A trip to Nicaragua in February 2014 to tour some of the very best cigar factories! We have selected Colin Ganley as our guide. He’s the senior editor of Cigar Journal and he led a trip in 2012 that our Brother of the Leaf, Mark "Rotorhead" Hansen, participated in and greatly enjoyed. As such, Mark highly recommends Colin especially for his ability to get his groups quality face time with factory owners and access that the usual tourists just don’t get.
Mark Prendergast just sent in a link to a superb interview on CigarPress.com with Pete Johnson, the owner and blender behind Tatuaje Cigars. We will be visiting the My Family Cigars factory where most of Pete’s cigars are made. This article delves into how both Pete and the Garcia family got started with Pete being their very first customer when they opened for business in Miami upon emigrating from Cuba. So light one up, pour that drink and enjoy!
Mark Hansen found pictures of the Hotel Los Arcos where we will be staying in Esteli including the rooftop patio where I am so looking forward to those evening herfs with all of you guys.
Some of us attended a San Lotano cigar event today at the Lit Lounge in the Snoqualmie Casino which are made in the AJ Fernandez factory in Esteli, one of the destinations on our tour. Here is a video tour of the factory with AJ himself, the master blender behind these world class cigars. Enjoy!
Jeremy found this marvelous article from 2003 titled "Nicaragua’s Tobacco Trail" that covers everything from the rich, black dirt, the tobacco growing regions, the history and the infusion of Cuban talent to the many factories, most of which we are going to visit. I recommend lighting up a cigar and puffing away while reading. Thanks, Jeremy!
Trip homework: For those of us who would like to be able to ask informed questions about the cigar manufacturing process and its impact on flavor: pour yourself a refreshing beverage, light up a cigar and start reading. At the bottom of the page, you’ll find pictures from Mark Hansen’s 2012 journey as a compliment to these articles and a preview to our trip:
Our cigar factory wish list:
In order to express how one might feel if they choose not to accompany us on this remarkable adventure, we have chosen this particular passage from Shakespeare’s King Henry V:
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that smokes his cigar with us shall be our brother; be he ne’er so vile, this day shall gentle his condition: and gentlemen in Seattle now a-bed shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that smoked with us here in Nicaragua.
— William Shakespeare » King Henry V » Act 4. Scene III