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While the good news about United States restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba may be something to celebrate, getting your hands on a famed Cuban cigar may still be a long shot. Unfortunately, buying Cuban cigars via third countries and the Internet is still considered illegal in the US. But no need to worry, there are other high quality options you can consider. Take Dominican cigars, for example, they may not be dubbed “the best cigars in the world,” but they can certainly hold their own weight (sometimes even more than Cuban cigars!). Let’s break down the facts about quality Dominican cigars and how they compare to Cuban cigars.

Cultivating tobacco leaves:

A tobacco cigar’s’ flavor is derived by they kind of soil and climate the tobacco leaves were harvested in. Cuban cigars are categorized by Cuba’s rich soil and tropical climate. Although you can’t technically find Cuban soil in the Dominican Republic, you can expect the soil quality, as well as the climate, to be very similar to Cuba. Therefore, you can definitely count on finding Dominican cigars that are equally rich in flavor, strength, and depth as those found in Cuba.

The art of hand-rolling:

Another key factor in quality cigars is how well the cigar was rolled. Although the art of hand-rolling cigars is well ingrained in the Cuban tobacco industry, because of the high-demand on the product, Cuba seems to be having quality control problems. Due to the rush to get as many cigars out the door, attention to hand-rolling cigars has decreased. While you can now find Cuban cigars that are rolled too tightly, you can still find properly hand-rolled cigars in Dominican Republic. The neighboring island inherited Cuba’s tradition of cigar craftsmanship and seems to be excelling on it.

History:

Prior to 1960 Cuba had a monopoly on the tobacco cigar business simply because no one else seemed to be growing it, especially the way they did. But by 1960, when many Cubans were leaving the island due to Fidel Castro’s regime, the tobacco industry spread its wings. Many respected tobacco growers moved their companies out the island. Other countries, like the Dominican Republic welcomed the Cuban cigar artisans and began to strive in the business. As a result, premium cigar tobacco will always be compared to Cuba just because they were the first in the game, but again, the Dominican Republic seems to have all the right natural resources, workforce, and well-preserved history behind making some of the best tobacco cigars in the world.