to a global brand. The bands and boxes were redesigned, the line was given two new sizes—thicker vitolas intended to appeal to a larger market—and the cigar was reblended, giving it more character. Now, the brand can be found all over the world, and we found the No. 54 to be quite remarkable. While today’s Quai d’Orsay is different, it’s still no powerhouse, but a subtle and refined Cuban cigar that’s one part sweet and one part savory like a salted caramel praline.

Cuban Cigars Brand

Casa Cubana  stock an extensive selection of Rare & Vintage cigars, please contact us for the latest availability.We are always happy to value and purchase Rare & Vintage cigars, please contact us if we can help.

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