Have you noticed more and more cigar makers are adding or expanding their lines to produce stronger cigars? Not just in nicotine content but flavor?
The market’s demands are changing and from what I’ve been seeing over the last fifteen years of being a cigar smoker is that the customer seems to be demanding bolder flavors, more power and strength which leads to a new challenge for makers.
Punch did something about three to four years back by introducing the Uppercut, a spicy white pepper bomb that left me wondering if I’d been drinking after I’d finished my cigar. Incidentally, I had been drinking herbal tea at the time, but wow was that cigar a kicker. Yes, other flavors were present but the white pepper hit first.
Joya De Nicaragua initially had one of the strongest cigars on the market, the Antaño 1970, then followed it up with the Dark Corojo Antaño. Both were really tasty but I had to be in the mood for the original, and having smoked too many too close together of the Corojo, I made myself sick from too much nicotine one evening.
I remember my first really strong cigar about twelve years ago. The Rocky Patel Edge. It came in natural and maduro and both cigars were very well priced at the time though it became tough to tell the difference between the maduro and the natural because both had seriously dark wrappers. I smoked one of those the entire day and I was done, or I could smoke two of something else and be fine. Yes, a lot of flavor but what a powerhouse cigar it was back in the day. For me, Mr. Patel set off a trend that we didn’t see gaining momentum until about six years ago when companies like La Flor Dominicana and Joya De Nicaragua started coming out with stronger cigars.
Let’s be honest, the new trend has brought a lot of gems with it, but so will any trend in most industries. The emergence of so many new boutique cigar makers like Tatuaje and Illusione have spurred the bigger boys like Altadis and Swedish Match to develop unique cigars to hold the public’s interest. That’s another article though.
Overall, I do enjoy the trend in strength and the higher reaching heights cigar makers are heading toward to create something unique for our palates, but what do you think? Can the strength be too much?
The characters in my upcoming paranormal romance Burning for Derrick are also avid cigar aficionados, often filling their humidors with expensive stick and inexpensive gems alike. Look for Burning for Derrick coming from Ardent Books soon!