A Man's World

Premium Cigars and Accessories for Gentlemen, Ladies and Scoundrels of Either Gender

1460 E Cotati Ave | Rohnert Park, CA 94928

conveniently located with Ronnie's Taproom & Grill

The Golden Age of Cigars (1800s-1930s) — La Palina c.1926

With popular Cuban brands like Romeo y Julieta, Montecristo, and H. Upmann to pre-Revolution Clear Havanas, Cuban tobacco reigned supreme throughout the Golden Age. The heyday of the cigar industry saw many smaller, local tobacco shops rolling their own cigars in-house from imported Cuban tobaccos.

Some popular larger premium cigar brands during this time were La Corona and Justin Suebert.Created around the turn of the 20th century by Samuel Paley, father of CBS founder William S. Paley, the La Palina brand is deep-seated in the history of radio advertising.

To promote his family’s cigar business, William S. Paley sponsored a radio show in Philadelphia called “The La Palina Hour,” boosting the brand so successfully La Palina quickly became one of America’s highest selling premium cigars. 

The Rise of Clear Havana’s (1930s-1962) — La Prosa c.1946

Cigar manufacturing was a paramount industry in the United States for the first half of the 20th century. Clear Havana was a blanket term for any cigar made in the United States with Cuban filler and binder. Dominating the US premium cigar market up until the Cuban embargo, Clear Havanas were a less expensive option than the importation of true Havanas produced in Cuba.

One favorite among American cigar enthusiasts throughout the 1940s was La Prosa, a Clear Havana made in Ohio. Another popular choice was Consuegra, manufactured in Tampa, Florida.

The Cuban Embargo (1960)

In 1960, the Cuban cigar industry nationalized and the following year the Cohiba brand was created for Fidel Castro and other high-ranking government officials and diplomats. CUBATABACO was formed in 1962, greatly limiting the amount of Cuban brands available to the international market.

The very same year the US Embargo against Cuba led to many great Cuban cigar makers relocating to other tobacco growing regions around the world. Popular destinations include Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico, and the Canary Islands. Since cigar companies in the US could no longer get their hands on Cuban tobaccos, inventories depleted in just a few years following the embargo and Clear Havanas ceased to exist. 

The Post Embargo Landscape (1962-1980s) 

This period in cigar history saw a rise in large-scale cigar companies and a decline in the smaller factories. Large cigar conglomerates from the US were now importing cigars mainly from Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and the Canary Islands.

Some US factories continued production, however. The Villazon family in Tampa, Florida took Honduran binder and filler tobaccos and crafted Hoyo de Monterrey Governors c.1965-1968, marking a new beginning in the US premium cigar market.

Another area exporting cigars was Europe, with one of the first brands to be created following the Cuban Revolution was Dunhill Montecruz. Many of the classic, pre-revolution Cuban brands were reborn elsewhere during the Post-Embargo period. One such brand was El Rey del Mundo, which was crafted by the first tobacco factory in Honduras. 

The Boom Era (1990s)

Cigar sales and imports sky-rocketed during the US cigar boom of the mid-1990s. The rise in cigar consumption was further accelerated by the debut of Cigar Aficionado magazine in 1992. Many smaller boutique cigar makers fell short of meeting this demand and even Macanudo, dubbed “America’s best-selling cigar,” found itself sold out at times.

Despite shortages there a few notable brands that made their debut during the cigar boom including Rocky Patel, Oliva, and Perdomo. The main cigar production was now the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Honduras.