This month's new world cigar ‘brand of the month’ is Plasencia Cigars, a brand who’s beginnings can be traced right back to 1865, yet to many in the UK cigar world is relatively unknown. In this article we’ll look at the brands history and it’s current offerings. Each week we’ll feature one of the cigars in our ‘cigar of the week’ section - which may include special offers. Then at the end of the month we will release a sampler of all the cigars featured!
Plasencia Cigars are currently producing some of the finest new world cigars out there in my opinion. They are quietly and understatedly innovative, whether that be their cigar packaging (the Alma Del Fuego and Alma Fuerte and Alma Campo lines comes with a Plasencia branded ashtray as part of the box!), the vitolas they roll (a Hexagon shaped cigar no less) or their focus on sustainability which include the use of 100% organic tobacco in the Plasencia Reserva Original line and the introduction of ‘fertigation’ systems that irrigate and fertilise tobacco crops simultaneously. This practice has cut water consumption by half and also increased tobacco yields by 25%. Personally I find it refreshing to see other businesses in the tobacco industry becoming increasingly aware of ethics and sustainability. I believe New World of Cigars Ltd is the first cigar business in the UK, if not the world, who can claim to be carbon neutral ! You can read more about our ethics on the website.
Like many new world cigar companies, Placencia Cigars history can be traced back to Spain, through Cuba, Mexico, Honduras and Nicaragua. Revolutions, civil wars, hurricanes and disasters are a part in this rich history and in some cases still present a threat today!
In 1865 Don Eduardo Plasencia decided to make a long voyage from the Canary Islands, a trip that would see him arrive in Cuba. Looking for an opportunity to make his own success, he began growing Tobacco in the Vuelta Abaja region. He certainly found success and 33 years later in 1898 his nephew, Sixto Plasencia Juares expanded operations significantly by opening the Corojal Farm. Sixto and his sons became very successful and respected tobacco growers and continued to grow and successfully develop the business within Cuba and also exported tobacco internationally.
In nearly every new world cigar company that originates from Cuba, there is of course one period of history that changed everything. The Cuban Revolution. The revolution nationalised all industry on the island, including in 1963 tobacco growing and cigar production. The Plasencia’s remained in Cuba for 2 years before fleeing to Mexico with only what they could carry. At that time one of Sixto’s sons Nestor was only 15 - Nestor went on to become one of the legends of the new world cigar industry, commonly known as Nestor Plasencia Sr! After a very brief stay in Mexico the family travelled on to Honduras where thanks to his reputation, Sixto Plasencia was quickly offered work in the tobacco industry. Only 3 months later though the family moved on to Nicaragua, Sixto again quickly gaining work in the tobacco industry, this time in the now world famous tobacco growing region of Jalapa. Nestor (Sr) meanwhile went to study at Agricultural college. Father and son (Sixto and Nestor) finally found themselves working together after Nestor graduated and eventually bought their own tobacco farm in Nicaragua. 13 years after the Cuban revolution, the Plasencia’s had regained some of what they had lost! Unbeknown to them, they were about to lose everything again.
In 1978 Nicaragua faced it’s own revolution, a revolution which saw the Sandinistas dispose of the Somoza dictatorship. It forced all Cubans involved with the tobacco and cigar industry to leave Nicaragua. Sixto left for Miami while Nestor (Sr) headed back to Honduras to start all over again. Plasencia Cigars as we know them today was born!
Up and running again in Honduras it only took another couple of years before the Plasencia’s faced their next crisis, Blue Mold. In 1981 the Plasencia’s lost over 90% of their tobacco crop. Over the next few years using a combination of chemical controls and learning how to manage the crop even if Blue Mold was present the Plasencia’s regained control and in 1985 began producing cigars as well as growing tobacco.
Today the Plasencia’s have 2 factories in Honduras and 2 in Nicaragua, sell a proportion of their raw tobacco to many of the biggest new world cigars brands, have tobacco growing interests in 4 countries as well as producing the 5 exceptional lines of cigars below, each of which is the product of 150 years of history and experience!
The Plasencia Alma Fuerte is a unique blend of their best-aged tobaccos, grown in the highest quality soil, accentuating their bold, vibrant and intense flavors. Expect hints of dark chocolate, plum, and cinnamon, the taste is rounded out with finishing notes of oak and molasses.
Made with 100% organic tobaccos the Plasencia Reserva Original has the same tastes that captivated the Europeans more than five centuries ago when they arrived in the New World. Expect notes of nuts, fruits, and caramel with delicate nuances of marzipan and final hints of cedar.
The Plasencia Alma del Fuego radiates passion and highlights the strong character of the volcanic soil that stems from the Ometepe Island. Expect a hint of spice, complemented by savory notes of tangerine, roasted cashews, and guava wood. Sun-grown wrappers from the fields of Jalapa Valley were carefully selected, complementing the cigar with a sweet character.
The Plasencia Alma del Campo is a complex smoke with perfect balance. Expect notes of coffee and nuts. A very creamy cigar with a touch of spice. The finish leaves a lasting impression on the palate.
The Plasencia Reserva 1898 is made from the finest tobaccos grown in Nicaragua and Honduras. The result is a full-flavored delight, with chocolate notes hitting the palate at first. This flavor profile is laced with hints of walnut, dried figs and leather, followed by subtle notes of pepper.
Stay smokey, stay safe. Pete