Mar
02
2010

Where to Buy Cuban Cigars

Find authentic Cuban cigars in Havana using this beginner's guide

When it comes to nabbing cigars while visiting the beautiful country of Cuba, ignore the street-level discounts.

Sure, it's tempting. But smoking dishrags is no way to spend a vacation.

Head to these four cigar shops in and around Havana for the real deal:



Casa del Habano

Cigar: Cohiba Esplendido

Flavour: Strong and woody, with hints of vanilla

Cost: US$18

Smoked by: Fidel Castro (until 1985, when he gave up smoking)

Cigar: Montecristo No. 2

Flavour: Full-flavoured and spicy

Cost: US$7

Smoked by: Che Guevara



Romeo y Julieta Factory Shop

Cigar: Romeo y Julieta Churchill

Flavour: Rich, creamy and woody, but not overwhelming 

Cost: US$9

Smoked by: Sir Winston Churchill (who had the size named in his honour)



H. Upmann Factory

Cigar: H. Upmann Super Coronas

Flavour: Smooth, pleasant and leathery

Cost: US$6

Smoked by: John F. Kennedy (who purportedly imported copious boxes the night before signing the U.S. embargo into law)



Partagás Factory

Cigar: Partagás Lusitanias

Flavour: Full-bodied and earthy, with a good balance of pepper and spice

Cost: US$9

Smoked by: Evelyn Waugh (who name-checked them in his novel, Brideshead Revisited)

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Contributors

Brendan Sainsbury

An ex-pat Brit now living in Vancouver, Brendan Sainsbury first went to Cuba in 1997 and has been back countless times since. He is the author of the current Lonely Planet Guide to Cuba.

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