A good cigar is one of life’s great pleasures, and even with so many different brands on the market today, there is only a handful of premium cigar brands that have earned the title as the best of the best. Whether measuring success by longevity, total sales, customer demand, industry awards or the prestige built around iconic offerings, the following list represents what industry experts, purveyors and cigar enthusiasts should agree are the Most Successful Cigar Brands of All-time.
The first brand on any cigar list most certainly must always be that of Cohiba. There is simply no other cigar brand in the World that carries the esteemed reputation or lasting imagery of Cuban-made Cohiba cigars. Launched as the official state cigar of Fidel Castro’s regime in 1968 and officially released on the World market in 1982, Cohiba cigars became a success seemingly overnight and have grown into the most iconic, if not most sought-after, cigars of all time.
With all this prestige and Cuba’s strict control of cigar production, it is no wonder that Cohiba cigars also rank as the most counterfeited cigars on the Planet. And so, with such exclusive offerings as the now-legendary Behike and Maduro 5 series collecting nearly every conceivable accolade, Cohiba’s reputation has further been solidified as the ultimate cigar for aficionados and casual enthusiasts alike.
Perhaps second only to Cohiba in reputation, Montecristo cigars are as revered as the classic novel, The Count of Montecristo by Alexandre Dumas, for which they are named. Montecristo cigars were launched in 1935 and set the standard by which all Cuban cigars were judged until the famous Cohiba brand emerged. The iconic Montecristo No. 2 and the Montecristo Edmundo are still amongst the most highly-prized favorites which provide cigar aficionados with the classic Cuban cigar experience.
Finding these storied smokes in Rwanda was once, like seeing electric cars on the road, only but a dream. And yet Montecristo cigars have continued to find their way to cigar lovers in every corner of Africa, building upon the brand’s exceptional legacy as the quintessential Cuban cigar and one of the World’s most successful cigars throughout Africa, Europe and beyond.
ROMEO Y JULIETA
Of all the top brands in the World today, Romeo y Julieta perhaps takes the prize as the sentimental favorite. Beloved by connoisseurs throughout Africa and beyond, Romeo y Julieta has been a leading choice for celebrities and dignitaries since first arriving on the scene in 1875. Over time, the brand has only grown in stature, eclipsed only by the arrival of the Montecristo and Cohiba brands.
While the digital age has forced a reinterpretation of other sensory pleasures, such as jazz music, Romeo y Julieta cigars continue to thrive, remaining a constant that, with a fine distilled spirit and a jazzy tune, offers a legendary experience the likes of which has kept the brand at the pinnacle of the cigar industry since its inception. With consumer spending on the rise in Rwanda, these much-loved smokes will hopefully find their way into the hands of more cigar enthusiasts than ever before.
While Cuban cigars reign supreme around the World, the Fuente family has built a tobacco empire in the Dominican Republic, the likes of which the cigar world has never seen. With the Fuente Fuente Opus X and the Cameroon-wrapped A. Fuente Don Carlos leading the way, Carlos Fuente, Jr. has taken the family company to new heights, with each day bringing a new challenge to the supremacy of Cuban cigars.
A significant player on the American market, the Fuente brand is steadily building in Europe and is set to take Africa by storm, much as North America’s professional sports teams are conquering the African continent. And as the evolution of Rwanda’s economy continues, so too does the market for these popular cigars, making the highly successful Fuente brand one to watch.
Cohiba and Montecristo cigars are perhaps the best-known cigars, yet veteran aficionados are quick to add Partagas to the conversation about the finest cigars in the World today. A reliable crowd-favorite since emerging out of Cuba in 1845, the Partagas brand offers a wide variety of smokes renowned in connoisseur circles for the rich and balanced texture each cigar offers.
The famous Partagas Serie D is perhaps the brand’s most revered line, which is a favorite companion to fine single malt highland whisky found throughout Rwanda’s most esteemed clubs and lounges, such as the Legacy Lounge at Kigali’s famed Hotel des Mille Collines. Fans of the Partagas brand enjoy each cigar’s uncompromisingly smooth experience ideal for pairing with a variety of other beverages, such as wine, beer and especially, Rwanda’s finest coffees.
Go to the farthest reaches of the Earth, and it is a safe bet that these legendary cigars will be amongst the first of which to be spoken. From the lasting heritage of Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta and Partagas to the meteoric rise of Cohiba and A. Fuente, each of these brands are firmly planted themselves as the most successful cigar brands in history.
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